Review: Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne

Posted August 25, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 33 Comments

Review: Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne
Beauty Like the Night

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Spymasters #6
Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on August 1, 2017
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

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
New Release #119
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Ohh, sounds really good Sophia Rose. I always love suspense especially if there’s a romance in it. And my! This sounds exactly like my kind of book. Great review!

    • I like it when a book has both of those elements, too, Vanessa. This one was great. I’m definitely reading the whole series.

  • I like the sound of this one. I can’t think of too many books that I have read set in this time period and this sounds like it has a lot of great action. Great review!

    • One of my favorite situations for a historical is Napoleonic era espionage- guess it was all those Sharpe’s Rifle episodes on PBS. LOL I think you’d like it, Carole.

  • I am glad you were able to enjoy this book even though you read it out of order. I like how stories in anthologies can give me a taste for the writer’s style and can convince me to pick up one of their other books. That sounds interesting how the couple is so wary of the other, but are forced to work together. I don’t think I’ve seen many stories set during the Napoleonic war, so that sounds neat this one took place then. Great review!

    • Yes, that is exactly the thing I love most about trying anthologies- finding new to me authors to love.
      This was a tension-filled one the way they suspected each other, but I really enjoyed the story and the situation.

  • RO

    It’s fascinating to hear about spies and mystery stories from this era, and to have the romance thrown in makes it even better. Glad you enjoyed it! Hugs…Happy Saturday!

    • The author sure did her research. It felt very authentic especially the spy tools and skills and ways of doing things. Oh yes, the romance was a great bonus. 🙂

  • RO

    It’s fascinating to hear about spies and mystery stories from this era, and to have the romance thrown in makes it even better. Glad you enjoyed it! Hugs…Happy Saturday!

  • That sounds like an interesting story and I like the mystery and adventure feel of it.

    • Yes, you caught exactly what pulled me in to this one. 🙂

  • Karen

    I don’t think this is the book for me but I know my sister in law would love it. I will rec it to her!

    For What It’s Worth

    • I’m always on the lookout for books to share with my family and friends, too. Great idea, Karen!

  • An interesting period to read about there! I think I only tried something like that once but well I wasn’t impressed. I need to try more!

    • This definitely was an exciting story. Its just after the war, but what the pair of them did during the war is still in play.
      I understand about being reluctant if the last one didn’t work for you. Glad you’re giving this type another chance. 🙂

  • Ooooooooo, espionage. 😀 😀 😀 I’ve seen this book’s cover around the blogosphere but I’d honestly not read any reviews! It sounds like you had fun with this one. Do you think you will go back and read the other books in the series?

    Fantastic review, Sophia! Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • I already snagged book one from my library. 🙂 Going back in for more historical espionage.

  • oh I just love seeing these themes in historical romance and they are just NOT done enough in my opinion. They add so much more depth and this is where authors can get more historically detailed.

    • I agree. I love the added suspense and it was neat learning how spying worked 200 years ago.

  • This has so many elements I love. I have not tried this author.

    • I was so glad to encounter her writing in a couple historical romance anthos. This novel-length was even better. I was captivated by the way she writes her historical espionage romances, for sure.

  • Oh sounds well researched and I love a historical romance with espionage. Totally sold me on this one!

    • It felt that way to me, for sure. It was neat to see how espionage was like in that time.

      Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance, Melissa! 🙂

  • I haven’t read any of the books in this series- but I like that you were able to read this one out of order and it was still so great. Spy books and historical fiction are two genres I enjoy. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • It was her novellas that were included in a couple anthologies that caught my eye. They were from the world of this series and made me really want to see a full length story of historical spies and romance. Worth it, Jess! 🙂

  • sounds like a fantastic read that is well written. Always enjoy books that you can just jump into in the middle of the series, especially if you pick it up by mistake

    • It was great, Lily! It did work pretty good out of order. I’m not sure if every book will work that way, but luckily this one did. 😉

  • This sounds like I a story I would enjoy. Great review, Sophia.

    • Excellent! Glad to point you to it, Nadene. 🙂

  • Haven’t read anything from the author but this one sounds really good. Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • It is so hard to keep up with all the authors and books out there. I discover so many from visiting blogs.

      Thanks, Vanessa!

  • Debbie Haupt

    Oh I like the sound of this Sophia Rose and she’s a new to me author. Thanks

    • Doesn’t this one sound great, Debbie? I saw the blurb and had to read it. I looked it up and some of the older ones from the series are at my library. 🙂