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About A Heartless Design
An enigmatic woman, a determined spy, and a design that could shake the foundations of Europe…
“Heartless” Cordelia Bering refuses every marriage offer she receives. Yet men still try to win her, drawn by her sharp wit and intoxicating green eyes. But Cordelia knows a marriage could reveal her deepest secret and truly endanger her life. Besides, she hasn’t met a man worth considering, until…
Sebastien Thorne, a spy in the service of Crown. One of the elite agents in the group known as the Zodiac, he comes to London determined to solve a mystery with roots on the Continent. He won’t let anything distract him. But is Cordelia a distraction, or the key to the mystery? As he learns more about the “heartless” woman, he becomes embroiled in secrets, plots, and a design that could change the future…and Cordelia is at the center of it all.
A Heartless Design is the first book in the Secrets of the Zodiac, a series that blends the sensibilities of modern romantic suspense with the rich background of the Regency period.
SUSANA SAYS: Love this story! 4/5 stars!
Cordelia is exactly the sort of historical heroine I adore: a woman who knows what she wants, accepts the fact that she’ll not likely find it in marriage, and finds a way to do it as a single lady. No whining. No “in your face” feminist behavior that would antagonize society. On the other hand, if her secret does come out, she’s willing to live with the consequences.
Sebastien is just right for Cordelia. A scapegrace and wastrel in his younger days, he saw the light and reformed, quietly building up the family fortune and becoming involved in rewarding government work. His mother and sister remind him of his duty to marry and sire an heir, but he doesn’t see how he can commit to a family with his espionage activities.
That’s before he meets Cordelia, however. Drawn to her from their first meeting, once he discovers she has something to hide, he knows he must discover what it is…and hopes she’s not working for the enemies of the British government. But even if she’s not, he has his work cut out for him if he’s to persuade her to accept his offer of marriage when she’s turned down dukes and even princes in the past.
The mystery binds the two together and proves that they are stronger together than apart. I love the unusual servants and the widowed aunt who isn’t as blind to what’s going on as one assumes.
About the Author
Elizabeth Cole is a romance author with a penchant for history, which is why she lives in an old house in an old city. She can be found hanging around libraries and archives, or curled in a corner reading, cat on lap. She believes in love at first sight. Then again, she also believes that mac ‘n’ cheese is a healthy breakfast, so don’t trust her judgment on everything.
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Thanks for the review, Susana. You’re spot on about how tricky it is to balance historical accuracy with the social equality we all now expect for ourselves (happily for us!). Cordelia was really fun to write as a character.
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