A Marquess for Convenience by Bianca Blythe
Unlike most bluestockings, Lady Madeline Mulbourne is quite content for the ton to dismiss her as a widowed baroness and renowned hostess of society parties. No need for anyone to know that her flighty manner disguises an encyclopedic knowledge of art, a bone-deep distrust of men, and a dangerous secret.
Lord Arthur Carmichael, Marquess of Bancroft, has carefully cultivated a wild reputation. What could be a more perfect cover for the spy missions he undertook for the Crown? Unfortunately now that the war has ended, his reputation could keep him from settling into a cabinet position—unless he takes a wife.
Before Arthur can embark on the dreaded wedding quest, he must complete one last mission: catch a thief who’s stolen four of five priceless pieces of jewelry. If the last one disappears, the fragile peace between France and England could be damaged beyond repair.
Whom should he encounter on the French Riviera but Lady Mulbourne, who never forgave him for vanishing during their long-ago courtship. Arthur suspects her nimble fingers are adept at more than just fluttering a fan, because he knows of one item she’s already stolen: his heart.
I've already read and reread several of Bianca Blythe's books so I was really looking forward to reading this book. The story sounded interesting as well but unfortunately, this book couldn't captivate me the way her other books did. Somehow it seemed a bit rushed and less intense than the other books by her that I've read.
Lady Madeline Mulbourne, our heroine, and our hero, Lord Arthur Carmichael, Marquess of Bancroft, are very likable and interesting characters. They are quite well developed and the writing, on the whole, is also good. I read the book and enjoyed it but I wasn't as deeply enthralled by it as I was by her other books.
When Lord Arthur meets Lady Madeline again after several years, he does not just realize that no matter how much time has passed, some part of his heart is still in love with her but that she might be up to ...something. To be precise - she might be up to something illegal and dangerous and what is more - when worst comes to worst, he knows that he can't let her go. No matter what he feels though, there is still the matter of persuading the lady...
A good book but I liked her other books better.