Here’s a summary from Goodreads:
Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother’s disappearance. And get out.
In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn’t count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.
He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.
I didn’t have any expectation going into the book other than find out how the overarching plot will unfold but this story and its hero and heroine really got under my skin in a good way. This book might rival with Heart of Iron as my favorite in the series but I have to say that this might be Bec McMaster’s best book yet.
The story was so tight and well thought-of. I didn’t even find any gaps in the story at all. The characters were all fleshed out, even the secondary characters. You have an idea of what their motivations are and where these might lead them to and yet you keep on thinking and guessing what they will actually decide to do next.
The mystery and suspense were done artistically and beautifully. You get all the intrigue and the excitement. There were a lot of plot points going on: the humanist movement, the Mechs breakaway group, the mysterious affliction among the bluebloods, the hunt for Mercury and an intro into the world of the Nighthawks, and the intrigue and politics in the Echelon. There seem to be a lot going on but everything was just weaved into this one continuous and interconnected web world. Seamlessly and with a lot of sense.
I also appreciated the flow of the story. With each scene revealed, it flows seamlessly into the next and as the mysteries start to unfold, you discover that everything the author has written before was there for a reason. I love how well-connected all the details were. It was a solid story through and through.
And the characters, oh, the characters. I’m not entirely sure if this is plot-driven or character-driven novel, but I love both those points in this book. Lynch and Rosalind were just amazing characters. They leap off the pages and were really just well-developed characters.
Lynch, in the previous books in the series was like a side character for me that wasn’t so important or particularly interesting. But I was totally wrong. He’s this complex being with his own set of past and present, the details of which are actually engaging to learn and find out. His personality is so desirable and admirable and I loved seeing him show all these sides of himself to both Mercury and Rosalind.
Rosalind is no ordinary heroine either. This gal is a force to be reckoned with. I love how Bec McMaster wrote her. You see her as this strong-willed woman. You also see her as a woman who’s physically capable and skillful of defending and taking care of herself. But you also get to see her vulnerabilities not because she’s a woman but because she’s a person who’s capable of feeling deep emotions. I just really love how strong she is. It takes a lot to be the kind of person that she is and you can’t help but root not just for her but for Lynch as well.
The dual persona of Mercury and Rosalind was one of those plot points that I was hoping would be dealt with well by the author and she did not disappoint. You know there are times when deception plots such as this are not done well by authors and they come off as being shallow or forced even. But props to Bec McMaster for doing a really good job in this regard. Every situation that needed that bit of deception plot made sense and was organic not just to the plot but to the characters as well.
A really, really tension-filled but definitely enjoyable read.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars