by Stefanie Sloane
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Desire, danger, intrigue, and steamy seduction unite a sexy spymaster and an intrepid bluestocking as Stefanie Sloane’s luscious new series continues.
Possessed of a brilliant mind and a love for puzzles, Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, is a crucial member of the elite Young Corinthians spy league. Assuming the façade of an addle-brained Adonis, he hunts for a notorious London murderer known as the Bishop. When fate causes him to cross paths with Miss Elena Barnes, Dash discovers an enigma that will prove delightfully intoxicating to unravel: a voluptuous beauty as intelligent as she is fearless.
Only the lure of a collection of rare books bequeathed to her family by Dash’s late father could tempt Elena from her cozy rural life to the crush and vanity of London. But if Elena finds his lordship to be the most impossibly beautiful man she’s ever seen, he also seems to be the stupidest. Which made her body’s shameless response to his masterful seduction all the more unfathomable. Yet when she discovers Dash’s mission to track the dangerous Bishop, she willingly risks everything—her trust, her heart, her very life—to join him.
This was my first book by this author, and it definitely won't be my last. Sloane's writing style is full of witty, Regency era banter that is so much fun to read. It's an intelligent humor that you only see in certain regency romances, I'd compare her style to such authors as Eloisa James and Julia Quinn.
The romance in the book was a bit of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, when there were scenes between the couple where they admitted how they feel, they were so very romantic and in the old fashioned, all consuming way that I love. On the other hand, sometimes I felt like I couldn't really follow their love story. They seemed to jump into the physical too quickly, and also seemed to jump into admitting all these feelings for each other that I hadn't really seen develop.
The strong point of this book is definitely witty repartee between all the characters. Lady Mowbray is a fantastic chaperone, who really knows her job of throwing the two leads together at all costs. I really enjoyed Dash's facade of being a not-too-bright pretty boy when really he is hiding his superior, spy-worthy intelligence. I wanted to see more of this ruse played out because it was quite entertaining. Dash also had a lot of comedic moments with his roguish partner in crime, Nicholas. I'm looking forward to seeing more from these two and the rest of the friends in future books.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line: Fans of witty, intelligent regencies with heart will flock to this author's books.