Genres: Historical Romance
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Loving her would be his downfall…
To society, the Earl of Blackstone cuts a mysterious figure. He is eligible, withdrawn, and endlessly fascinating. Yet as an integral part of London’s underground spy ring intent on defeating Napoleon, Blackstone has no mistress but the cause.
Miss Emily Mirren is considered “unbiddable” by the ton. She wields a fierce intellect, which she channels into her own secret cause—writing an abolitionist newspaper column under a male pseudonym.
When Emily’s aims clash with Blackstone’s, they stray into a dangerous game of attraction and subterfuge, and secrets are the going currency. And in order to complete the most important mission of his career, Blackstone must thwart Emily, even if it breaks both their hearts.
My thoughts 3 Stars
It took me awhile to become fully invested into Emily and The Earl of Blackstone journey to love. Once I did though, I liked the story. It was an engaging read, and the author writing style is really beautiful. She pulled me in, even when I wanted to push the book aside. I did find the pace slow in bits, but the spy plot was intriguing and different, and I was compelled to read to see how it would end. I also enjoyed the romance between Emily and Blackstone, and found it sweet and endearing!
Guest reviewer Maria Rose thoughts: 5 Stars
This captivating regency romance is the story of Eric, the Earl of Blackstone and Miss Emily Mirren.
Eric has been pursuing a French spy for several years, the man whose actions resulted in the loss of his commanding officer (Emily’s father) on the field of battle, leaving Emily orphaned and living under the guardianship of Mr. Manning. They both have aims to expose Mr. Manning of underhanded things, but unbeknownst to Emily, Eric’s aims clash with her own. Now with time on no-one’s side, it’s a race to see whose plan will prevail first and whether or not hearts will be broken along the way.
There is a mental checklist I have of tropes I love to see in a historical romance and the author must have had a copy of this list because she captured everything I love about this genre. A spy for the crown -check. A wounded war veteran hero – check. A smart and feisty virgin heroine – check. Loyal comrades of the hero – check. An English country estate – check. Shenanigans at this estate that could result in ruination – check. A surprise twist to the ending -check. With all of this going for her, and a fast moving and entertaining plot, there wasn’t really anything I wasn’t going to like. So the question then is, what makes this story unique and different from what else is available in the genre today? The answer to that is twofold for me. Firstly, and without giving away any spoilers, I liked how the “ruination” unfolded (and I mean that in more than the fact that the sex was well written and steamy ) but also in how things were resolved along that front. In general, plots where the heroine engages in activity of such a nature generally end up with a forced marriage. I won’t say what happens here except to say that it was all rather delightful what ensued. Secondly and more importantly, I can’t recall ever reading a regency romance where the topic of the slave trade (in particular blacks from Africa) and the impact of it on English Society has ever been discussed. Here it is a huge part of what has shaped Emily’s character, her past and her future. I had honestly never given any thought to the fact that black slavery existed in Britain as in America so kudos to the author for choosing a unique subject to focus on for the plot of this story, in addition to the more routine (and equally well written) espionage plot.
There is definite chemistry between Eric and Emily from the first time that they meet, though initially it is one of dislike rather than like – but never indifference. As Eric opens up to reveal some of himself to Emily, it becomes a tit for tat endeavour and before long they realize that they can in fact be friends, with perhaps some added benefits. I loved the sexual tension between them, and how their relationship unfolded. I also really liked Eric’s moral dilemma of working towards his ultimate goal when he realizes that in doing so Emily’s own plans will be ruined. From beginning to end I found this to be a real page turner, and I can’t wait to read more in this series. 5 stars!
Note: a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.
About Maria Rose
I love to read all types of books that fall within the romance genre. As a child I received an award for “the most books read in Grade 1″. Naturally the prize was another book! (and to this day I still have it – Alice in Wonderland). Thus began my love affair with reading.
I first started reading romance books when my junior high locker partner would bring her mom’s Harlequins to school for us to giggle over (and have wonderful men star in our teenaged dreams). From there I branched off into historical romance by classic authors such as Johanna Lindsey, Barbara Cartland and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Though I still love historical romances to this day, I also really enjoy contemporary, new adult and erotic romances.I’m married with 2 young children and work full time as a chemist for a pharmaceutical company. I love books that combine humour and romance, and any type of science is always a plus!