by Kieran Kramer

December 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-37402-0
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Marrying for love is not unheard of in the ton, of course, but it is the exception rather than the rule. Marriage is about aligning land, power or wealth, not the finer emotions. Lady Poppy Smith-Barnes hopes to find true love and has turned down several suitors in her quest. Now that her handsome Russian prince is coming to London, she must remain available. She has thought of the perfect solution invent an imaginary fiance and tell society that you merely await his return from abroad. Of course, it will not do to have just any fiance, so Poppy names the mysterious Duke of Drummond as her intended. His shadowy presence keeps the suitors at bay quite nicely. Until the real Duke arrives with a plan of his own.

After serving the Crown for years as a spy, Nicholas Stanton knows the value of anonymity. Being named one of the Prince Regent's Impossible Bachelors is not helpful. When he is named Duke of Drummond and discovers Poppy's tall tale, he is eager to make her acquaintance. After all, having a fiancee will be excellent cover for his current mission.

Nicholas is not quite sure what he expected, but Lady Poppy is definitely not a demure society miss. From her titian hair and emerald eyes flashing annoyance, she is decidedly not shy and retiring. Seeing her on the arm of Prince Sergei sends up all kinds of warning alarms. How does she know the Russians, and could she be part of their plot?

The second book in the Impossible Bachelors series, Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right, is another raucous novel from Kieran Kramer. Readers will love the witty dialogue, the fine character development and exciting action. There is even a Corgi with an eye patch what more could you want?

Reviewed in November 2010 by Paula.

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