Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: "At the Spy's Pleasure" (Tina Gabrielle)

The year is 1821. The place: London. England is at war, and someone has betrayed its military by surreptitiously making and selling sub-standard cannons to cut costs, thereby endangering the lives of thousands of soldiers. It's Gareth Ramsey's job, as a spy in His Majesty's service, to ferret out the truth.

And then he runs into Jane Stanwell, and suddenly, keeping his real mission a secret becomes secondary to giving her what she most wants.

Jane is a widowed countess whose husband had next to no interest in her as a wife. Therefore, having been bereft of any pleasure or enjoyment of her own in her marriage, and having suffered with dignity the requisite mourning period for the count, she reemerges into society, the subject of much gossip and speculation, determined to take a lover who will finally show her what she missed all those years. She's even got a list of potential beaus.

And that list does not, by any means, include Gareth ... no matter how seductive he may be.

Entangled Publishing's Scandalous imprint presents the historical romantic suspense At the Spy's Pleasure by Tina Gabrielle, due out this month.

Nobody does sexy historical romances better than Entangled Publishing's Scandalous line of books, and Tina Gabrielle excels above and beyond expectations with her tight, intense writing style and the edgy, thriller-esque atmosphere in her works. Rest assured, you won't be dissatisfied with the spark between Gareth and Jane throughout this book.

More than that, though, an historical novel takes research, often months thereof, and it's clear that Gabrielle has done hers accordingly. The attention to detail in transportation, fashion, attire, mannerisms, social mores, and more sets the reader right down into nineteenth-century London, practically in the ballrooms and taverns about which she writes so eloquently.

Equally intriguing are the characters in the work. Jane might come across to some as two-dimensional, given her single-minded goal to find and take a lover to satisfy her long unfulfilled desires, and yet there's more to her than just this one longing, all of it born out of her upbringing as an upper-class lady in an era dominated by men and their demands, and her loveless marriage and the husband for whom she could not honestly mourn upon his death as a "proper" woman should have.

Gareth, for his part, is like a less complicated version of the Scarlet Pimpernel, that classic novel by Baroness Orczy about the wealthy, fashion-conscious fop whose affected attitude is a cover for rescuing members of the French aristocracy from the hands of the sadistic Republic in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Gareth plays both roles --- society gentleman, and undercover spy --- with admirable aplomb.

If historical romance is your bent, I urge you to try out this author's offering. You won't regret it!

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Author: Tina Gabrielle
Title: At the Spy's Pleasure
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Scandalous)
ISBN: 978-1-63375-281-8
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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