An intringuing novel set in the post Napoleonic Era. Justine DeCabrillac’s parents were killed, when she was eleven. during the French Revolution. She and her sister Severine, were put in the care of her parents’ trusted friend. However instead of taking care of them, he gave Justine to the owner of a brothel. Justine had to work for her, and she and her sister were forced to live in the brothel. Her life changed when Madame, the brothel owner and member of the French Secret Police, selected Justine to spy for her. At thirteen she was ordered to spy an English agent called William Doyle.
When Adrian Hawkhurst, dubbed Hawker, was a boy, he lived low neighborhood of St. Giles in London. He was expert in theft, and had even worked for the king of the underworld. His life changed when he met William Doyle. He decided the boy had talents to be spy, put him under his wing and trained him. He took him to Paris, where there was a lot of work to be done, after all, it was the era of the French Revolution. In Paris he met Owl, Justine’s undercover name. Although they worked for different sides, they became good friends. Deciding Marguerite and William Doyle were nuce people, she gives up her sister to them, since a life in a brothel and with a sister who was constantly under danger, was no life ( for full story about Justine and Hawker’s first encounter see Forbidden Rose) . A couple of years later, Justine, while doing a job England, decides to see her sister, at least from a far. In this moment, she and Hawker meet again, and become secret lovers. They keep on with their affair, until Justine shoots Hawker in an operation. Only, she doesn’t really shoot him, her boss tells her to shoot him, and wasn’t aiming at him purposely, but before she took rhe shot, her boss moved her aim and she shot the man she loved. Hawker thought she shot him, so they became real enemies. However, even as enemies, they missed each other.
Now, after the Napoleonic wars, twenty four years after they first met, Justine appears at the headquartes of the english spies, dying of a knofe wound down in her chest. They used one of the special knives Adrian Hawker had fabricated. Now, they have to work together to find who tried to kill her and why. Can they resolve the mystery? Can they reconciale?
It was a wonderful book, full of mystery, adventure and romance. I liked that it kept going from past to present, it gave more flavor the story. Justine and Hawker story was full of passion, and it had sweet and cute moments too. Both of them had a sad childhood. Her, having to work as a prostitute to protect her sister, and him having to work for the ruthless leader of the underworld to survive in the harsh neighborhood. I loved how at the end, Hawker came to stop her from turning herself in to her boss who wanted to give her to enemies or sell her as a prostitute, for money, as retribution for failing the mission. It’s one of books you cant put down if you are into romance, mystery and adventure.