I read spy series 1 which lead me to buy spy series 2 which led me to purchase the prequel - this book. I am a big fan of Jessie Clever's writing. This book was a fitting introduction to the series although I read it third. Her writing is distinct - she avoids the normal cliches of the genre. She grasps a portion of English history and gives us a unique view of the Napoleon wars while weaving an interesting romance into the plot.
A widow has the will and the intelligence to not only survive an abusive relationship but come out stronger. She's able to reach for what she wants with kindness, charm and quick thinking. She gets to enjoy the love of a man and his children and become a part of their world as she blossoms from a battered wife into a woman of confidence.
A widower finds the love of his life is not the fragile victim that he believed her to be, despite her late husband's cruelty, but a woman who has chosen vibrant living over living in the shadows of her past.