Friday, May 12, 2017

Spying Out a Spy: The Husband Mission

The elegance and charm of early nineteenth century England seems to cry out for the daring espionage agents embodied by the works of Ian Flemming. It was one of the few disappointments of my research into the Regency period of England to find that espionage wasn’t nearly as glamorous as the movies make out. Oh, there were code breakers, determined men who cracked the secret messages being employed by the French. There were even code makers, who created similar languages for the British to pass critical information without fear of the enemy learning the truth.

However, actually carrying those messages, or, worse, prying into people’s lives to uncover their darkest deeds, was seen as a dirty business by the British. That sort of spy was generally considered a  dishonorable creature. Certainly no gentleman would serve in such a function.

Or would he?

Enter Lord Hastings, a fine, upstanding gentleman, father to Lord Leslie Petersborough from The Unflappable Miss Fairchild and The Irredeemable Miss Renfield. Affable, charming even, with big brown eyes, a walrus mustache, and a nose for trouble. He recognized early in the war effort that French spies found it terribly easy to pry secrets out of the aristocracy. Therefore, hee recruits among the aristocracy, to keep watch over the aristocracy, and few know which men and women are truly his. He is loyal, determined, practical. He is England’s spymaster.

And he is a hopeless romantic.

I have several books in which his lordship and his cadre play a part. I’ve now revised the three key books and am reissuing them under the series title, Spy Matchmaker. The first, The Husband Mission, is out now. Formerly titled Lord Borin’s Secret Love, it is one of the books of which I’m most fond, and one that tends to get overlooked. Here’s a little about the book:

Katherine Collins is on a mission. With no means and few prospects, the spirited spinster is financially beholden to her stepsister Constance, who stands to inherit a large fortune--if she marries in the next six weeks. What better than to present Constance with the perfect husband, Alexander Wescott, Lord Borin? After all, Katherine has been spying on the handsome, wealthy viscount, just to make sure he’s the man she hopes.

Alex cannot understand why he’s under surveillance, but it seems to have something to do with the intriguing Katherine. Rejected for service by England’s spymaster and encouraged to set up his nursery instead, he ought to be searching for a wife. But what wife can compare to the excitement of international espionage? Unless, of course, she’s up for a little espionage herself.

The Spy Matchmaker: all the intrigue of love.


1 comment:

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Sounds great, Regina! Will have to go check it out.