England, May, 1815
After years of following her improvident father through war-torn Europe, Miss Emily Proudfoot has returned to England to open a girls’ school. She wants a place where she can live a peaceful life, enjoy the challenge of educating young minds, and where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. All is going to plan—until repairs are needed to the school, and a most unusual man-of-all-work applies for the job. Lucas is tall, dark, and disturbing and he has a habit of turning up in places where Emily least expects him.
Lucas Bannister, an undercover spy, has been sent to Miss Proudfoot’s Academy for Young Ladies to find evidence that someone is blackmailing several vulnerable people. The most likely suspect is Miss Proudfoot herself so he sets out to get to know her better. That was his first mistake—Miss Proudfoot is not quite the criminal he expected. She's bossy, hard-working, and…adorable.
The danger grows, the layers of deception deepen. How can Emily possibly trust Lucas when all he’s done is lie to her? And how can Lucas do the job he’s been sent to do when he finds himself falling in love with his main suspect?