True Spies

Written by Shana Galen
Review by Audra Friend

In this Regency-era romance, Lady Elinor Keating has had enough of her loveless marriage and long-absent husband, Lord Winslow “Winn” Keating. Unhappy with simply plotting parties and organizing fetes, and eager for danger and romance in her life, Elinor decides to embark on an affair with a man who claims he is a spy – unaware that her husband is, in fact, a real-life spy.

Winn has counted on his wife’s satisfaction with running their household, raising their two daughters, and maintaining their good name among the social set, and he is surprised to find Elinor craves the excitement of espionage. When she becomes accidentally embroiled in a plot involving a French assassin, he learns Elinor’s exceptional skills are well suited to a spy’s life. Worse, he’s shocked to find himself falling love with Elinor just as he realizes she might be completely out of love with him.

Galen’s novel is set among the upper-class London set, whose parties were often crashed by the Prince Regent, George IV, and for whom a love affair was an acceptable diversion. The historical ambiance of the time is evoked in broad strokes as the story focuses more on the characters and their romantic development. Moving at a brisk pace, the novel is a mix of adventure, snappy dialogue, and spicy love scenes between husband and wife. Fans of Galen’s previous novel, Lord and Lady Spy, will be happy to see Lord and Lady Smythe return as notable secondary characters.