I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the first and kept me interested to the end. The main characters and the minor characters were all very interesting. The deceptions by different characters was a main part of the storyline and helped give depth to the emotions of the characters. The book reminded me of books written by Mary Balogh and M. M. Kaye.
I rate this 5 plus stars based on Knave's Wager alone! The Sandalwood Princess is good as well, but Knave's Wager has to be one of my few favorites. I have read it multiple times - in fact, I have the previous edition of the book. I love Loretta Chase's old works, which for some reason are a little different than her newer ones. The plot has been summed up nicely by others, but I would just like to say how incredibly wonderful this book was. The main characters as well as the secondary characters were wonderfully developed, and none of them were either unrealistic or stereotypes. The dialogue was fast moving and very witty, and the plot had enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes. I love Lilith and Julian both, and would have loved to see them again in a nother book. Also try Loretta Chase's Isabella and The English Witch, both of which are gems as well.
Miss Amanda Cavencourt has lived in India for years. Her exotic beauty and alarming affinity for local customs has long distressed her brother, a member of the East India Company. He feels his marriage is the perfect occasion for Amanda's return to England.
On the eve of her departure, Amanda goes to visit her dear friend the Rani, who regards Amanda as the daughter of her heart. Her farewell gift to Amanda is a sandalwood statue of a princess. That night, as Amanda returns to her brother's house, she is attacked and the gift is stolen.
And so begins Amanda's connexion with the handsome rogue known only as the Falcon. This mysterious man is known to be trusted by governments to undertake the most dangerous and delicate missions. Amanda cannot imagine the reason for his interest in her statue. But she knows if the Falcon is involved, the matter is deadly, and she fears for Rani's safety.
Against a background of oriental intrigue and ancient feuds, Amanda schemes to discover the cause of the Falcon's interest, and to recover the statue.
The Falcon has never failed, but in Amanda he has met his match, for she is as intelligent as she is beautiful. Indeed fate seems to have cast them as perfect enemies - or perfect lovers.