Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Diana Quincy returns with the newest novel in the Clandestine Affairs series with a steamy romance about a half-Arab marquess seeking revenge on—and falling for—London’s most famous mapmaker.
The new footman doesn’t seem to know his place…
London’s most renowned mapmaker is a woman…but nobody knows it. If anyone discovers that Rose Fleming is the power and talent behind the family business, the scandal could ruin them. Rose’s secret is tested by the arrival of a handsome new footman who shows far too much interest in his new mistress. Rose battles an intense attraction to the enigmatic servant, but maintaining a proper distance isn’t easy when you and temptation live under the same roof.
She makes him forget he has a score to settle…
Few have met the reclusive half-Arab Marquess of Brandon, who is rumored to live with a harem of beauties among his mother’s people near Jerusalem. Brandon couldn’t care less what society thinks of him, or that his fellow peers are disdainful of his common blood, but he won’t stand for being robbed. That’s why he’s disguised himself as a footman in the home of a respected mapmaker who cheated Brandon out of his land. But the nobleman’s plans for retribution are complicated by his growing attraction for the secretive lady of the house.
When Brandon uncovers the shocking truth about Rose’s role in his stolen birthright, can a love born of deception really conquer all?
Where this book really shone was its characters. Especially Alex, who took his job posing as a footman seriously enough to pay an urchin to teach him how to do his duties, as well as provide baskets of food for the other servants when he realized they were going hungry. His haughty demeanor (appropriate for a marquess, not so for a footman) sometimes made the masquerade quite amusing. But there was also an earnestness to him that I appreciated.
Rose, too, was an excellent character. Her life was less than pleasant, but her determination, resilience, and pride in her work made me root for her to find her happy ending.
I also really liked Alex’s Arabian extended family and the way he related to them.
The plot was at times predictable, and at others surprised me. The writing was average and, while not up to my usual standards, there were enough good things to make up for it.
All in all, an enjoyable afternoon’s read.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for providing an e-arc for review.