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Love and Let Spy #3

Better Off Wed

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She's an avenging angel...who tempts him like the devil...

If Miss Laura Hopkins desired a husband, her beauty, brains, and fortune would make it easy to acquire one. Instead, Laura prefers to put her charms to another purpose entirely. Using the alias, Lady Sterling, Laura helps young women who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. Some might see it as theft and blackmail. For Laura, it is a small measure of justice. But while in pursuit of her latest target, Laura is unexpectedly aided by a gentleman who announces that he is Lord Sterling.

As a spy for the Crown, Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, has been assigned all manner of dangerous missions, though none as complicated as investigating the beguiling Lady Sterling. Forced to pose as newlyweds at the home of a disreputable earl, Laura and Jeremy forge an unexpected alliance...and a passionate connection. But can such a dangerous masquerade possibly lead to a real, lasting love?

Kindle Edition

First published December 28, 2021

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About the author

Susanna Craig

19 books435 followers
Almost as soon as she could hold a pencil, Susanna Craig began writing stories. Today, she pens award-winning Regency-era romance novels that blend history and heart with a dash of heat. An English professor, wife, and mom, she’s currently finding her happily ever after in Kentucky while holding onto her Midwestern roots. Find her online at http://www.susannacraig.com.

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5 stars
170 (26%)
4 stars
280 (43%)
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151 (23%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 150 reviews
Profile Image for Redhead Haze.
171 reviews363 followers
June 27, 2022
"As I tried to tell you before, it was not he who asked me to find you."
"Who, then?"
"Someone who found it amusing to send Lord Sterling in pursuit of Lady Sterling."

Genre: historical romance
Tropes: reluctant allies, one bed, fake marriage, forced proximity
Series: Love and Let Spy #3 (can be enjoyed as a stand-alone)
Cliffhanger: No
Spice: 2/5
Rating: 4.5 ⭐

I have received an ARC through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and left voluntarily. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy.

"Outrageousness can itself be a distraction."

This book was a delight! I couldn't put it down and I'm really looking forward to read the rest of the series! It was a definite page-turner and I enjoyed every second of it. It's the first time I'm trying something from this author and, even though Better Off Wed is #3 in a series, it was a great stand-alone that made me want to read the previous two books as well. And I'll definitely pick up future works signed by Susanna Craig.

》》The Plot《《

Laura Hopkins is a young lady who, assuming the alias of Lady Sterling, has decided to avenge the girls who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. Even though some may call it theft and blackmail, Laura considers it the least bit of justice those girls deserve.

Captain Jeremy Addison, ex army and current spy for the Crown is surprised when his superior delegates him to find the notorious Lady Sterling and persuade her to lend her abilities as a spy for the Crown as well. Especially since the reason he was chosen for this job was his viscount title: Lord Sterling.

So when the two of them meet and are forced to pose as newlyweds, thing get interesting. Forming unexpected alliances, spying, playing chess, sharing one bed and being in a constant state of admiration and distrust are just the tip of the iceberg.

"It sounds like the plot of one of those ridiculous plays Aunt Mildred and Julia adore."
"It sounds like a happy ending."

I loved this waaaay more than I was anticipating and I thought it had the perfect balance of romance and mystery. It was fast-paced, but the relationship between Laura and Jeremy wasn't rushed, as it was developed marvelously and in such a way that it wasn't only enviable, but also believable.

"Stab him, you mean?"
"Yes, indeed."
"Good heavens! Where?"
"In whatever soft spot he is ungentelmanly enough to expose to you."

The side characters were also pretty well portrayed and the general feeling of authenticity was a great plus. There were lots of great scenes, like the moment they had to start playing newlyweds, discovering the peculiar set of chess or unexpectedly being poked by a book while kissing, the dialogs were always smart and enjoyable and the ending was fulfilling and nice.

》》 Characters and Relationships《《

👩🏼 Laura Hopkins - Lady Sterling

"Lady Sterling had been born of darkness.
Not the darkness of night, though much of her work was done between dusk and dawn. No, her name had been forged in the dark souls of men."

She was a great female MC, with a lot of compassion, sharp wits and clever observations. No damsel in distress, a bit intriguing and with plenty of bold ideas, she was lovable from the beginning and definitely worth the attention.

🧑🏻‍💼 Jeremy Addison - Lord Sterling

"Laura." That voice again, that wonderful, scolding, scandalized voice, the vowels of her name shaped by a hint of laughter.

