This is book 3 in a trilogy of Regency romances that involve former spies for England during the wars with France. There were 10 spies to begin with (“the Ten”). Some were nobility.
The first book, Entwined, written in 1997, was set in England in 1810, and tells the story of Nathan, Viscount Oriel and his Scottish love, Isobel. It was excellent and I gave it 5 stars in my review. The second, Fallen, written in 2001, is set in Scotland in 1812, and is the story of Gabriel Loudon, Earl of Rievaulx (also one of the Ten), and Maggie, Isobel’s beautiful sister. It was superb and also justified 5 stars.
Moonlit is book 3 and an amazing finish to an amazing trilogy. It’s the story of Viscount Trevor St. Wulfstan (another member of the Ten) and Nell Nolan.
Once, when she was a young girl in Ireland, Nell wished on the moon and looked into a mirror hoping to see a picture of the man who would one day be her lover. And she saw him.
As a young man, his father beat Trevor so badly he remains scarred, both inside and out. Years later, both have grown up. Trevor is an impoverished Irish lord, who lives by his gambling and his work for the Crown. A member of the Ten, Trevor gets the assignments the others don’t want, the assassinations, for example. Now, someone is trying to kill him. Nell, now a widow named Mrs. Nolan, is staying in London only long enough to tie up a loose end: a British lord cheated her out of her husband’s pay owed him when he was killed in the war years ago. Because she cared for a Duke who was sick during his last years, everyone in the Ton assumes Nell was his mistress and she a courtesan. She won’t correct the impression, though false, because it serves her purpose. The Duke left her a wealthy woman but she wants her husband’s money for the principle, for his honor. Knowing nothing of this, Trevor decides he must have the notorious Mrs. Nolan. Neither shares the pain they carry nor the story of their past.
As with the two others in this trilogy, Jensen weaves a beautiful story with very real passions and hurts, in this case, children hurt by the sins of others. Her writing is wonderfully descriptive with no overly long introspection passages as some writers of romance engage in. It’s a well-told story. Her dialog is not mere banter, either, but meaningful conversations that bring you into the heart of the characters’ longings and fears. The love scenes are well placed and fit perfectly. Highly recommended.
My only regret is that she stopped at three stories. The tales are so good, one could have hoped for a dozen. They are all related so read them in order—and don’t miss them!