I have managed to read a few novels this month, nothing like I had planned, of course! Two involved espionage in romantic Regency England.
Book #1 - London Calling by Anna Elliot - book 2 of the Susanna and the Spy series.
I really enjoyed this little regency spy treat. It's light and entertaining with enough espionage to keep it fun. Elliot manages to keep me on the edge of my seat with sweaty palms and heart racing. Mainly, I just love Susanna and her beau, James. This is not an ex-rated novel by any means - it's sweet and I felt content and happy when I was done reading! I hope Anna Elliot continues writing about Susanna because I just love her.
Amazon's Book Description:
Romance and treason in Regency London
It is the autumn of 1809, and Susanna Ward's life is more perfect than she could ever have dared hope. She is reconciled with her estranged family and engaged to the man she loves, Lord James Ravenwood. But across the English Channel, Britain's war with the Emperor Napoleon still rages. And when a chance letter arrives from London, Susanna learns that James has secretly allowed himself to be drawn into the shadowy world of espionage and intrigue. To be with James, Susanna travels to London--and is soon caught up in a dangerous operation to uncover a ring of French spies and a traitor within the British War Office.
Susanna will risk her life to protect both her country and the man she loves. And yet as she sees James torn between love for her and duty to King and country, she realizes that the greatest danger may be to her own heart.
Set against the glittering backdrop of a Regency London Season, London Calling is a cozy mystery, appropriate for all ages. It is approximately 61,000 words or 244 pages in length.
Although London Calling can be read alone, the story builds on the events of Susanna and the Spy
London Calling - $3.99 for Kindle on Amazon
Susanna and the Spy - free on Kindle
Book #2 - A Lady by Chance by Cheryl Bolen
Pretty good regency romance with a hearty splash of espionage. Anna and Charles, the Marquis of Haverstock are excellent characters. Just a few chapters into the book I did pose the question to myself, would I marry for revenge? I doubt it! Could I marry for status? Most likely not. So.....the heroine and hero marry, quickly and within moments of meeting each other or knowing each other. Driven by love of country, revenge, status, illegitimacy and I believe love at first sight (but I'm a romantic).
This was no cozy romance , there was a lot more then a few kisses in this novel. All the characters were well developed and likable even when they were at their worst. It could have gone either way with the wide assortment of supporting characters but I was pleased with Bolen's story overall. I find that romance can easily become nothing more then characters cheating, making each other jealous or having nasty irritating family members that make me turn each page with dread or skip to the end so I can be done with it. I didn't find it so with this particular Bolen novel. I haven't read a lot of Bolen but if in the future a storyline catches my eye I would definitely give it a go. This regency is only $.99 for Kindle on Amazon.
Amazon's Book Description:
Manipulated into a marriage of convenience to prove their patriotism, Anna and Charles, the Marquess of Haverstock, question each other's loyalties. But there's no question that Anna's silken touch has bewitched the powerful lord who has become her husband, and no question that she craves every moment in his arms.
I'm not so sure about this description, it's a little lame and doesn't really give the essence of what the story is about.
Cheryl Bolen's Website - Link to A Lady By Chance
The above link will take you right to A Lady By Chance on Cheryl Bolen's website. It gives a better glimpse as to what the book is about, links to purchasing on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble and a neat look at the original paperback cover - very 80's look even though it was first published in 2000.
I just love the word espionage. I think of Jason Bourne and James Bond, illicit love affairs, vodka martinis, little intrigues that take secret agents all over the world, gambling, unlimited money, murder and mayhem - it sounds lonely too! It's nice to enjoy a read of that type but I love a dashing spy, sassy heroine and romance set in the regency period.
Being a history lover I can't close without sharing one of my favorite quotes from Pride & Prejudice to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the novel's 1st publication of January 28, 1813.
“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh. Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me.” Elizabeth Darcy