Lady Pen Bryanston is convinced that her former in-laws are hiding the proof that her child was not stillborn, as she was told. The young widow is searching for clues when she is discovered by Owen D’Arcy. Chevalier D’Arcy has secrets, too, as a member of the French ambassador’s spy network. Thus begins the intrigue that surrounds the characters in Jane Feather’s To Kiss a Spy.
The book reintroduces the reader to Pen and her sister Pippa, who were young girls in The Widow’s Kiss. It is gratifying to note that the main personalities of the young women have been kept in sync with the girls that we met before. In fact, the author has done an excellent job of interjecting just the right amount of background to gently remind the reader about the previous book, but not so much that you are re-reading the first story.
The swirling political winds that blew through the Tudor court is a strong counterpoint to the interaction of the hero and heroine. Pen and Owen have political obligations that play a strong role in the way that they move forward with their personal agendas. Again, the author has displayed a light touch in explaining the courts of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. There is no danger of getting sidetracked in a lengthy explanation of politics, as in some historical fiction. Ms. Feather concentrates on the romance.
Strong enough to stand alone, To Kiss a Spy becomes even better when followed by its companion piece, Kissed by Shadows. Both are keepers.