In a magical realm, an enchanting Lady ensnares a virtuous tax-collector into her dangerous double life.
Lady by day, lockpick by night, Em has some serious misgivings about her latest sneak job. It stinks of espionage, and she’d be more comfortable with straightforward theft. Her intuition proves right when she is confronted by her client, a sweet and sexy mind-reading tax-collector named Quintin. The job turns sour when they are discovered by his blackmailing boss. Posing as lovers to throw off the scent, their passionate embrace haunts Em even as she returns to her brittle facade as a pampered Lady of the Realm.
This double life is further threatened when her criminal contact is thrown in the stocks, leaving her in danger of exposure, and even worse, with no way to support the temple that has been her responsibility since her mother’s death. In desperation, she seeks Quintin out and is horrified to discover he is a Hand of Destin, marked for service to the Troika by a feline familiar. Hands are loyal and true, defenders of the weak, upholders of the law, notoriously honor-bound. In short, everything that she, a willing outlaw, is not.
Despite their differences, the attraction between Em and Quintin only grows stronger, even as she seeks out new ways to earn the beans she needs for her temple. When Em’s father starts talking marriage settlements with a wealthy, but odious, suitor, Em realizes just how much Quintin means to her. But can she find a way to save her temple and still marry her poor but perfect tax collector?