The way he says 'Laura'....*chef's kiss*. Ahhhh, the feels...
Anyway, Jeremy was sweet and hot at the same time, had that perfect look that steals hearts and there was no way you could go through this book without daydreaming about him.

🧑🏻‍💼👩🏼 Jeremy and Laura

"I don't think you're concussed. But say something clever so I'll know for sure."
"And what makes you a suitable judge of my cleverness?"
That cross answer earned her a lopsided smile. "See? Right as rain."

Banter, forced proximity, fake relationship and one bed trope? Come on, what more can you ask for? The dynamic between the two of them was perfect, the relationship had a great built up and it was simply a delight to witness the two of them going from strangers to allies and then to something more.

"I did not think I should ever find any man willing to let me be ... myself."
"As changeable as a spring wind, in other words."
"My very favorite season," he whispered.


It was a great read and I simply couldn't put it down. I'm happy I have discovered this author and I will most definitely pick more of her books when I'll be looking for catchy historical romances with well-written characters and relationships. I definitely recommend this if you are in the mood for something romantic and witty.

"Well, those who danced must pay the piper, as the old saying went.
And tonight, she meant to present the baron with his bill."
Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
561 reviews161 followers
January 4, 2022
If you want a lighthearted trope-fest of a book, this one's for you. We've got a matchmaking superior officer, spies & codebreakers, a vigilante woman, a pretend marriage with ONLY ONE BED, a reluctant viscount (oh, who's also a virgin), and some carriage action. There's probably more but honestly, do you really need it? We flew through this book. Super fun, moderately sexy, and did we say virgin hero? Oh yeah, we did, but it's worth the repetition.

23-Word Summaries

Laine: Spy in his first field assignment must track down batman-for-women. A series of coincidences leads to them faking marriage in the enemy's house.

Meg: A series of coincidences leads to true love. That’s true love with your alter ego’s virgin spy hero of a husband, mind you.

This objective review is based on an advanced reader copy of the novel.
Profile Image for Niki (mustreadalltheromance).
1,126 reviews78 followers
March 5, 2022
4.5 stars rounded up.

Rather than pursue a husband as most girls of her station do, Miss Laura Hopkins’ unique circumstances permit her to use her charm and fortune in other ways. She disguises herself and uses the alias of Lady Sterling to help mistreated young women escape from abusive employers. Laura is happy to meet out justice, even in a small way. She prefers to work alone, but that policy is challenged when her efforts against her latest target bring her face to face with none other than Lord Sterling.

Captain Jeremy Addison, reluctantly titled Viscount Sterling, prefers his work as a spy and codebreaker for the Crown to any sort of societal obligations his unexpected title brings. He’s been a part of various and sundry dangerous situations, but they haven’t left him quite as prepared as he’d like for the complication that is Lady Sterling. When their circumstances force them to pretend to be newlyweds in the home of an earl under suspicion, Laura and Jeremy are surprised to find they make a good team. There’s a real connection developing beneath the façade they’re putting on for the earl’s household and soon they begin to wonder if their risky pretend affection could become the real thing.

This was such a fun book. I’m thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed it given that I found the previous books in the series to be just okay. Jeremy was an interesting, multilayered hero, since he mostly came off as very gentle, more of a beta hero, but also had a strength and competence to him that was endlessly endearing. Laura was that rare breed of intelligent, independent heroine, who knows her own mind but is never shrewish or hateful to the hero. In fact, she went for everything she wanted, which included not shying away from her feelings for Jeremy and her desire to see if they could build a future together, even as he insisted he was unable to marry. Jeremy walked a fine line with his self-deprecating tendencies, but his mother set him straight in time for me to not be too annoyed by him and I loved that Laura stood by him and recognized the sweetness and gentleness that were inherent to him as a person. I also loved that we got a celibate, possibly virgin hero here, and though there wasn’t much of it, the intimacy between Jeremy and Laura was very sweet and felt very much integral to the development of their relationship, and I loved that both wound up being honest about their feelings for one another. This plot had plenty of intrigue to keep me entertained, but I was never stressed or annoyed by an overabundance of angst. This one is definitely my favorite of the series thus far.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...
Profile Image for Barbara Rogers.
1,483 reviews137 followers
December 15, 2021
Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Series: Love and Let Spy #3
Publication Date: 12/28/21
Period: Regency
Number of Pages: 214

I enjoyed the story but had no trouble putting it down for long periods of time. I generally liked the characters because both of them had such very interesting vocations and either of them could have made for a really, really interesting book. The trouble is – neither of those vocations really had any spark in the story. I think the whole story was just bland. The characters were bland, the plot was bland, there was no real sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement and there wasn’t really any spying. Still, I liked it well enough and never had a thought of just putting it down. That could be because I liked the potential of the characters and the premise of the story and kept waiting for it all to get interesting, exciting, and to – well – happen. I guess the bottom line is that it is a sweet story about two very sweet and caring people – and that is why, in the end, I kept reading.

