I was surprised to read the other reviews here at Amazon, because the general consensus seems to be that Anne Gracie's other books are (even) better. If that's true, I really must read her other books. (I've read some, but not all)
I loved this book. Parts of the dialog were so great, I had to read them out loud for the pure pleasure of it -- especially the scene where the heroine explains to the hero that some forms of his teasing and banter are actually unconscious put-downs that disrespect her. I love it when an author is able to create strong characters with a few deft strokes, and write dialog in each character's voice -- you can read the words out loud and know which character is speaking, even if you skip the dialog tags -- and in a book with a large cast, that is really quite remarkable. I loved the ever-so-slight accent implied in Nikolai's precise speech, the strength in Callie's direct sentences, the charm in Gabe's more elliptical and humorous style -- loved it, loved it, loved it.
The plot was far-fetched, of course, but vividly drawn. Anyone who is able to enjoy "The Prisoner of Zenda" ought to be able to enjoy this book -- indeed, I wondered at first if she had borrowed Zenda for this story, but no! Anne Gracie's storytelling skills carried the day, and my only quibble is that the princess was consistently addressed as "Princess" rather than "Your Highness." To my ear, that sounded odd -- perhaps because "princess" is so frequently used (in America, anyway) as a nickname for a spoiled daughter.
I am pretty obviously a "voice reader" -- if I enjoy an author's voice, I will devour anything and everything that author writes and not give two pins for the plot. When an author is able to deliver an action-packed plot on top of a wonderful voice, that's icing on the cake. Ms. Gracie consistently delivers iced cake.