Breaking the code to her heart...
Independent and stubbornly unmarried, Abbie Vayle has always been a little too smart for her own good. But she may have gone too far when she starts her own rare-book business--and accidentally acquires an antique book in Paris with a mysterious code scribbled in the margins....
Someone wants the book back--and is willing to kill to get it. The only trouble is, Abbie no longer has the book. It's locked away in the customs house in Dover. Now it's a race against time as Abbie stays one step ahead of her pursuers. The last person she wants to confide in is her best friend, Hugh Templar, whom she knows only as a formidable scholar who shares her passion for Roman antiquities.
But as Hugh keeps turning up where she least expects him, a few things begin to dawn on her....Not only is Hugh surprisingly--in fact incredibly--handsome without his glasses on, but he's strangely "professional" in how he handles her mysterious enemies.
Hugh is clearly not what he seems. And soon Abbie realizes that neither is she...as she discovers what it means to love with all her heart and soul.
Thornton's 11th historical romance, which begins when a doomed spy hides a coded book in the basket of an English visitor to Paris, offers both delights and frustrations. Spinster Abbie Vayle suspects nothing until an evil operative loyal to the exiled Napoleon tracks her back to Bath, England, and demands the book. Soon, Abbie's brother is taken hostage and her own life is in danger. Eager to comply with the demands of her brother's captors, she agrees to return the book--except that it is being held in customs. Does she dare confide in Hugh Templar, the seemingly mild scholar she loves? As Abbie struggles to retrieve the book amid a tightening net of intrigue, Hugh tries to hide the fact that he himself is a former British undercover agent. Thornton (You Only Love Twice) creates appealing characters and cleverly weaves in familiar Regency settings and customs. However, much of the action and romantic developments depend on the hero and heroine's repeatedly withholding information from each other--a device that quickly becomes tiresome to the reader.