Laura Hopkins was orphaned at twelve and went to live with her very sweet and loving Aunt Mildred who lived in Clapham where all of the residents had one cause or another. The streets were filled with the voices of those society called radicals. Her aunt supported many of those causes – and Laura did as well. Laura created the persona of Lady Sterling in order to anonymously help employees (mostly women) who had been mistreated and wronged by their employers. As Lady Sterling, she would take something of value from that employer – and would leave them with the firm knowledge that she knew his secrets and if he didn’t change his ways, she’d expose both him and his secrets.

Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, is a spy for the Crown (I wouldn’t call him a spy – he is a code-breaker). His sister admires Lady Sterling, and his mother is dismayed at the name association. Jeremy’s boss, General Zebadiah Scott, tasks him with tracking down Lady Sterling and determining whether she could be a credible asset for the Crown – or a danger.

Laura is on the public stage heading to Kent in order to aid a potential victim when the coach overturns and she is injured. The other passengers help her to travel to the nearest Inn, but there are no accommodations to be had, and she is at a loss about what to do. However, two things happen, and they change the trajectory of her investigation totally. First, the employer who she is investigating, Lord Thornton, arrives at the same Inn – and then, the real Lord Sterling arrives and quickly surmises who she is. Uh-Oh! She quickly manufactures a ruse and hopes Lord Sterling will play along – and luckily, he does. Of course, that ends up meaning they have to play a newlywed couple.

When Jeremy realizes that Lord Thornton could actually figure into one of his own investigations, his support of Laura only increases. You see, Laura is injured and cannot conduct her normal investigations – Jeremy has to do it for her.

Jeremy and Laura fit each other perfectly. Both are very nice, very caring, very supportive, etc. and I enjoyed that synchrony. For me, I liked the story, but I wouldn’t read it a second time. If someone gifts you with this book, by all means, give it a read.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,049 reviews807 followers
November 13, 2021
On my blog.

CWs: implied sexual harassment, implied rape

Galley provided by publisher

Better Off Wed is probably the best book in the Love and Let Spy series so far. I say that mostly for two reasons: that it centres on a reluctant allies dynamic, and that, unlike the second book, the mystery never takes a backseat to the romance—there is a better balance there.

The story follows Laura Hopkins, a young lady who, under the alias Lady Sterling, goes around helping women who have been mistreated by their employers, stealing secrets as she goes. And then, on one such trip, she happens to meet the real Lord Sterling, an ex-army man, now a spy for the crown, and sent to find out what kind of secrets Lady Sterling is keeping.

As I said at the start, these two have a dynamic that’s probably best summed up as reluctant allies. Forced into a situation where they must pretend to be married—where Laura wants to continue her investigation, and Jeremy is busy hiding just who he is, even while helping her—this is probably that trope at its best for me. And it was done in such a believable way in terms of developing their romance alongside it all.

And speaking of romance, I thought here there was a great balance between progressing the plot and progressing the relationship. Where in the previous book, I thought at one point the mystery got dropped to the wayside in favour of only the romance, there wasn’t any of that here. They were much better interwoven, I found, and the story was more compelling for it.

So all that really leaves me to do, is sit and hope that this series has more books coming. I mean, that was a hint for one at the end, right? Right??
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,978 reviews3,297 followers
December 8, 2021
I really love this series! Historical romantic suspense with spies and strong female characters? Yes please! In Better Off Wed our heroine is secretly an avenging angel, stealing from predatory men and giving it to the women they leave in their wake. Our hero is a spy and codebreaker, told to find and recruit her. The story was a lot of fun, a bit steamy, and does a good job of low key integrating with past books in the series. It's not my favorite of the lot- our heroine sustains an injury partway through which makes her more passive than I would like, and there are some plot things that you don't want to look to hard at, but overall a very solid installment in a fantastic series. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Hannah B..
747 reviews954 followers
March 20, 2023
Stop I loved it!! Virgin hero >>> I really loved the fake marriage house party setting. The relationship with his family was super sweet and I just loved the main couple so much. They were too cute. Reminded me a bit of The Secret Service of Tea and Treason for plot set up, but the characterizations were completely different (and the writing styles of course).

