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Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romance from Susanna Craig. Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, quiet life. A life that, if she were honest, ha Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romance from Susanna Craig. Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, quiet life. A life that, if she were honest, has become more than a trifle dull. So when an adventure literally drops into her lap, in the shape of a mysterious book, she intends to make the most of it—especially if it brings her closer to a charismatic stranger... Major Langley Stanhope, an intelligence officer and master mimic known as the Magpie, needs to retrieve the code book that has fallen into Amanda’s hands. The mistaken delivery has put them both in grave danger and in a desperate race to unearth a traitor. It’s also stirred an intense, reckless attraction. Langley believes the life he leads is not suitable for a delicate widow, but it seems he may have underestimated the lady’s daring...and the depths of their mutual desire.


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Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romance from Susanna Craig. Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, quiet life. A life that, if she were honest, ha Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romance from Susanna Craig. Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, quiet life. A life that, if she were honest, has become more than a trifle dull. So when an adventure literally drops into her lap, in the shape of a mysterious book, she intends to make the most of it—especially if it brings her closer to a charismatic stranger... Major Langley Stanhope, an intelligence officer and master mimic known as the Magpie, needs to retrieve the code book that has fallen into Amanda’s hands. The mistaken delivery has put them both in grave danger and in a desperate race to unearth a traitor. It’s also stirred an intense, reckless attraction. Langley believes the life he leads is not suitable for a delicate widow, but it seems he may have underestimated the lady’s daring...and the depths of their mutual desire.

30 review for One Thing Leads to a Lover

  1. 4 out of 5

    ChasingLeslie

    Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, has led a somewhat dull life. She had a respectable society marriage, birthed an heir and a spare, and always followed her mother's guidance to "mind her step." When a mysterious book comes into her possession, she's more than a bit excited for the unexpected consequences. Sir Langley Stanhope is a major, an intelligence officer, and a master mimic. He's tasked with retrieving said book. But when it ends up in someone else's hands, Langley has to pr Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, has led a somewhat dull life. She had a respectable society marriage, birthed an heir and a spare, and always followed her mother's guidance to "mind her step." When a mysterious book comes into her possession, she's more than a bit excited for the unexpected consequences. Sir Langley Stanhope is a major, an intelligence officer, and a master mimic. He's tasked with retrieving said book. But when it ends up in someone else's hands, Langley has to protect Amanda and her sons from danger. This is the second book in the Love and Let Spy series. Craig is a new-to-me author, so I have not read the previous book. Except for the epilogue, which sets up the next book, this story can stand alone. I was attracted to the cover and the premise of this novel. I liked how it started, with a "simple" book mix-up. Amanda didn't know she needed an adventure in her life, but she was excited to get involved when it fell into her lap. I enjoyed this book, but the tone felt too light for me. The intrigue was light - not particularly dangerous or desperate - and the romance was light too - feeling more like an attraction of convenience than a deeper connection. The chemistry was there but, overall, I wanted more showing than telling. I would definitely try this author again in the future. Tropes: Widow, Spy/Govt Work, Class Difference, Protector Eggplant Rating: 3 (two scenes, double oral) * I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #OneThingLeadsToALover #NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Susanna Craig, a new to me author, writes a great story about a widow, Amanda, who has no control of her own life. Amanda is dictated to by her children’s guardian as well as her own widowed mother who lives with her. When her family is accidently put in danger an intelligence officer named Langley is sent to protect her. Amanda realizes that she not only wants more control of the decisions in her life, but she also wants Langley. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Kensington Books for my hone Susanna Craig, a new to me author, writes a great story about a widow, Amanda, who has no control of her own life. Amanda is dictated to by her children’s guardian as well as her own widowed mother who lives with her. When her family is accidently put in danger an intelligence officer named Langley is sent to protect her. Amanda realizes that she not only wants more control of the decisions in her life, but she also wants Langley. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Kensington Books for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin A widowed countess’s dull life gets a lot more exciting in One Thing Leads to a Lover . Amanda Bartlett, Countess of Kingston, has always done her duty, acted the perfect lady, and never put one toe out of line. Then a mysterious French cookbook winds up in her possession instead of the geometry book she had purchased and her life is upended. For the book in question is a codebook both the French and the English would kill to get their hands on. Enter 4.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin A widowed countess’s dull life gets a lot more exciting in One Thing Leads to a Lover . Amanda Bartlett, Countess of Kingston, has always done her duty, acted the perfect lady, and never put one toe out of line. Then a mysterious French cookbook winds up in her possession instead of the geometry book she had purchased and her life is upended. For the book in question is a codebook both the French and the English would kill to get their hands on. Enter Major Langley Stanhope, known by his fellow spies as the Magpie. Langley needs to get his hands on the book, but what should have been a simple exchange gets a lot more complicated. Langley fears Amanda and family are now in danger, but if he expects the well-bred lady to simply idly stand by, he’s in for a shock. One Thing Leads to a Lover is a fun and engaging read, thanks to author Susanna Craig’s delightful storytelling. Amanda and Langley are both incredibly likeable characters who are at a crossroads in their lives. Amanda loves her sons and her mother, but her life is beginning to feel suffocating. She takes charge of her life and I loved watching her break out of the rut she’s in. She’s a kind and caring person; definitely the kind of character you’d like to be friends with, were she real. Langley is a master mimic, but only Amanda sees the true man. An orphan taken in from the streets and raised to be a gifted spy, Langley has an interesting backstory that I loved diving into. He also is haunted by a mistake he made and I definitely wanted him to find peace. Langley fits right into Amanda’s family and I adored watching him with her sons. Separately and together, Amanda and Langley are endearing and I was rooting for them every step of the way. Their chemistry is fantastic and their romance made me smile. They made an excellent team as they worked together to catch a traitor and get the codebook before it could fall into enemy hands. I felt like the pages of this book flew by and I hated whenever I had to put it down. One Thing Leads to a Lover is the second book in the Love and Let Spy series but it can easily be read as a standalone. The series is tied together by the matchmaking General Scott who is determined to help his agents find love. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both books in this series so far and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next Love and Let Spy novel! FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Amanda Bartlett, the widowed Countess of Kingston, has always been told to watch her step. Married at 19, she is finally free to be herself, but with two young children in her care, her mother living in her home, and a suitor dogging her heels, she is still trapped in some way. While out shopping for a birthday present from her eldest son, she is jolted in the street, and the book she thinks sh I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Amanda Bartlett, the widowed Countess of Kingston, has always been told to watch her step. Married at 19, she is finally free to be herself, but with two young children in her care, her mother living in her home, and a suitor dogging her heels, she is still trapped in some way. While out shopping for a birthday present from her eldest son, she is jolted in the street, and the book she thinks she bought turns out to be a book full of French war codes, valuable to the war effort, and embroiled in an adventure than just could be the making for her. Sir Langley Stanley, a major and intelligence officer, feels guilt over the death of his comrade, and now that another has been kidnapped, and the code book holds the key to his recovery, he needs to get Amanda to help him retrieve it, and find the traitor who is in their midst. Masquerading as the tutor for the young boys, Langley moves into Amanda's home, for protection, and it's soon clear that their attraction may just be one thing they need to overcome. I was completely blown away by Who's That Earl when I read it last year, and as soon as I spotted this one on NetGalley, I requested it. Amanda's life has been boring since she married during her first season, with a husband old enough to be her father, not allowed to do anything more straining than picking the meal options for dinner. Now widowed, she's still young, and wants her chance at freedom, but is stopped at every turn. Her two boys, Jamie and Pip, are her entire life, but she shares guardianship of them with her late husband's friend, Lord Dulsworthy, who is adamant they should be off at Harrow, and also wants to marry her too. It doesn't help, either, that Amanda's mother has moved in, and has taken over everything, from answering invitations, or creating the menu at dinner, to stating what Amanda should wear, even. It's too much, and I really felt for Amanda here - she deserves to be her own person, and have a little fun. Becoming embroiled in intrigue and espionage may not have been what I was expecting for her, but she took to it like a duck out of water, and was perfectly aided by Langley. Langley was an amazing love interest, with his own complex backstory as an orphan on the streets of London, to being adopted by a loving couple, and raised to join the military and help with the intelligence services. He's only once let down his guard, and that's when his friend was killed, and he won't make the same mistake again. He fights his attraction to Amanda almost as much as she does for him, but it's inevitable, and swoony, and downright perfect for them both. There were twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and I was again blown away by the brilliance of Susanna's writing, and her story telling. I can't wait for the next book, hinted at in the final pages of this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Arie

