The Valet Who Loved Me
Author: Valerie Bowman
Series: The Footmen’s Club, book 3
Publisher: June Third Enterprises (August 25, 2020)
Kindle edition, 262 pages
Romance, Adult Romance, Historical Romance
He’s on a top-secret assignment.
All of London knows Beau Bellham as the Marquess of Bellingham, but only a trusted few know he also works for the Home Office. His specialty? Scouting out traitors to the Crown. So, when one of his friends pretends to be a footman at a house party in order to find a wife, Beau decides posing as a valet at the same gathering will be the perfect cover for him to spy on the men he suspects of treason. What Beau doesn’t count on, however, is butting heads with a far-too-certain-of-herself maid who gives him hell at every turn.
She’s about to blow his cover.
Miss Marianne Notley is a lady’s maid with more secrets than hairpins. When she meets her employer’s new valet, she distrusts him immediately. Never mind his dashing good looks and irrepressible charm, he’s a bit too sure of himself and asks a few too many questions for her liking. She’s on a mission to reveal the mysterious valet’s true identity, and she’s not above wielding her own considerable charms to do it. But before long, all the pretending Marianne and Beau are doing feels alarmingly real—and a lot like falling in love. When they finally discover the truth about each other, will it spark a face-off for the ages or a love that lasts for all time?
I really liked Bell’s character in the first two books so I was quite excited to finally, finally!, get to his book… and then I just didn’t find him as appealing in this one. He was better when he still had that air of mystery I guess!
I did quite like Marianne and her suspicious nature, always foiling Bell (or rather, Beau in this one since we get his first name!) in his attempts to get some good ol’ fashioned spying done. The banter is great and I love the chemistry between Marianne and Beau. There’s also a very excellent only one bed trope moment in this one and *chef kiss*.
The spy plot didn’t really do it for me… There were some parts that just seemed REALLY unrealistic, but I can’t really get into why without delving into spoilers, which I try to avoid. Suffice it to say they involve a certain brother’s capture. I don’t love romantic suspense in the first place, and this felt like it was trying too hard to rather inexpertly tack in some romantic suspense. It just missed the mark for me. I DID love the final chapters, though, so I’m glad I kept reading to get to the HEA.
This is the third and final book in The Footmen’s Club series. All three books in the series run on a concurrent timeline, with the majority taking place over the same two weeks at the same house party, with the prologue being the exact same actions/dialogue but from that book’s MC’s POV. You DEFINITELY need to read these in order though, because the second book has lots of spoilers for the first, and this third book won’t make so much sense if you haven’t read the first too.
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the author for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.