As Katie Armstrong picks the pocket of an unsuspecting Bostonian, two very different men are watching her. Dandified Ethan Hardy admires the little thiefs daring, while Viscount Lowden plots how hell blackmail her into spying on the rebels for him.
Katie, an indentured servant, has fled her abusive Virginia owner and cannot refuse Lowdens order to uncover the true identity of the rebels master spy, John Smith, a Scarlet Pimpernel-style hero.
Working in a tavern known to be the hub of the Sons of Liberty, Katie manages to meet John Smith and soon realizes that she is falling in love with the man she must betray. Once she learns Johns true identity she knows that by turning him in she will lose all she has come to hold dear, but if she remains loyal to the patriots she might lose her life.
How Katie deals with her dilemma and learns to trust, love and care makes THE CHARADE an outstanding Revolutionary-era romance. The real historical personages and the colorful narrative truly bring this tumultuous time to life and will garner Ms. Guhrke a satisfied readership. SENSUAL (Mar., 384 pp., $6.50)