Gellis is at her “explainatory” worst in this one. More on the above statement later. This book, the second in Gellis’ English Heiress trilogy continues the story of the St. Eyre family begun in The English Heiress as Roger’s son Phillip (who speaks French like a native) is sent by the English government to ascertain the size and condition of Napoleon’s Navy. Phillip plans to sneak into France aboard the ship belonging to Roger’s long time friend Pierre who is a smuggler by trade. Whilst waiting his boat in Cornwall, Phillip meets up with smuggler “Red Meg” who is in reality Meg Devoran – well born heiress forced into smuggling to pay her drunkard father’s debts. One thing leads to another and love blooms amidst spies, danger and the constant misunderstandings between the two – neither of the two realize the other is “well born” and thus have no hopes of marrying each other. **yawn**
Frankly, I found this one to be a serious bore of a book and only finished it by skimming quite a bit. Phillip’s trip into France as a spy was a serious sleep inducer, as were the constant misunderstandings between the two over each other’s misperceived social standings – it became quite mind numbing after a while as Gellis explained it over and over and over again. What with that and the antics of some of the most inadequate bad guys I’ve come across in a long time, all I can say is that I am now most grateful this book is over and I can move on to something else. Recommended for die-hard Gellis fans only.