by Celeste Bradley

October 2005
ISBN: 0-312-93127-1
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

As one of Londonís most eligible bachelors, Dane Calwell, Viscount Greenleigh, has rescued many an enterprising miss with a matchmaking mama. He has always gallantly avoided the matrimonial noose that was hidden amongst the frills and flounces. Rescuing Olivia Cheltenham from the Thames turned into something a bit more complicated.

Olivia now understands why she was forced to wait for hours on the Westminster Bridge. It was apparently part of her motherís plot to snare a husband for her tall, graceless daughter. This became obvious when that same mother pushed Olivia right off the bridge and into the icy Thames! While she tries to discourage the assistance being offered by the Viking-like Lord Greenleigh, Olivia ends up effecting his rescue.

This is the sparkling and witty introduction to the main characters in Celeste Bradleyís latest book in the Royal Four series, Surrender to a Wicked Spy. As a member of the Royal Four, Greenleigh holds one of the highest, albeit secret, positions in the nobility. It was the Royal Four who convinced the Prince Regent to declare George III mad, and it is the Royal Four who continue to advise His Majesty on all affairs of state. The previous Lion, his father, betrayed this high trust and ended up taking his own life. The shadow of this treason hangs heavy on Daneís shoulders. He hopes that marrying Olivia will help to ease his burdens.

While Dane and Olivia wed quite early in this novel, their courtship is far from over. Nearly strangers at the altar, both of them have a lot to learn about each other, and themselves. As espionage and danger escalate their true natures will be called upon. There are some tender and touching moments as Olivia learns Daneís secrets, and Dane learns that having the right woman by his side is the greatest weapon of all.

I enjoyed Surrender to a Wicked Spy very much. Ms. Bradley has provided a depth and emotion that could easily have been lost in the storyís action. These threads strengthen the entire novel and move it beyond the ordinary Napoleonic-spy Regency novel. As always, I will be interested to see what the Royal Four and the Liarís Club have in store next.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Paula.

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