One Night With a Spy Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2008
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When the other three members of the Royal Four--England's most secretive and powerful group of spies--arrive at Lord Aldus Barrowby's estate to meet his successor, they were expecting a man. Instead, the Cobra, the Lion, and the Falcon discover that the recently deceased Fox had been training his lovely young wife, Julia, to take his place. Before they are willing to accept Julia into their circle, the remaining members of the original Royal Four commission Marcus Ramsay to find out more about the unusual young lady. As the Lion's protege, Marcus had spent years waiting for his chance to join the Royal Four, and now he isn't about to let a mere woman, even the "Beauty of Barrowby," steal this opportunity away from him. The latest superb entry in Bradley's series has everything her readers crave: wit, a deliciously sensual romance between a delightfully original pair of protagonists, and a captivating plot expertly laced with intrigue and danger. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Funny, adventurous, passionate, and especially poignant, this is a great beginning to a new series…Bradley mixes suspense and a sexy love story to perfection.”—RT Bookclub on To Wed A Scandalous Spy
“A wonderful start to a very looked-forward-to new series…once again showcases Celeste Bradley’s talent of creating sensual and intriguing plots filled with memorable and endearing characters…a non-stop read.”—Romance Reader at Heart on To Wed A Scandalous Spy
“Danger, deceit, and desire battle with witty banter and soaring passion for prominence in this highly engrossing tale…Bradley also provides surprises galore, both funny and suspenseful, and skillfully ties them all in neatly with the romance so as to make this story more than averagely memorable.”
—Road to Romance on To Wed A Scandalous Spy
“A fantastic read…Bradley successfully combines mystery, intrigue, romance, and intense sensuality into this captivating book.”—Romance Junkies
Top Customer Reviews
The author knows her craft well, she takes us on a winding road that had me almost wanting to throw the book in frustration at the twists and turns of the plots, at the indignities that befall the heroine. Then she rewards us with the incredibly sweet (and yes, a little cheesy, but why else would we read romance novels but for the cheese?) outcome. But after the built up tension, even if the outcome seems a little too pat, we're still happy that all's well that ends well.
A very good read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Marcus arrives at Barrowby under an assumed name, pretending to be a suitor looking for a wealthy bride. There is already a healthy competition underway for Julia's hand. Julia believes that, as the all-powerful Fox, she would do best to find a weak and compliant husband, so she does not at first view the virile and opinionated Marcus as marriage material. However, as time passes and she sees and experiences more of him - he even invades her dreams - the sexually starved Julia, who had an almost platonic relationship with her late husband, begins to reconsider her criteria in a mate. Also, someone has begun to ruthlessly sabotage her estate, putting lives at risk. This brings into stark relief Julia's need for a strong man like Marcus whom she can confide in. Marcus, who set out to gain her confidence in order to destroy her, is now within sight of achieving his goal, but he has grown quite attached to Julia. Will he obliterate his competition, or will he surrender to her?
This story is a little slow to get going, with humorous elements such as the privy calamity tending to overwhelm the first half of the story. The action picks up in the second half when Marcus becomes conflicted about his objectives. It is nice to see the fiercely competitive, cocksure, and somewhat chauvinistic Marcus humbled by kind-hearted and capable Julia. The love scenes could use more warmth, though, and seem mostly physical, without a strong emotional connection. Also, the inclusion of so many passages from Julia's diary is a little distracting. However, Julia is an appealing and sympathetic heroine who shows admirable strength in adversity, and I enjoyed her and Marcus' funny asides. The conclusion was exciting and gratifying.
When the Fox dies, his young widow Julia stuns the remaining Royal Three when she announces she is his sucsessor. Not only that, she advises she has been acting in the Fox's capacity for the past three years of her husband's confinement. Not only is she young but female! Shocked, the three advise her that they will return in three weeks with their decision to accept or reject her position into the Royal Four. Marcus, the Lion's understudy, had always thought the position of the Fox would go to him and when he finds out that Julia wants the position he agrees to go investigate her to see if she is actually worthy of the position.
When Marcus arrives he finds that several young fortune hunters have already been circling trying to win the heart of the new widow, but she cleverly announces she has chosen a fiance, the dandy Elliot. Marcus cannot believe the woman he was so ready to believe a swindler, is so warm and loving and before long he is losing his heart to her for real. When her estate is viciously attacked, he works at her side to set things in order. He starts seeing the strength and character in Julia and wonders if she wouldn't make a great Fox. When he finds a box full of diaries with her wildest sexual fantasies inside, he uses them to get close to Julia and move Elliot out of the way. Julia can't fight the feelings she has for Marcus, she knows her life has to be for the Fox, but can't she this once have a little passion in her life. Soon secrets are revealed that can destroy their relationship and finally decide the fate of the FOX.
This book was awesome. My review may tell a lot about the story but I didn't give away the details and surprises in the story that make it an exceptional book. As always in her stories, the hero and heroine have phenominal chemistry and you can feel the sensuality long before either one acts on their feelings. Make sure you have time when you start reading this one because you won't be able to put it down. I cannot wait to read the fourth book, Seducing the Spy!
Characters: Great tension between Marcus and Elliot (who is also a great supporting character and could be a future hero if CB wants to write more). Throughout the novel we see writings of Julia's own romance story that she develops as a means of "escape" from her past. Julia is very smart, but of all Celeste Bradley heroines - she stands out as the most emotional and dramatic one I can remember - (and she has a pet lion!!!)
Once again - as far as revisiting characters is concerned - Celeste Bradley does a fantastic job! (Dalton from book 2 in Liar's club! *drooool*) And I'm more excited than ever for Wyndham's book (the Falcon) to be released in the late summer. In fact of all the Royal 4, his character has seemed the most mysterious and observant, and I can't wait to see him fall in love and go mad w/ desire!
Plot: The flirting scene at the lake is my favorite! I was also surprised that Celeste Bradley even had another important running character throughout her series attacked in this one - great drama enhancer!
As far as the romance itself was concerned - yeah, it felt prosey sometimes but compared to the other royal 4 books - this one is steamier.
Final Grade: A- (if you're trying to follow along the running story line for the Liar's club books - this one's important.)