Redonk Nutshell: Artist embroiled in espionage finds herself in over her head when a British officer is assigned to protect her during her final tasks

Mari Sinclair is a talented artist that has lived in Constantinople for years.  The British enlist her skill in order to get detailed sketches of Ottoman camps, hidden within what looks like harmless sketches of butterflies and nature.  When Mari is told to do three more sketches, she tries to quit, but her superiors tell her otherwise.  In the meantime, Major Bennett Prestwood is assigned protective detail, after a rogue bullet nearly took her out at her last assignment. When things begin to get complicated, i.e. loyalties to friends vs. country, romantic entanglement, etc., both Mari & Bennett struggle to makes sense of right and wrong.

This was a very enjoyable tale.  I have a fondness for romances set in non-traditional locations, especially regencies.  I’m not always a fan of spy stories, but this one worked out for me.  Mari is an intelligent and down to earth woman.  She’s independent without being abrasive.  She’s also proud and stubborn, traits Bennett match as well.  They butt heads many times over the course of their time together, but generally they come to find something of a working agreement. Which of course leads to something more, though they’re both wary of it.

Then politics catch up with them.

I enjoyed Ms. Randol’s tale.  It’s a regency romance that offers a nice breath of fresh air with its Ottoman theme.  If you’re looking for a romantic story that has well developed and complex characters embroiled in an elaborate and dangerous scheme, this book is for you.

A Secret in Her Kiss by Anna Randol, 374 pgs, 1/31/12

Rating: B

Romance: 3/5             Raunch: 3/5

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