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Peek Inside When a Lady Dares

Drawn into a sinister plot, a beautiful secret agent and a rakish archaeologist heat up Victorian London. Passion awakens their hardened hearts, but love could be their biggest downfall.

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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.

Each book in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 When a Lady Deceives
Book #2 When a Lady Dares
Book #3 When a Lady Desires a Wicked Lord
Book #4 When a Lady Kisses a Scot


"What a pleasure WHEN A LADY DARES was to read!" - Kathleen Bittner Roth, author of The Seduction of Sarah Marks
"This book takes us on an adventure right from the first page. The characters are intriguing and so beautifully written that they keep us going back for more of the story. I adored both the hero and heroine." - Book Diva
"I loved it, it's full of mystery, and romance. One of the most interesting historical fiction [books] I have read in a while; it's a quite engaging story." - Intellectual Vixens

"This book was a great mystery mixed with romance story that, once you got a few pages in, you wanted to see what would happen next." - Sissy's Romance Book Review

"A well-written fast paced-book that has plenty of mystery as well as romance.- Janet, review
"A story that is part mystery, spy and romance. An enjoyable well-written read with some very likable characters." - Susan, review
"I could hardly put this one down. The storyline and character development was superb and kept me in stitches." - Brenda T., NetGalley review

"Enjoyed this book. It's part mystery, spy [story] and romance all in one book." - Jill, review

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633759657
Series: Her Majesty's Most Secret Service, Book 2
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Page Count: 403
Imprint: amara next
Genre: historical, historical victorian
Tropes: opposites attract

Select Featured Reviews

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'When a Lady Dares' by Tara Kingston is book Two in the "Her Majesty's Most Secret Service" series.
This is the story of Sophie Atherton and Gavin Stanwyck. I have read the previous book but feel this can easily be a standalone book.
Sophie is undercover as a medium's assistant when she meets Gavin. ...more

By Kathleen May 22, 2017

I received and advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
What a pleasure WHEN A LADY DARES was to read! Sophie Atherton is no damsel in distress who meekly takes life as it comes. She is a feisty, tough, secret operative for the Crown, and with a dry wit that lays her hero flat. But le ...more

By Dawn May 23, 2017

Actual Rating: 3.5

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Everyone has secrets to spare...

Sophie is undercover and working as a psychic medium in order to gain information about her employer, a man who could be responsible for a string of murders happening around the city. Her j ...more

By Fizza May 22, 2017

I loved it, it's full of mystery, and romance. One of the most interesting historical fiction I have read in a while, it's quite engaging story. Sophie is working undercover. This is her first assignment full of such dangers. She must uncover what's going on in London, after few unexplained deaths i ...more

By Caitlyn May 28, 2017

Set in the late Victorian era, When A Lady Dares is the second book in a series, Her Majesty's Most Secret Service. I haven't read the first book in the series and had the feeling that there were one or two points I missed because of that, but for the most part When A Lady Dares stands quite well al ...more

By Bec June 02, 2017

As a secret operative for the Crown, Sophie Atherton can easily spot when someone's lying. However, it's not as if she can call Gavin Stanwyck out on his deception when she's just as guilty. Determined to discover clues to a series of unexplained deaths, Sophie finds herself becoming more embroiled ...more

By Brenda May 24, 2017

Publisher's Description:

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 ...more

By Brooke May 22, 2017

When A Lady Dares is the second entry into Her Majesty's Most Secret Service series by Tara Kingston. Sophie is undercover as a medium, trying to gather Intel on the mysterious murders linked to her employer. Gavin Stanwyck, renowned scholar, lost a very close friend in an accident, but he knows tha ...more

By Eva May 22, 2017

the her majesty's most secret service series continues with when a lady dares picking up some time after the secret agency established in when a lady deceives comes into being. sophie atherton has become more than jennie's assistant, she's become a field agent all on her own. while undercover invest ...more

By Tam May 23, 2017

This was the second installment in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series, and it was just as delightful as the first. I loved seeing Sophie get her own story. This story did not lack for great, suspenseful moments and captivating intrigue. I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Sophie and Gavi ...more

By Petula May 28, 2017

Sophie Atherton is working undercover as a medium. The man she is working for is suspected of being involved in the deaths of several men who are close to the queen. Her job is to find out who is responsible for the murders.
Professor Gavin Stanwyck has returned from his adventures in Egypt to find ...more

By Debbie May 26, 2017

Sophie Atherton works for the Crown and also works as a journalist for the Herald under a different name. She knows a liar when she sees one she’s gone undercover as a medium's assistant. So when she meets Gavin Stanwyck a treasure hunter she knows that he isn't telling the truth. Gavin is looking i ...more

By Kim May 22, 2017

This had such an exciting premise! Sophie Atherton is a secret operative for the Crown, which is not something you normally see in historicals. I found it a very refreshing idea.

