What a way to end an outstanding series with a bang! Each Live And Let Spy book has created an intriguing, passionate world; a world where a matchmaking spymaster places his grumpy, damaged, lonely agents with headstrong, passionate, fierce women. These agents come to realize that it isn’t their work but rather passion and love that gives them peace and redemption.
Maxim is a physically and emotionally damaged man; he rashly marries a stranger to save her from ruination and the clutches of her leaching, cruel father. After a few days, Maxim realizes Caroline can tear down all the walls he has built in his heart; terrified, Maxim leaves Caroline not to return for six years. After the estrangement, the couple finds their marriage in shambles, yet a spark of hope still exists.
This stunning story has elements of Beauty And The Beast, an estranged marriage, and an age gap. Maxim is damaged and has destroyed his connection with Caroline, so much so that reconciliation is improbable. When Maxim and Caroline reunite, both have very different expectations. Sometimes it seemed they were uncertain what to do. I like how it takes a journey of self-reflection for Maxim to come to his senses. The couple’s reconnection is rocky. I loved Caroline’s strength. Caroline refutes half-hearted apologies demanding a baring of Maxim’s soul. This was an organic way to show how trust must develop, not by words but by actions. Both Maxim and Caroline must labor emotionally to breach the chasm that tore them apart. At times this couple’s interactions were heart-wrenching to read, but it was also beautiful to see the captivating, burgeoning romance.
The plot was crafty and spell bounding. This book also has a secondary couple that also navigates fear and passion. The emotional growth between Maxim and Caroline develops organically. The author doesn’t try to patch up Maxim’s wrongs quickly but instead takes us on his journey of self-reflection and redemption. Maxim and Caroline’s romance resonated with me on many levels. The epilogue has a lovely way of wrapping up the series. I am sad to see this series end. Susanna Craig, I enthusiastically say bravo for wowing me with a sexy, seductive, witty romance! Maxim and Caroline beguiled their way into my heart; they are a couple I won’t soon forget. I wholeheartedly recommend this book! I cannot wait to see what Susanna Craig has in store for us next!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: August 2, 2022