Society's most capable housekeeper, Eleanora Quinton, has a problem. Not only does a dead body fall right into the middle of her mistress' ball and her son get kidnapped by nefarious spies for Napoleon, but the only person who can help her also forces her to face her most secret fears. A spy himself, Nathan Black pulls the infallible housekeeper into a cyclone of espionage, intrigue, and danger. But the last thing Eleanora expects when the dead body hits the floor is love with the son of a duke.
Samuel Black must make a decision: to be a spy like his father or follow his heart. Either is likely to give his mother chest pains. For Samuel is no longer a lad with the ambitious and noble wish of being a lamplighter to keep the seedy streets of London safe. About to embark on university, his mind stirs with the thoughts of creating a policing force in London to safeguard its citizens. Held back by his family's legacy as spies, Samuel does not make his ideas known.
Sarah Black, the Countess of Stryden, and spy for the British War Office, kidnapped by the French and imprisoned on a ship in the English Channel, has but one complaint: having to share a prison cell with her husband. Forced into the marriage to help her carry out missions as a female spy, Sarah struggles with accepting her position as a member of high society, a position that seems ill-gained in relation to her lowly birth. The fact that she is secretly in love with her husband, the earl, does not help matters at all.
Katharine Cavanaugh, the Countess of Stirling, has always lived according to the expectations of her heritage. The daughter of a revered naval captain and accomplished British spy, Katharine has always done what others expected of her without ever wondering what she expected of herself. American mercenary Matthew Thatcher has spent his life running away from every expectation he has for himself. Fleeing from a tragedy he believes his careless youth caused, Thatcher is more than willing to offer his services.
Richard Black, the duke of Lofton, waited for her, watching as the agony of marriage broke the woman he loved. Lady Jane Haven had to find a reason to survive, a purpose to carry on when it seemed God would not just let her die. But when fate finally offers them a chance to be together, a treasonous plot threatens to keep them apart.