When she meets Gavin, the attraction unsettles them both. Each have their own agenda to be involved with the phony medium. ...more

When a Lady Dares is book 2 in the Her Majesty's Most Secret Service series. I haven't read the first book and had no trouble following along so it can be read as a standalone.

This is an intriguing story full of mystery and romance. It is one of the best historical romances I have read. It's a diff ...more

By Susan May 17, 2017

in 1891 London Sophie Atherton is employed by the Colton Agency to investigate Trask, a medium, and his possible involvement with the deaths of three prominent gentlemen who had ties to the Queen's inner circle.
Professor Gavin Stanwyck is intent on discovering Trask's connection to his friend Peter ...more

By Heather April 23, 2017

Gavin wants to make sure his lady is fully satisfied, “tame?” He leaned toward her. “If you’re inclined to engage in a more adventurous endeavor, I’d embrace the challenge.” I loved the tenderness Gavin showed Sophie, "Gavin nipped at her earlobe, unleashing an utterly delicious tingle that cascaded ...more

By Historical Junkie July 19, 2019

London, Sept 1891

WHEN A LADY DARES is book two of Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series, however, I read it as a stand-alone.

Sophie Atherton has gone undercover to investigate some mysterious deaths for the Herald. Gavin Stanwyck wants to find out the story behind his friend Peter Garner’s mys ...more

By Jan June 05, 2018

A storyline full of intrigue, danger, murder, villains galore, and spies is my kind of read. When a Lady Dares is my kind of read. I do not believe I have ever read a Tara Kingston book that I did not fully enjoy. There is always lots of paced faster action, as well as great characters. When they fi ...more

By Wendy March 10, 2019

Loved the book! Sophie who works for the Colton Agency and the Herald is undercover as a medium to find out who is killing men of privilege. Gavin who seeks out Trask’s medium to find out why his friend committed suicide. Gavin is feeling guilty he wasn’t there for him. Gavin strings Sophie along to ...more

By Anna May 04, 2017

A nice read. I would arguably go five stars but I had such a very difficult time at the start of the book! I had to slog through until finally the pace picked up and it became a read that I really enjoyed but it took a couple of chapters for that to happen unfortunately. Obviously the author is tale ...more

By Jill May 10, 2017

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Enjoyed this book. Its part mystery, spy and romance all in one book. Sophie an agent for the Crown and Gavin an explorer and rich bachelor meet and somewhat form a partnership to discover the reason behind some murders made to look li ...more

By nikkia May 12, 2017

Thanks Entangled Publishing, LLC and netgalley for this ARC.

You'll remember the lovely assistant to our heroine in the first book, and she deserved her chance to shine. Bringing a fresh take on spiritualism , romance, and catching a villain with a hunk.

By Patricia August 25, 2019

A secret reporter/spy goes undercover to find out who is behind the deaths of three men. A rich rogue, also undercover, complicates matters. Good story. ...more

By Sheila August 08, 2019

Delightful love and intrigue

The Victorians spawned some remarkable women and the fortunate ones for a love to support and match their ability to love achieve. ...more

By Amy April 12, 2018

I loved Sophie and Gavin's story!!

When they meet, Sophie and Gavin are both misrepresenting themselves to find answers to their individual problems. But they are both smart enough to see through each other's acts. It was great seeing each of them reveal the person that they truly were! The bantering ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.16 avg rating
Tara Kingston

About the author

Award Winning Author

Tara Kingston

Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern Navy brat transplanted to a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives her own love story with her real-life hero in a cozy Victorian. The mother of two sons, Tara’s a former librarian whose love of books is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases and collection of unusual bookmarks. It goes without saying that Tara’s husband is thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another bookcase. When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys cycling, hiking, and cheering on her favorite football team. Learn more about Tara at

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