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶️🌶️/5
Profile Image for Ilaria 🌸.
580 reviews36 followers
July 5, 2022
Nice try to add the spicy of a spy story to a regency romance
nevertheless the plot has hole and jumps from here to there
the writing needed more revision and the credibility of her freedom is a not sustainable
Nice banter between H and h
not smitten with this one :(
Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig. #BetterOffWed #NetGalley
Profile Image for Ilaria 🌸.
580 reviews36 followers
July 5, 2022
Nice try to add the spicy of a spy story to a regency romance
nevertheless the plot has hole and jumps from here to there
the writing needed more revision and the credibility of her freedom is a not sustainable
Nice banter between H and h
not smitten with this one :(
Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig. #BetterOffWed #NetGalley
Profile Image for Kimberly.
2,173 reviews83 followers
December 27, 2021
Reviewed for Wit and Sin

Laura Hopkins has seen numerous women mistreated by their employers and no one ever steps in. No one, that is, until her. Donning the guise of Lady Sterling, Laura gets a small measure of justice and funds for the women who have been harmed. The one thing Lady Sterling never counted on was there being a Lord Sterling.

Captain Jeremy Addison is a spy for the Crown. He’s also Viscount Sterling, which is why his superior has chosen him to bring Lady Sterling in in the hopes of using her talents for King and Country. What should be a relatively simple mission turns complicated when Laura and Jeremy are forced to pretend to be a married couple in order to take down a blackguard. Close quarters leads to an attraction that isn’t all for show…

A codebreaker more at home among books gets tangled up with a vigilante in Better Off Wed . Susanna Craig’s third Love and Let Spy novel is entertaining and easy to fall into thanks to its endearing main characters.

Laura is brave and bold; a good actress and a quick thinker who uses her talents to find as much justice as she can for women no one will stand for. Jeremy is a codebreaker not a field agent, but he cannot and will not leave Laura or the women she is trying to protect on their own. The two of them make great allies as they hunt for clues to bring down a slippery foe. Even better, they have good, solid chemistry that makes their romance engaging. It’s easy to fall into their romance because they’re such strong, noble characters. How could you not root for them? Each has a journey to go own and I liked watching them come fully into their own with each other.

Better Off Wed is the third book in the Love and Let Spy series but it can easily be read as a standalone. The series is tied together by General Scott, a man as determined to help his agents find love as he is to protect England. I’ve enjoyed every book in this series so far and Laura and Jeremy’s romance is no exception. I can’t wait to see who Craig (and General Scott) set their sights on next.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Carly.
Author 1 book77 followers
February 20, 2022
Craig continues to deliver on this series for me (I love the whole concept of a spy organization run by a commanding officer who basically just uses it as a way to set his agents up with potential romances, unbeknownst to them), and this was one of my favorite installments yet. Laura has established herself as the mysterious "Lady Sterling," avenger of women and righter of men's wrongs, but now the British have caught on to her antics and they want to recruit her as one of their own. Enter Jeremy Addison, code-breaker and spy, who's tasked with bringing her in — and it just so happens that his formal title is Lord Sterling. A fateful meeting not entirely by chance leaves them in the unexpected position of needing to rely on each other by pretending to be husband and wife, but then they like pretending even more than they thought they would. Only one bed + sickbed trope (Laura injures her ankle at the beginning of the book and needs to be cared for for a while) + fake married + spies = a pretty winning formula for me, and I also appreciated that the couple didn't even really undergo any major strife or experience a dark moment on-page in terms of splitting up from the relationship; they only recommitted to each other once they knew their feelings were real.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lori D.
3,506 reviews87 followers
January 1, 2022
A fun, romantic, suspenseful, satisfying story that I absolutely loved! Of course that is not surprising as anything from this author I have read has been wonderful.

She is determined to avenge the women wronged by rakes, including those in the employment of said rakes. Lady Sterling is her calling card name and she puts those rakes in a compromising position and obtains retribution for those wrongs and usually something valuable to give back to the women!

Unfortunately, on a mission to one such "Lord's" house, her carriage breaks down and she is injured and thrown into the company of the true "Lord Sterling" and ends up having to pretend to be his wife!

