Sportochick's Musings ~ this is an amazing fast paced love story with strategic push and pull interactions between the hero and heroine.
Secrets and Spies #2
K. C. Bateman
Find This Book At ~ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Publisher ~ random house publishing loveswept
Categories ~ Historical romance
Categories ~ Historical romance
August 1815. The war with France is officially over, Napoleon’s an exile on St Helena, but Europe is still a very dangerous place to be.
Kidnapped and held for ransom at nineteen, ducal heir William Ravenwood knows the only person he can rely on is himself. Now part of a spy ring that includes his friends Nicolas and Richard Hampden, he’s the smuggler known as The Raven, a ruthless agent who specializes in rescuing hostages and prisoners of war from captivity.
Raven longs to discover the fate of his colleague, Christopher ‘Kit’ Carlisle, who’s been missing, presumed dead, for over two years. He’s also equally determined to stay away from the one thing he knows is dangerous to his health – the bane of his life, his best friends’ infuriating and provocative little sister, Heloise.
Heloise is a brilliant code breaker, one of the English government’s most valuable assets. She’s also loved Raven for years, but considering that he rejected her at sixteen, before her face was scarred rescuing her brother from an icy river, she’s certain he doesn’t want her now, despite his outrageous flirting.
But when Heloise decodes a message that proves Kit is alive and a prisoner in Spain, Raven realizes she’s in grave danger. With French agents determined to silence her, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe – even if that means taking her to Spain with him as an unwilling hostage.
As they face French deserters and Spanish freedom fighters, Raven and Heloise try to ignore the simmering attraction that’s been building between them for eight long years. The differences between them are striking but they’ve always had a strange underlying bond. Heloise might be scarred outwardly, but Raven’s wounds are all on the inside. He knows he’s not worthy of her love—a shadowed Hades pining for sun-kissed Persephone—but he’s not above showing her passion for the short time they’re together.
This is an amazing fast paced love story with strategic push and pull interactions between the hero and heroine. The book is action packed and kept me on my toes figuring out what the next move would be. I loved all the scenic descriptions and the backstories that drove both Raven and Heloise in the present day.
The author incorporates intrigue with Heloise's code breaking and her discovery that Kit, a friend of her brothers as well as Raven, may still be alive. While this put's her at risk it causes her to have to interact with Raven, Heloise's long time hidden love, adding sexual tension to the story keeping it interesting at all times.
Raven's character fights to not get involved with Heloise and it is fun to watch him continually deny his attraction and feelings for her throughout the book. One can only imagine what it is like to be best friends with her brothers and trying to stay away from her but the author displays this beautifully in her writing.
Though this story moves quickly the reader will never feel lost and like me they will want to read the book in one sitting. It's hard to put down a book that is this good.
Secondary characters are a big part of this story and they build up to future storylines drawing the reader into the desire to read more to this series or other books by this author. I plan to read more. I hope you give this book a chance.
This book is about finding peace with past fears and hurts, forgiveness, and letting love bloom. I give it 4 STARS.
Voluntary review of Advance Reader Copy via Netgalley
Kate Bateman (writing as K. C. Bateman) wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she'd 'never finish the thing.' She gleefully proved him wrong with an historical set in the Italian Renaissance. Now writing for Random House Loveswept, her latest 'Secrets and Spies' Regency-era trilogy features her trademark feisty, intelligent heroines, wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to alternately strangle and kiss—all mixed up in the intrigue and turmoil of the Napoleonic wars.
When not traveling to exotic locations 'for research,' Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England and writes despite three inexhaustible children and a husband who has flatly refused to read any of her books 'unless she hits the NY Times Bestseller list.' It is - naturally - her fervent desire to force the semi-illiterate, number-loving cynic to do so. He still owes her that dollar.