Justin, a man with a painful past and a reputation as a troublemaker, finds himself in deep, deep trouble. A spy, disowned by his family, he finds himself framed for a murder he did not commit and with his own life in danger. Not knowing who he can trust, he sets out to hide himself while he tries to investigate. Then he saves Catherine Meade's life, and is badly injured himself...
He can't tell Catherine who he is, so he pretends that his initial amnesia has continued. Although she is drawn to him, she doesn't trust him; she knows he's lying, and she also sees him sneaking out of the house at nights. And her own past makes her see his attempts at flirtation as the mark of a seducer.
However, propinquity does have certain effects, if either of them were able to see what is happening to them....
The love story here is low-key, but warm and loving; a man and a woman, neither of whom think they deserve to be loved, slowly begin to realise that their perceptions are not reality. In the end, Justin gains more than Catherine; the shadows of his past turn out to be less distressing than he had imagined. Catherine, too, has the courage - thanks to Justin's encouragement - to face her demons.
As for the threat to Justin's life and the many assassination attempts made in the course of the book, Barbour handled that well, keeping me guessing right up until a couple of lines before she revealed the culprit. Very cleverly plotted!
Definitely a keeper.
Barbour is a superb writer, one of those hidden gems of Regency romances. This book has to do with spies and has a very strong female protagonist as well as the usual handsome, misunderstood, virile hero.