What she does not know if that Lord Sterling wanted to make her acquaintance at the request of the crown, but he never expected the situation that happened! Great addition to this series!
Profile Image for Patti.
109 reviews2 followers
July 13, 2022
I really enjoyed this one. The heroine was independent and smart, secretly working to bring down the men of society who prey on the women in their employ. And the hero...swoon...a “beta” hero who was smart, sexy, shy and unbelievably sweet. Oh, and a spy! What’s not to love? The romance and intrigue flowed well together, and I enjoyed both aspects of the plot. Also, there were no stupid decisions or grand misunderstandings in sight.

I am a huge sucker for the 80’s TV as inspiration for the series. The author gets huge props from me for the novelty!

I’m not sure why I didn’t give this 5 stars, except that I have very high standards for my 5-star reads and this one didn’t quite click for me at that level. Otherwise, a great book that I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Elizabeth McFarland .
138 reviews23 followers
January 20, 2022
You should read this book if you, like me love some of the best tropes.
-Forced proximity
-Only one bed ( let's be honest, we all love this one.)
- Fake relationship

I have truly enjoyed all three books in this series so far! Better Off Wed was no exception.
Laura Hopkins is righting wrongs done to women employed by wealthy and titled men as her alter ego Lady Sterling. Lord Sterling is a spy and codebreaker for the crown and is sent after her while she is on her latest mission. The two of them are forced into pretending to be newlyweds. I love how they play act scenes from bad plays to further their farce!

This was a very enjoyable and cleverly written book. I can't wait for the next installment in the Love and Let Spy series!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tracy Emro.
1,756 reviews44 followers
December 28, 2021
3.5 stars

In an effort to help women in service fight back against the men that take advantage of them, Miss Laura Hopkins adopted an alter ego; Lady Sterling and has successfully taken on many men of the ton. But despite her success, one man has eluded her brand of justice – Lord Thornton and now she has been called on again to try and right his wrongs. But things go wrong from almost the start and she finds herself in the company of the real Lord Sterling and claims him as her husband!

Captain Jeremy Addison is the reluctant Viscount Sterling, he unexpectedly inherited the title and debt-ridden estate years ago and has worked tirelessly to pay off the debt and restore honor to the title. He joined the army for an income and soon caught the attention of his superiors and was recruited into service for the home office, where his skills in mathematics and wordplay made him a successful code breaker. A position that he has been struggling with of late, so when his commanding officer assigns him to seek out the infamous Lady Sterling and see if she would be a good fit for the “network” he thinks the change might do him good – that is until General Scott says he wants him to marry her!

Lord Thornton, Jeremy, and Laura all meet by chance at an inn after Laura’s coach is involved in an accident and she is injured. When Jeremy calls her Lady Sterling, Laura quickly claims to be his wife and Thornton invites them to stay at his nearby home. Jeremy plays along and even elaborates on the lie, giving Laura hope that she will be able to carry out her mission with Jeremy’s help. They soon realize that Thornton is more than just a man that takes advantage of his help, it is possible that he is a traitor and they will have to work together to expose him while fighting the growing attraction between them.

This was a well-written, nicely paced story that held my attention until the last word. Laura and Jeremy are very likable characters and their chemistry is undeniable. The book is filled with secrets, intrigue, a slow-burn romance, warm love scenes, surprising revelations, and finally a very sweet HEA. I enjoyed this story, but honestly one of the revelations at the end seemed a bit much and unnecessary, but overall, it was a good read. This is the third book in the series, but they are loosely connected and can easily be read as standalone titles.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*

Profile Image for Shilo Quetchenbach.
1,168 reviews53 followers
November 13, 2021
I knew I would love this as I have loved the first two books in this series, and I was delighted to be proven correct.

I loved the setup for the story -- fake marriage and only one bed tropes are great fun -- and Jeremy and Laura were wonderful characters to root for. I also loved the way they based their deceptions on scandalous plays. Also can I just say that having General Scott order Jeremy (reluctant Lord Sterling) to find (and marry!) Laura (pseudonym Lady Sterling) was just. Chef's kiss.

The villains are dastardly and the way Lord and Lady Sterling's occupations collided -- rooting out traitors and punishing men who force themselves upon their staff and then throw them out -- was both convenient and allowed them to rapidly become closer. The fake marriage and Laura's injury also helped with that, as it forced them into close proximity and to rely on one another.

