Reviewed by Francine:
This is a lovely and rather unusual tale of a woman who has few choices in life, and while Aster Tanner prefers honest pay for honest work she is well aware of the life that may have become her lot had she taken another path to monetary gain. Set prior to Napoleon’s first defeat and exile to the Island of Elba, English agents of the crown are engaged in spying missions behind enemy lines
Aster is a familiar sight on the streets of Regency England and always accompanied by her little dog, and to the casual eye she would never pass muster as an enemy agent. But Captain Mcintyre, of the Second Dragoons, views her position as secretary-cum-aide to a cryptographer as not only unusual, but downright dangerous. Her femininity is distracting and somewhat enticing, and what in the devil is a woman doing working for a cryptographer who poses as a mere army supply officer? Mcintyre sets out to unravel the mystery of Aster, and duly expects to unveil an enemy agent with a little romancing. Then comes the dreadful news of a murder, the threat of kidnap, and suddenly Mcintyre’s heart is at odds with his head. When Aster goes missing can a little dog then save the day, unravel a greater mystery, and prevent Mcintyre from losing his credibility as a true hero? Ah well, buy the book and find out. Beware though: from the outset this novel reads in the vein of a Traditional Regency with a sweet flavour, but it does have sensual love scenes.