I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Secret of Flirting (Sinful Suitors, #5) by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #5
Published by Pocket Books on March 27th 2018
FINAL DECISION: I really enjoyed this one. Jumping off from real historical events, this book is improbable at times, but the relationship between Fulkham and Monique is testy and witty and quite lovely.
THE STORY: Spymaster Gregory Vyse, Baron Fulkham, is at a pivotal moment of his career when he is to participate in the choosing of the first royalty of Belgium. One of the contenders, Princess Aurore of Chanay, is the favorite. But Fulkham also believes her an imposter as he thinks he met her three years before when she was Monique Servais, an accomplished actress. Fulkham is entangled with trying to figure out what she is up to when an attempted assassination and Fulkham’s own attraction to the purported princess threaten his career.
OPINION: The one was very enjoyable because of the relationship between the characters. I especially enjoyed the witty banter and verbal combat between the hero and heroine. These two are working on outsmarting one another from the moment they meet.
The strength of the story in this book is clearly that it is based on real events. Although, as acknowledged in the author’s note, liberties are taken with the storyline, by giving this book true historical events gives it a grounding in its historical times. The book always feels time relevant with the issues and concerns of the times.
Monique is a woman who is accomplished, but her desire to care for her grandmother leads her into intrigue and Fulkham’s world. I really enjoyed the combination of her worldliness and her naivety at the machinations of others. Her dignity and cleverness was a good match for Fulkham. And while some of the events in the story seem unbelievable, her innate believable actions as a character allow the events that seem improbable to work in the story. I liked Monique.
Fulkham is a man with many secrets — some his country’s and some his own. He becomes entwined with Monique as he tries to figure out what she is doing. He is a man who acts carefully and deliberately — except when it comes to Monique. I loved that she gets under his skin and makes him act in all the ways he never expects. Fulkham’s ultimate willingness to do whatever it takes to be with Monique is romantic and a fine comeuppance for the spymaster.
I really enjoyed this book. The pacing and development of the plot and the romance just worked so well for me. It never felt rushed or lagging. The series is coming to a conclusion on a definite high note.
WORTH MENTIONING: For fans of the series, there are small updates about the other couples and the setup for the final novella of the series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE SECRET TO FLIRTING is the fifth book in the Sinful Suitors series. While there are overlapping characters, this book can be read on its own as it provides all the information about the characters that you need to enjoy it.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.