Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Royal Saboteurs, #1
Release Date: August 9, 2022
Miss Bridget Murray is the secretary to “Baron” the head of a secret government agency known as the Royal Saboteurs, an agency sworn to protect the crown and country from threats. Bridget works closely with the Baron and specializes in decryption, but today she is charged with escorting several new recruits to the agency’s training facility, known as “The Farm”. With the train due to leave in minutes, she is still missing one man – Callahan “Cal” Kelly, and let’s just say their first meeting was memorable. Bridget can’t understand why the Baron would want the Irishman, in her experience, Irishmen are not trustworthy or dependable, at least her dad wasn’t.
Cal is a charming conman, plain and simple, he is also a thief, a recovering alcoholic, and a recovering gambling addict, who has no idea why the Baron thinks he could be useful to him, but the money he offered Cal could set him on a new path and since he needed to get out of London for a bit anyway, he accepted the invite. He even starts to enjoy the training and is doing very well, but what he especially likes is teasing the uptight Miss Murray, who is all that is prim and proper, but clearly has a fire burning in her that is as vibrant as her lovely hair!
After a few weeks of training, it becomes clear why the Baron sought out Cal, he needed an Irishman to infiltrate a group of anarchists in Ireland, intent on breaking the Act of Union and reclaiming the Kingdom of Ireland. At first, Cal is eager to get on with the mission and get paid. Add to that the fact that Bridget has been ordered to go with him, posing as his wife is a bonus, because it is clear to him, that she is not nearly as indifferent to him as she wants him to believe. But once they get to Dublin the danger becomes real and Cal will be tested at every turn and his loyalties questioned. Will he be the man he wants to be or will his demons cost him everything, including the woman he has come to love?
This was such a great story, in all honestly, it did start a bit slow, but that is to be expected with the first book in a series, as the author needs to set up the series, build the world, introduce characters, etc. But once they get to Dublin, the story takes off and is non-stop until the last page. Bridget started out uptight and a wee bit self-righteous, while Cal was shifty and self-serving, but they both embraced their destiny and evolved into truly wonderful characters. Their love story is filled with spies, secrets, murder, anarchists, steamyish love scenes, action, intrigue, and finally a hard-won HEA. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait for the next installment! I can without hesitation, highly recommend this title to both Historical Romance and Historical Intrigue fans.
*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.*