The book is very lean. Clocking in at 259 pages, Bond doesn’t even meet the “with Love” part of the book until page 177. A female spy has been sent to Istanbul to honey-trap James Bond, essentially. They both know it’s a trap, but for whom the trap will be sprung is an open question. They both genuinely fall for one another, Tatiana because she’s literally trained so long to pretend to be in love with Bond, she sort of loses the plot in terms of the make believe. She also believes hard in Soviet Russia. Three guesses how they return that loyalty. For Bond’s part, he is also ordered to pretend to be in love with his counterpart. He comes at it with such arrogance, just assuming it’s perfectly natural for a woman to fall in love with him just as they would any matinee idol. It speaks volumes about his view of women, but also his sense of self.
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