Series: All the Queen’s Spies, #3
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Sharon Cullen delivers another fast paced, intrigue filled installment of All the Queen’s Spies with Lost to a Spy!
Lady Emma Hamilton is pulled into the world of espionage when she is injured and left for dead after witnessing a murder and is knocked unconscious by the explosion of Kirk o’ Fields.
Tristian Fitzherbert hears the explosion and goes to investigate, what he finds is an unconscious woman lying in the street. He takes her back to his print shop and tends her injuries. Tristian is a spy for Queen Elizabeth, his primary mission in Scotland has been to incite dissention against Queen Mary, he does this by printing and distributing suggestive placards about the queen, her consort and advisors. He is not sure what to do about the woman he has found, she is obviously well born, but she was alone when he found her, so he is not sure if she was an innocent bystander or if she was part of the plot to blow up Kirk o’ Fields.
He has even more questions later when she wakes, he has had a visit from LaGrange and knows that the king is dead and that Lady Emma Hamilton, is missing from the palace and is most likely his mystery guest. Emma doesn’t trust men, her marriage to Angus Hamilton was awful and when he died, Queen Mary invited her to live at the palace and restored her dowry to her, giving her the means to live independently. Emma is wary of Tristian at first and doesn’t tell him her real name or the whole truth about what she witnessed.
Tristian is kind and attentive to Emma and soon she feels comfortable with him in a way she has never felt with a man. She confides in him about her past and finally about what she witnessed the night of the explosion. She is upset when he tells her the king is dead and wants to return to the palace to comfort Mary. But she is too weak from her injuries and Tristian urges her to wait.
Emma and Tristian become close, she is amazed how he makes her feel safe and she asks him to be her lover. Hesitant at first, Tristian gives in and soon they both know that what they share is rare, but any relationship between them is impossible.
When Emma learns that Tristian is responsible for the inflammatory placards, she is hurt and returns to the castle. But with fresh eyes Emma begins to realize that maybe Mary is not as innocent as Emma believed and when she overhears Bothwell demanding that the town’s printers be brought in for questioning, she knows Tristian is in danger.
Emma doesn’t know what to believe or who to trust, but she knows that she has to warn Tristian. But will she convince him to leave? And can she return to her former life now that she has found love and learned that all she believed to be true is wrong? Can a highborn Lady and a lowborn Spy have a future?
This was a very well written, well paced novel with wonderful characters, steamy love scenes, lots of intrigue and suspense. I personally felt that there was a little too much modern verbiage and that Tristian and Emma love happened too fast and was not as believable as I would have liked. But overall, it was a good read and I enjoyed the story. This is the third book in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems. I am happy to recommend this book and can’t wait to see what Ms. Cullen has in store for LaGrange and Margaret!!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*