I loved that their attraction was based a great deal on one another's cleverness. I appreciate cleverness myself, and finding a hero and heroine who are each not only clever but can appreciate the cleverness of their unwitting accomplice / partner is rare. I also greatly appreciated that neither expected the other to give up the occupation they cared deeply about in order to have a life together. This was a departure from previous books in the series and highlighted their mutual respect for one another.

This story relied quite a bit on coincidence but not enough that it bothered me. And the characters and their dynamic made up for it. I read it in a day and was thoroughly invested in it the whole time. Often in books -- especially romance -- there comes a section where the story drags and I put it down for awhile. With this one I stayed up late, reading past my bedtime to reach the end.

I hope there are more books in this series coming because I will absolutely read them.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an e-arc for review.
Profile Image for Brenda.
2,409 reviews21 followers
November 17, 2021
She’s an avenging angel…who tempts him like the devil…
If Miss Laura Hopkins desired a husband, her beauty, brains, and fortune would make it easy to acquire one. Instead, Laura prefers to put her charms to another purpose entirely. Using the alias Lady Sterling, Laura helps young women who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. Some might see it as theft and blackmail. For Laura, it is a small measure of justice. But while in pursuit of her latest target, Laura is unexpectedly aided by a gentleman who announces that he is Lord Sterling.
As a spy for the Crown, Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, has been assigned all manner of dangerous missions, though none as complicated as investigating the beguiling Lady Sterling. Forced to pose as newlyweds at the home of a disreputable earl, Laura and Jeremy forge an unexpected alliance…and a passionate connection. But can such a dangerous masquerade possibly lead to a real, lasting love?
Lady Sterling and Lord Sterling, an infamous couple.
Laura and Jeremy are the best part of this story!
Susanna Craig has written a marvelous story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
Profile Image for Marti.
2,857 reviews1 follower
December 13, 2021
Better off Wed by Susanna Craig is the third book in the Love and Let Spy Series. The series is a bit different from others as it has some unexpected characters and situations which make the series more fun to read. I honestly found the twist in this one interesting!

Laura Hopkins is beautiful, intelligent and a heiress. Instead of following the usual path and getting married, she is determined to take down by blackmailing some of the most creepy men from the ton - men who take advantage of women. She goes by Lady Sterling and for her - this is justice.

Then she meets Lord Sterling and her cover starts to unravel. He does help her maintain it and helps her become safe, but unfortunately some things still interfere. I love the length they go to. I love how much I enjoyed their discomfort with each other. I was not happy with Lord Sterling the entire time - but his mother took care of the kick in the pants he needed!

Better off Wed by Susanna Craig was an interesting book to read. The level of deception that was used to get creeps away from their female servants makes Lady Sterling a hero to me! Better off Wed by Susanna Craig was a good read.
Profile Image for Amelia.
300 reviews8 followers
January 24, 2023
The best part of this one was how well it built off the previous novels, particularly the last. The heroine was so much fun and there were some ridiculous but beautifully executed tropes (fake marriage in regency England for the win, lol). Definitely silly fun but succeeds in what it says it does. 😛
Profile Image for Janet.
3,582 reviews29 followers
December 26, 2021
3.5 Stars
Miss Laura Hopkins uses the alias Lady Sterling to help young women who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. Some might see it as theft and blackmail. For Laura, it is a small measure of justice. She usually steals funds to support the abused & also something of importance from the abuser to stop them from re-offending. Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, is a code breaker & has been assigned all manner of dangerous missions, though none as complicated as investigating the beguiling Lady Sterling. Forced to pose as newlyweds at the home of a disreputable earl, Laura and Jeremy forge an unexpected alliance.
This is the third book in the series & could be read on its own. A well written book which I enjoyed but it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat as I'd been expecting. I really liked both Jeremy & Laura, both were caring & honourable & perfect for each other & I liked the chemistry between them but it simmered rather than sizzled. The pace was good & I read it in under a day but I wasn’t glued to it so all in all an average read which had promised to be so much more. My least favourite of the series so far as it seemed to skim over the issues rather than getting to the nitty-gritty
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,131 reviews437 followers
October 10, 2021
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Miss Laura Hopkins has everything that would make it easy for her to make a good match. But she's seen to many women, of all classes, hurt by men, and she has no intention of ever becoming beholden to one. Instead, she uses her charms and fortunes to become Lady Sterling, who helps young women, especially those in service, get justice for their mistreatment, and retribution. However, Laura's soon bitten off more than she can chew, when she finds herself relying on a gentlemen to aid her in her latest venture, and he just happens to be named Lord Sterling. Captain Jeremy Addison hates using his title of Viscount Sterling, and is more at home on a battlefield on a dangerous mission, than at a country house weekend. But when he's tasked with stopping Lady Sterling, or bringing her in as a fellow spy for the Crown, he and Laura must pose as newlyweds to stop the evil and cruel Lord Thornton from hurting any more women, especially if he may be involved in treason too.

