Hmm. The heroine, Tessa, is 22-years old. The hero, Peyton is around 38. If you can handle that kind of age gap between the main couple then this novel is a totally stonking read.
I didn't even bother to do a character count because everyone who appears has a purpose and place in the plot. Characters remain consistent. So the bad guys actually get more dastardly and evil as the story progresses. Boy oh boy the hero is really made to suffer. The poor guy. Amazingly the heroine, a gun-toting diplomat's daughter does actually rescue the hero from a truely horrible situation.
The plot itself is just a beautiful piece of work. Even though I didn't really understand the importance of the list. But the way the issue was resolved to both Peyton's and Tessa's satisfaction was pure genius. I mean. Kind-hearted Tessa didn't want the Russian Revolutionaries to be slaughtered, and patriotic Peyton didn't want grunts to lose their lives needlessly. So they came up with a solution between themselves. That alone showed how suited they were as a main couple.
I also loved the historical detail. By which I mean, the visit to the market, the visit to the zoo, the visit to the art exhibition and the Whitehall setting.
The main couple are two people who don't really fight their mutual attraction despite being characters in an historical and I liked that. Together with the fact that Tessa can be quite prickly and defensive about what's good for herself and her sisters. Readers need to know that the hero, Peyton, is a conniving liar for much of the story. But once he knows that he loves and wants to marry Tessa, nothing but nothing is going to make him betray her trust. So don't be put off by the opening few pages which don't really show him in a good light. I don't think Tessa makes a single mistake throughout the novel and she's beautiful too. Yup. She's that perfect.
There's plenty of canoodling. A medium sized body count. Maybe Count Sergei got off too lightly. The title's a bit of a clunker though. Tessa is not at any time 'a ward' in the accepted sense of the word. Like I said. She's an intelligent adult and more than used to running a household for her dead father and being responsible for her younger sisters. What she is throughout the story is 'in danger.' So basically. It's an excellent little Harlequin adventure story. Please be aware that series romances can be an acquired taste. i.e ignore the back cover blurb.
Absolutely fantastic book...Apart from the cover which is too ordinary...And the authors name. Which makes me think of little ol' ladies writing romances for little ol' ladies. If this book hadn't received a good review from another site there is no way I would have even thought about buying it. The author's real name is Nikki. That's a much better name for an author. The hero's name isn't much good either. But never mind...he's a great guy.