Set in Napoleon's Europe, this formulaic romance details the adventures of bluestocking Olivia Sutton, the willful daughter of a disgraced knight. When she was 17, Olivia gave her heart to the Marquis of Bradstone, a callous man who went to great lengths to obtain a coded missive revealing the location of a lost Spanish treasure. Bradstone planned to exploit Olivia for her formidable code-cracking skills and then kill her, but Orlando Danvers, a young Spanish spy, disrupted the marquis's scheme, and was shot in the process. Accused of the crime, Olivia fled into hiding. Seven years later, Maj. Robert Danvers—an "alluringly haphazard" English spy who closely resembles his cousin, Bradstone—returns to England posing as the missing marquis to find his brother's murderess and recover the Spanish treasure. Although Olivia is shocked by Bradstone's reappearance, she sets out to force him to clear her name. As Robert and Olivia travel to Spain in search of the treasure, they are thrown together for the usual sex, misgivings and misadventures. Boyle (No Marriage of Convenience) mixes low melodrama with high comic-book dialogue ("Tell me where the Tomb of the Virgin is or die.") in a disjointed, fantastical romance that will likely be left on the shelf by readers. (July 3)
Forecast:Potential buyers will find this temptation easy to resist.