Charlotte Burton, a Southern belle who's lost everything
she values, arrives in London to solicit help from an old
friend, Cade. Her father and brother lost their lives as
they tried running a British naval blockade, and she needs
a loan to restore the family fortune in Charleston.
Charlotte hates the British and only dire circumstances
would cause her to come to the land of the enemy. At her
reunion with Cade, English ruffians interrupt them. Cade
escapes, but he leaves her behind to deal with the men.
Lord Alfred Dewhust, Freddie to his friends, is an English
baron and a spy for the king. He maintains the façade of a
dandy to cover his clandestine activities. Since females
surround him, including his four sisters, his masquerade is
not difficult to preserve. After a near miss at capturing
an American spy, he detains a beautiful redhead he believes
in league with the spy. Knowing his weakness for redheads,
Freddie resists his orders to present her as his wife, even
though it's the perfect trap to capture the American spy.
Charlotte perceives Freddie as a warrior instead of a fop
and knows she must never let down her guard. She only
agrees to play his wife to evade prison, and it will allow
her to warn Cade. Charlotte and Freddie's ruse quickly
backfires as the flare of attraction draws them closer
together. However, love cannot grow without trust, and
Freddie is unsure of Charlotte's loyalties.
Ms. Galen shows a talent for levity in this battle of the
sex's tale. Readers will chuckle at the sparkling banter,
but the humor never overshadows the seriousness of
Charlotte's dilemma of where her loyalties lie.
You were right: desperation is a dangerous state of mind.
It was desperation that drove me to London to salvage my
family's reputation and finances in the first place. And
it is desperation -- and perhaps a little desire -- that
has gotten me into the situation I find myself in now.
You see, I've become ensnared in the investigation of a
traitor by Lord Dewhurst -- the most insufferable,
sinfully handsome man I've ever met. I know it is
shocking, but in order to catch this spy and clear my
name, I've no choice but to play the agent's bride. Now
I'm desperate again to avoid his seductive words and
searing looks. I pray that I can resist him, but I can
make no promises. Oh, my dear friend, I know he and I are
merely pretending to be wed, but the blush he can send all
the way to my petticoats feels far too real!