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dangerous deceptions

As a lady in waiting in King George’s London court, Peggy has survived a forced betrothal, royal scandals, and an attempt or two on her life. And now she has a new problem: her horrible fiancé has returned to claim her! To save her neck, or at least her hand in marriage, Peggy joins forces with her cousin Olivia and her sweetheart, Matthew. But if she doesn’t play her cards right, her career as courtier and spy might come to an end at the bottom of the river Thames . . .


 

Rating: 3.5/5

This book suffered from the extremely common “Middle Book Syndrome” that we see in most trilogies. It wasn’t bad by any standards, but it was awfully dull at some points. There weren’t as many funny moments when compared to the previous book in the trilogy, and the story tended to drag in the middle section. That being said, I still did enjoy this book, which is why I’m giving it a relatively high rating.

In this book, Peggy Fitzroy continues her spying duties, but as herself. She needs to work to uncover all the traitors in the palace. If that isn’t hard enough, she also has to deal with not only her uncle, but also her douchey, asshat fiancé and his family. Throughout the book, we get to see how all the people mentioned above were involved in conspiracies of various kinds, and how Peggy managed to expose them. Needless to say, at the end of it all, she probably felt like this:

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I really missed Peggy’s sharp tongue in this book. There were, of course, certain moments where her wit/straightforwardness shone through, but she was usually either too worried/angry/occupied/confused to be witty/sarcastic. It was this trait of hers that charmed me and made me like her a lot more in the first book, so to find it mostly lacking in the sequel is a huge disappointment. However, there were still certain paragraphs that I found highly amusing, and I will show you an example of one such paragraph below.

I believe I can safely say that what followed was as graceless a moment of heaving, scrabbling, puffing, coughing, wriggling, and frantic, muffled cursing as any known in the history of sneak-thievery. This magnificent living display of the manifold reasons why one should never attempt to burgle a home in skirts culminated in my falling to the floor of the book room in a great, silken heap.

Peggy’s cousin, Olivia, played a much bigger role in this book than the previous one, and I still don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. On one hand, it’s always delightful to see a friendly female character that’s intelligent. On the other hand, I feel like she’s an additional burden for Peggy because she is way too reckless for her own good. Therefore, I can’t really decide as to how exactly I feel about her.

I think that the greatest surprise to me in these two books is how much I actually like Princess Caroline. I thought that she’d at least be aloof and haughty, if not completely stuck up. That was obviously a huge mistake. Princess Caroline is really intelligent, and she is also really personable. Even I would be content in serving her (and goodness knows how I don’t like being told what to do). She also happens to really like and trust Peggy (even though Peggy might end up screwing up badly), and that makes me like her even more. Thank you, Ms. Zettel, for not making the princess an annoying dumbs***.

All in all, this book was pretty decent. The good points were that we got to know more about Olivia and the Princess, Peggy managed to figure out the conspiracies, and Matthew and Peggy were way too cute. The not-so-good points were that the “suspense” was a bit too long, which caused the book to become a tad dry, and that there was supposed to be a “twist”, but I saw it coming. Recommended.

What was the point of a spy master if he could not supply his spies with important information? Here my great, scheming, mysterious patron could only tell me that Sebastian was a conniving no-good from a family of conniving no-goods who associated themselves with other conniving no-goods from a county well populated by members of that species.

 

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