    I very much enjoyed this story. Langley is a spy who has a hard time becoming his true self and connecting with people. Amanda is a widow with a over protective mother, she longs for adventure and passion. The two meet and have a almost instant connection. I really enjoyed the family dynamic of this story. I also liked that Amanda was a older heroine, which is rare in historical romance. There was just enough passion, danger, and intrigue to keep me turning the pages. I’ve read the first book in I very much enjoyed this story. Langley is a spy who has a hard time becoming his true self and connecting with people. Amanda is a widow with a over protective mother, she longs for adventure and passion. The two meet and have a almost instant connection. I really enjoyed the family dynamic of this story. I also liked that Amanda was a older heroine, which is rare in historical romance. There was just enough passion, danger, and intrigue to keep me turning the pages. I’ve read the first book in this series, but this one is my favorite so far. I will say I wish there was a little more background into Langley. Overall this was a great read and I look forward to reading the books that come after this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andreajanel_reads

    A huge thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I loved the fact that this book featured a mature hero and heroine. Amanda is a devoted mother who has lived a shrouded life since her husband's death. But Amanda is sick and tired of shadows. She is sick and tired of decisions being made on her behalf about what she can wear, how she raises her children, even what she instructs her cook to prepare for dinner. When she opens up the A huge thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I loved the fact that this book featured a mature hero and heroine. Amanda is a devoted mother who has lived a shrouded life since her husband's death. But Amanda is sick and tired of shadows. She is sick and tired of decisions being made on her behalf about what she can wear, how she raises her children, even what she instructs her cook to prepare for dinner. When she opens up the birthday present she purchased for her son, she is confused to discover the bookshop wrapping concealed a cookbook written entirely in French. When a mysterious gentleman appears demanding an exchange happen, Amanda is intrigued. Finally, a bit of excitement has landed in her lap! The only life Langley Stanhope knows is one of espionage and subterfuge. He is determined to retrieve the seemingly innocuous cookbook and redeem himself in the eyes of his comrades in arms. His retrieval is thwarted by a series of mishaps and contrivances, and he and Lady Amanda are thrown into situations of forced proximity and assumed identities. The closer they become, the more he unravels. He cannot resist her caring, brave heart and she tumbles head over heels for his deceptively impenetrable mask. The plot was deftly executed, the characters were fully developed and compelling, the love story unfolded with both steam and tenderness, and the dialogue was filled with lovely innuendo.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

    Amanda Bartlett is a widowed countess at the age of 32 and mother to two children. She’s spent her whole life doing exactly what was expected of her, and it’s just as boring as one would expect. Her entire life has been dictated by her mother, then her husband, and then her mother again. While buying a book for her son she is bumped into by a stranger on the streets wherein she leaves with the wrong book. Unbeknownst to her, the book she has in her possession is vital to the Crown and Langley St Amanda Bartlett is a widowed countess at the age of 32 and mother to two children. She’s spent her whole life doing exactly what was expected of her, and it’s just as boring as one would expect. Her entire life has been dictated by her mother, then her husband, and then her mother again. While buying a book for her son she is bumped into by a stranger on the streets wherein she leaves with the wrong book. Unbeknownst to her, the book she has in her possession is vital to the Crown and Langley Stanhope is tasked with its retrieval. This is my second book by Susanna Craig (my first being “Who’s that Earl” which is the previous book in the Love and Let Spy series) and beyond just LOVING the word play in the book titles, I really did enjoy this book. The whole spy plot line gives it another layer that sets this book apart from other historical romance novels. Overall, I would have loved to have seen more resolution with her mother since she really annoyed me for a large part of the book, but I loved that Amanda was able to finally get the adventure and excitement she deserved and wanted. Langley/the Magpie was a great love interest for Amanda and I loved their dynamic and the way they treated each other right from the beginning. A fun read with enough excitement that it kept me up til 2AM to finish lol * I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I really like the premise of this series! It's spies and adventure, but not too dark or angsty. I do enjoy a meddling matchmaker, and General Scott gets to order his men around while scheming to get them settled with just the right woman. In this second book, the hero is a knighted agent to the crown, Sir Langley Stanhope, known as Magpie. He is skilled in mimicry and disguise, and he's the first historical romance hero I've read who wears glasses. (I never knew what I was missing until now.) His I really like the premise of this series! It's spies and adventure, but not too dark or angsty. I do enjoy a meddling matchmaker, and General Scott gets to order his men around while scheming to get them settled with just the right woman. In this second book, the hero is a knighted agent to the crown, Sir Langley Stanhope, known as Magpie. He is skilled in mimicry and disguise, and he's the first historical romance hero I've read who wears glasses. (I never knew what I was missing until now.) His mission is to find a valuable French code book, which unexpectedly fell into the lap of the Countess of Kingston, a sheltered widow with an overbearing mother and two young sons. Magpie has to retrieve the book, make sure the Countess and her boys are kept safe from dangerous men who are after the same book, and somehow manage not to fall in love with Amanda, the Countess of Kingston.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kirke

    While the writing, and story was perfectly adequate, I did have some trouble getting into it. I also can't quite put my finger on it, might have had too much other stuff on my mind to really escape. I like Amanda's mind, unfortunately with a mother like hers, she turned out to be a bit of a pushover. I kept waiting for that moment where she truly stood up for herself, and I didn't feel like it was ever there. The one time where it was crucial, Langley came to the rescue, and I understood plot wis While the writing, and story was perfectly adequate, I did have some trouble getting into it. I also can't quite put my finger on it, might have had too much other stuff on my mind to really escape. I like Amanda's mind, unfortunately with a mother like hers, she turned out to be a bit of a pushover. I kept waiting for that moment where she truly stood up for herself, and I didn't feel like it was ever there. The one time where it was crucial, Langley came to the rescue, and I understood plot wise why, but I would have loved for Amanda to have shown what she was made off. Langley Stanhope was interesting, definitely a humble white knight in shining armour. I liked exploring the many facets of his life. I do love a romance that comes with a bit of mystery. *I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura J.

    Amanda, a countess, is a widow in her 30’s with two young boys. She married the man her parents picked out when she was 19, is constantly told to mind her step by her mother and is expected to marry her sons’ dull guardian. She needs an adventure when she becomes in possession of a code book and meets Langley. Langley is a spy, in his 40’s, knighted for his services and the perfect lover for Amanda. The boys are charming, the mother and would be fiancé are bullies and Langley’s boss is manipulat Amanda, a countess, is a widow in her 30’s with two young boys. She married the man her parents picked out when she was 19, is constantly told to mind her step by her mother and is expected to marry her sons’ dull guardian. She needs an adventure when she becomes in possession of a code book and meets Langley. Langley is a spy, in his 40’s, knighted for his services and the perfect lover for Amanda. The boys are charming, the mother and would be fiancé are bullies and Langley’s boss is manipulative in a good way. A lovely romance with interesting characters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    She was his assignment. He was her opportunity for adventure. One Thing Leads to a Lover is a lovely story of a gentle and proper widow that finds herself involved in a case of espionage and can't help but fall for the brave but insecure spy assigned to the case. Amanda was a 32yo widow of a man she admired but never loved. With her kids growing up and about to leave for school, she struggled to accept the imminent empty nest and the dullness of her life. Inadvertently getting involved in a case o She was his assignment. He was her opportunity for adventure. One Thing Leads to a Lover is a lovely story of a gentle and proper widow that finds herself involved in a case of espionage and can't help but fall for the brave but insecure spy assigned to the case. Amanda was a 32yo widow of a man she admired but never loved. With her kids growing up and about to leave for school, she struggled to accept the imminent empty nest and the dullness of her life. Inadvertently getting involved in a case of espionage, Amanda was approached by Major Langley Stanhope, the agent placed by the Crown to investigate the case and protect Amanda's family. I love Amanda so very much! She was strong and brave but did not hide from her fears and insecurities. It was special to see her undying respect for her mother despite their disagreements. In time, she understood her mother's motives and avoided making the same mistakes with her sons. Stanhope is my kind of hero! Who can resist a man who is good with kids? Not me. He was sweet, troubled, and loyal. He had me after a few pages. The relationship between them was sensual and romantic. They felt very right together. My favorite side characters were Amanda's sons, Jamie and Philip. They were so different, and yet, so lovely. I'm also hoping that Mrs. Drummond, a determined widow who worked for the spies, will have a book of her own in the series. The book has a great combination of romance, adventure, family, and friendship. My favorite so far in the series! Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *This review will be posted on https://lureviewsbooks.com on 04/07/2021*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy Hay

