By Joan Smith
Robert Hale - July 2001
ISBN 0709065752 HB
Historical Romance
Regency London

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
Buy a US || UK Copy

Miss Cathy Lyman works as a translator, assisting her uncle and also helping to make ends meet since the death of her diplomat father. She dreams of being whisked into an adventure like the Gothic heroines she loves to read about and then the unthinkable actually happens - she is given a German letter to translate that contains top secret information on Napoleon! Threatened by a mysterious man with a gun and rescued by the dashing Lord Costain it seems as though her life has taken a turn for the better at last.
But will all this excitement be enough to secure her expensive tickets and a partner for the Great Christmas Ball?

Joan Smith has written many fine Regencies and this entertaining tale is just the thing to curl up with during the festive season. It is perhaps a pity though that so many of the characters in it have names beginning with C - Cathy, Lord Costain, his superior Cosgrave and even Castlereagh - and they are all mentioned during the first few pages which is very confusing. This aside it is still a great escapist Christmas read to put all romance lovers in the holiday mood which will raise more than one smile and contains some fairly exciting scenes, particularly the denouement. Should appeal to those who like a story that isn't just a straight romance with its spy intrigue, secret documents and some people who will stop at nothing to get what they want…

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