"Galen provides plenty of explosiveness, both literal and erotic, in a Regency-era romantic thriller packed with intrigue and lust."—Publishers Weekly
Her Name is Bonde…Jane Bonde…
A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than few secrets, including that she's one of the Crown's most elite agents. And though she may be deadly, she knows nothing about fashion, flirtation, or love…until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world.
Dominic is exactly the kind of man Jane isn't looking for. He's tall, dark, and dangerous—because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.
The demons from Dominic's past haunt him. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it's clear that there's more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs.
But when the time comes, will Jane choose her mission or the man she loves?
Fans of Julia Quinn, Sabrina Jefferies, and Madeline Hunter will be delighted by this killer combination of spy-thriller and historical romance.
Lord and Lady Spy Trilogy:
Lord and Lady Spy (Book 1)
True Spies (Book 2)
Love and Let Spy (Book 3)
What people are saying about Shana Galen
"Her fast paced, action packed, thrill-seeking adventures that are filled with energy, passion, sensuality, romance and love."—My Book Addiction and More
"Galen creates a lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching, love story — with original characters who delight and enough sizzle to add heat to a delicious read."—RT Book Reviews
"Tinged with danger and darkness, Galen's sexy and dramatic story has depth thanks to appealing characters with realistic problems and believable chemistry."—Publishers Weekly
"Galen is a grand mistress of the action/adventure subgenre."—RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Shana Galen is three-time Rita award nominee and the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.
Read an Excerpt
Somewhere in Europe, 1816
She crept down the corridor, back to the wall, straining to place the voices of the men. Somewhere a woman was crying, a dog barked, and a horse-drawn cart rattled by. The stench of urine and blood burned her nostrils, but she moved forward.
Two men. French-speakers, though only one was a native speaker. The other...the accent sounded Turkish? She turned her head to locate the voices.
Room at the end of the hall.
Three steps. Two. One.
She paused outside, drawing her knife. She didn't want to risk her pistol misfiring and left it tucked inside her coat, along with a stash of ball and powder. She was dressed as a man because the clothing was more practical and attracted less attention. She didn't think she'd fool anyone who looked closely. And she didn't care.
A man inside the room-the Frenchman-spoke again, and her hand stilled on the door's latch.
"Reaper is dead," she translated silently. "He took his life in prison."
News traveled quickly, though not accurately. The report she'd seen claimed Foncé had gained access to Reaper and slit his throat. The leader of the Maîtriser group didn't tolerate failure. When Foncé realized she, an agent of his hated Barbican group, had tracked two of his men to this ramshackle flash ken, their lives would be forfeit as well. Perhaps that cold fact would be incentive for them to assist her in locating their leader.
Or perhaps it would only make them more eager to kill her.
Either way, the games were about to begin.
She pulled her hand away from the door, stepped back, raised a booted foot, and kicked. The thin wooden door splintered and shot open with a loud crack. The men jumped up, but they didn't move quickly enough. Her knife flew from her fingers, catching one man in the shoulder and pinning him to the wall behind him. He screamed while the other man fumbled for his pistol. She obligingly reached for hers. "I'll kill you before you even pack your powder," she said in French. "Do us both a favor and lower your pistol before I'm forced to shoot you."
"I don't owe you any favors, Bonde." The man holding the pistol sneered. He was called Tueur, and he was an assassin-one of Foncé's best now that Reaper was dead. She wished she'd thrown the knife at him. They'd met before and, since he had been trying to kill her at the time, had not parted amicably.
But she could let bygones...and all of that rubbish. "That's Miss Bonde to you. Shall we have a little chat?"
"No time today," he said and threw the pistol. Bonde ducked, and the weapon clattered to the floor behind her. She reached for it, tucked it in her waistband, then whirled back around. Tueur had wasted no time. He waved as he raced across the room and climbed out the window.
She uttered a most unladylike expletive, her body pulled between Tueur and the Turk. She couldn't split in half-that was the disadvantage of working alone. Working with another agent-that was the disadvantage of a partner.
She headed for the window, glancing at the Turk over her shoulder. A knife protruded from his neck. Tueur had made certain the other man wouldn't talk. He'd also made her decision easy. She leaned out the window and spotted Tueur hanging from the faded awning of the shop below. He dropped to the ground and made a rude gesture.
Bygones were, apparently, not bygone in Tueur's opinion.
She did a quick calculation then dove out the window, pulling her knees in so when she landed on the awning she would roll easily to the edge. She held her breath for the free fall and felt the air whoosh out of her when she hit the fabric.
