This book was first published in the 1990s and has been brought back now in trade paperback format. The story begins in England when Robert Blake, illegitimate son of a marquess, and Jeanne Morisette, daughter of a French émigré count, are young teenagers. But the action quickly moves to Portugal more than ten years later, when Captain Robert Blake and the widowed Joana da Fonte, Marquesa das Minas (formerly Jeanne Morisette), meet again during the Napoleonic Peninsular Wars.
Jeanne and Robert fall in love when they are young, but it is a forbidden passion, and they are soon firmly separated. By the time they meet again they have both changed in many ways. Robert recognizes Joana, but she does not know him—she was told years ago that he had died and she had known him only by his first name. Each of them is an occasional spy for Wellington, and now they must work together on a dangerous mission of deception that is vital to the survival of the allied cause. Only Joana, though, knows that she and Robert are on the same side.
Robert finds himself having to deal with Jeanne and her French heritage, with the marquesa and her haughty, flirtatious ways, and with Joana, the peasant Portuguese freedom fighter bent on her own private mission of revenge—all rolled into one woman to whom he is increasingly drawn, much against his will.
And Joana finds herself contending with a tough, morose, unbending British officer, who bears a growingly disturbing resemblance to that poor dead boy she loved so dearly years ago.
Signet Trade Paperback, February 3, 2015