Description: With his lady's assistance: a regent mystery
File name: With his lady's assistance: a regent mystery
There is an assassin on the loose and after several attempts on his life, the Prince Regent enlists the help of the best spy in his majesty's army, Captain Jack Dryden. In order for Captain Dryden to infiltrate the necessary societal circles, he is paired up with a fake fiancee, Lady Daphne Chalmers, an unattractive spinster, who is well liked and respected by the ton. In a society where it is well accepted that adultery is more the rule than the exception, their list of suspects grows 3.5 stars
There is an assassin on the loose and after several attempts on his life, the Prince Regent enlists the help of the best spy in his majesty's army, Captain Jack Dryden. In order for Captain Dryden to infiltrate the necessary societal circles, he is paired up with a fake fiancee, Lady Daphne Chalmers, an unattractive spinster, who is well liked and respected by the ton. In a society where it is well accepted that adultery is more the rule than the exception, their list of suspects grows as well as their affections towards another. Is it a spurned lover, illegitimate child, angry husband, moneylender or a successor that is trying to remove the Prince Regent from being the next in line for the crown and will "Captain Sublime" and the "Maiden of Evil" live to find out if their love is worth fighting for?
I will admit, when I first started this book, I had to read the first several pages multiple times, but then finally got with the program. I also got a bit bored at the end and I have no idea why, because there is a ton of action there, must have just been sleepy. Overall, I found this book just really delightful and will pick up more of Cheryl Bolen's books in the future.
My favorite line of the book describing why Daphne found herself still single at the ripe old age of 34: "She had yet to meet the man whose presence she would prefer over her books."
Regency romances are not something that I was very familiar with, or at least the term, so I had to do a little research to see what they were all about after reading a few other reviews on this book. Essentially, they are set during the British Regency time period, which was between 1811 - 1820, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule due to health issues and his son the Prince Regent ruled in his place. They are also popular among those that prefer a clean romance, as they typically are not heavy in explicit sexual relations. While there was much talk of adulterous acts and a few mentions of the "f" word, I found this to be a very sweet book and on my scale of racy books, I would give it a 2 out of 10, so, pretty clean.
The heroine is described as being plain and unattractive, I usually don't like romance books where the female character is described as unattractive in some way. I guess I like to live in a fantasy world where everybody is beautiful. However, Bolen does an excellent job of making you really feel like she IS truly beautiful in Captain Dryden's eyes by the end of the book. They were a perfect match and when you think of the reality of a high society woman marrying below her class where the opulence of "abigails" (I learned a new term), beautiful gowns and well, the time it takes to primp, any other woman besides Daphne would not be fine without all that.
It is also FUNNY! I found myself laughing out loud several times. Jack dubs Daphne the "Maiden of Evil", jokingly, as the schemes that she comes up with to make their ruse believable are just so UNbelievable, you can't help but be entertained. One of my favorites was the fake identity she comes up with for Jack that involves him speaking a few outlandish South African languages and he is asked to "preform" for her father. I also enjoyed the mention of the Prince Regent being called "Fat Adonis". Too cute.
This is Bolen's debut into the mystery side of regency romances and I believe she did an excellent job. I wasn't sure who the assassin would end up being right up until the end of the book. There are so many characters and relations in this book, she keeps you guessing all the way through. I know it is a part of the genre, but I loved being immersed in true historical characters laced with fictional characters. I kept going to wikipedia to see if the characters really were real and a lot of them did exist. This book is funny, sweet, romantic, mysterious and historical, so if that sounds like something you would enjoy, this book is for you.