Barbara’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: Husband Hunters #3
Publication Date: 3/12/19
# of Pages: 180
*** 3.5 stars ***
This was my first book by this author and I was really looking forward to a steamy romance and confounding mystery. What I found was no steam, but a nice slow build of a romance – and I liked that. I liked that the characters didn’t jump into insta-lust, but they were definitely attracted to each other. I also love the way Lynley came to respect Emily’s intelligence and cleverness before he actually realized that he also loved her. The mystery was a good one as well with multiple villains and missing secrets that could plunge England into war.
Speaking of villains – there is one I just never figured out. I could not see his purpose nor could I see what he was trying to gain. What was his plot? Yes, he provided a misdirection for the storyline, but he could still have had some ulterior motives in mind instead of just being . . . I can’t explain more without telling you who he is and what he does, but I think his motives should have been plainer – otherwise, there is no reason for him to have done what he did or even to be in the story at all. Maybe he’ll play some villainous role in a future book. I really wanted to see him get more punishment than a sock in the nose!
Sir Ajax Lynley (I love that name) has agreed to work for a spymaster for one year. So far his assignments have been exciting, but fairly minor. Now, he has a task that affects the fate of England. If he cannot retrieve certain documents, England will be forced into war with Russia. Since Lynley lived in Spain from the time he was a teenager and has only just returned to be a spy, he needs to reenter society. He’s been trying to think of the best way to do that when the perfect opportunity drops right into his lap.
Lady Emily Radstock is fast approaching her twenty-ninth birthday, she is still unmarried and sees no particular reason to change that. However, her mother has other ideas and presents Emily with a book, ‘The Husband Hunter’s Guide To London’. Since her mother is on her way out of town to care for Emily’s grandmother, Emily can’t rail at her, so she heads over to her younger sister’s house to rant. As she says that she ought to marry the first imbecile she meets, she hears this masculine voice say, “I accept”.
She is dumbstruck – surely he can’t mean it and surely can’t intend to hold her to that. Yet he does. She knows he has to be up to something and she fully intends to find out what it is. As they spend time together she comes to like him – and she starts to figure out what is going on. Then, suddenly it hits her – he is a SPY. Yum, adventure – and she sorely wants to have an adventure so she happily joins him in his mission. She is, however, annoyed that she is only a quasi-partner – he doesn’t share everything with her. Yet, the one time he takes off on his own because he wants to protect her, it doesn’t end well for him.
I enjoyed this book even though I thought that it could have been a bit longer and better fleshed out in both the mystery and the romance aspects of the story. I’ll look forward to the next one in the series – The Christmas Husband Hunt.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.