The Beauty and the Spy

The Beauty and the Spy

by Gayle Callen

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The Beauty and the Spy by Gayle Callen

For the many romance fans who can't get enough of romances set in England, as well as fans of Christina Dodd.

He kidnapped her to keep her safe, but the captor soon becomes a captive when she turns on her charm and has him falling in love.

Nicholas Wright is a spy. It's what he loves to do – his calling, even. His current mission brings him home to England, where he's on the trail of a spy.

When his plans are overheard by one Charlotte Sinclair, he has no choice but to kidnap her to keep her safe.

But Charlotte is not your typical London socialite and her wit, intelligence and beauty all threaten to corrupt Nick's resolve to never fall in love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060543952
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: Spies and Lovers Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 991,777
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she'd always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers' Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog, Uma, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane.

Read an Excerpt

The Beauty and the SpyChapter One

A man who looks out of place usually is.

The Secret Journals of a Spymaster

August 1844

Charlotte Whittington Sinclair stood at the top of the marble stairs leading down into Lord Arbury's crowded, overheated ballroom. Dressed in her first new ball gown since her year of mourning had finished, she felt as excited and alive as a seventeen-year-old debutante instead of a mature widow of twenty-three years.

Oh, to be out in society again! During the final six months of her marriage, she had been forbidden to associate with her friends and family, practically imprisoned on her husband's remote estate in Cornwall. But now she had shed the sad remnants of her marriage along with her black garments and her wedding ring, and was finally free.

Her mother, Lady Whittington, descended the stairs at her side, forcing Charlotte into the sedate ladylike pace she chafed at. Charlotte noticed that she received the attentive glances of several eligible gentlemen, but thoughts of another marriage were far from her mind. Someday, perhaps, she would do her duty and give her mother grandchildren, but not now. Now was for living, and as a widow of means, she was determined to do so. But she could certainly dance and flirt with those gentlemen.

She had been reborn since becoming a widow, and her excitement had been further heightened when she'd discovered her father's hidden journals just a few days before. She'd always thought her father, Viscount Whittington, was merely an officer in the army of the East India Company. But his journals had introduced her to his world as a spymaster, a secret he'dkept from them all.

Even now, she alone held the knowledge, and guarded it close to her heart where his words enthralled her. Her own life had been stagnant and dull next to her father's, and his journalsmade her feel a restlessness she'd never imagined before.

At the bottom of the stairs, as friends gathered around them, Lady Whittington gave Charlotte a worried look. Her mother thought Charlotte was fragile yet, a woman who hadn't come to terms with all that had happened to her, but Charlotte felt far from being such a pathetic creature. She accepted the hugs of her longtime friends, and allowed herself to be led away as she fended off their concerned questions. She didn't want to be reminded of the past, so she turned the conversation to the latest gossip.

After a half hour's tales of who was betrothed and who had retired to the country with child, Charlotte moved on to the refreshments for a glass of champagne. She stood alone for a moment, sipping the bubbling liquid and gazing around her at all the familiar faces. She tried to remind herself that this was what she used to live for, the doings of the ton, but somehow, it all seemed rather ... dull.

Dull? she reprimanded herself. After what she'd recently endured, she should be in her glory. But since she'd devoured her father's journals, talk of marriage and offspring seemed rather uninspiring. Her head was still full of dangerous, exciting tales of India and Afghanistan, of barren deserts and bleak mountains. Surely she'd soon settle back into her old ways.

But did she want to? She stood alone in a crowd, full of a knowledge no one else had, ready for the next exciting stage of her life to begin- and what would it be? She tried not to let her expectations overwhelm her.

And then she saw him.

A tall man strode along the edges of the ballroom, his expression set in a pleasant, false smile — nothing new there. But something was wrong. It was his eyes, she decided as he drew nearer; they were very dark, and they constantly swept over the room, as if looking for someone — or avoiding someone.

She tried to stop her imagination, for surely that's all this could be. Her head was full of intrigues that were not to be found in Lord Arbury's ballroom. After all, the man did not quite look like he belonged. He was very broad across the chest, something not normally seen among men of her acquaintance, although he did do justice to his evening clothes. He had black hair, a trifle longer and more unkempt than was fashionable. His face did not have the grace of a nobleman because of its broad bluntness and square jaw, but it was arresting nonetheless.

As he approached her, she found herself holding her breath, some unnameable excitement caught in her chest. Would he speak to her? He came closer and closer, looking bigger and more intimidating than any man she'd ever seen.

Yet his stride did not shorten, and after giving her a single appreciative glance that traveled swiftly from her face to the curves of her breasts, he moved on past.

Charlotte told herself to feel offended that he hadn't even offered a simple "Good evening," that he'd so rudely stared below her face. Yet she turned about and continued to watch him, not caring who noticed her shocking behavior. She moved back into the crowd, slipping between groups of chatting women and bored men. Distantly she heard someone call her name, but she ignored whoever it was to concentrate on the back of the enigmatic stranger. No one called a greeting to him, as if he knew not a soul there. Oh, plenty of ladies noticed his retreat, but turned up their noses at his behavior, as she should be doing.

But she couldn't. She was fascinated and drawn to the mystery of him. Where was he going with such single-minded determination? She stood on her toes and craned her neck; she stooped beneath someone's elbow so she wouldn't lose sight of him. And then he turned, ducked beneath a giant fern, and disappeared down a dark corridor that she knew led to the family's private quarters ...

The Beauty and the Spy. Copyright (c) by Gayle Callen . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Beauty and the Spy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
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jfmCA More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and the series is really great.
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SylviaFL More than 1 year ago
Gayle Callen is an exceptional writer and all her books will sure to keep your nose in it from start to end. Once you start it is hard to put the book down.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book tremendously. Could not put it down. Thrilling, romantic, and sensual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books from Gayle Callen! Very ineresting and intriquing. A page turner. A mystery in its own. I read this book in 2 days it was so good. I definetly recommend this book!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1844 at a party, undercover spy Nicholas Wright seeks a female traitor so he cuts a deal with one of her minions, Campbell. Overhearing the transaction is widow Charlotte Sinclair, daughter of the recently retired spymaster and Nicholas¿ former boss. Campbell wants Charlotte dead immediately, but Nicholas tells him this is not the place and he will take care of this intrusion.--- Nicholas and his partner Sam abduct Charlotte to keep her safe. As the plot boils and the danger increases, Charlotte takes risks too feeling she is a chip off the old block having recently read her father¿s journals. Nicholas finds himself panicking over her safety as he has fall in love with her; she reciprocates his feelings but wonders whose side is he really on?--- This engaging Victorian romance, the second in the ¿Spies and Lovers¿ series, is a fabulous espionage love story that takes readers for quite a ride once Charlotte is discovered. The story line moves at a fast pace as Charlotte tries to escape as she believes her kidnappers will dispose of her at the first convenient moment. Worse to this feisty young woman is that she is attracted to Nicholas though she vowed never again after a brutal marriage. That odd relationship makes for a terrific historical.--- Harriet Klausner