But she didn't roll.
She heard an awful ripping sound and reached out just in time to catch the edge of the awning before she fell through. Her feet dangled above the hard cobblestones as the material slipped through her fingers. With a sigh, she let go, dropped, and tumbled. The ground was hard, bruising her hip and shoulder. She hobbled to her feet and wiped her bloody hands on her trousers. Where was the dashed man? She glared left and then right.
Unfortunately, he'd seen her and took off at a fast clip.
She went after him, her hip protesting the movement. Red clouded her vision, and she realized her forehead was bleeding. She swiped the blood away and rounded a corner, emerging onto a busy avenue lined with carts and vendors. Men and women walked leisurely along the avenue, shopping on the lovely spring day. Bollocks! Again she'd lost him. And on a crowded street, no less.
Bonde noted a statue and raised fountain standing in a nearby esplanade, and she dodged horses and carriages to reach the monument. She climbed up, hanging on by one arm, and peered down the busy street. He was gone...no-wait.
There! He'd climbed into a Bath chair, which two men were hastily pulling away. She jumped down, searching for another chair for hire and realized Tueur had taken the last. She glanced about, her attention landing on a sporty gig. A footman waited beside the horse, presumably while the vehicle's owner shopped for produce. Bonde ran for it, hopping up before the footman could protest. He stared at her dumbly for a moment, but when she snapped the reins, he grabbed for the horse's bridle.
"Sorry!" she said, straining to control the skittish animal. The horse tried to rear and then shot off. Fortunately, the beast chose the direction she wanted. Unfortunately, he was going much too fast for the crowded avenue. Men and women jumped out of the way as she struggled to gain the upper hand. The Bath chair was just ahead, but the horse bolted to the side before she could jerk him back. The gig's wheel caught on the edge of a fruit stand, sending the vendor's cart toppling over. Oranges and lemons tumbled into the street, and apples bounced in every direction. One bounced into the conveyance, and she caught it with a hand, took a bite, and snapped the reins.
She was grinning. She had Tueur now. He yelled furiously for the men pulling his chair to go faster, but they couldn't compete in a race with a horse. She gained ground until she finally pulled alongside the chair. "Ready for our chat now?" she yelled.
"Go to the devil, Bonde!"
"You first," she muttered, steering the horse closer to the chair so the men pulling it were forced to move aside. Tueur didn't wait for the inevitable. He rose and jumped from the chair, smashing onto the ground. She reined in the horse and jumped nimbly down, landing on her feet and running to grab Tueur before he could rise. She all but collided with a woman carrying an armful of flowers, and the woman tripped and went sprawling to the ground. Bonde spit a daffodil from her mouth and kept running. But the delay cost her. Tueur was up again and moving quickly toward a busy alleyway, where artists sold jewelry, paintings, and mementos. She pictured the city map in her mind. At the end of the alley was a canal. If Tueur reached the canal, he could jump on a vessel and she'd never catch him.
She pushed two men out of the way and raced forward. Tueur saw her coming and began to jog. Some of the crowd saw them approach and parted, but others had to be thrust out of the way. Bonde jumped lithely over a stack of crates, wobbled, and regained her balance.
Tueur was definitely headed for the canal. If she lost him, M would have her head. She sped up just as a young mother holding a little girl's hand stepped out from behind a stall. With a yell, Bonde narrowly avoided them and crashed into a flower cart. Everything went dark and floral for a moment, and when she surfaced, this time spitting tulip petals from her mouth, the flower girl screamed obscenities. At least Bonde thought they were obscenities. Amidst the haze of petals and stems, she'd forgotten in which country she'd landed and the native language spoken. She pulled a rose from her hair, handed it to the woman, and arrowed for the canal.
Tueur was already there, and she saw his dilemma immediately. No vessels. Bonde reached for her pistol. She had him.
He saw her coming then looked back at the water. Then back at her. He took a step forward.
But it was already too late. He took two steps back and ran. She reached the edge of the canal as the water splashed back down, mud from below churning up and darkening the already filthy waterway.
"Come up. Swim, damn you," she muttered. The ripples grew larger, and the water stilled. She stared at the place he'd gone under for a long moment, her gaze scanning the rest of the canal.
"Bollocks," she said.
Bonde turned to see a crowd of angry merchants and shoppers approaching. Some waved damaged goods, some waved fists, some didn't have the courtesy to wave.
"Bollocks," she said again. There was nothing for it. She pulled off her cap, allowing her golden hair to spill down her back, and smiled prettily.