With his facility for languages and gift for diplomacy, Thomas Pearce is perfectly suited for his recent position in the Foreign Office. Or so he imagines until he receives his first assignment. Instead of a safe consular post in a friendly European capital, Thomas is going straight into the eye of the continental storm: France. On the eve of Napoleon’s crowning as emperor, no less. There is, it seems, a small matter of indiscretion just outside Paris that requires immediate attention. An indiscretion by the name of Sabine Rousseau, who happens to be the illegitimate daughter of Britain’s prime minister.
When a handsome gentleman arrives at her family’s home right before Christmas, claiming to be a long-lost cousin, Sabine is suspicious for reasons she can’t articulate. Perhaps it’s just that he’s far too attractive for her to think of him as a blood relation. She is, therefore, not entirely displeased when he sneaks into her bedroom and announces they aren’t kin. Her pleasure dissipates, however, when she learns he has come to smuggle her out of France…and why.
Now, Sabine and Thomas have a week to make their escape, and it won’t be easy. Her uncle considers her a ticket to win favor with Napoleon, and the French military has been alerted to the presence of a British “spy” on their soil. To avoid detection, the couple must pretend to be amorous newlyweds…and this proves the most difficult task of all. Because it isn’t long before neither of them is pretending, and a small matter of indiscretion may become large indeed.