Review: “My Lady, The Spy” by Barbara Devlin

My Lady, The Spy Cover Art

“My Lady, The Spy” by Barbara Devlin

Available on: Amazon
Released on: 30 December 2013

Description: Book Two in the Brethren of the Coast series.

Can the mind forget what the eyes have seen?

L’araignee, The Spider, is England’s most notorious spy–and Lady Rebecca Wentworth’s alter ego. After her partner in espionage is killed in the line of duty, Rebecca returns to London, only to discover a traitor has compromised the war effort from the highest levels of the vaunted Counterintelligence Corps. To lure the villain into the open, Rebecca embarks on a new mission, acting as prey for a dangerous enemy. But it is the handsome former Navy captain tasked with her safety that presents the greatest threat, when she falls in love. Can Rebecca trade her cloak of office for an ermine-collared pelisse, her trusty dagger for opera glasses, and shed the underworld of espionage to claim the future she desperately desires?

When Nautionnier Knight Dirk Randolph is sent to evacuate spies from the Continent, he is shocked to find a beautiful noblewoman in service to the Crown. A no-nonsense man accustomed to a ruthlessly ordered life, his world is upended when he is paired with the intriguing operative and must act the part of smitten suitor. While he protects the fascinating agent provocateur, he does not guard his heart. But can he accept that his ladylove and the spy exist as two sides of the same coin?

Review: Apparently, my “fan girl” kicks in at book two. If I read and adore the first book, and then read and adore the second book, then I’m fan girl from here on. (Just ask poor Diantha Jones.) So, I guess this means I’m now going fan girl on Barbara Devlin. (You should send her your condolences. I’m impossible to get rid of.)

Okay! So!

First off, I liked the premise. I love good, strong female characters, and a female spy in an early nineteenth century setting was one that I loved. I also have a Thing for the stoic and sorrowing characters, which Rebecca is described as from early on.

And the great way that Devlin has with “familiar banter” is there in full force with this book, especially with her wonderfully drawn female characters who are both epitomes of and contrasts to your usual images of women of their day and place. And our little nods to the first book were awesome. I love that stuff.

There were a few touches to the courtship of Rebecca and Dirk that felt just a tad familiar to Trevor and Caroline of “Enter the Brethren,” but never enough to pull me from the story, and I also realized that these were the things that helped the book move as a romance without resorting to the stupid Try-Fails that I loathe in many other romance novels. And in not doing those stupid things, Devlin treats neither her characters nor her readers as idiots.

I always appreciate not being treated like a moron. Gotta say.

Honestly, I was tearing up a little at the end. I found it a very strong climactic sequence, even if I knew a little part of what was coming. There is a message of acceptance to this story: accepting yourself, and accepting those you love, without condition. And I really, really liked that.

Also? The Jolly Roger and “God Save the King” stuff had me giggling every time. Want to know what the joke was? Go read the book! Seriously!

5 Fireballs. (Come on, you saw that one coming.)

5 Fireballs

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