Lady Hermione Merryhew, daughter of an impoverished marquess, already has her share of problems. The last thing she needs is an intruder in her bedroom, especially not a fugitive thief. She should scream, but the shabby rascal is a man from her past.
Six years ago, at her first ball, dashing Lieutenant Mark Thayne failed to steal a kiss, but succeeded in stealing a little of her heart. She’s older and wiser now. She can’t toss him to the wolves. Besides, she wants that kiss.
Now Viscount Faringay, Mark has never forgotten Lady Hermione, but he mustn’t involve her in his dangerous life. He’s infiltrated the Crimson Band, violent revolutionaries who plan a bloodbath in London, and if he survives the night he will be able to destroy them. Hermione is involved, however, and only he can protect her.
Publisher and Release Date: Signet, April 2015
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by Maggi
I love a Regency spy plot with a good dash of romance, and the spy story in Too Dangerous For A Lady, Jo Beverley’s sixteenth novel her Company of Rogues series is well researched and well written. Ms Beverley does a great job of interlacing the story through an unsettled era in English history, when the Industrial Revolution and the Corn Laws caused great poverty and uncertainty among the poorer classes. Dissident groups fought for change and there were those who, influenced by the French Revolution, sought to bring about a revolution in England.
Lady Hermione Merrydew, is traveling with her cash-strapped family to visit a dying great-uncle, who they hope will leave them some money. While staying overnight at an inn, Mark, Viscount Faringay slips into her bedchamber. He is escaping with stolen papers, having infiltrated a renegade group, but he allows her to believe he is down on his luck and has become a thief. Despite being in shabby clothing, and supposedly on the run, Mark evokes those strong feelings in Hermione that she felt for him six years ago when he was the dashing Lieutenant Mark Thayne. At her first ball, the young officer going off to war tried to steal a kiss, and stole a piece of her heart. In the inn bedroom, Hermione bestows that kiss on him and trusts him enough to allow him to remain for the night. The strength of their attraction is obvious, as they both carry a small token from that first meeting. I warmed to Hermione immediately. She is feisty and knows her own mind but doesn’t expect the kiss will lead anywhere, even though she may face a horrid arranged marriage if the great-uncle does not have money.
When Hermione is unwittingly drawn into danger, Mark fights to protect her. What follows is a fast paced exciting chase across the countryside.
Ms Beverley describes Mark as “an anti-terrorist undercover cop” who has infiltrated a band of British would-be revolutionaries. He is a good character too, quite ruthless and single minded in his pursuit of the organization known as the Crimson Band, and the evil French woman at its helm. It’s a very satisfactory conspiracy story. But as good as the spy-plot is, it does tend to take over somewhat from the hero and heroine’s burgeoning romance. I would have liked a bit more romance, but it’s only a quibble. If you enjoy an excellent Regency spy story steeped in historical facts, Too Dangerous For a Lady is a thoroughly decent read, as all Jo Beverley’s books are.