Lady Phillipa Benning is a young, beautiful, fantastically wealthy widow and the undisputed queen (and Mean Girl) of London society. She has set her eyes on the Marquis of Broughton, who is equally eligible, wealthy and popular, but her arch rival from school, Lady Jane Cummings also seems to have him in her sights and the vexing man is not beyond playing the two ladies against each other. Things start getting complicated after Philippa, having arranged a tryst with Broughton in a library, ends up hidden in a sarcophagus overhearing what appears to be famed English spy The Blue Raven discussing an enemy plot with one of his superiors.
First of all, Philippa is shocked that unassuming and plain Marcus Worth (he doesn’t even have a title!) could be the exciting and infamous Blue Raven who helped England defeat France. He’s so tall and gawky and wears glasses and always seems too clumsy for his own good. He’s nothing like what she would have expected a dashing spy to be (which when she thinks about it is probably why he was so good at it). Philippa’s reputation in society is flawless and she gets invited everywhere. She makes a deal with Marcus that at the end of the season, she will be allowed to reveal the identity of the Blue Raven at her big ball in return for securing him entry to all the society events where he suspects the sinister French agent might strike.
Of course, as they continue working with each other, Philippa keeps getting distracted from her pursuit of Broughton (although she skilfully uses Marcus to try to make the other man jealous), finding herself fascinated by this quiet, intelligent and unassuming man and his dangerous mission. Marcus discovers that Philippa isn’t just beautiful and cruel, but that she hides a lot from the wider world to maintain her position. She’s fiercely intelligent and an excellent organiser and there is pain in her past that she’s clearly not willing to talk about. Over the course of their quest to uncover the French spy, he also learns that she seems to have a near-photographic memory, which is very helpful when navigating large crowds.
Revealed pretty much takes the fairly common story of the charming and experienced society rake who falls in love with the plain and intellectual nobody and gender-reverses it.
Full review on my blog.