Review – A Spy’s Guide to Seduction by Kate Moore

About the Book:

An independent lady is accidentally betrothed to a spy with a mysterious past in this Regency gem from beloved, award-winning author Kate Moore. A volume of tips for the marriage-minded brought them together, but their sweeping adventure will change all the rules of engagement . . .
 
When her desperate mother sends her The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London, outspoken Emily Radstock rails against the slim book of manners, boldly declaring that she should wed the first “imbecile” she meets and be done with the matter. Too bad Sir Ajax Lynley overhears her outrageous proposal and holds her to it. But he’s no dullard—he’s a wily government agent who needs the cover of a beautiful fiancé to pursue a deadly enemy. To resist his charms, Emily turns to the guide she disdains—and does exactly the opposite. Dress fashionably? She enshrouds herself in black crepe. Be demure? She steps into danger and faces down criminals alongside her “intended” . . . whose thrilling seduction may be anything but a charade.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                      A Spy’s Guide to Seduction (Husband Hunters Book 3)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Emily Radstock is about to reach her twenty-ninth birthday and is still unwed.  While her parents want to see her married and settled, they have never tried to force her into a marriage she didn’t want.  Still, Emily is angered that her mother presented her with a copy of The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London, and has gone to visit her sister, Rosalind, to vent her frustration.  As Emily is ranting on about how she should accept the first imbecile she runs into, a hitherto unknown gentleman rises from the sofa on the other side of the room, tells Emily that he accepts her proposal, kisses her hand, tells her he’ll call on her, and takes his leave.

Sir Ajax Lynley, a baronet, has come to town to begin his new occupation as a spy.  He needs a cover before he begins his assignment of investigating the theft of sensitive Foreign Office documents, and an engagement to Emily will gain him entrée into society and the events of the season.  He’ll sort out later how to end the temporary engagement.

Emily is an outspoken and independent woman, and is not used to being bested.  When Lynley comes to call, he has an engagement ring in hand, and gains her father’s permission for their betrothal.  Much to her own surprise, Emily lets him slip the ring on her finger, and decides to go along with the engagement until she learns what Lynley is all about.  She knows that Lynley is a wealthy man, and has no need of her dowry, so she’ll worry about jilting him later, after her curiosity is satisfied.

Emily and Lynley are similar in many ways, they are intelligent, witty, and have an honest and direct way of speaking to each other, even though Lynley is often evasive.  As they attend events together, it turns out that Lynley needs Emily’s help on different occasions, and she provides it without hesitation, only questioning him later.  Lynley tells her as much as he can without revealing his real purpose, but it’s not long before Emily figures out that he is actually a spy.  I love the interaction between this couple.  It’s obvious that they felt an attraction for each other right from the start, and before long they’re sharing some heated kisses.  The pretend engagement starts to feel very real.

Emily proves to be very adept, and becomes more involved in Lynley’s investigation, which takes them on a path through the darker side of society.  Gaming hells, infidelity, treason, blackmail and villains all lead to putting them both in danger, at which point, Lynley decides that he can’t allow any harm to come to Emily, and he has to put a halt to her involvement.  He figures that by not showing up at their own engagement party, he’ll kill two birds with one stone.  Emily will be angry enough to jilt him, and he’ll continue the investigation on his own.

One of my favorite things in a book is when I adore both the hero and heroine, and that’s the case in A SPY’S GUIDE TO SEDUCTION.  Neither Emily nor Lynley is overly sentimental in their speech toward each other, yet their care of each other, as well as all their interactions speaks volumes.  There are no explicit scenes, but their chemistry is undeniable, and their kisses just sizzle.  I love that Lynley doesn’t want to change Emily, he embraces her independence and her intelligence.  Emily knows that behind Lynley’s supposedly imbecilic and indolent persona is a dedicated, caring man of great intelligence, a man who is still bearing the pain from an unfortunate past.  I have loved all the books in this series, and highly recommend them, but A SPY’S GUIDE TO SEDUCTION can be read as a standalone, if you choose.  There is plenty of witty dialogue, mystery, and warm romance in this delightful, well written novel to satisfy those who enjoy a captivating book with strong and appealing lead characters.    ~Rose

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