The book started out on a great note, but about one third into the story it took a lot of turns into ridiculous land, leaving me thinking the hero should have deposited the heroine back to her father's house and then left her for someone else. All those plot twists hinged on the heroine's impulsive, TSTL actions and all revolved around kidnapping - So. Much. Kidnapping. Seriously, after the third time, shouldn't everyone in this damn story keep one eye out for possible stalkers? No? Okay then.
Alex is a captain in the Royal Navy when he inherits the marquis estate from his late uncle and cousin. He is a member of this group of gentlemen who bring criminals to justice using spy and detective methods. Charlotte helps her father run their carriage shop; her father has made a lot of money and connections, but wants a title in the family, so he is shopping Charlotte around the marriage mart. Alex would rather keep his captain persona rather than take on the public persona of a marquis. But there is fun banter and a nice chemistry between the two. Charlotte is the victim of an attempted kidnapping (here we go) one morning in Hyde Park; luckily, Alex is there to thwart the kidnapping and extracts a promise from Charlotte to be a crap ton more cautious. Which she then breaks (over and over again).
While her father is away in Oxford on business, Charlotte is kidnapped again and held for ransom. The ransom is just for show, because the kidnappers' boss wants Charlotte (read: her dowry, which her father has made quite public) to be his wife. The father calls in Alex, who with his valet/buddy/muscle Davy go undercover and succeeds numerous times to rescue Charlotte, just for her to do something else stupid. Charlotte is on a boat headed to Lisbon to pick up her "suitor" and then onward to India for a honeymoon, leaving enough time to pass for her to be forced to marry her captor to keep her reputation in society's good side. The more she falls in love with Alex, the stupider her actions become. Lisbon is full of easily-bribable people as it turns out. Finally, after Alex proposes to Charlotte a second time on their way back to England and she says yes does he announce his title. Also the father isn't exactly all that smart either; the impulsiveness of Charlotte can also be seen in her father. The British ambassador to Portugal wasn't much help, thankfully his wife was as well as the nuns....yeah, this book had a lot of crazy sauce to it.
Alex is a good guy, and pretty smart. Charlotte was a smart woman until she fell in love. I hate this in romance. I read this for RB Bingo "person in uniform on the cover."