On the eve of the French Revolution, the daughter of a traitor might be the only one who can save the British Crown Cassandra Merlin is in dire straits. Her father, Patrick, has just been executed for treason against the British Crown. Her aunt, Lady Elizabeth Sinclair, is eager to marry her off rather than bear the expense of sheltering a turncoat’s daughter. And when a handsome young patriot named Philip Riordan enters her life, Cass knows he is destined to complicate matters further. Riordan wants her to enter the spy game, to provide valuable information about her father’s plot against the monarchy in order to save the king’s life. But the intelligence game is never a simple one, and even a heart as jaded as Cass’s may not be safe from the charms of Philip Riordan, renowned cad, Member of Parliament . . . and die-hard loyalist.
English supporters of the French Revolution threaten to overthrow their native monarchy in 1792 in this romance by the author of Sweet Treason. After her father is executed for subversion, outcast Cassandra Merlin is coerced into working as a government spy in order to woo a would-be assassin. She falls in love with another informant, Philip Riordan, a member of Parliament reputed to be a drinker and philanderer. They marry to satisfy a wager (Cass wins Philip's hand in a card game), but neither can admit to entertaining genuine ardor for the other. Their mutual distrust is fueled by Philip's ``friend'' and mentor, a compulsive liar, but the lovers' willingness to believe falsehoods from others who wish to keep them apart is predictable, a hackneyed genre device. A low point is Cass's rapid intellectual growth following her purchase of eyeglasses, although an action-packed sequence near the end offers some surprises.