Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde . . .
A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than a few secrets: she’s one of the Crown’s most elite agents. She may be deadly, but she doesn’t know a thing about fashion, flirtation, or love . . . until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world and asks her to be his bride. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s not looking for. And he’s dangerous, because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.
He’s an improper gentleman who needs a wife. . .
Tall, dark, and tortured, Dominic Griffyn is haunted by demons from his past. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it’s clear that there’s more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs.
Review: Shana Galen takes the romance trope so often used in regency period historical romances and turns it on it’s head. The forced marriage between two highly independent people who really, really, really do not wish to marry has been done already, too many times to count. But, if you think this story is another cookie cutter regency romance… think again.
It is my understanding this is the last in the Lord and Lady Spy series. Which is too bad, because this trilogy has been superb. This one spotlights Jane Bonde and Dominic Griffyn. Dominic was born on the wrong side of the blanket and has been accused of fathering a child out of wedlock. His stepfather is now pushing him toward marriage and his mother has decided Jane is the perfect partner for him.
For Jane, a girl taken in by her uncle and aunt after the death of her parents, trained as a spy, the last thing on her mind is marriage. When her uncle informs her she WILL marry Dominic, the plan is to somehow wiggle out of it. When her uncle confesses to her there are some rather delicate reasons for his insisting upon the marriage, Jane reluctantly agrees to a betrothal, but still plans to avoid actually going through with the marriage.
So is the situation when unwittingly Dominic finds himself embroiled in Jane’s spy operation. Jane’s job means more to her than anything on this earth and she has no plans whatsoever to give up the only life she has ever known to become a biddable wife to Dominic and follow the ridiculous rules of the ton.
Shana Galen has done a masterful job in this satirical spin on James Bond. Witty dialogue, humor, and fast paced action compliment the emotional side to story. Dominic raises horses and is more at ease with his animals than with people. He is known for his notorious tryst with the ladies, but also has some dark moods, which stems from a difficult childhood.
Jane is one of the most unemotional female leads ever. She’s pragmatic and very frank. She has never questioned her life before Dominic comes along and upsets the apple cart. Does her uncle really care about her as a person or does he simply admire her qualities as a spy? Is this really the life Jane wants? She never considered it before now, but she doesn’t have much time to ponder such things as it appears their archenemy Fonde’ has discovered who her uncle is and they are all in grave danger.
While the beginning of the book is filled with mostly light hearted banter and a back and forth battle of the wills, as the story progresses there is a darker undertone. Dominic’s childhood was hellish and of course there is a feeling of dread when the time comes for him to explain it to Jane. But, Jane’s story is also sad. The final showdown between Jane and Fonde’ was written so well, I was on the edge of my seat. So, there was a little psychological twist that will have you riveted. There is also a little side romance between a couple of the secondary characters which is really funny. This was a wonderful story form start to finish, highly entertaining, and emotional, showing that love can conquer all. Never underestimate it!