Mystery and Romance Delight in WHEN A LADY DARES by Tara Kingston

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

"A delightful historical romance with a touch of intrigue!"

—Books & Benches

WHEN A LADY DARES by Tara Kingston


Sophie Atherton knows a liar when she sees one. Perhaps because she’s so skilled at deception herself. Searching for clues to a string of mysterious deaths, the secret operative for the Crown has connived her way into a phony medium’s confidence. When a dashing archaeologist seeks out the charlatan’s services, Sophie suspects he’s after more than a long-lost heirloom. Their electric attraction storms her defenses, but loving the rakish scholar would threaten her investigation and the life she’s crafted.

Gavin Stanwyck is a man on a mission. Masquerading as a treasure hunter to trap the spiritualist, he's drawn to the medium’s enigmatic assistant. As treacherous forces close in, passion awakens his hardened heart—he’ll protect Sophie at all costs, but he cannot give her his love. Uniting to survive a sinister plot, they must tear down their defenses and learn to trust their hearts.


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Series: Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service | Genre: Historical Romance | Heat Level: 5 Hearts

Publisher: Entangled | Release Date: May 22, 2017 | Pages: 370pp

"What a pleasure WHEN A LADY DARES was to read!"

—Kathleen Bittner Roth, author of The Seduction of Sarah Marks


Q&A with Tara Kingston

What makes When A Lady Dares special or unique to you? Can you give us a little story behind the story?

I truly enjoyed writing When A Lady Dares. I’d first introduced Sophie, the heroine of the story, to readers in When A Lady Deceives, and I really loved her independent, can-do attitude spirit and her loyalty to those she cares about and her commitment to her duty as a covert agent. When it came time to give Sophie her own story, I knew I wanted to pair her with a clever hero with a wry sense of humor, a man who can match wits with Sophie while embracing the challenge she poses. I envisioned the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones was teaching at the university and infused Gavin, the hero, with many of the qualities Dr. Jones displayed when he wasn’t off chasing artifacts in a far-away tomb.

In 250 words or less, what can you tell us about your newest release?

I’m thrilled to see Sophie get her own happily-ever-after in When A Lady Dares. Of course, as with my other heroines, her road to true love is neither smooth nor without its share of danger.

When A Lady Dares is a Victorian historical romantic suspense, set in Sherlock Holmes’s late-Victorian London. In the story, Sophie Atherton, a covert agent for an elite investigative service, Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service, connives her way into a phony medium’s confidence to search for clues to a string of mysterious deaths. When a dashing London rake, archaeologist Gavin Stanwyck seeks out the charlatan’s services, Sophie suspects he’s after more than a long-lost heirloom. Their attraction is electric and passion for the seductive rogue threatens Sophie’s defenses, but she steels her heart against him. Drawn in to a sinister plot, Sophie and Gavin must tear down their defenses and unite to survive the treachery, all the while learning to trust their hearts.

When A Lady Dares is the second book in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series, but it is a stand-alone novel. I hope readers enjoy Sophie’s journey to true love as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

My favorite motivational phrase is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt — “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I whole-heartedly believe in the power of this sentiment. If you don’t dare to pursue your dreams, you will never know what you might have accomplished. Even if you don’t succeed in achieving that precise dream, you’ll learn so much about yourself and the world along the way.

What are three things people may not know about you?

Three things people may not know about me… hmmm …

~ I adore being near the water. Sitting with a good book on the beach is so peaceful. I love it! If I’m not near a beach, I’m happy walking by the river’s edge or sitting on the shore of a lake. I don’t think I’d ever be happy living in a place that wasn’t near the water.

~ I love antiques, especially old furniture. In the last couple of years, I’ve taken to painting and restoring vintage pieces with chalk paint. I love the sense of accomplishment and the repurposing of well-used furniture that might otherwise have been relegated to a dusty attic.

~ I am a huge fan of classic rock. Van Halen, Pat Benatar, Elton John, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones are among my favorites.

What is your favorite movie based on a book, where you preferred the movie?

My favorite movie that is based on a book is a film that remains one of my all-time favorites, The Wizard of Oz. While the book is excellent, there was something utterly magical about the movie. Judy Garland was such a vibrant talent, as were the other actors in the cast. Who can ever forget Margaret Hamilton cackling, “I’ll get you, my pretty!” or Dorothy repeating, “There’s no place like home” as she clicks her heels at the end of the movie? The music is delightful, and Judy Garland’s rendition of Over the Rainbow is a classic that brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it.

"This is an intriguing story full of mystery and romance. It is one of the best historical romances I have read." —Brittany, The Crafty Engineer's Bookshelf



Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern belle-out-of-water in a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives in a cozy Victorian with her real-life hero and a pair of deceptively innocent-looking cats. A former librarian whose love of reading is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases, she’s thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another set of shelves. When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys movie nights, cycling, hiking, DIY projects, and cheering on her favorite football team.




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