In the newest Spymaster novel, “master of romance and suspense”* Joanna Bourne offers a stirring tale of intrigue, espionage, and attraction.
Sèverine de Cabrillac, orphan of the French revolution and sometime British intelligence agent, has tried to leave spying behind her. Now she devotes herself to investigating crimes in London and finding justice for the wrongly accused.
Raoul Deverney, an enigmatic half-Spaniard with enough secrets to earn even a spy's respect, is at her door demanding help. She's the only one who can find the killer of his long-estranged wife and rescue her missing fourteen-year-old daughter.
Sèverine reluctantly agrees to aid him, even though she knows the growing attraction between them makes it more than unwise. Their desperate search for the girl unleashes treason and murder. . . and offers a last chance for two strong, wounded people to find love.
A murder, a missing girl, an assassination attempt, and two hostile people who fight an attraction come together in the latest of the Spymasters series in this delicious and twisting tale set after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Beauty Like the Night is book six in the series. I would imagine the series works best read in order, but this was my fist of the novel-length stories and I was able to read it just fine. The plot was self-contained though the surrounding cast have been around through earlier books.
I had the opportunity to sample a couple of novellas while reading the Last Chance Christmas Ball antho and the Gambled Away antho that are side stories to the series that gave me a taste of the writer’s work. I enjoyed it and her shadow world of spies and underworld characters so I was glad to finally pick up one of the main stories of the series. I was not disappointed.
The story is that of Raoul Deverney a French-Spanish aristocrat and Severine de Cabrillac high born French child adopted into an English lord’s household during the French Revolution. Both are more than they seem and the story opens with a riveting scene that lays out what is to come nicely. I was captivated by both Raoul and Sevie and found it interesting as they warily circled each other thinking the worst, but needing to work together for an important cause.
The attraction sparked and sizzled between them though they were so contained and drove each other mad. Their cat and mouse game through spying, investigating, and passion was well written. Two deadly people who respected each other’s skill have to decide if they can get over the past and trust each other with their hearts.
Alongside the romance was a twisting plot that harked back to time on the battlefield that was Spain during the war. Everyone searches for the same thing, the amulet and a twelve-year old girl who may know something about it. Sevie and Raoul must figure out why and figure out who would kill to get it.
The story was enlarged to include not just Sevie and Raoul’s narration, but that of other longstanding series characters. I enjoyed these moments to get to know the others and appreciated that there were no series spoilers from the stories that came before even while letting the characters continue in this latest book.
In summary, it was a fabulous experience. I loved the sense of historical knowledge not only of the time period, but the specific part of espionage and Napoleonic war elements laced through the story. This is for those who enjoy spy suspense stories mixed with historical romance.
My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #177 HR
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