A convenient marriage leads to romance between a spy and a widowed earl in this Highland historical romance.
Lady Evelyn Pierrepont has been a spy for the Jacobite cause, and the last complication she needs is marriage. Unfortunately, her father’s schemes include ensuring all of his daughters secure advantageous betrothals. The widowed Earl of Mar, John Erskine, has his hands full with two young sons and his role as the secretary of state for Scotland. A biddable wife with a sizable dowry would certainly help matters, and Evelyn’s father pushes the two toward a hasty marriage. Unsure of John’s allegiances, Evelyn uses their time together to test his loyalty to Queen Anne or discover if he sees a future with the Jacobites and their crusade. The romance between John and Evelyn is tame compared to the adventure in which the couple find themselves. They’re bombarded with double-crosses and life-and-death scenarios, all with a pair of rowdy boys in tow. Evelyn is the star of the show as she navigates the early relationships with her husband and his children while maintaining her work as a spy. She knows how to handle business while protecting her sisters and other people she loves. John is a calmer and more composed hero when compared to his new bride. Though clearly a loving father, he fails to match Evelyn’s dynamism. With more focus on action and espionage, the romance leans toward tepid rather than sizzling. Read this for the heroine’s thrilling exploits and not for an impassioned hero, though a dangerous chase through England and Scotland is an entertaining bonus.
High on action, mild on romance.