In 1812 London, Lady Juliet Pervill has managed to become the talk of the town. To take revenge on her father, Lord Harrington has his way with Lady Juliet, and they are caught by her would-be suitor Lord Robert Barksdale. Robert abandons her immediately, not wanting to associate himself with a fallen woman. Juliet knows that now she has no future because of her new reputation, but she is not one to take this sitting down.
Instead, she decides to make use of her education. Juliet is a very intelligent woman in an age where women are expected to only look pretty and find a man to marry. Juliet, however, has a degree in mathematics and is proud that she has done her theses on differential calculus. She manages to attain an audience with Falcon, head of the Foreign Office. To his surprise, he meets "J. Pervill" and discovers the author who attended Oxford was not male, but female. When she tells him she is seeking a position to work for him, he reminds her that ladies do not work for the Foreign Office. She in turn reminds HIM that she is no longer considered a lady. Her reputation is ruined, so why not take a chance and do something that will make use of her higher education?
He hires her, to the dismay of Seamus McCurren, who finds that she is now his colleague. It's not just working with a woman that bothers him, but working with HER. There is something about her that drives him nuts, but he can't pinpoint it. The two of them are to work together to crack secret codes sent out by the French in order to help fight against the war with France and Napoleon. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem the two do well at all working together. Juliet, however, actually does quite well on her own, deciphering part of the French code that Seamus hasnít been able to figure out on his own, making Juliet look really good in Falconís eyes. And while it seems that Seamus is jealous of her success, he's really turned on by her intelligence.
I enjoyed this third novel by Samantha Saxon. Her historical romances seem to always feature a woman far more intelligent than the men around her, women who enjoy being in roles that lead them to danger. In The Ladyís Code, there is plenty of danger to go around. Juliet doesn't know that her work decoding these French codes is taking her closer to the mastermind who created the codes in the first place, and it isn't until she's put in increasing danger that Seamus realizes how he feels about her. While Juliet is not considered a beauty in the eyes of the English Ton (her best friend Felicity is far more beautiful), Seamus is attracted to her spirit and her intelligence. In his eyes, she's the prettiest woman he's ever met. Readers will love the adventures that Juliet finds herself in, and will cheer as she redeems herself despite being thought of as a fallen woman.