Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Love and Let Spy, #4
Release Date: August 2, 2022
While attending a house party on the behest of his spymaster, General Scott, Maximilien “Maxim” Grant, Marquess of Chesleigh, and heir to the Duke of Hartwell, finds much more than incriminating evidence against his host, he finds a wife!
Lady Caroline Brent is in the library when Maxim comes in and they are accidentally trapped and then discovered alone in the room together by her parents and the hosts. To save her, Maxim immediately proposes. But when they wed, he makes it clear that he doesn’t like her family and will not give them a penny or lift a finger to help them. Their marriage starts well, Caro doesn’t seem bothered by Maxim’s scars or his foreboding demeanor, but when he fears his feelings, he bolts, leaving Caro alone in a strange house and at the mercy of her self-serving, controlling father. To put some distance between them, Caro moves to Brighton and settles into a quiet, albeit lonely life.
Six years later, Maxim, who has been working undercover in France, gets word that his grandfather has passed and he is now the new Duke of Hartwell and must return to England to sort out the estate. Maxim believes his time away from Caro has “cured” him of his unwanted feelings and decides to go see her before going to London, just to inform her of the death of his grandfather (that is his story and he is sticking to it!). But once he sees her again, he finds it impossible to just walk away and wonders if it is possible to win her heart? However, before they can, he must redeem himself with her as well as his fellow spies and his spymaster, not to mention, figure out who is trying to kill him!
I enjoyed this well-written, fast-paced, beauty and the beast themed conclusion to the series. The book has a bit of everything; intrigue, steamyish love scenes, spies, a matchmaking spymaster, a secondary love story, life and death moments, a hidden threat, a villainous father, and finally their long overdue HEA complete with an epilogue that includes everyone from the series. As much as I liked this book, I personally think Caro forgave Maxim too quickly and that he owed her some serious groveling, but overall, it was a very good read and I would happily recommend it. This is the fourth and final book in the series, but the series is loosely connected and it could be read as a standalone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*