Romance isn't my usual stomping ground. I am extremely picky when it comes to things like plots and believability. The Black Hawk is fourth in a series following spies for France and England during those countries' wars and disputes. Adrian Hawkhurst was a boy with no family or name and was taken in by the King of Thieves in London. Eventually he was caught and the government turned him into a spy and a very good one at that. He rose to become the Head of the British Intelligence Service. Justine DeCabrillac was a French count's daughter and saw her family destroyed by the French Revolution. After serving time in prison, she was taken under the wing of a famous Madam who actually was a spy. Both Adrian and Justine had come across each other during their various missions. Sometimes they worked in concert and others against each other.
Our book begins after Napoleon has been utterly defeated and Justine has retired to England to be an ordinary shopkeeper. But her instincts warn that something is happening - various people around the city of London have been stabbed. Justine decides she must tell Adrian and when she leaves her shop in a downpour, she is viciously stabbed and left for dead. She makes it to Adrian's headquarters and the mystery starts from there. The narrative switches between the present day and the past. The plot is tightly drawn often referring to earlier missions from the earlier books but that isn't a problem. Of course the murderer is figured out and stopped. And our spies fall in love. A tightly woven plot with not a lot of graphic words. Some scenes that will make chaste readers uncomfortable but the majority will be satisfied.
Reading connections: The Escape by Mary Balogh, The Captive by Grace Burrowes, The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley.