Title: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Page count: 373
Publication Date: January 2008
Rating – 3/5 – liked it
She’s braved battlefields, stolen dispatches, played roles from worldly to naive, lady to boy. But Annique Villiers, elusive spy Fox Cub, is thrown in prison with British spymaster Robert Grey, ordered to enter France and bring her back. Their uneasy alliance holds, but passion builds as they flee.
The Spymaster’s Lady was the pick of the month for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club read (you can click the name to be linked to the Goodreads forum). This book is a historical romance that takes place during the Napoleonic wars. Our main character Annique Villiers is a pretty badass spy for the the French Army who finds herself captured and sharing a cell with two male prisoners. Managing to escape with her cellmates she finds herself in their custody when she finds out that they are actually her enemies, English spies. She is pretty much a master at role playing and uses her skills to play a dangerous game with her captors until she begins to fall in love (and lust) with one of the most dangerous ones.
I have to first mention that this book cover is legit romance lol. I have seen alot of people complaining about the cover and I’m normally not one to really care about what other people think of the books I’m reading (like if I’m reading in public) but even I was like…I’m keeping this in my purse and not taking it out until I get home or get a book cover. Plus, it literally had zero to do with the plot unless you picture Grey looking like that guy on the cover, which for me was not the case.
I struggled with whether to give this book a three star or a four star rating and finally settled on a three star rating. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, I thought it was super interesting and fast paced. It was awesome to see this really badass female spy as the lead in a romance. She was so powerful and skilled her job, she was literally among the best of the best…everyone seemed to know and fear her. Then it just lost me at the halfway point and I had to really work to get through it. It seemed to slow down a bit and start to lag but I’m a completionist so I held on and it started picking up again towards the end. Although I loved Annique’s character during the first half of the book, I was disappointed at what I would consider a devolution of her character towards the end of it.
There were a few twists in this book that were awesome, although the eyesight twist was far too convenient for my liking but I was glad that it did happen at some point even though I really liked the dynamic between Grey and Annique while she was blind a little more. I really liked the setting of this story…having the Napoleonic Wars and spymastery as a backdrop was SUPER interesting and I would definitely read more books that took place in this type of setting and that dealt with spies.This is a series and I don’t think I’ll be giving the second book a read but I’d recommend this particular book to people who love historical romances. I don’t read too many of them but I did like this one.