A huge thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the fact that this book featured a mature hero and heroine. Amanda is a devoted mother who has lived a shrouded life since her husband’s death. But Amanda is sick and tired of shadows. She is sick and tired of decisions being made on her behalf about what she can wear, how she raises her children, even what she instructs her cook to prepare for dinner.
When she opens up the birthday present she purchased her son, she is confused to discover the bookshop wrapping concealed a cookbook written entirely in French. When a mysterious gentleman appears demanding an exchange happen, Amanda is intrigued. Finally, a bit of excitement has landed in her lap!
The only life Langley Stanhope knows is one of espionage and subterfuge. He is determined to retrieve the seemingly innocuous cookbook and redeem himself in the eyes of his comrades in arms. His retrieval is thwarted by a series of mishaps and contrivances, and he and Lady Amanda are thrown into situations of forced proximity and assumed identities.
The closer they become, the more he unravels. He cannot resist her caring, brave heart and she tumbles head over heels for his deceptively impenetrable mask.
The plot was deftly executed, the characters were fully developed and compelling, the love story unfolded with both steam and tenderness, and the dialogue was filled with lovely innuendo.