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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: A Lady's Revenge by Tracey Devlyn

This is an exciting and engaging read.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402258224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402258220
Genre: Historical Romance, Suspense
My Rating:  4.0 of 5.0

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
"Dark historical suspense that will capture your imagination, fuel your fears, and captivate your heart." -- Kelsey Browning, co--founder of Romance University

Nothing Gets Between a Lady and Her Vengence...
In a daring rescue, beautiful and wily secret operative Cora deBeau is reunited with her childhood friend Guy Trevelyan, who wants so much more from her now than friendship ...

He'll Stoke the Fire Until They Both Go Up In Flames...
But Cora's mission against the French has become personal, and even the fire between her and Guy won't deter her. When it comes to getting sweet, cruel revenge, nothing will stand in a lady's way ...

Cora was only a child when she saw her parents killed by a Frenchman. She and her brother were raised in an unusual household where they were trained to serve spies. When her guardian sends her to France to learn the secrets of a French agent, Valere, Cora is ready to go and do whatever it takes, including seduction. Unfortunately after several successful months she is exposed as a famous English spy.  Although Valere is obsessed with her, he is willing to allow his henchman to brutally torture her for her secrets.

Guy and Ethan, Cora’s brother, are on a mission to rescue the famous female spy, The Raven. They are shocked to discover Cora in the dungeon they are searching. They make a harrowing rescue and bring Cora home to their guardian, and boss. They suspect that Valere will be hard on their heels and to make matters more tense there is apparently a mole in the high echelons of the agency.

Guy and Cora go into hiding, battling wills all the way.  Guy is determined to do whatever he can to keep Cora safe. Plus he is determined to convince her that they can have a future life and family together. Cora has to recover from emotional trauma as well as her physical injuries. She doesn’t feel she is worthy of any man and she especially doesn’t want her reputation to injure Guy’s chances to make a successful marriage arrangement. When she finally realizes she can tolerate his touch she discovers that she yearns for him and maybe she can at least have some time with him.

I enjoyed the fast paced action in this story with fighting that rivals a swashbuckling movie. However it frustrated me that there were so many times that Valere slipped through the bodyguards and defenses and so many times that Cora was lucky to slip through his clutches...but not always. I liked that Guy specialized in ciphers and I wished there had been more of that aspect developed.

I liked the strength and integrity in Cora and Guy. Cora was a little -  well, actually quite -  independent and stubborn, thinking that she needed to keep Guy safe.  It seemed clear that they would have been safer if they had worked together instead of continually going off on their own.  That is part of the character conflict even if it irritated me.

There are interesting secondary, supportive characters, especially Cora’s feisty maid Dinks. There are also some sweet kittens that jump in between Guy and Cora for some fun.

Ms. Devlyn’s writing is impressively sharp and well balanced with good detail.  The sex scenes are more detailed and more often than I prefer and contributed to this being a bit longer than needed. But those readers who like the strong and steamy sex romances will appreciate that.  If you like intrigue and action with a strong romance then this is a book you should enjoy.  This is an impressive debut novel and I look forward to the sequels. 
A taste of fun dialog: 
{Cora} “I don’t recall you being so very wicked in our youth.”
....{Guy}“Do you not? I seem to recall you commenting on my mischief not but a few days ago.”....
{Cora} “Indeed, I did. In your case, mischievousness equates to annoying. Like an insect. Wickedness is an entirely different matter.”
   He laid his hand over his chest. “You likened me to a gnat?”
   The smile she sent him was several degrees warmer than wicked. “Aye. One I wanted to swat many times.” Page 259
Thank you to Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review this book.  Be sure to check out the Author Interview for a chance to win a copy of A Lady's Revenge. 
I will add this to my ARC Challenge and New Author Challenge lists.

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