Robert Powell’s work as a spy saves the Cabinet ministers from a gruesome death and wins him accolades from George IV. As a reward, the king grants him a baronetcy and a much-deserved holiday at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton where he thinks to indulge in brandy, cards, good horseflesh and women.
But when Muriel, Dowager Countess of Claremont, learns of Sir Robert’s intended destination, she begs a favor…to watch over an “errant child” who is the grandniece of her good friend living in the resort town. Little does Robbie know that Miss Chastity Reynolds is no child but a beautiful hoyden who is seemingly immune to his charms.
Chastity lives in the shadow of her mother and sisters, dark-haired beauties men admire. Her first Season was a failure but, as she will soon come into a family legacy, she has no need to wed. When she first encounters Sir Robert, she dubs him The Rogue, certain he indulges in a profligate lifestyle she wants no part in.
In Brighton, Robbie discovers he is being followed by friends of the conspirators who had planned to murder the Cabinet. Worse, they know the location of Chastity’s residence.
Hugely enjoyable Regency Romance ~ 5 stars
Regan Walker’s latest instalment in her Agents of the Crown series is an expertly woven tale of romance, intrigue and danger set in Regency England. It is a hugely entertaining and enjoyable read. The novel focuses on Robbie, whom readers met in A Secret Scottish Christmas, but also includes other characters featured in the series. The book works perfectly well as a standalone but I also encourage you to read the other books in the set, which are equally well crafted.
The events take place at a volatile time in England, when the ruling classes feared dissent from below and even revolution. After foiling a plot to murder government ministers, spy Robert Powell is rewarded with a well-earned holiday in the seaside town of Brighton, in the King’s residence the Royal Pavilion no less. He is joined by his uncle Jack Donet, a character introduced in the Donet Trilogy, as they look forward to devoting their time to enjoying all that the town has to offer.
However Robbie’s plans soon begin to go awry after the respected Dowager, the Countess of Claremont tasks him to keep an eye on her grand-niece, Chastity Reynolds… As soon as the couple meet Robbie is smitten, yet sparks fly as Chastity struggles to get the true measure of the man whose actions indicate that he is an out and out rogue. Their evolving relationship forms the backbone of the novel and I loved the repartee between the couple. Robbie struggles to convince Chastity that he is perhaps not the rogue she thinks he is and what an entertaining battle royal this is! Yet can Chastity overcome her preconceptions? She is truly torn between her growing affection and respect for the man, yet mindful of his reputation.
As Robbie pursues Chastity around Brighton he realises that he too is being followed by those who would seek revenge on him for his role in the prosecution and execution of the traitors involved in the plot. He realises that Chastity could well have caught the eye of his pursuers and he may have put her at risk… Will Chastity escape their clutches? Can Robbie persuade her of his true intentions? I was on tenterhooks throughout, willing the couple their well- deserved HEA. I enjoyed that Chastity is a strong character, whose financial situation means that she is not bent on securing a good marriage come what may – Robbie has an uphill struggle to convince her of his worth!
I loved the author’s descriptions of Brighton, from the fish market to the opulence of the Royal Pavilion and the King’s yacht. Regan Walker writes in such as way as to invite the reader to step amongst the characters, partaking of the sights, smells and their conversations. I also enjoyed how the author’s characters interact with real historical figures of the time, such as the King and his associates, who have parts to play in the unfolding plot. The growing attraction between Jack and Rose, Chastity’s friend who accompanies her on her sojourn in Brighton added to the pleasure of the read.
Recommended to readers of historical, especially Regency romance.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.