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Spymaster's Lady Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (Jan. 2 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425219607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425219607
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.8 x 17 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #452,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Praise for the novels of Joanna Bourne:

"Once in a while, during every reader's literary life, you encounter a book that reminds you why you are a reader. It renews your faith, if faith was lost; it rekindles your interest, if interest waned; and every word, every page, is a wonder.....Joanna Bourne is one of the best authors currently writing. If Ms. Bourne continues writing at such quality, she would deserve to be called one of the greatest romance authors ever. And I mean that." --All About Romance

"Books by [Joanna Bourne] are like a box of fine Laduree macaroons, not cheap junk food. They should be leisurely savored as the exquisite delicacies they are, for Bourne is a master wordsmith, able to charm, excite or break a reader’s heart with the stroke of her pen."--Dear Author

About the Author

Joanna Bourne is the award-winning author of Rogue Spy, The Black Hawk, The Forbidden Rose, My Lord and Spymaster, and The Spymaster's Lady. She has always loved reading and writing romance. She's drawn to Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and Regency England because, as she puts it, “It was a time of love and sacrifice, daring deeds, clashing ideals, and really cool clothing.” She's lived in seven different countries, including England and France, the settings of the Spymaster series. Joanna lives on a mountaintop in the Appalachians with her family, a peculiar cat, and an old brown country dog.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a splendidly written story that holds your attention from beginning till end, and is fairly easy to digest. The novel stands out for its intrigue and action; nothing too heavy, but nonetheless there. The plot right off the bat captivated me. There is a chance that diving into this book without knowing much of the plot would make the reading more interesting. Thus, be fairly warned that the rest of this review contains spoilers.

**SPOILER ALERT**

The Fuss: the Albion Plans
Details Napoleon’s plan on the invasion of British soil
Deadly to England if they remained hidden
Perilous to France if given to the English

Characters (my favourites only):

ANNIQUE
Known as “Fox Cub”, part of Vauban’s (renown person in the spy business) inner circle
Blinded six months ago at Bruges
Has Eidetic “Photographic” memory
Fiercely loyal and loving to those close to her, level-headed enough to know not to trust people, and down to earth enough to know that she will be subject to interrogation/torture despite her relationship with Grey and Adrian

GREY
Head of English spies, England division
Has made a name for himself in the spy business
Lusts for Annique since first sight, but is a patriot and level-headed enough to know that business comes first

ADRIAN
Skilled English spy, severely injured at the beginning of the story
Forms a friendship with Annique early on
Becomes Annique’s champion. She did after all, saved his life. But he also genuinely likes her.

The story begins with Annique being imprisoned along with two English spies by Leblanc in chateau Garches, house of the French Secret Police.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first novel written by Joanna Bourne in her Spymasters Series of books even though it is promoted as Spymasters 2. The events in this novel occur about 7 years after the events in the second novel written, 'The Forbidden Rose,' (Spymasters 1). I have read them all now and in my opinion, reading The Spymaster's Lady first is a really good way of getting to know the Spymasters world. It does not matter if you read the books out of order.

French spy, Annique Villiers, has me in awe of her wit, strength, tenacity, cleverness, ability to dodge any curve-ball thrown at her, and her courage. Oh how I love her. British spy, Grey, is Annique's enemy and her most ardent protector. He is strong, brave, clever, adaptable, romantic and he won me over so much I hoped fervently that Annique would overlook all the solid reasons to reject Grey and accept him instead. The pull between Annique and Grey is powerful and a joy to read.

There are many beloved secondary characters (Grey''s colleagues) who are fully fleshed out and wonderful including William Doyle (hero in The Forbidden Rose - 5 Star novel) and Adrian Hawker (hero in The Black Hawk - 5 Star novel). I could feel Annique''s longing to belong to a group of people who shared a strong connection & camaraderie as depicted in this group of spies. The loyalty, love and trust shared was truly beautiful.

I found this novel different to the regency novels I usually read. I was riveted by the adventure and romance of this spy story and found myself literally breathless wanting to know what will happen in the next section. The author got the pacing of the adventure, intrigue, and most especially the build-up to the love just right.

The writing and the plot are excellent.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this book, enemy spies get thrown in jail together. When they escape, the English spy captures the French spy to take her secrets to his masters, but his admiration for her skills and his attraction to her starts to distract him from his duty.

This is a very skillfully written book, from a suspense point of view. There are twists and turns to the story that eludes the usual cookie cutter spy romance. Annique's character is especially well characterized even if Robert's stays a bit vague. The only drawback to the plot is that the solution to everyone's problems arrives too abruptly. This makes the reader wonder why the characters spent so long agonizing between duty when the solution was so simple, and it makes the denouement less emotional, less romantic.

From a romance point of view, I thought the book was touching at times and frustrating at others. Maybe even too realistically so. Without revealing notable scenes, one can say that it is hard to see where the attraction was on Annique's part, Robert never seems to put her first, until the very end, and that's long after a long list of devious things he does to her. They're spies and enemies, but while Annique tries to escape, she doesn't undermine Robert's purpose like he does hers. So for a long time, the romantic conflict seems really one sided, with Robert acting like a heartless spy. It seems as though the romantic conflict on Robert's side is feeling remorse each time he does something he feels wrong about. If the reader can cope with this, the book will be an excellent read.
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