Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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Before I say anything else, this cover is the most ridiculous I have seen in a while. Wow. His oiled chest has nothing to do with the story whatsoever, and if I wasn't told this was good a bazilion times, I would have never picked this up.
I ran across recommendations regarding this book from a couple of different sources. So I went to the library, checked it out and it sat in my to read pile, the spine never cracked. This was last summer. I was in the mood for a light brainless romance, and this is anything but that.
So a year later I find myself still inundated with "You must read this" from various internet sources and so I go and get it. And this time I was wowed.
Unless you didn't read the title, its about spies. I have not read many spy books, but this one just kept me on the edge of my seat, especially in the beginning. Would they escape? Oh another mess! How do they get out?
The first 4th of the novel I couldn't put it down it was so engaging. It stayed that way too, for the most part throughout the novel. No so much high action as the first half but good enough. You can't be all action or the action doesn't feel like action anymore.
The only reason that this did not get 5 stars is that it is marketed as a romance. And there are romantic elements but the main focus of this story is not the love but the spy games and really the heroine, Annique. I have had other romances that do both well, focus on an awesome plot and keep the romance going. And this one was boarder line but the fact was after the first love scene, I found myself unconsciously skimming through their alone time to get back to the main story.
So it gets four stars. I mean it was great and I would recommend it to anyone who likes spies and history, since it is set mostly in Napoleonic France (though I also have no idea if it is in any way at all historically accurate or completely fictitious), and who isn't afraid of a little bit of romance and sex.
Originally posted on GR in 2010. I am actually going to try for a reread this year so we'll see if I end up bumping my rating :)