Dearest Enemy harkens back to the great Civil War romances where brave men and courageous women played out their roles as spies and soldiers in a ready-made conflict between enemies and lovers. Ryan lets the rising tension between her strong characters grow
just as the war reaches a fevered pitch, keeping you reading late into the night.

After losing her fiance and her home to the war, Southern belle Susanna LeGrande vows to destroy the enemy and becomes a Confederate spy, floating through Washington, D.C. like an enchanted butterfly while she's really a black widow spider.

Union Navy Rear Admiral Mitchell B. Longley is drawn into her seductive web and unwittingly leaves classified information out in the open. Though she is falling in love with Mitchell, Susanna must betray him to help her the South. Her deceit costs lives and Mitchell his command. Now an angry, shattered man, he is out for revenge.

They are both playing a dangerous game where Susanna's life and Mitchell's honor lie in the balance. Will love or hate, honor or loyalty lead to ruin or salvation? (Mira, Nov., 375 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin