The Secret Service of Tea and Treason
Grade : A-

The long wait is over, and Bixby has met his match. India Holton’s Dangerous Damsels series rolls on with The Secret Service of Tea and Treason, which features an unusual sort of secret agent duel which may just result in love. It’s funny, it continues the series' strong world building, and it has cracking chemistry between its leads.

Agent A – AKA Alice – works for the Agency of Undercover Note Takers. It’s her job to protect the innocent and keep order – and since her world is laden in magic this proves to be quite the difficult task most of the time. You try dealing with dangerous witches all the time – it is not a pleasant task.

Alice is assigned to protect the life of Queen Victoria, who has received a series of death threats. To her shock, she’s been assigned a partner on the case – David Bixby, Agent B, and Alice’s rival in all things Note Taker-related. To blend in with the pirate society planning Victoria’s downfall, they pose as a married couple and try to infiltrate a weekend gathering. That’ll be tough going, since they can’t stand each other. Well, at least at first.

I loved this book so much. Alice is probably my favorite Holton heroine so far – strong, smart, but vulnerable and romantically naive. Bixby has grown into an awesomely handsome hero. They are rule-bound by their jobs and yet perfect for one another. It’s competence kink agogo in the best way.

And competent they are. I mean, Bixby falls for Alice when he realizes just how deadly she is, which is always a fun trope. Beds are shared and tension crackles and bubbles. It’s fun to visit Holton’s pirate-versus-witches society, and now that royalty is even more deeply entrenched, its super spies and secret agents. The world building here continues to be charming – it’s funny and intrigues, but here I’ll issue a warning to newcomers to the series and suggest reading the previous book first so as to get a handle on the magical world building that has already taken place.

But that matters little if you’re familiar with the universe. This is a swiftly-moving, snappily written little novel. The Secret Service of Tea and Treason is a glorious and big-souled bit of magical romance, and it’s a ton of fun to dive right into.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 20, 2023

Publication Date: 04/2023

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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