Well, here were two protagonists I'd yet to meet in a historical: the Hero was a spy, whoring himself out to men who would sell their secrets for sex and the Heroine had a crippling stutter.
This novel is dark in tone, explicit in its manner and would have been immensely satisfying if I'd had more of a sense of connection between the H/h. There was a bit of an "insta-love" thing happening, and while I normally will swallow that whole without complaint, in this case I felt there needed to be a bit more development between the two to explain how deeply they were committed to each other. As an erotic romance it worked for me completely. As an emotional romance, it didn't quite make it. Perhaps it was the page count - at 262 pages the author might simply have run out of time.
*Spoiler-ish content below*
Brava to Ms. Harris for going to places not usually explored in historical romance - it's not often you read an explicit homosexual encounter in these types of books, and Claudia's parents' treatment of her was absolutely abhorrent (by today's standards, of course, but I'm betting it was close to the norm for the time). Claudia's stutter remains throughout the whole of the book; not once does it seem as though Gaspard's mighty wang might cure her. Gaspard, on the other hand, is the one who is redeemed by Claudia's magic hooha, although his experiences with other men piques Claudia's curiosity and adds an interesting nuance to their intimate relationship. She has never been touched, and he has been touched only by those he finds repugnant. Hmm. That's something I just considered after I typed it.
I really enjoyed this one -- it was different, it was well-written, and I'm invested enough to read the next one in the series. I'm also going to check out her backlist.