Immediately engrossing and gripping, Cleeland’s novel of Napoleonic spycraft will keep readers absorbed until the final secret is revealed. Cleeland knows her characters so intimately that initial ambiguity regarding their pasts and relationships serves not as a deterrent but as an incentive for readers to grow closer to them and uncover the truths that drive them all. Well-researched details make for an immersive, historic world and an excellent sense of pacing creates a memorable, suspenseful read.

Beneath her enchanting veneer, Vidia Swanson is a highly-trained spy, employed by the Home Office to seduce secrets from powerful men and unmask traitors to the Crown. Vidia’s history means she is never clear of suspicion herself, and with rumors of Napoleon planning an escape from Elba, she is suspected of being a double agent. Her only hope lies in Lucien Carstairs, a fellow agent with his own dark secrets. Their relationship is a complicated and fiery one, and Vidia knows all too well that if she is going to save England from disaster, there is no one she can trust but herself. (SOURCEBOOKS, Jun., dl., $14.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Bridget Keown