    Unexpected encounters reveal hidden talents /One Thing Leads to a Lover/, the second book in Susanna Craig's Love and Let Spy Series, offers the story of an accidental encounter between widow Amanda Bartlett and Major Langley Stanhope, spy. Given the opportunity to step beyond the constraints of her very respectable life, Amanda finds a real talent for intrigue. She also discovers an intense attraction to Magpie, Langley's alter ego. Even as Langley fights his own feelings for Amanda as he strugg Unexpected encounters reveal hidden talents /One Thing Leads to a Lover/, the second book in Susanna Craig's Love and Let Spy Series, offers the story of an accidental encounter between widow Amanda Bartlett and Major Langley Stanhope, spy. Given the opportunity to step beyond the constraints of her very respectable life, Amanda finds a real talent for intrigue. She also discovers an intense attraction to Magpie, Langley's alter ego. Even as Langley fights his own feelings for Amanda as he struggles to protect her and her sons while solving his case, Amanda rises to the challenge and fully realizes her intelligence and instincts.Both find their partnership creating romantic tensions AND exposing the bad guys. I love Craig's ability to give Amanda real pluck and a chance to find not only passion and love, but her own voice and talents. Her journey, complemented by Langley's own growth, make for a very satisfying HEA. Amanda's success in challenging society's, and her own, expectations of herself show the delight of surprising everyone with a transformation.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    Content warnings: (view spoiler)[grief, death of a spouse (before the book begins), children in danger (kidnapped), gun violence, side character is tortured and presumed dead (hide spoiler)] In true llama fashion, I picked up the first book in this series because of the interesting cover: the bold neon title juxtaposed with the women in regency dress. The book itself was just as fun as the cover suggested, so I was excited to pick up this one, and even more happy that it’s just as delightfully fu Content warnings: (view spoiler)[grief, death of a spouse (before the book begins), children in danger (kidnapped), gun violence, side character is tortured and presumed dead (hide spoiler)] In true llama fashion, I picked up the first book in this series because of the interesting cover: the bold neon title juxtaposed with the women in regency dress. The book itself was just as fun as the cover suggested, so I was excited to pick up this one, and even more happy that it’s just as delightfully funny and quick-paced. While this is the second in the series, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone. Langley is one of General Scott’s intelligence officers, known as the Magpie for his ability to take on different personas. Plucked from a childhood on the streets, he’s uneasy with his new title, especially since he views the mission that got him that ennoblement as a complete failure. He’s eager to get himself back in the good graces of his fellow officers, and how better than to retrieve a lost code book as quickly and efficiently as possible. But he didn’t count on the Countess of Kingston. Amanda’s life is dull. Widowed with two young sons, her life is hemmed by both her mother, anxious to keep her safe, and her children’s guardian, Lord Dulsworthy. When a mix-up leads to her getting a French cookbook instead of the math treatise she wanted for her son’s birthday, she initially thinks nothing of it – until Langley shows up and her life gets a little bit more exciting. With Amanda and her sons in danger and an unexpected but undeniable attraction, can they retrieve the code book before it falls into enemy hands? “And I still want to help, Major Stanhope. I want to do something.” His expression didn’t budget. “Please. You haven’t the first idea how dull my life is.” It was an incredibly foolish, childish thing to say, the sort of excuse Philip would give for rule-breaking, for scrambling up one of the tall trees in the square when his grandmother wasn’t looking.” You know that scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast where Belle sings “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere?” That’s Amanda. Though her mother raised her with the constant reminders that she has to stay within the bounds of propriety, she’s always wanted to push them, though her biggest deviation was paying a clergyman to teach her subjects her ladies’ finishing school wouldn’t. Her biggest worries are preventing the boys’ guardian from sending her quiet and bookish older child off to boarding school and gently dissuading the same man’s marital advances. When Langley contacts her and reveals the importance of the supposed cookbook, it’s exactly the adventure she’s been looking for, and much to Langley’s surprise, she insists on helping. When circumstances lead to him pretending to be the boys’ tutor in order to protect the family, it’s even harder to deny the attraction between them. Langley is suffering under a heavy burden of guilt, but even he can’t resist Amanda’s enthusiasm for adventure. The relationship between the two of them built slowly but wasn’t lacking in chemistry, and they made an excellent team. “So which is it to be today, my lady? The gentleman, or the rogue?” He’d made his peace with what she wanted from him—or told himself he had. But her answer stole his breath. “You.” Her throat rippled beneath his lips as she swallowed and said it again. “You.” The only link between the books in the series is General Scott, who’s determined to play matchmaker for his spies. It’s an absolutely silly premise but it still worked for me. I think the mystery plot of this book worked out much better than the previous book’s, though the villain was still pretty transparent. And while I missed the gothic novel interludes, Amanda’s boys were pretty good comic relief as well. The pacing worked perfectly for me and made it a lighthearted and humorous read, while still leaving plenty of time for establishing Amanda and Langley as people and as a couple. Overall, I liked this book even more than the first, and I can’t wait to see what happens with Lord and Lady Sterling in the next one! I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This series has been so fun thus far! The only real connection between the books is the matchmaking General, so you can definitely jump into this as a standalone. I can't wait for book 3! Amanda Bartlett, Countess of Kingston, is a young widow with 2 sons. Her husband, the Earl, died 3 years earlier, and her mother has been living with them since, to help out. Also, her late husband's good friend, George, Lord Dulsworthy, was named the boys' co-guardian in the will, so he has been around a lot as This series has been so fun thus far! The only real connection between the books is the matchmaking General, so you can definitely jump into this as a standalone. I can't wait for book 3! Amanda Bartlett, Countess of Kingston, is a young widow with 2 sons. Her husband, the Earl, died 3 years earlier, and her mother has been living with them since, to help out. Also, her late husband's good friend, George, Lord Dulsworthy, was named the boys' co-guardian in the will, so he has been around a lot as well. Though, Amanda thinks that George has designs of marriage with her, and she is NOT interested. Her mother always told her to "mind her step" in life, and she's tried her best to do so. But she is no young debutante any more, and she wants more from her life than the dull existence she's lived the last few years. When she picks up a book as a gift for her eldest son's birthday, she has no idea the trouble it will bring her way. Or the adventure. Major Langley Stanhope is a military spy, and a master of disguise, mostly due to his amazing skills as a mimic. They call him the Magpie. His new assignment is to obtain the code book that was passed off to a widow, in an act of desperation by another agent. But, when he goes to pick up the book, there are some issues retrieving it. This turns the assignment into more than he ever could have imagined, and meeting Amanda and her sons changes something in him forever. Langley and Amanda were drawn to each other from the first glance, when he showed up disguised as the book shop's errand boy. Amanda was smart, and curious, and she really wanted to know more about the case, once the truth was revealed about the importance of the book. Langley had been alone a long time, and he's still carrying a lot of guilt for the death of a friend and fellow spy a year earlier. He doesn't think he deserves to settle down, or have a woman as wonderful as Amanda in his life. Amanda had to take control of her life back, from her over-protective mother, and her sons' guardian, who thought a future marriage between them was inevitable. She had spent so many years being careful and "minding her step" that she never really got a chance to be young, and have fun. They really made a great team, and I enjoyed watching them fall in love. As for the major side characters, Amanda's sons, James and Philip (Jamie & Pip to family), are young tweens in the story, and I really liked both of them. Sometimes, kids can be annoying in books, but I found both of them to be sweet and engaging as characters. I especially loved watching them get to know Langley, and how he interacted with them. Amanda's mother grew on me, as time went on. I strongly disliked her at the start of the story, but as I got to know and understand her more, I began to like her better. Langley's co-workers were also fascinating, and I loved seeing so much spycraft in this story! It was really fun getting to see all the underground offices, and some of the ways they were working under the nose of the whole city. And of course, the General was fun in his small part of the story. This book was very enjoyable, and Langley and Amanda were wonderful characters. They both really deserved their HEA, and I adored watching them figure it out together. I'm very much looking forward to book #3, as they set it up in the epilogue here, and I'm so intrigued! I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my personal opinion, voluntarily given. Reviewed by Megan from Romanced by the Book

