Careful, gentlemen—there is more to this courtesan than meets the eye
What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan? Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, is a spy working for the Crown to uncover a traitor. Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father, but something about Lily intrigues him. When he discovers there is more to her flirtation than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor. Even if that traitor is his own father...
Galen's third and final Jewels of the Ton Regency romance (after 2013's If You Give a Rake a Ruby) will mostly appeal to series fans. Lily Dawson is the Countess of Charm, a notorious courtesan. She's also a spy for the Foreign Office, assigned to seduce the Duke of Ravenscroft and find out whether he's a traitor. Lily has secretly been in love with Andrew Booth-Payne, the Earl of Darlington, for years, but he only notices her when she begins flirting with his father, the duke. Andrew's interference quickly changes to welcome kisses, leaving Lily to walk a careful line between two amorous men while she races an unscrupulous spy-killer to the evidence she needs. The plot moves along and there are a few interesting turns, but despite some solid chemistry, the unsympathetic characters and thin veneer of menace make this story the weakest of the set.