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About A Deceptive Bargain
Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady’s maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down, he proposes a bargain. She will have a single Season in London, and if she does not marry by the end of the Season, she will be gifted with her dowry and a small estate. Despite her mistrust of her father, Martha accepts his offer, but can’t seem to let go of the anger that has been festering inside of her, or her discomfort with a position in Society where she feels she does not belong.
Dr. Emmett Maddix is tired of the frivolity of the ton and spends his time atoning for his past sins by providing medical care to the poor. His life takes an unexpected turn when he is recruited to be an agent of the Crown. He is assigned to run a charity hospital as a front to collect information about a vicious band of smugglers known as The Cursed Lot, who have managed to overtake the entire town of Gravesend with a reign of murder and oppression.
As Emmett delves further into The Cursed Lot’s domain, he quickly discovers that not everything is what it seems, and it will take far more than one new agent to take down this ruthless gang. While the tangled web of intrigue begins to unravel, Martha and Emmett battle an undeniable but unspoken attraction that grows between them. But before either can be ready to share their hearts, they must overcome their past mistakes, and find their own reasons to keep fighting. With more than just their hearts at stake, surviving the mission will be more difficult than either of them could ever imagine.
Laura Beers writes some of my very favorite Regency Romances. I love the way she includes spies as part of her plots. And they are all such clever and fun characters! It makes me happy the way that each of this author’s books opens up the world she has created more and more.
This one features Martha, she’s Eliza’s maid. But there is so much more to her than the reader would guess. Martha was sold to a despicable man, by someone who was close to her. She’s not at all trustful of men, and she never plans to fall in love again. This becomes especially problematic when her dad shows back up in her life after 5 years, offering his bargain. Ugg! I hated her dad. I thought from the first that Martha was right to want nothing to do with him. But she is persuaded to accept his offer by her friends. And she’s not without protection from Josette, a young woman posing as her companion.
Then there’s Emmett. Something I really liked about Martha and Emmett was their similarities. They’ve both been scarred by their past experiences and neither of them is able to sleep at night due to their experiences. Emmett is great! I loved the way he wants to be able to help others less fortunate than himself. He’s constantly looking for opportunities to do just that. And it gets him in some tight spots, especially when he’s asked to go undercover himself.
The plot of this one is full of danger and adventure! There’s plenty of fun characters. I’d really love to see Josette and Morgan get their own stories. And I always love seeing the characters from previous books that I’ve grown to love, this one has plenty of that. Make sure to start with the first book, Saving Shadow and move through these ones in order to truly understand everything happening.
I was sent an e-copy of A Deceptive Bargain as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.
What to read after A Deceptive Bargain