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Finding adventure and love lead Amanda to decide of her own path and future and fight for her family and happiness without doubt or fear, with the help of a sexy dashing military spy... "Til tomorrow night, Lady Kingston. Don’t look for me. I’ll find you.” Excitement surged through her, like flames roaring up a chimney. “Really?” One thing leads to a lover is the second instalment of a regency spy romance serie by Susanna Craig and oh, it was exciting, compelling and sexy! After picking up a fren Finding adventure and love lead Amanda to decide of her own path and future and fight for her family and happiness without doubt or fear, with the help of a sexy dashing military spy... "Til tomorrow night, Lady Kingston. Don’t look for me. I’ll find you.” Excitement surged through her, like flames roaring up a chimney. “Really?” One thing leads to a lover is the second instalment of a regency spy romance serie by Susanna Craig and oh, it was exciting, compelling and sexy! After picking up a french cookbook and not the mathematic treaty she wanted, Amanda becomes entangled into a plot against one of the agent of the crown. The agent Magpie is tasked to retrieve the cookbook in order to save his friend and repair a mistake of the past... Hence begins the drama plot. As you can easily guess, retrieving the cookbook will not be easy as it changes hands and will involve late night plotting in a library with kisses against a desk, late night kissing in a Lord house while a ball is going on to avoid being caught, late rainy night meeting in gardens to secretly discuss plans of action in fine white chemises (the choice of clothes in this situation, amazing thinking from both our heroes) and afternoon sexy times in the countryside to allow children to be kidnapped and create additional drama... Our two heroes really did everything they could (not) to successfully retrieve this code book and that was such a delight! Susanna Craig wrote a strong chemistry between the two heroes and quality passionate scenes, where you are seduced by Magpie's accent foreplay as much as the delicate undressing of all the layers Amanda wears (a correct description of regency lingerie is so sexy). Amanda is a widow and a mother of two. Her first marriage lacked passion and since the death of her husband, she lives in a very secluded and dull world that she is resenting more and more (the threat of another mariage is also an unwelcomed prospect). At first, Amanda appears to be neither very brave, confident or assertive. However, as the story enfolds and she slowly opens up to the world outside her quiet domestic life and to the excitement and thrill of Magpie's character, her bright spirit strengthens itself and she shows a fierceness unsuspected. Feeling quite exhausted of lockdown and curfew measures, i deeply connected with Amanda thoughts and feelings of wanting more, of being restricted... And i found myself craving for that surprising turn of event of a stranger to subvert everything and taking me on a thrilling adventure. What a seducing stranger Magpie was, with his little glasses, his accent and his old age of thirty eight years. His character was quite well written as i can't quite put him in a classic romance hero category... except maybe tortured hero who wants to be forgiven for his wrong doings? Being a military spy, doing sexy accents and having a tortured soul is a great combination for any romance hero but here is the real thirst trap are the well thought, amazing executed rescue plans of his : “Kiss. Me.” He almost growled the command the second time, no opportunity to explain his plan as the door swung inward. For once, she didn’t babble or ask questions. She did as she was told. Besides two enjoyable romances heroes and the comedy aspect to the romance they bring, Susanna Craig also adds depth to her story, with more delicate and thoughtful scenes when writing about Amanda and her wants and thoughts of life (i adored all of Amanda's scenes in her garden) or about her characters thinking they don't deserve forgiveness or love... It was a delightful sparkly romance! It will be out on April 6th and i strongly encourage you to add it your to be read list! ARC kindly provided by netgalley.

  16. 5 out of 5

    nikki_is_booked

    Synopsis: Although her mom frequently reminds her to “mind her step,” Amanda, The Dowager Countess Kingston, wants nothing more than a little excitement in her world. After the death of her husband, Amanda is living comfortably, if boringly, with her 2 beloved sons and her mom in her London home. She never suspects that accidentally picking up the wrong package after she bumps into a man on the street could lead to adventure, but it does. Before Amanda knows it Major Langley Stanhope is everywher Synopsis: Although her mom frequently reminds her to “mind her step,” Amanda, The Dowager Countess Kingston, wants nothing more than a little excitement in her world. After the death of her husband, Amanda is living comfortably, if boringly, with her 2 beloved sons and her mom in her London home. She never suspects that accidentally picking up the wrong package after she bumps into a man on the street could lead to adventure, but it does. Before Amanda knows it Major Langley Stanhope is everywhere she turns... trying to recover the package Amanda accidentally took and trying to avoid falling in love with her. What I liked: -First of all, I read and absolutely loved Who’s That Earl (which is why I requested an ARC of this book), but I love that this could definitely be read as a stand alone. There’s brief nods made to the characters in the previous book, but nothing that would hinder your understanding of this story if you skipped Who’s That Earl. With that said, do read Who’s That Earl, because it is fantastic. -I loved Langley. His ability to blend into any situation by becoming someone completely different was fascinating. I also really enjoyed the slow reveal of his backstory. He was such a wonderfully fleshed out character, I wish he were real (I found his accent imitations ridiculously attractive even though he is fictional and I can’t hear them 🤣). -I really enjoyed how clearly we can see Amanda’s intelligence and her value for learning through her boys’ education and how much they respect her. -The chemistry between Amanda and Langley is incredible... there was a slow build in their attraction that had me anxious to see them finally together. -The climax of this story and the end was perfect. I loved the way everything blows up at in the last quarter of the novel and how it gets resolved - every conflict is tied up neatly. What I didn’t like: -The pacing and balance of the storylines felt off to me. There’s a lot of focus on Amanda’s boys and home life in the beginning. It is important to the story that Amanda loves her boys, but it wasn’t super exciting to read about. Once the underground spy ring discovers the book is missing the investigation seems almost like it comes to a halt while Langley and Amanda get to know each other. Watching them get to know each other was wonderful, but it felt like the main storyline was forgotten for a good chunk of the book. Final Thoughts: I LOVED Who’s That Earl and I couldn’t wait to dive into One Thing Leads to a Lover. This book, like it’s predecessor, is well thought out and showcases a strong independent lady operating in a time where she always has to “mind her step.” While the pacing was a little slower than the first book, the characters were wonderful and the romance was beautifully done. Although you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy this one, if you liked the first, you will like this one as well. While I liked this one, the epilogue that builds up book 3 sounds like an even better continuation of this series - can’t wait to get my hands on it! Thanks netgalley & Kensington books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Emro

