Nicholas Ellsworth, the Duke of Breckenridge, is a spy. He’s been trying to give up his profession since inheriting his title, but it’s not an easy line of work to shake off. As such, his past comes back to haunt him in Misleading a Duke.
Espionage ran rampant during Regency and Georgian times. England and France were both very keen on gleaning intelligence about the other and spent fortunes to gather whatever knowledge they could.
Francis Drake (the diplomat, not the Elizabethan sea captain) used French informants and royalist organizations to gather data for use against Napoleon. Despite his success, he was swindled out of a great deal of money by a French agent named Jean-Claude Méhée de La Touch. Thereafter, he suffered political embarrassment when some letters about a royalist uprising were intercepted.
On the other side of the Channel, French spies like Joseph Fouché and Méhée de La Touch were making names for themselves. Fouché eventually became the Duke of Otranto. Particularly ruthless, his party affiliations changed throughout his career, depending on from whom he could gain the most money and power. He is credited for thwarting attempts on Napoleon’s life, and while in the end, he was exiled to Austria, he did quite well while in service.
Méhée de La Touch was the son of a surgeon. At the tender age of twelve, he headed off to Paris, where he landed in prison several times before becoming a spy and perhaps, for a time, a double agent. He died in poverty in Paris.
I think my favorite spy of the time was Karl (aka Carl, aka Charles Louis) Schulmeister. A slippery fellow, he managed to spy for the Austrian Empire and the Holy Alliance, but also for France. He even acted as a general in Napoleon’s army and became the director of the French Secret Service. However, his actions during the war led to his arrest. The cost of buying back his freedom took all of his funds and forced him into selling tobacco from a cart in Strasbourg.
The seventeenth-century spy game was not all it was cracked up to be. In Misleading a Duke, several of these real spies make appearances. Find out what happens when a secretive duke, a stubborn lady, and a spirited puppy are set upon by spies.
A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful IT career in New York City to pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back. A. S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic, and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape, and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. The author of The Forever Brides series, the Everton Domestic Society series, and more, A. S. adores strong, empowered heroines, no matter the era, and that’s what you’ll find in all her books. A Jersey Girl at heart, she now makes her home in Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden, and spoiling her fussy cat. Be sure to visit her website at ASFenichel.com or find her on the following social media platforms.
Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion …
Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.
After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match, but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.