Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady's maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down, he proposes a bargain. She will have a single Season in London, and if she does not marry by the end of the Season, she will be gifted with her dowry and a small estate. Despite her mistrust of her father, Martha accepts his offer, but can’t seem to let go of the anger that has been festering inside of her, or her discomfort with a position in Society where she feels she does not belong.

Dr. Emmett Maddix is tired of the frivolity of the ton and spends his time atoning for his past sins by providing medical care to the poor. His life takes an unexpected turn when he is recruited to be an agent of the Crown. He is assigned to run a charity hospital as a front to collect information about a vicious band of smugglers known as The Cursed Lot, who have managed to overtake the entire town of Gravesend with a reign of murder and oppression.

As Emmett delves further into The Cursed Lot’s domain, he quickly discovers that not everything is what it seems, and it will take far more than one new agent to take down this ruthless gang. While the tangled web of intrigue begins to unravel, Martha and Emmett battle an undeniable but unspoken attraction that grows between them. But before either can be ready to share their hearts, they must overcome their past mistakes, and find their own reasons to keep fighting. With more than just their hearts at stake, surviving the mission will be more difficult than either of them could ever imagine.
October 1, 2018  |  324 pages
(Read from May 19, 2019 to May 21, 2019)
Grade: A    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 50% Literature, 50% Entertainment
Tags:
Writing Quality:
Low High
Originality:
Low High

Addictiveness:
Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Re-readability:
Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
Comment:
A sweet and cautious romance paired with multiple intriguing spy plots marks the fifth book in The Beckett Files series, A Deceptive Bargain. I would definitely recommend reading the rest of this series beforehand in order to become familiar with the characters, especially Dr. Madddix and the prostitution ring that had captured Martha and was brought down by the Agents. Once again, Laura Beers has pulled me in with characters I care about and luring plots.