    4.5 stars, rounded up. Amanda Bartlett, the Countess of Kingston has been widowed for nearly three years and her life has become somewhat boring and predictable. She lives with her two young sons and her mother, who came to “help” after her husband’s death and hasn’t left since. Her mother has taken over the role of chatelaine and Amanda doesn’t want to upset her by resuming her duties. The same goes for her boys, her husband named her and his friend George, Lord Dulsworthy as guardians, but with 4.5 stars, rounded up. Amanda Bartlett, the Countess of Kingston has been widowed for nearly three years and her life has become somewhat boring and predictable. She lives with her two young sons and her mother, who came to “help” after her husband’s death and hasn’t left since. Her mother has taken over the role of chatelaine and Amanda doesn’t want to upset her by resuming her duties. The same goes for her boys, her husband named her and his friend George, Lord Dulsworthy as guardians, but with the exception of refusing to let him send her elder son Jamie off to Harrow, she has let him dictate things too. Her mother is a stickler for propriety and has even gone as far as to decide what invitations Amanda accepts – which is practically none, it is clear that her mother and George expect Amanda to marry George and let things continue as they have for the past few years. But all that changes when Amanda accidentally and unknowingly gets caught up in espionage! Sir Langley Stanhope is a spy known as the Magpie, thanks to his ability to mimic anyone, so he is the perfect choice to be sent to retrieve a codebook that was passed to Lady Kingston by an agent on the street. The agent was captured but was able to send word of what he did with the codebook. Langley goes to Amanda’s house disguised as a shop clerk – but is brushed off by George. Later George takes the book and tells Amanda it will be returned. When it isn’t, Langley takes a chance and goes back to Amanda’s house – planning to break-in, but instead finds Amanda, who tells him George took the book, she offers to help him get it back – help that he reluctantly agrees to accept. Langley feels like he has something to prove to his boss, not long ago he let himself become distracted while on a mission and another agent died – he carries that guilt and doesn’t feel worthy of the honors bestowed on him and he has sworn to never let himself be distracted again – but his feelings for Amanda make that almost impossible and after sharing a kiss with her, he knows he needs to get as far away as he can – but his boss has other ideas and commands Langley to personally see to Amanda’s protection. Langley tries to keep his distance – but Amanda has never felt so alive and isn’t about to let Langley shut her out! This was such a delightful read, it is well-written and paced nicely, with a great blend of intrigue and sexual tension. Langley and Amanda are both likable, have great on-page chemistry and they each have their own issues to overcome before they find a HEA together. The book has mystery, secrets, betrayal, intrigue, spies, warm love scenes, abductions, and finally a hard-won HEA as well as a sweet epilogue that nicely sets up the next installment of the series. This is the second book in the series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone title with no problems. *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Louise

    For Crown and Country, that is the maxim that Major Langley Stanhope has lived his life by. A spy in His Majesty's Service he's on the hunt for an elusive codebook. He's almost got his hands on it when disaster strikes. His operative has been discovered, followed. And worse, must ditch the book, swapping it out with another's, before the precious codebook could fall into enemy hands. Now it is up to Stanhope to retrieve it... a task that is more difficult than it first appears. All Lady Amanda Ba For Crown and Country, that is the maxim that Major Langley Stanhope has lived his life by. A spy in His Majesty's Service he's on the hunt for an elusive codebook. He's almost got his hands on it when disaster strikes. His operative has been discovered, followed. And worse, must ditch the book, swapping it out with another's, before the precious codebook could fall into enemy hands. Now it is up to Stanhope to retrieve it... a task that is more difficult than it first appears. All Lady Amanda Bartlett, the dowager Countess of Kingston, wanted to do that early morning was purchase a book on geometry for her eldest son for his twelfth birthday. She never expected to be plowed into by a man in a non-descript greatcoat nor did she expect to discover that the bookshop had wrapped the wrong book, a french cookbook whose proportions are all wrong, by mistake. Ah well, she'll sort it out tomorrow. But nothing is ever easy as it seems. When she and Langley meet, sparks fly. The kind of sparks that she's never experienced before. But with those sparks comes danger, and possibly, quite possibly, love. --- I'd had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series and enjoying it greatly. So when the opportunity arose for me to read the second, I jumped on it. I am so glad I did. This book is wonderful... quite possibly better than the first, if possible. First the spy portion of the series truly comes into its own in this series. The whole book is one lovely hunt for not only the codebook but also the people who so desperately want to recover it. There's some great foreshadowing and twists and turns leading up to a wonderfully satisfying conclusion. I quite loved it. Additionally I absolutely loved the characters and their character arcs. Which were tied inexorably to the main plot, but also added depth and enjoyment to the book. Amanda, our heroine, starts off very much a wallflower. She is not a merry widow and is being suffocated under the indomitable wills of both her mother and her sons' guardian, who she suspects wants to marry her, She longs for something more, an adventure. And she finds what she wanted with Langley. As for our hero, he's a wonderful chameleon but with a core of not really knowing where he belongs. He lives outside of society never really fitting in anywhere even as he has identities everywhere. He's intelligent, roguish, caring, closed off, and so much more. I loved that he wasn't overly muscled or unwilling to get his hands dirty. He wears spectacles and has a classical education, but he's also equally at home on the streets of London. The side characters were also well done, particularly Amanda's sons. I loved Jamie and Pip and part of me wants their story when they are old enough to find love. In all this was a lovely book to spend a weekend reading, and I give this: Five Stars I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elodie

    One Thing Leads to a Lover Love and Let Spy Series #2 Susanna Craig https://www.facebook.com/susannacraig... Release Date 04/06/2021 Publisher Kensington Books / Lyrical Press 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romancefromSusanna Craig.   Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, One Thing Leads to a Lover Love and Let Spy Series #2 Susanna Craig https://www.facebook.com/susannacraig... Release Date 04/06/2021 Publisher Kensington Books / Lyrical Press 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 Opposites attract more than trouble in the latest captivating Regency romancefromSusanna Craig.   Amanda Bartlett, widowed Countess of Kingston, is a woman beyond reproach. Married at nineteen, she dutifully provided the Earl with an heir and a spare before his death three years ago. Since then, Amanda has lived a simple, quiet life. A life that, if she were honest, has become more than a trifle dull. So when an adventure literally drops into her lap, in the shape of a mysterious book, she intends to make the most of it—especially if it brings her closer to a charismatic stranger. . . .   Major Langley Stanhope, an intelligence officer and master mimic known as the Magpie, needs to retrieve the code book that has fallen into Amanda’s hands. The mistaken delivery has put them both in grave danger and in a desperate race to unearth a traitor. It’s also stirred an intense, reckless attraction. Langley believes the life he leads is not suitable for a delicate widow, but it seems he may have underestimated the lady’s daring . . . and the depths of their mutual desire. . . .   𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 Will she finally find her inner strength in time... Oh my! I do not mind a demure heroine if she finds her voice along the story, and one thing is sure, what a doormat Amanda is. She gave people leave to walk on her without a fight and now despite her inner thoughts, she let them box her and decide for her again and again. For the first third of the story I was upset at her for accepting dullness as her life’s goal. So sad. By minding her steps, she buried herself in a life of no expectation, no adventure, no passion, only safety and predictability. Until a mix up with a parcel changes everything and disrupt her tern and boring existence. Yet she is not one to take charge, like everything else she leaves others solve her problems. But slowly, she get to finally see that safeness is more than boring, and for once get things for herself. I loved Langley, with a little help from fate his life was upturned and it took advantage of it to become the better version of himself. With such a bad beginning in life, he had quite a journey to be get to where he is today. He used his mastering of disguise to help his country when he could have followed a different path more easily rewarding but less legal and right. At time I felt a bit lost in the subplot, not really understanding how could the villains pinpoint to Amanda when it was for what I thought a game of hazard. Their romance is sweet but lack a bit of sparks. 3.75 rounded up. 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scene. I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Who’s That Earl, but don’t worry if you missed it; the main characters from that barely get a mention here, so it stands perfectly well alone. Although they’re part of the same series, this one feels different tonally; I’m not sure if it’s the setting - the first book was set in a remote location, this one in the heart of busy Regency London. It’s definitely nice to see a heroine who’s a little bit older and more worldly for once. Amanda, Lady K I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Who’s That Earl, but don’t worry if you missed it; the main characters from that barely get a mention here, so it stands perfectly well alone. Although they’re part of the same series, this one feels different tonally; I’m not sure if it’s the setting - the first book was set in a remote location, this one in the heart of busy Regency London. It’s definitely nice to see a heroine who’s a little bit older and more worldly for once. Amanda, Lady Kingston, is in her thirties, the widowed mother of two sons aged ten and eleven. Widowed three years now, she’s beginning to chafe under the rules imposed on her by polite society, and especially by her extremely stifling and rule-bound mother, who’s determined Amanda musn’t put a foot wrong, and oh, just incidentally, should immediately remarry suitably, and by suitably she means the older man who is her sons’ co-guardian, Lord Dull. I can’t even remember Dull’s full name, because he was that dull, but it conveniently abbreviated to Dull, which was very helpful! It’s entirely chance that sees Amanda caught up in the world of spies and intrigue; a spy, faced with being caught with a stolen codebook, switches parcels with Amanda in a moment of desperation. Major Langley Stanhope, also known as the Magpie for both his skill with thievery and extraordinary skills of mimicry, is tasked with getting the codebook back. An interfering mother and Officious Lord Dull make things far more complicated than they need to be, though, and Stanhope is thrown repeatedly into the company of Amanda… who quickly figures out he’s not what he’s pretending to be, leaving him no choice but to take her into his confidence. I really felt for Amanda. She was so obviously feeling utterly stifled in her proscribed little world, not even permitted to make choices for her sons like when or where they should go to school. Stanhope must have felt like suddenly starting to see the world in colour. I’m definitely intrigued if they will appear later in the series, since General Scott set them to infiltrate the Ton. Susanna Craig writes such great stories, and every bit about them feels authentic to the period. There’s never anything which feels jarring or anachronistic. This is no exception, taking us deep into the underground network of spies during the Napoleonic wars at the same time we see the painful reality for a woman who is, in theory, in an excellent position - a wealthy widow - who is still legally trapped by her position and circumstances into almost being forced to marry a man she doesn’t want just to keep her children safe. Though there is a serious threat to the lives of Amanda’s children late in the book, it’s dealt with fairly briefly and the story is otherwise not all that suspenseful; it’s a fun, escapist and thoroughly immersing read. Five stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Niki (mustreadalltheromance)

