I really enjoyed this novel of romance, art, and espionage. The plot was solidly laid out and played out cleverly with realistic elements of danger.
The heroine is worthy of our respect. She's a widow who is universally admired. Although she puts on a contented facade, she knows at the level of her essense that she's missed out on something vital to her happiness. She recognizes it at once in Philipe Durand.
The hero is a Frenchman and an artist, and very much portrayed as one (or should I say both!) He is charming and flirtatious but deeply passionate. I liked the contrast from the typical Regency romance in which the hero would rather have his fingernails pulled out than profess love.
"And he did love her. Unlike the reserved English, the French did not hesitate to put a name to their passions...Oh, he'd fallen in love with Beatrice Pullington, but that didn't mean he was happy about it." p. 272
The romance between Beatrice and Philipe, although best characterized as lust at first sight, really does evolve into much more. It was well done and believable, and the suspense kept me turning pages.
Well written and highly recommended.