‘Lady’s Secret Weapon’ by Tracey Devlyn

ALSW TDSTORY: Seduction is His Duty to King and Country

Ethan deBeau has charmed his way into the beds of countless women, enticing them to whisper all kinds of state secrets in his ear. But his latest assignment is completely different: find a missing young boy. It’s practically child’s play for a master spy such as Ethan. Until Miss Sydney Hunt threatens to unravel all his carefully laid plans. Who in the world is this woman?

But Tempting Her is All for Pleasure

Sydney has worked hard to maintain a facade of respectability—all while keeping a network of contacts among London’s underground world. When she hears of strange activities at a local home for orphans, she’s determined to find out what’s really going on. Until she runs headlong into a notorious rake eager to expose every inch of her…

REVIEW: This is a third story of secret agents of Nexus series, and personally, my favorite.

Before I give you my thoughts on it, let me make it clear that in order for you to get the greatest enjoyment of this story, you need to read the other two, #1 is ‘A Lady’s Revenge’ and #2 is ‘Checkmate, My Lord’. The reason behind it is the back-story and the dynamic of the Nexus group and who they are.

In this third installment, we’re in for a treat as we find out more about Ethan as he falls for Sydney Hunt, who runs the Hunt Employment Agency, and is ‘under his foot’ as they both are working separately, on the same case. Soon, it becomes obvious that they should change that fact, but trusting one another isn’t that easy.

What I liked best was the tension and the chemistry these two had when together. Unlike the first book, which was a bit too dark for me, and the second a tad predictable, this one had just the right amount of everything I love in my romance: filled with action, adventure and spies. And finally the bad guy Specter is reveled.

I also liked the plot, pace and complexity of this story. All of those have contributed greatly to the authenticity of the journey our couple had taken to their happily ever after. I like it when the story throws you a few surprises, never lagging and feeling predictable.

Bottom line: If Napoleonic wars, spies, adventure and mystery filled romance is your thing, this one will be a book not to be missed, but be warned, read the other two first.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘Checkmate, My Lord’ by Tracey Devlyn

CML TDSTORY: A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s sent to betray.

Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Lord Somerton, has spent the last decade protecting England’s shores against a French invasion. Known for his cold logic and ability to sacrifice anything for the greater good, few can outwit him, and even fewer dare challenge him. Until now.

After being exiled to his country estate, Sebastian is surprised when his beautiful, no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him. But years of intrigue have left him wondering why a respectable widow would risk scandal for a few nights in his bed. Sebastian takes his time unraveling the widow’s secrets, for he quickly realizes she might be the one sacrifice he is unwilling to make.

Living a quiet existence at Winter’s Hollow, Catherine Ashcroft spends her days doing little more than caring for her precocious six-year-old daughter and negotiating her neighbors’ various complaints against their absentee landowner, the enigmatic Earl of Somerton. But, all her boredom comes to a searing halt after learning her newly returned neighbor might have had something to do with her husband’s murder.

Catherine’s orderly existence soon upends and she now finds herself in a desperate bid to save her daughter’s life. But she must betray the earl to do so, even though she no longer suspects him of foul play. Lauren succumbs to the earl’s passionate kisses and recognizes the same loneliness she has felt for years lurking in his hard, crystalline eyes. As her lover’s enemies close in, will Catherine be able to save both her beloved daughter and the handsome spy who has stolen her heart?

REVIEW: This is the second book of the spies of Nexus series and I liked it better than the first.

If you decide to read it, please do so in order, so that you’ll get the greatest enjoyment out of this story, and the entire series. Here’s the order of the series: #1 is A Lady’s Revenge’ followed by #2 here  ‘Checkmate, My Lord’ and ending with #3 ‘Lady’s Secret Weapon’. The reason behind it is the back-story and the dynamic of the Nexus group and who they are and what their mission is.

And now let me tell you why this story impressed and delighted my little ol’ self. The reason behind it is Catherine and Sebastian. They were solid, three-dimensional and very complex characters that fascinated and at times boggled the mind.

Catherine is forced to deal with a personal loss of her husband and is ready to do anything it takes to discover who’s behind it, even if it means a personal sacrifice.

Sebastian is a Chief of Nexus, a spymaster whose enemies are widely spread and as advanced as their own organization and while he might seem calm, cool and collected on the outside, he is anything but.

Even though the storyline was a tad predictable, I enjoyed the plot and its fast pace. Those combined with two very headstrong characters, such as Sebastian and Catherine, make this a very compelling story.

Tracey Devlyn had managed to create a fascinating, exciting and intriguing world of good guys and bad; love stories with passion and chemistry that jumps off the pages; characters that have gone through betrayals and heartbreak only to realize that they’re just human and therefore flawed, yet still capable to give and receive deep and abiding love.

Bottom line my bookworms? If you’re a history buff, you’ll like this story; if you like your romance with seduction, sensuality and suspense, you’ll love this story very much.

Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘A Lady’s Revenge’ by Tracey Devlyn

Let me start off by saying that I might be one of those readers that appreciates a tortured hero story more often than not. Tracey Devlyn’s debut without a doubt qualifies as one of the darker stories I’ve read, and it leaves me conflicted as to why, in the end I didn’t connect to the heroine as much as I should have…

From the first page, I had the feeling that I was missing something of great importance…like the start of the story. Don’t misunderstand. The story’s beginning is great. The hero is in France with his friend looking to rescue a fellow spy, this infamous Raven and they’re in this dark place; the heart of the enemy’s torture chambers and you can smell the stench of the place as the author is very good at conveying it to us, and the suspense is in itself tortures to the readers. The author was well on her way of telling me a great story, yet I felt like I was dropped in the middle of it, and not taking the journey from the start.

Guy Trevelyan in rescuing Raven finds that the woman he loved ever since his childhood has become a spy and is now laying hurt and broken in this chamber of hrrors.

As the story develops, we find out the reason behind our heroines choice to become a spy and why she is reluctant to surrender to her feelings for Guy. We also get introduced to some nasty characters and one in particular, the nefarious French agent who is obsessed with Cora and as long as he’s alive, our heroine will never have peace.

Again, I’m not sure what kept me from enjoying this story, as much as I should. It had all the right ingredients. It was set in 1804 Regency and my favorite era; it had a hero to die for and a tortured heroine; passion and love were great so what went wrong?

Was it too much of reality even for me? The scenes in which the author portrays the brutality and pain were very real and Cora goes through much of physical abuse and that just might have been a bit too much even for me to read through. Or was it her stubbornness that was off putting to me? It has been a month now since I’ve read it and after all this time, I can remember the characters, the scenes and the places yet I still feel disconnect and I can’t really blame the author as she has written a good story. It moved at a slower pace than I would have liked, but the plot as predictable as it was, kept me interested and reading.

If you’re looking for a light read, this one is not for you. However, if you’re looking for something that’s dark and deep with lots of shades of gray, this just might be a read for you. In the end I’m giving this read my four quills for its writing alone.

*This review posted on Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine*