Title: It Takes a Spy…
Author: Sheridan Jeane
Series: Secrets and Seduction #1
Genre: Victorian Romance
Length: Short novel
In 1851, Cecilia Paring has serious reservations about marrying her fiancé, Devin Montlake. Gone is the boy who could capture her heart with a word or a glance and in his place is a man who has made it clear that to be a proper barrister’s wife, the exciting and impulsive Cecilia must change as well.
Although Devin Montlake loves his orderly life as a barrister, he’s determined to follow his roadmap to achieve his goal of becoming a judge. His biggest obstacle seems to be convincing his headstrong fiancée to fulfill her social obligations with a modicum of propriety. But when the jewelry collection belonging to Cecilia’s family is stolen the night before it is to be auctioned off and Devin is framed for the crime, he discovers that following his much-loved rules won’t solve this particular problem. He’ll need the inventiveness of his irrepressible fiancée to catch the thief.
Source: Review copy from the author via email
This was fun, light and a little bit fluffy. Though set in Victorian London, it wears its historical colours lightly and Cecilia is fairly modern in her attitudes and behaviour. She has loved Devin for most of her life, but now that she’s on the verge of marrying him, she isn’t entirely sure that they will suit. She is chaotic and spontaneous, he is ordered and meticulous. The romance itself is pretty much over and done by the time we enter the story, but there are still a few sweet moments to be had throughout.
On the whole, though, this more of a mystery and adventure tale. Devin spends most of the book being buffeted to and fro as Cecilia and her younger sister, Evangeline, race to solve the mystery and clear him of the crime. I liked Evangeline more than Cecilia, but they are a lot of fun together, clever and smart and prone to plenty of sibling bickering. Poor Devin doesn’t really compare to either of them. He’s stoic and honourable and kind of dull, but the few moments where he unbends enough to reveal his feelings to Cecilia were lovely.
The plot is fast and neatly wraps up by the end of the book. I have to say, the sex scene at the end felt really tacked on. I don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of sex in my historicals, but I think this story would have been perfectly fine without it. I admit I skimmed most of it because mentally I’d already finished the story and was ready to move on.
Overall, though, this is a perfect, quick escape. It’s not too dark, not too deep, but it is fun and easy. I’m curious to see where this series heads next, though a little sad to see that Evangeline still doesn’t have a book yet…
It Takes a Spy… is Out Now!
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