The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eustacie longs for romance and a lover who rides ventre a terre (she's French). Sir Tristram, handsome and sensible, is not that lover (he's English). But when Eustacie stumbles across Ludovico, a man in hiding after being framed for murder, she and her new friend Sarah Thane get more adventure and romance than either of them bargained for.
Heyer delivers her usual sparkle with this caper. The MacGuffin is a valuable antique ring that can prove one man's innocence and another's guilt. The chemistry between playful and smart Miss Thane and the level-headed Sir Tristram is a delight, and Eustacie could be related to another Frenchwoman: Léonie from These Old Shades (also by Heyer). Fans of regency romance and adventure stories couldn't ask for better.
I could have wished for a few more scenes between the Beau and Sir Tristram. Both are worthy adversaries, and few techniques work better for ratcheting up the tension than having two well-matched opponents circle, each trying to guess how much the other knows and what he might do next.
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