    Amanda Bartlett has always done what was expected of her, which has resulted in a rather dull life. Now the eminently respectable widowed Countess of Kingston and mother of two young boys, she craves a bit of adventure. When just such a thing quite literally bumps into her on a London street in the form of a small book, she takes advantage of the situation and the closeness it brings her with a fascinating man. Major Sir Langley Stanhope, expert mimic better known to his fellow intelligence opera Amanda Bartlett has always done what was expected of her, which has resulted in a rather dull life. Now the eminently respectable widowed Countess of Kingston and mother of two young boys, she craves a bit of adventure. When just such a thing quite literally bumps into her on a London street in the form of a small book, she takes advantage of the situation and the closeness it brings her with a fascinating man. Major Sir Langley Stanhope, expert mimic better known to his fellow intelligence operatives as Magpie, has lost the confidence of his colleagues and his faith in his own abilities since a mission went horribly awry. Now he’s charged with the seemingly simple task of retrieving a codebook from the hands of a Mayfair matron. But things aren’t so simple and when the enemy learns the book is in Amanda’s possession, she and her family find themselves in danger from which Langley must protect them. He also must contend with his dangerous attraction to her. His life isn’t conducive to taking a wife, but he may be underestimating Amanda’s determination and her mutual feelings for him. I love the premise of this series and was very excited for the setup of this book, but it sadly left me underwhelmed. I loved the insecure beta hero, but he was let down by a weak, rather air-headed heroine. Amanda lamented the dreariness of her life but refused to stand up for herself to anyone, even her own mother or the servants in her employ. She was described as being clever, but I never saw any evidence of that, especially when her behavior and poor decision-making, in the name of interest and adventure, endangered several lives, not to mention her own and those of her sons. There was an excellent opportunity for her to redeem herself by more or less saving the day but instead the heroics were executed by Langley, mostly off page, and just wound up being incredibly anticlimactic. I also wanted more emotion and vulnerability from Amanda, especially since poor Langley had his feelings and pain dragged out and discussed openly in front of Amanda by third parties, with little input or by your leave from him. That was one of the more cringy scenes I’ve read and put me off the heroine and some of the side characters, as well as, for me, representing a lost opportunity for some endearing insight for the hero. As it was, the concept of this book was excellent but to me consisted of too much missed opportunity and fell short. Nonetheless, I love the premise of this series and there was nothing wrong with the writing itself, so I’ll likely try the next book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lee Hall

    First off, I have only read a few novels by Ms. Craig, but every one of them has been well-written and researched, and that has always made me happy. One Thing Leads to a Lover--the second in her Love and Let Spy series--is a perfect example of her excellent storytelling. The story revolves around Amanda, a young widow who lives a dull life, even though she absolutely adores her children. After mistakenly grabbing the wrong book in town, she is visited by by a spy to retrieve it. The spy--and ou First off, I have only read a few novels by Ms. Craig, but every one of them has been well-written and researched, and that has always made me happy. One Thing Leads to a Lover--the second in her Love and Let Spy series--is a perfect example of her excellent storytelling. The story revolves around Amanda, a young widow who lives a dull life, even though she absolutely adores her children. After mistakenly grabbing the wrong book in town, she is visited by by a spy to retrieve it. The spy--and our hero--Langley, is desperate to retrieve a code book disguised as a cookbook that was accidentally taken by Amanda. He has to use a number of disguises to insert himself in her life, and once Amanda realizes what's going on, tries to help him get the book back (which has already been stolen by someone else.) Romantic moments, funny situations, and dangerous situations all add up to make a beautifully crafted love story. I loved Amanda. As a mother myself, I know what it's like to wish for a little adventure in your life. Something to make you feel alive. What could easily have been bratty--bored housewife seeks fun--feels real and emotional. She wants to help Langley with an earnesty that is both brave and selfless. What starts as a small assignment to help Langley becomes a way for Amanda to be more than just a mother. That, I think, is an important element in this story. That there is more to women than motherhood. Amanda is jubilant, loving, smart, and capable. She is everything you want in a heroine. I personally LOVE widow stories. Widows are usually more knowledgeable, sexual, and independent. Craig does an excellent job with Amanda's character. Langley, to me, is one of those heroes that sneaks up on you. He's plain at first; there's nothing particularly remarkable about him. He has no distinguishing traits. That doesn't last long--in all the right ways. What starts out as a simple assignment ends up turning his world upside down. He's grumpy and adorable and extremely sexy. One of my favorite things about Langley is that he's 37 years old. I love older men in romances. They have a little life under their belt, and Langley isn't a slave to his sexual desires. However, when Langley wants it, he WANTS it. The bedroom scenes are super hot, but in a mature way. Neither is inexperienced, and it shows. They're in love and it shows. The mystery plot is simple, but well-done. All of these things combined made for an excellent historical romance. A lot of them are sort of forgettable, but Once Thing Leads to a Lover stands out--to me--because of the relationship between Amanda and Langley. Two grown people who find out that their lives aren't over; that they are given second chances at happiness. By the end of the book, I had all the feels, and Langley is definitely one of my new book boyfriends. Well done, Ms. Craig! * Advanced Copy of this book was given by NetGalley for an honest review.*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1tU Though Amanda Bartlett has been widowed for three years, she has not yet found the motivation to take control of her life and decide her future. Her ten year marriage to the Earl of Kingston, a much older man, was not a love match, but she did develop a fondness for him. Upon his death, Amanda’s mother arrived to “help,” and hasn’t let up since, keeping control of Amanda’s social engagements, much of the running of the household, and even go As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1tU Though Amanda Bartlett has been widowed for three years, she has not yet found the motivation to take control of her life and decide her future. Her ten year marriage to the Earl of Kingston, a much older man, was not a love match, but she did develop a fondness for him. Upon his death, Amanda’s mother arrived to “help,” and hasn’t let up since, keeping control of Amanda’s social engagements, much of the running of the household, and even going so far as to intercept Amanda’s personal correspondence. Amanda wonders if she’ll just let herself be pushed into marriage with Lord Dulsworthy, the guardian of her two sons. The status quo is interrupted when a stranger arrives at her home, bringing intrigue, danger, and romance. Major Langley Stanhope, recently knighted, is an agent for the crown. His latest assignment is to retrieve a valuable code book, one which was switched with a purchase Amanda made, a seemingly simple task. The job becomes complicated when the book is passed from person to person, thanks to Amanda’s interfering mother, and soon the whole family is put in danger. Amanda is astute enough to figure out that there is more to this book, and more to Sir Langley. He goes undercover, posing as tutor to Amanda’s sons, as he seeks the book’s location while keeping everyone safe. Langley’s insertion into the household acts as somewhat of a catalyst to shake up Amanda’s doldroms. She develops an attraction to Langley, also known as “Magpie,” and begins to become more resolved to resist Dulworthy’s attempts to marry her, as well as taking a firmer stand on the raising of her boys. Langley is equally smitten with the widowed countess, and they begin an affair which he feels has no future. After all, she is way above him socially, and he’s carrying a heavy burden of guilt over a tragic incident which was his own fault. I loved both characters of Langley and Amanda, though they definitely have their flaws. Their romance is fun and steamy, and brings a fulfillment to Amanda that her marriage lacked. I really, really, really disliked Amanda’s mother. Though her actions were portrayed as being protective and done out of love, I wanted to throw her out of a window. Langley needed to forgive himself, and some of Amanda’s simple common sense went a long way to helping him let go of a mistake he made, and to move on. They have great chemistry together as a couple, and I greatly enjoyed his relationship with Amanda’s children. ONE THING LEADS TO A LOVER is an engaging romance, with enough intrigue to be interesting, but not overwhelming, and makes for a warm and satisfying read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Lynn