This is the third book in the Love and Let Spy series, and it might be my favourite. Though you don't need to read all the books, there's an overarching plot line which culminates in this book, and I'm glad I had done, it pick up on all the nuances. The main couple, Laura and Jeremy, were utterly perfect for each other. Neither wanted to marry, and had other plans, which didn't include teaming up together to discover more about the treason, but together, they were neigh on unstoppable. They had a chemistry together which was off the charts, and even when they were angry or displeased with each other, they cared for the other person. Laura happened to be the sister of one of Jeremy's friends, so even when the only connections they had were the 'title' of Sterling, and their stories, they soon managed to fall for each other. I can't wait for Susanna's next book, I'm quickly becoming such a huge fan!
Profile Image for Ellie's .
175 reviews1 follower
November 6, 2021
"Lady Sterling" got my attention from the beginning. I just found out this is a book part of a series, which is good to know, I will be reading more books by this author. Love her character as a brave and smart woman!
Profile Image for Laurie.
933 reviews40 followers
January 2, 2022
A Great Caper….

As someone who came of age in the 80’s, I’m a big fan of Susanna Craig’s Love and Let Spy Series, each of which is inspired by some of my fave TV shows from that era.

Better Off Wed is very brilliant take on Remington Steele, a detective show that is just a perfect inspiration.

Laura Hopkins is an avenging angel for women in service who have been abused by their employers. She ensures that the survivors get their due and the villains are left with with quite valuable lessons. Laura is smart and determined, as well as able to fly under the radar. Until she can’t.

Jeremy Addison is a code breaker with connections to Laura of which she is not aware. He’s almost on her level of cleverness and their chemistry is off the charts. Their partnership is very trust-dependent and they find it pretty quickly.

This is a fun read with some underlying plots that come to fruition at the end. I’m addicted this series and can’t wait for the book that is introduced in the epilogue.
Profile Image for Melissa Polk.
Author 7 books42 followers
September 16, 2021
Okay, let me start this off by saying that I have been eagerly anticipating this book for months now. The instant I finished One Thing Leads to a Lover, I was ready for this book. Susanna Craig is an insta-buy author for me and one of my very favorite historical romance authors.

So, Better Off Wed. Lady thief? Check. Lady thief who targets awful men in the interest of helping the women they've wronged. CHECK. How could I not adore Laura? She's clever and brave and intrepid. Enter Jeremy. Oh, Jeremy. Bookish, kind, trustworthy, shy, somewhat unsure, gentlemanly Jeremy. Look, I was lost from the start with that one. Add that he's utterly devoted to doing what's right and... who wouldn't swoon?

I really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship. Fake marriage isn't my favorite trope--far from it, actually. But in this book? It was done so well that I forgot I don't care for it. Laura and Jeremy enter into their roles as actors with constantly changing parts. It. Was. Amazing. And the theater references? *chef's kiss*

Basically, as I expected going into this, there wasn't a thing I didn't love. I laughed out loud--often. I swooned at the romance, fanned myself at the *very hot* sex scenes, and got teary eyed with emotion. I don't know how she does it, but every Susanna Craig book I read is even better than the previous. Her work is amazing.
625 reviews5 followers
September 18, 2021
Using the alias Lady Sterling, Laura helps young women who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. Some might see it as theft and blackmail. For Laura, it is a small measure of justice. But while in pursuit of her latest target, Laura is unexpectedly aided by a gentleman who announces that he is Lord Sterling.

As a spy for the Crown, Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, has been assigned all manner of dangerous missions, though none as complicated as investigating the beguiling Lady Sterling. Forced to pose as newlyweds at the home of a disreputable earl, Laura and Jeremy forge an unexpected alliance…and a passionate connection. But can such a dangerous masquerade possibly lead to a real, lasting love?

