From Publishers Weekly
DeBoer's ( Beloved Adversary ) new tale, set during England's battle with Napoleon, could more aptly be titled No Perfect Lies , since every twist and turn in the plot contains some kind of fabrication. Sixteen-year-old Polly, a former barmaid, flees from the abusive husband she married to better herself. Her escort on the journey is Abel Clary, a fiddler who claims he doesn't believe in dreams. Polly does, and her first one is realized as she and Clary, after taking shelter in a stable during a storm, are called to entertain the Earl of Woodworth. Polly, masquerading as a boy, is soon discovered by the Earl's mistress, Valeria, whose plot to expose the girl backfires. Polly is revealed as a beauty, and the earl publicly adopts her as his ward, secretly assuming special privileges in her bed. Grey, the Earl's nephew, falls in love with the young woman, not knowing his uncle is her lover. One may certainly wonder what she sees in Grey, a stiffly drawn soldier, and the only parts of this tale that entertain feature Valeria and her loathsome husband, who connive to reveal the Earl's relationship with his protegee.