    I enjoy a good historical mystery romance novel. I mean what’s there not to love. One Thing Leads to a Lover had the perfect set up for that kind of novel. With it being the second novel in Susanna Craig’s Love & Let Spy Series it doesn’t require you to have read the previous novel. I did. Let me say that they are not the same at all. Who’s That Earl definitely hung out more in the romance section than the mystery section and One Thing Leads to a Lover was more in the mystery. Characters: I enjoye I enjoy a good historical mystery romance novel. I mean what’s there not to love. One Thing Leads to a Lover had the perfect set up for that kind of novel. With it being the second novel in Susanna Craig’s Love & Let Spy Series it doesn’t require you to have read the previous novel. I did. Let me say that they are not the same at all. Who’s That Earl definitely hung out more in the romance section than the mystery section and One Thing Leads to a Lover was more in the mystery. Characters: I enjoyed that the main character, Lady Amanda Kingston, was a window with two children. It’s not often that you get a historical romance with a character like that. Especially one that rings more true to the society of then. She knew her limitations in the world being a woman, and while she began her character arc it was never outlandish. I wish that there had been a bit more depth to Amanda, but even without it the addition of her children in the novel gave her enough levels of interest for me. The budding romance between Amanda and Langley was cute. I enjoyed their interactions and felt like it was nicely played out with the rest of the story! Major Langley Stanhope’s long time spy with a past was interesting too. I really wish that there had been more to him. I felt like I never really knew what was going on with him. His past was a little shaky and I wanted more on that for sure. I didn’t know where to put him in the realm of everything. I liked that he had the beginnings of a tragic past but it wasn’t pushed any further besides a scene or two. Plus I didn’t see what his overall purpose was in regards to the mystery. Like I know what it was, but his job was more vague. Plot: I had a couple of problems with the plot as well. One being that the whole spy network and job situation felt completely unreal. That’s not how intelligence is or was collected. If it were there’s no doubt as to how much information would be given up if people just waltzed into spy networks (even if you’re the love interest!!) and definitely not being involved with the creation of plans. I didn’t understand the whole Hopkin’s situation either. It was very muddled and unclear how information was being spread. A little more ante on the mystery would have been great! Long Story Short Do I recommend this book? Yes. It’s not incredibly deep and doesn’t delve into the characters as much as I would want, but it is a rather fun read. I'd honestly give it a 3.5/5 rating if half stars were available. It reminds me a bit of A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everette. Very similar plots, but with key differences. So if you liked that one, this one is right up your alley! I wish I could have liked this one more, but it was good enough. I am very curious as to how the rest of the series is going to go and look forward to those releases as well! Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions are that of my own and are no way affected by receiving this novel from the publisher.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE COUPLED WITH ROMANCE With the first book in this series I expressed my disappointment that the 'spyness' of the book was practically non-existing. It seems that Craig had it all bottled up for this book, because she certainly brought it here! However, there was one thing that... confused me. And I am not certain whether it is a 'plot hole' or just me, who missed some vital information. No matter what, it bothered me and lessened the reading experience for me... 👍 What I Liked MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE COUPLED WITH ROMANCE With the first book in this series I expressed my disappointment that the 'spyness' of the book was practically non-existing. It seems that Craig had it all bottled up for this book, because she certainly brought it here! However, there was one thing that... confused me. And I am not certain whether it is a 'plot hole' or just me, who missed some vital information. No matter what, it bothered me and lessened the reading experience for me... 👍 What I Liked 👍 Mystery: The first book in this series was so light on the mystery and intrigue that these two books hardly feel like they belong together. Because here the mystery was cranked up to the max! I enjoyed the intrigue, the subterfuge, the lies and the hidden agendas. It was nice to see a plot that went beyond romance. Langley: Langley was a really great hero, I actually liked how insecure he was. It was different than other HR heroes. I really found it relatable how he tried to blend in to the scenery, tried hard not to stand out and be recognized. And how he struggled with figuring out, who he really was underneath all the disguises. And I liked that he wore glasses 😅 👎 What I Disliked 👎 Hopkins: (view spoiler)[The character Hopkins and his part in this story made no sense to me. How did he get warnings out to the others? How did he know, that it was Amanda, whom he had switched books with? How could he reveal her name to the ones who kept him locked up? How could they find out, that he had revealed Amandas name to his captors? I am so confused about this, and it felt like some major plot holes. But maybe I just missed something? If anyone has the answers, please let me know. (hide spoiler)] ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Follow me for more book loving content! Blog ✨ Facebook ✨ Instagram ✨ Twitter Blog Post: 15 Books to Read if You Love Jane Austen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    One Thing Leads to a Lover by Susanna Craig Love and Let Spy #2 Wonderful way to escape! Thoroughly enjoyed this book that might not be very realistic but was definitely a fun and engaging read! What I liked: * Amanda: good mother, good wife-widowed, good daughter, complies with societal rules, non-assertive, bored, wants “more” – ripe for…what is coming her way. * Magpie: major, spy, knight, mimic, good with disguises, more than he appears to be, interesting past, carrying heavy guilt, a good man One Thing Leads to a Lover by Susanna Craig Love and Let Spy #2 Wonderful way to escape! Thoroughly enjoyed this book that might not be very realistic but was definitely a fun and engaging read! What I liked: * Amanda: good mother, good wife-widowed, good daughter, complies with societal rules, non-assertive, bored, wants “more” – ripe for…what is coming her way. * Magpie: major, spy, knight, mimic, good with disguises, more than he appears to be, interesting past, carrying heavy guilt, a good man – deserving of so much more. * Major Zebadiah Scott: spymaster, matchmaker, interesting, good man, looks out for his operatives, likable. * Jamie and Philip: Amanda’s sons, loving, intelligent, opposites, added something special to the story * Mrs. West: Amanda’s mother, caring, overprotective, controlling, loving, put society before her daughter’s wellbeing (in my opinion) * The plot, writing, and series * The romance as it grew between the main characters…so much fun! Both Amanda and Langley were matched well, both said what they thought and acted assertively to achieve their goals in life and in their relationship. * That neither of the main characters were easily cowed by the other * The growth in both characters * It made me smile and care and hope there would be a happy ending for everyone * Hearing about the other spies and people working with The Magpie…wondering about them, would Hopkins be okay, Fanny, Collins, Jeremy, and others – hope to hear about them in the future. * The intriguing snippet that is a lead into the next book * That this book stands alone and is not a cliffhanger * The smile it left on my face when I finished the book. * All of it except… What I didn’t like: * Those I was meant not to like…they were easy to dislike and wish the worst upon Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more in this series? Definitely Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington-Lyrical for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in the series, finding it a bit all over the place, I did have hopes for the series. However, while One Thing Leads to a Lover is merely adequate, a step up by comparison, but a reminder that I did promise myself I would stop continuing with series that didn’t engross me. I did like the characters for what they were, especially Langley. I could empathize with his insec I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in the series, finding it a bit all over the place, I did have hopes for the series. However, while One Thing Leads to a Lover is merely adequate, a step up by comparison, but a reminder that I did promise myself I would stop continuing with series that didn’t engross me. I did like the characters for what they were, especially Langley. I could empathize with his insecurities and anxiety, trying to blend in instead of standing out. He’s a rare breed, when the genre favors more bold and broody types, and while not overly invested, I found him likable. Amanda is also a fairly compelling lead, and one I rooted for. I chafed as she dealt with her domineering mother’s exacting nature, leading to her shrinking into herself. She did take a while to really stand up for herself, but in the circumstances, I get it. And the relationship between the two, while it didn’t rock my socks off, was rather sweet. But the mystery element was once again forgettable. It had a lot of potential, what with him searching for a code book and her assisting, but I just never felt the stakes. Perhaps I’ve read too many thrillers recently, so I’m expecting something more high-octane than this, but even the cozy mysteries I read semi-recently had more action and a clear vision of the mystery trajectory than this? Then again, romantic suspense-y stuff has always frustrated me, because I like intense stuff, and my complaints are similar to those of the first book, so I’m not surprised. I liked some aspects of this, but was sadly underwhelmed, and likely won’t continue with the third (especially as the epilogue, teasing what comes next, didn’t excite me). However, those who do like spy romance and historical romance with subtle mystery elements will likely enjoy this more than I did.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Panach

