The Secrets of A Ladyby Published 01 Sep 2011
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Audrey Jordan isn't your typical Regency lady. To escape unrequited feelings for her brother's best friend Griffin Berenger, she entered a life of a spy. But her current case has brought her back to the man she once loved and lost, a man who is now a broken widower. Audrey and her brother are stalking his neighbor, a man who may be plotting to kill the Prince. Staying in Griffin's home, Audrey is reminded of all the desires and feelings he once stirred in her. As for Griffin, he finds himself obsessed with Audrey, and driven to protect her even if it threatens her case.
But as their desire for each other grows, the case Audrey and her brother are investigating heats up. And if she cannot arrest the blackguard in her sights, she may not live, let alone get to live happily ever after with the man of her dreams.
"The Secrets of A Lady " Reviews
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading this, but I presumed it to be a romance novel, and when starting, the time period was listed as the Jane Austen era, basically. What came next was more of a surprise. A spy story!
The novel begins with Audrey Jordan getting drunk at the wedding of her childhood crush, Griffin Berenger. She kisses him, and his newly wedded wife swears vengeance. Some years later, the wife is a late wife and Griffin is alone. Meanwhile, Audrey has been with her brother learing to be a spy. And they need Griffin's help.
One of Griffin's neighbours is a creepy man plotting to kill the Prince Regent. To get closer to him and his plots, Audrey puts up with his sleazy wooing. Audrey and her brother move in with Griffin to keep an eye on the creepy neighbour / would-be suitor. To Griffin's surprise, he finds himself more and more concerned about Audrey's safety, and ... kissing her ...
I rather enjoyed this novel, I have to say. It was well-paced, interesting to find out what was going to happen, good use of sexual tension, and I really liked the characters. Well, aside from Mr. Creepy Sleazebag, that is. Eww, he made my skin crawl. Which in turn is something I applaud the author for - great characterisation!
How and if ladies actually did spying back in them days, I wouldn't know. They might have done. To read about a young woman who is some kind of 19th Century Ros or Ruth is entertaining, though. Not sure about the sex, because it felt a bit too ... unchaste for the times, but it was done in the right way. So to speak.
If you like a bit of excitement and adventure and a bit of danger in your historical romances, this is great. I'm looking forward to reading the next two novels in The Jordans series, which have already been released. Or at least one has and the third one is on the way. :)
Either way, there's nothing much to comment on (aside from one use of the Americanised "scotch" instead of "whisky" somewhere near the beginning), but it sure made my train journey to London and back seem a lot shorter than it was. 4 out of 5 wooden boxes.
Audrey Jordan has loved her brother’s best friend Griffin Berenger since she was a little girl. Once, she even kissed him. Too bad it was at his wedding to another woman! Five years later, Audrey works with her brother, Noah, as a spy for the War Department. Their latest assignment brings them back to Griffin’s townhouse in London which happens to be right next door to their latest target. Audrey has spent the last five years trying to forget her girlhood infatuation with Griffin Berenger and he has spent the last five years trying to hide the feelings stirred by Audrey Jordan’s kiss. Now that they are living under the same roof, will they be able to resist their mutual attraction?
Audrey is intelligent, determined, and sensible. As a spy, she’s learned to adapt well to new and difficult situations which serves her well in juggling the affections of her latest assignment (Mr. Ellison), her lingering and growing attraction to Griffin, and how best to succeed in her mission. When she’s thrust back into Griffin’s life, all of those traits she held as a child come bubbling to the surface – her stubborn streak comes out in full force and she makes some impulsive decisions which land her in trouble both physically and with Griffin. Despite her impulsiveness, she is also sensible enough to attempt creating a barrier between herself and Griffin in order to protect her fragile heart. She is open about her thoughts and feelings, but understands the many reasons why Griffin will never be interested in her and why she maintain a professional demeanor around him. Audrey is also confident enough in herself to know that she deserves love and refuses to settle for anything less.
Griffin was a little on the broody side, but this stems from a deep betrayal by his now-dead wife. As a result, he is distrustful of many of the people around him, unsure who did or did not know of his wife’s deceit. Griffin is decisive, sometimes forceful, and very protective of Audrey. He doesn’t like her dangerous involvement with the War Department, but also recognizes her desire for independence and respects those boundaries as best he can.
Audrey and Griffin’s love story is a complicated one, which makes for an interesting story. Not only do the spy story elements create dramatic situations, but the deep emotion Audrey and Griffin feel for one another in those situations adds an extra layer to the narrative.
I would have liked to see Audrey and Griffin’s relationship develop a little more. I also felt as if Audrey was under-utilized as a spy (a sentiment shared by Audrey a few times in the book). For this assignment, Audrey was essentially just bait – there to flirt and act the “pretty Miss,” but no real ‘spy’ work done; or at least not explained that way. The role seemed to work for this assignment, which is fine, but I would have appreciated references to other assignments that show off Audrey’s real abilities as a successful spy.
I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] com
Intrigue and tension galore.
This book was a delightful and refreshing departure from the usual spy regencies I’m used to reading. Yes, there might have been some unrealistic scenarios, but I found myself immediately drawn to the conflict, and sensual tension between Audrey Jordon and Griffin Berenger. Ms. Petersen does a wonderful job of playing up one of my favorite tropes: forbidden love.
Audrey places a drunken kiss on her brother’s best chum on his wedding day. She’s been in love with him for some time, and has a great deal of difficulty accepting the fact that he’s no longer available. Griffin’s new wife who is hussy and a half, catches the kiss, and drags the scandal on, until she passes on five years later while pregnant.
Griffin and Audrey meet again, while her brother Noah is doing some investigative work for the crown. Much to Audrey’s surprise, her affection to Griffin is rekindled, and when admits his own attraction to her things go awry.
Be prepared to develop a huge disdain for this books protagonist. He’s such pompous arse it isn’t funny.
Overall this book was a great read, and if you haven’t read any of Jenna Petersen’s/Jess Michaels books, consider this my endorsement on the matter. I look forward to reading the rest of this series
Good writing but way too melodramatic. Both the hero and heroine were stubborn to the point of idiocy. For spies (at least the heorine), they were not all that intelligent (or even appear to possess common sense). They made rash and irrational decisions at every turn, and didn't seem to have think through their decisions at all. Audrey, the heroine, was trying to glean information out of a suspected traitor and yet she was blasse about it, believing that she can handle him and frequently allowing herself to be put in to a disadvantaged position. The hero was overprotective, possessive and jealous. He didn't understand her job. Yes, she was stubborn and not all that bright, but instead of ranting and raving at her, he could have chosen other ways to help her. Nope, not impressed at all with either character.
Ultimately, I wasn't convinced that Audrey and Griffin loved each other and could live happily ever after. I wasn't even convinced they had a healthy relationship.
I usually love Jenna Petersen's work, but I'm quite disappointed with this one.
2015 reading challenge - a trilogy (book 1)