I love Susanna Craig's books. They are always so funny and romantic. Fake marriage is my favorite trope after enemies to lovers. so I know I would love this book.... I love both characters and I love how smart the heroine is. The chemistry is sizzling. A great romance....
Profile Image for Bridget Love to read Lewis.
1,566 reviews7 followers
September 22, 2022
Well where to start Laura is not what I expected. She is not some sophisticated worldly jaded woman! A little foolish and tries to be too brave but she genuinely cared for these women! She is Laura Hopkins aka Lady Sterling!
Captain Jeremy Addison Aka Lord Sterling an impoverished Viscount. Who swore never to marry has been told when he finds Lady Sterling to marry her! How is this his friend and fellow spy sister? Well it’s a rollercoaster to be sure!
Jeremy’s speciality is code breaking and spending hours in a dingy basement. He is not a field operative until now!
So many secrets exposed. I love the chemistry between Laura and Jeremy and the outlandish lies they tell lol all for England of course. This was the best one yet to me. The next one is bound to charm!! Bravo
Profile Image for Cori Sebesta.
19 reviews1 follower
November 11, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley, I received an ARC from the publisher.. This in no way impacted on my view. I love how different and exciting this series is. Give me a good spy romance any day. This book can be read by itself but the background characters are a bit more fleshed out if you've read the previous two.

Miss Laura Hopkins is living a life she sees as worthy, important and necessary. To the best of her ability, she rights the wrongs of women who were in some way abused by their employers by using the alias Lady Sterling. She uses her cunning, quick mind and beauty as tools of her trade. That is, until she meets the ACTUAL Lord Sterling.

Captain Jeremy Addison is a master code-breaker for the crown and only recently discovered he is next in line for a title. He's fiercely protective of his mother and sister and is doing his best to rid the debts of the previous Lord Sterling. Jeremy and Laura are going about their sneaky business when they are forced to team up and pretend to be a married couple to infiltrate the home a serial sexual harasser and possible spy for the French.

I love how honest and sweet Jeremy is towards Laura as they slowly get to know each other and become comfortable in their forced proximity. (At one point the phase "only one bed' is written, which I LOVED. *trope air horn sound*) It is also specifically stated that Laura's life is already complete but would certainly be enhanced by Jeremy's presence in it. Great reveal towards the end moves the last of the barriers for this couple's HEA. Love this series!
Profile Image for Stef (Noveltea Corner).
457 reviews155 followers
January 1, 2022
Review copy received from Netgalley.

I'm really enjoying the Love and Let Spy series, and this latest instalment is not exception. Laura Hopkins is masquerading around town as Lady Sterling, avenging the women who have been mistreated and wronged by wealthy men who employ them. Her rouse is going well until Lord Sterling, a codebreaker for the Crown, is sent after her. Posing as newlyweds, the two begin to investigate their respective crimes only to begin to fall for one another.

This was enjoyable - suspenseful and light-hearted at the same time. Both Lord and Lady Sterling have great chemistry together and while initially skeptical of each other, begin to form trust.

There are plenty of my favourite tropes - forced proximity/only one bed, fake relationship, spies, codebreaking, sassy heroines and bookish heroes.
Profile Image for Mia.
277 reviews6 followers
September 20, 2021
My first from this author and what a book it was.

Both Jeremy and Laura were strong characters yet portrayed in a realistic way. Several scenes surely will keep the readers on the edge.

At one point my thought was 'maybe a bit more drama around the climax would have been good?' But ---- isn't it human nature to expect more drama when it feels subtle and say overly dramatic when it's included?
This book felt practical.

Am off to reading all of Ms. Craig's other books.
Eagerly waiting for the next in the series
Profile Image for Cathy Geha.
3,598 reviews66 followers
December 28, 2021
Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig
Love & Let Spy # 3

Sterling is a word that has meaning and thus, LADY STERLING chose her name…she is not really Robin Hood but one who does work for women in need of a little something extra after they have been exploited in and abused the homes that employed them.

Lady Sterling, really Miss Laura Hopkins, has ties via her brother to the government’s spy-force. (I do hope her brother will show up in the future in his own book.)

Anyway, this book takes on from the past book in the series in which a book was acquired that has information the government wants/needs but who can decipher the code?

Step in Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, with his own backstory and why did he step in? His boss pushed him forcefully forward and he was suddenly center stage and dealing with…his wife? The woman he was sent to find information on?

Anyway…this is an interesting story with reference to plays that may or may not have existed in real life, characters that were possibly real, and a series that did make them real. Their matchmaker was a man high up in the government spycrafting information gathering echelons and their story…interesting if not riveting though well worth reading.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read another book in this series? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington – Lyrical Press for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4 Stars
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