I really enjoyed this romance because while it contained some of the usual romance novel cliché: Boy meets girl; girl meets boy; girl and boy aren't too fond of each other but interact for their own mutual benefit; boy and girl fall reluctantly in love. I have read many stories like this. I have enjoyed many stories like this. Sometimes things become cliché and used over and over again...because they just always work. It works here too, but what I liked more about it was not what was familiar, but what was different. The story not only told of a romance between the two main characters, but it also had intertwined with it a big mystery and a good old fashioned detective story...and both stories are fully intertwined. Without the secondary story, there would be no romance, and the romance adds to the suspense and danger of the second story. Usually when a book tries to do too much in one...it feels disjointed...but this worked.Phillipa Benning is the queen bee of the Ton. Whatever she scorns is scorned by all and whatever she loves, everyone rushes to snap up. She spends her days shopping, going to parties, gossiping, being catty, and flirting with all manner of men. She is the stereotypical spoiled, rich girl who has everything and looks down her nose on everyone else. When she meets Marcus, she barely even thinks he is worth stepping on or acknowledging in anyway. She is preoccupied in her competition with fellow Ton queen Lady Jane Cummings in winning the attentions of Philip Broughton, who is everything the Ton views as worthy: handsome, rich, and just the right sort of person. Marcus Worth and his family are not the right sort. And he remains beneath her notice until one fateful night while playing her game of flirtation with Broughton she overhears Marcus and another discussing a matter of national security. She thinks, from this conversation, she has found Britain’s greatest war hero and spy, The Blue Raven, in plain and ordinary Marcus Worth...and hatches a plot to help him gain access to the Ton and all of its parties in order for him to solve his current case...but not out of any patriotism or anything...no...in exchange she wants to reveal his secret identify at her yearly ball. It will be a smash and people will be talking about it for years making sure she reigns as queen bee of the Ton for a long time. Marcus reluctantly agrees to the scheme if only for the sake of his case and thus begins out adventure.We spend the next book both unveiling with Marcus the mystery of the French spy Laurent and what his plans are for the Ton and the country...and watching Marcus slowing turn Phillipia into a decent human being. Usually the story is: good woman tames and turned notorious badboy and rake into decent man with her love. In this case it is the opposite. Phillipia doesn't care about civic duty and orphans or any such things...just her status and her parties. But as time passes she finds herself doing things she normally would never have thought of before. And before she saw Marcus as plain and boring but she starts to see him with different eyes. Marcus as a whole is truly likeable. He is brave and snarky and truly romantic. He is not georgeous or rich or of high status, but his soild character and goodheartedness makes him more than those things. From the start he sees more in Phillipia than even she sees and his confidence in her and respect for her mind helps bring her closer to the person she becomes in the end. The journey getting there is hella fun and full of adventure.