You Can’t Put a Strong-Willed, Well-Read Lady in a Box

You Can’t Put a Strong-Willed, Well-Read Lady in a Box

Erica Vetsch delivers a swoon-worthy Regency tale full of adventure and romance

A woman who loves reading and everything about books meets a handsome, mysterious duke, gets married, and falls in love in Regency England. He even gives her a library! How can a story get better than that? In her much-anticipated follow-up to The Lost Lieutenant, The Gentleman Spy (Kregel Publications/July 28, 2020/ISBN: 9780825446184/$15.99), Erica Vetsch offers readers a story they won’t be able to resist. 

Marcus Haverly, introduced to readers in The Lost Lieutenant, was sailing through life just fine as a spy for the Crown. As a single man, and a “spare” rather than the heir to the Duke of Haverly, no one questioned his comings and goings. However, when both his father and older brother suddenly pass away, Marcus is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. Pressured to marry and live up to his new responsibilities, he impulsively marries a presumed wallflower. After all, since she’s meek and mild—or so he thinks—it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life as a secret agent for the Crown. Marcus thinks he can separate his life into neat little boxes—his family, the duties of his title, being a spy, and a new wife. He even puts his faith in a box that is only opened on Sundays. In his mind, it’s simple . . . until it’s not.

Marcus knows it is his duty to marry, and even his superior officer in the agency encourages him to wed, but he doesn’t want marriage to change him, nor does he want to have to give up anything when he marries,” Vetsch shares. “He’s certain that if he chooses correctly, he will find a wife who is content to run his household and bear his children, but who won’t interfere too much with his plans.”

While Marcus thinks he can juggle the various aspects of his life without one part spilling into the other, his bride, Charlotte, has other ideas. Unlike the other women of society, she reads anything she can get her hands on (even the newspaper!) and has ideas of her own. “Chivalry and the protection of women were a large part of proper English society during the Regency, and it was feared that too much academic work or exposure to the more, shall we say, gritty elements of life were both improper and could be dangerous to the ‘weaker female mind,’” Vetsch explains. “I’d like to think the men of the era had women’s best interests at heart, or at least thought they did, but I suspect it was because they were afraid of just how smart women are!”

Charlotte is determined to take her place not only as Marcus’s duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, Charlotte can use her position to help the lowest of society—the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope, including a half sister she just learned she has. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society or by her new mother-in-law who does not approve of her son’s choice of women.

Marcus doesn’t so much mind his wife having a mind and cause of her own, just as long as he can go about his business. Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

The Gentleman Spy provides readers with plenty of romance and history, a good dose of humor, and even some action and adventure mixed in. It is sure to be a favorite of the readers who followed Vetsch on her new venture into Regency fiction as well as the new readership of those faithful to the Regency genre that she gained with The Lost Lieutenant.

Next up in the Serendipity & Secrets series is a bonus novella in Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, a trio of novellas by Vetsch and fellow authors Carolyn Miller and Amanda Barratt (available October 13, 2020). Then, the last installment of the series, The Indebted Earl, the story of Marcus Haverly’s younger sister, Sophie, will arrive on shelves in March 2021.

Praise for the Serendipity & Secrets Series

“Erica Vetsch brings such a fresh, true voice to Regency romance. She catches all that’s best about the genre while weaving together a fast-paced, intriguing story full of characters I cared about so much. I can’t wait for book two!”

~ Mary Connealy, author of the best-selling High Sierra Sweethearts and Wild at Heart series

“Love Regency? How about a swoon-worthy hero and a plot that twists and turns yet ties up in a neat bow at the end? Then get thee to a bookstore! The Lost Lieutenant is all that and more, from the battlefield of Salamanca to the gowns and suits at Almack’s. This is my favorite Erica Vetsch title to date and earns a place on my keeper shelf.”

~ Michelle Griep, Christy Award–winning author of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series

“A riveting Regency read, with captivating characters, that will tug at your heartstrings.”

~ Carolyn Miller, best-selling author of the Regency Brides series

About the Author

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).