    I adored the cover for this book - it drew me to the story and a new-to-me author. Amanda had a very typical upper-class, British regency wedding. She married a man twice her age, had two children with him (an heir and a spare) and then he died. After that, her mother moved in and the man she shares guardianship with kind of take over her life. She's a devoted mother and all around good person - but she has never done anything but play it safe and live the life others want her to. On her way hom I adored the cover for this book - it drew me to the story and a new-to-me author. Amanda had a very typical upper-class, British regency wedding. She married a man twice her age, had two children with him (an heir and a spare) and then he died. After that, her mother moved in and the man she shares guardianship with kind of take over her life. She's a devoted mother and all around good person - but she has never done anything but play it safe and live the life others want her to. On her way home from buying a book for her son's birthday, an encounter with a stranger leaves her with a mysterious book. That book turns out to be a french code book, the British government has been desperately trying to get ahold of. Langley Stanhope, Army Major, Spy, Mimic, and recently knight of the realm, is sent to retrieve the book and he and Amanda are quickly drawn into each other. Amanda seems to see through Langley's disguises and Langley seems to bring out Amanda's independence. I loved watching them together and enjoyed seeing how they both grew together. I also loved seeing the shades of grey of the book. The guardian is something of a villain - but not quite as bad as you might think. He's mostly just selfish. Amanda also isn't infallible in her child rearing either. I loved that all the the characters were very human and not at all caricatures. Even Amanda's mother, who had that potential, has a lot of depth. There were areas where I would have liked some more character development - I would have liked Amanda to stand up to her mom and the guardian. Or at least to her staff - but she was definitely headed in that direction. But overall, I definitely recommend and I am very interested to see where this series goes! I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, but these opinions are all my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pj Ausdenmore

    Susanna Craig's main characters are among some of my favorites in historical romance. I love that they're multi-layered, frequently flawed, and typically not ton-obsessed members of society. They intrigue me, pulling me into their hearts and minds with ease, and immersing me in their stories. In her current series, which is inspired by (some of my favorite) 1980's television shows, the blend of mystery and romance, with her always impeccable historical research, has been especially enjoyable. On Susanna Craig's main characters are among some of my favorites in historical romance. I love that they're multi-layered, frequently flawed, and typically not ton-obsessed members of society. They intrigue me, pulling me into their hearts and minds with ease, and immersing me in their stories. In her current series, which is inspired by (some of my favorite) 1980's television shows, the blend of mystery and romance, with her always impeccable historical research, has been especially enjoyable. Once again, in book two, One Thing Leads to a Lover, there's adventure, danger, sensual chemistry, heartwarming romance, and bad guys intent on causing harm to some of our favorite characters. It's a twisty journey with a few surprises along the way that kept me flipping pages from start to finish. Langley and Amanda are both characters who spoke to me, engaging both my interest and my affection. I enjoyed the spark between them, the banter, and the fact that they were each intellectually challenged by the other. Respect and desire is a potent combination, and these two have an abundance of both. It was fun to watch Amanda gain confidence throughout her journey, finally taking control of her life and standing her ground, with both her family and Langley. And speaking of our hero, I adored his many disguises, his fascination with Amanda, his integrity, and his relationship with Pip and Jamie, Amanda's sons. In fact, his relationship with the boys was one of my favorite parts of the book. Langley also has emotional baggage to deal with before he can have a happy ending with Amanda and Craig does a good job of guiding him through that process. I was delighted with the outcome and especially, the peek into the future found in the epilogue which already has me eagerly anticipating book three. 4.5 Stars ARC received via NetGalley for fair and unbiased review

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brit Andrews

    Amanda, Lady Kingston, is a young widow and mother of two who is tired of everyone else assuming control of her life. Once grateful for help she’s now smothered in it. Her overbearing mother has taken to controlling her whole life when she would like to actually enjoy her life. And as fate would have it a simple trip to a bookstore changes things... The book she purchased as a gift for one of her sons is not what she finds upon returning home. Later a strange man appearing at her door to exchang Amanda, Lady Kingston, is a young widow and mother of two who is tired of everyone else assuming control of her life. Once grateful for help she’s now smothered in it. Her overbearing mother has taken to controlling her whole life when she would like to actually enjoy her life. And as fate would have it a simple trip to a bookstore changes things... The book she purchased as a gift for one of her sons is not what she finds upon returning home. Later a strange man appearing at her door to exchange the book so received for the one she intended to buy. Unfortunately the simple exchange does not happen quite as it should... Major Langley Stanhope is a highly trained intelligence officer. Sent by a meddling General Scott to retrieve a special book. The book of course that has fallen into Amanda’s hands. Unfortunately for both of them nothing goes to plan and the spy and the widow must work together to track it down again as danger lurks. Suddenly Amanda’s dull controlled life is changing. For too long she has been forced to mind her step and stifle herself and it’s time for a change. While she dodges her would-be suitor and overly opinionated guardian of her sons she’s just trying to have a simple life. But the shenanigans with the book are well and truly shaking things up and there’s the danger.... Of course when you get entangled with a spy there’s always danger.... Secrets... spies... meddling.... mystery and intrigue... oh my. Definitely an a great addition to the series. I was waiting for Amanda to finally take charge and break free of everyone trying to control her life. And obviously Langley was seeking redemption for his past mistakes. Can’t wait for the next one! Because General Scott is definitely the master meddler.

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