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A world-weary British spy and master of disguises living in Regency Venice, James Cordier has been dispatched by the government to retrieve highly sensitive letters in courtesan Francesca Bonnard's possession. A few mishaps later, it's clear that Cordier isn't the only one wanting something from the notorious Francesca, who fled England following an affair that left her humiliated, divorced and friendless. Lord Elphick, her ex-husband, is a man with multiple mistresses and great political ambitions. Cordier's mission and Francesca's inability to ever trust a man again lead the two into a marvelously and intricately danced tango of a romance. An Italian woman with a penchant for emeralds, a grudge against Cordier and a misguided love for Lord Elphick sweetens the pot, but Chase hones in on her leads admirably. The two delight with sparkling dialogue, sizzling sex appeal and a surprising amount of pathos. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.