Miles’s third Muses’ Salon Regency (after Chasing the Heiress) enmeshes opinionated countess Olivia Walgrave in a plot that involves spies, thespians, ne’er-do-wells, Parliament, the Home Office, and her absentee spouse. Olivia was abandoned by her husband, Harrison Walgrave, Earl of Levesford, just after their hasty nuptials. She’s enjoyed reigning over his estate for six years and has established herself as a competent overseer of his business affairs; secretly, she’s also an outspoken critic of the Parliamentary status quo. Her essays appear in a broadsheet under the pseudonym An Honest Gentleman (AHG), protecting her anonymity and providing a reliable income. Harrison, a member of Parliament, both admires AHG and suspects the writer of scurrilous intent. The two eventually square off amid political and sexual fireworks. Regency fans fond of intrigue and detailed subplots will enjoy Miles’s impressive grasp of the era’s politics and mores, but the author’s fondness for showing off her research sometimes encumbers the story. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2016 Release date: 10/25/2016 Genre: Fiction
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