Summary: Caroline Trent is fed up with her greedy guardian, Oliver Prewitt, and his nitwit son, Percy. With only six weeks to go until she can claim her inheritance and rid herself of them, Percy attempts to forcibly seduce her. Fortunately, Caroline has a pistol at hand and she uses it–wounding the annoying man just enough to allow her to escape. Fuming, she flees the dark manor house determined to find employment and hide from her guardian for six weeks. But a bad night turns worse when a tall, dark stranger accosts her. Blake Ravenscroft thinks Caroline is a female spy, part of Oliver Prewitt’s smuggling activities that include spying for Napoleon. He kidnaps Caroline, ties her to a bed at his nearby home, and grills her unsuccessfully before a friend arrives and tells Blake that he’s captured the wrong woman. Caroline explains her predicament and, given what he knows of the larcenous Oliver Prewitt, Blake has no option but to offer her shelter. Caroline isn’t a woman accustomed to sitting in the parlor sipping tea, especially while Blake’s investigation has him involved in far more exciting, life-threatening activities. Blake isn’t a man accustomed to having a woman ignore his commands. Sparks fly and passion sizzles between these two characters while a cast of endearing characters provide well-meaning assistance.
Heroine: I loved Caroline. She’s witty and clever. I was so impressed by her actions in the first few chapters, and I knew immediately that I would like her character immensely.
Hero: Of course Blake has his flaws. He can’t quite let go of the guilt he feels for the death of his fiancee. Truly understandable, but after a while I just really wanted him to get over it already.
Supporting Cast: This book would be nothing without the supporting cast. Mrs. Mickle and Perriwick were not your stereotypical servants. They added so much humor to the story. And of course… there’s James, the Marquis of Riverdale. Charming and quite the matchmaker. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when he is in the spotlight.
Plot: My only wish is that there was more spying and espionage! Truly.
Romance: I’m not a huge fan of instant attraction, but it worked out in this one. Though Caroline and Blake had an immediate attraction for one another, the progression of the romance was still slow. The tension built up between them for quite a long time.
Love Potion Strength:
– Exceeds Expectations
I’m definitely looking forward to the second book in this series and in general – reading more Julia Quinn novels!