Cooper Townsend is known as the hero of Quatre Bras and although no one is quite certain exactly what that means and rumors abound, everyone in London society knows that he was given a title, lands, and an income by the Prince Regent for his heroic actions. Even without the particulars, these three gifts are enough to make him the target of matchmaking mamas and their daughters and the toast of the town. But Coop's getting more than a little tired of all the adulation and flirting, wanting nothing more than to fade into obscurity. It appears that someone is very invested in not letting this happen though as short chapbooks telling of his supposed exploits are being published anonymously, adding to his acclaim. Then a blackmail note threatening a final chapbook, exposing his actions and the truth behind them, which no one is supposed to know, arrives and Coop has to get serious about stopping this threat. At the same time, Dany Foster's sister, the Duchess of Cockermouth, also receives a note from a blackmailer, threatening to expose her ill-advised correspondence with a man not her husband. Dany wants to help her sister, deciding that Marietta needs a hero to help her recover the silly but incriminating notes and eliminate the threat of exposure. So it is fortuitous indeed when she literally bumps into Coop in the street. Intrigued by the red-haired, forthright young woman, Coop is drawn to help Dany help her sister, despite his own misgivings. When Dany and Coop join forces, they discover that they are both working against the same blackmailer and that they look forward to their collaboration much more than they should given the stakes they are facing.
The entire course of the novel takes place over a very brief space of time and yet this shortened timeline doesn't seem to make it feel frantic or accelerated (although perhaps it should, at least to some extent). Despite that, this is a romping, madcap sort of novel. Coop and Dany fall in love with an indecent sort of haste but they don't have time for some silly misunderstanding to keep them apart or to break their sham engagement. Instead, the reader is treated to glee-filled banter and a growing appreciation for the happiness they feel in each others' company. In a nice change of pace, the mystery of who the blackmailer is gives the novel its narrative tension. The scandals are only scandalous in the context of the story's time so it's not hard to retain the good feelings both Dany and Coop inspire in the reader. That they can actually work together without manufactured strife is also a breath of fresh air. The novel is fun and frothy, perfect for Regency fans who appreciate a slightly different twist on their favorite stories.
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Thanks to Lisa from TLC Book Tours.