The Secret of Flirting
Summary: The moment spymaster Baron Fulkham meets the stunning Princess Anne of Chanay, he’s positive her royal persona is a ruse and that she’s actually Monique Servais, the mysterious actress he met three years before in Dieppe. But as he pursues his suspicions, he uncovers a plot of attempted assassination and betrayal that could very well destroy his career, expose his own secrets…and ruin the woman he’s rapidly coming to love.
The Secret of Flirting is a sizzling historical romance filled with fast-paced storytelling, an enchanting heroine, and a sexy hero, perfect for fans of Regency romance.
Review: I love the premise of this book. The Princess of Chanay is in the running to be the new Queen of Belgium, but she’s fallen suddenly ill so her long-lost cousin, the French actress Monique who bears a striking resemblance to the real princess, is called upon to take the princess’s place… Ooh, intrigue! The potential for mistaken identities to wreak havoc! My catnip. 🙂
I liked Monique a lot. She’s such a strong woman, as well as caring so much for her grandmother. I do love a feisty leading lady, and I love the way she repeatedly challenges Gregory. Him, I had more problems with, but I appreciate the growth he goes through as he realizes that by shutting his emotions away to avoid painful memories, he is also shutting out the positive emotions like joy and love. Both of them let their own pride, insecurity, and fear get in the way of what they both really want, and there were a few moments that my heart positively ached for these somewhat star-crossed lovers. I also really liked the inclusion of Lady Ursula and her situation, as you don’t often see many [spoilers removed] in Regency romances.
There was a section of this book where Gregory kept calling Monique “my sweet” in every dang sentence, which was like nails on a chalkboard to me for some reason. Ugh. For the most part, though, this book kept me enthralled and I hated to put it down, and I now must immediately go read the first four books in the series.
This is the fifth book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Characters from the previous books are minor side characters in this one, and the only real benefit to reading the other books first would be so you’re not horribly confused about all these established couples chattering about. The epilogue also sets up a bit the idea that the sixth book will be about Gregory’s friend Hart.