Like many readers, historical romances were among the first romances I read, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that among my favorite tropes of the subgenre (marriage of convenience, the wallflower or bluestocking) was another—the historical romantic suspense. But even more specifically: the historical spy.
Celeste Bradley is among the first romance authors I read as a teenager. Unlike many, I didn’t find romances through my mother’s shelves, but through the shelves at my local library, as I was supposed to be putting the books away. Among those first books, Bradley’s Royal Four series has always been one of my favorite. There was intrigue, suspense, love, arranged marriages, and so many other things that fulfilled my young heart.
One of Bradley’s heroes, Dane Caldwell, Lord Greenleigh has always been one of my favorite heroes. In Surrender to a Wicked Spy we meet Dane, not as he’s engaging in dangerous business in the name of the crown, but as he is fishing his future wife out of the Thames—and ends up being saved himself in the process. Dane is a big man—imagine Chris Hemsworth in period clothing (I know I do). He’s smart, capable, and crafty. Olivia, his new wife, is all of those things too—including big (I featured her in my Tall Heroines post).