Blistering seduction meets international intrigue in the Highlands as a veteran spy infiltrates the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. There he matches wits against a tantalizing enemy: his new wife.
Simon Marcheford wants nothing more than to settle down on the land bestowed upon him by the English crown. Queen Elizabeth, however, is not about to let her best spy retire so easily. Simon will have his reward, she decrees, after he completes one last mission in Scotland. But no sooner has he sussed out a diabolical plot up North than Queen Mary weds him to her cousin—an exquisite beauty with troubled, soulful eyes—and orders Simon to watch her every move.
Aimee de Verris is no spy. But her life may depend on becoming one. Banished from the French court by Catherine de Medici, Aimee finds herself tasked with reporting on Queen Mary’s activities in Scotland, where she’s unnerved by the frigid weather and brutish customs. Worst of all, Aimee’s been married off to a most uncouth lout. But when murder strikes, she learns to appreciate Simon’s talent for shielding her with every inch of his muscular frame. If Aimee desires her husband, perhaps she could trust him—or even love him.
Who could resist Aimee and Simon?
Aimee is young and definitely in the wrong place. A spy? In a country as cold as Scotland? She is French and proud of it - and she is in love with someone at the French Court. Unfortunately, Catherine de Medici has the power to turn Aimee's life upside down and that's how a young and sweet girl like her ends up as a, well, not really a spy, rather a spy-to-be-if-she-knew-what-she-does, far away from France and her love - and wed to some English brute.
Oh, one should add that Simon isn't very happy either. He is a real, very successful spy of Queen Elizabeth's at Queen Mary's Court where he is supposed to spy on Queen Mary, who suddenly finds himself wed to Aimee to watch her. Considering the fact that he just wanted to retire and spend time with his younger sister instead of spying once more for Queen Elizabeth, things have certainly become a bit more complicated than he expected.
It won't get easier when he discovers a murderous plot and Aimee and he have to flee from Scotland - but sometimes it's the hard times that form people and their relationship. Fighting for their very lives and depending on each other Aimee and Simon come to care for each other and maybe - maybe this marriage will turn into something more than just a polite marriage of convenience.
I loved the story which was well plotted and well written and I loved those wonderful, complex and very loveable characters. I didn't love the Queens and the purely arbitrary way how they treated their people. A spy who is not allowed to retire, a wedding the happy-couple-to-be doesn't want and... yes, I know, it's a historical romance and queens and kings were known for such things but it doesn't make it better, does it?
Anyway, I really loved this book which is not the first and definitely not the last by Sharon Cullen that I've read and will definitely read it again, soon!