So frequently I read a Romance that has too much sex or too much action or to much intreage...well, Julie Anne Long got it right. Her combination of witty characters, mystery, romance and of course sex is just right. I never felt like there was a lull nor did I feel like I was being rushed along.
This is the first of a set of three and I can not wait to read the next one.
Susannah Makepeace was adopted at a young age and spent her life thinking her adopted father was her real father. It isn't until he is killed that the truth comes out.
Kit Whitelaw is a spy for the English crown. He is investigating a member of Parliament for treason when he stumbles on Susannah and her family(s). Kit and Susannah fall in love and work together to unravel the truth.
Julie Long writes very romantic stories. The bantering between Kit and Susannah was laugh out loud funny at times. He was the perfect man and you really couldn't help but love him. She was fiesty, tender and easy to relate to. All in all a great book.
Cali (Cali) - reviewed Beauty and the Spy (Holt Sisters, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
1- Nighter for me! Awesome story! This is Bk2 Susannah's story.
3 sisters: Susannah, Slyvie, and Sabrina, were separated from their mother, Anna Holt, at a tender age. It was believed that Anna had killed her lover- the girls father, and fled England. A friend, James Makepeace, helps Anna escape and finds homes for her girls; taking the youngest, Susannah, with him to raise as his own.
17 yrs. later, Susannah finds her self the belle of the season, engaged to be married to a Lord and heir, and has nothing but
Impressive... sort of. The idea behind the book is amazing, and I was glad to hear this is the start of a trilogy. On the whole the story was interesting, the characters enjoyable, and the writing fun. Aside from that, there was nothing special about this book. The one real upside, Sussanah wasn't a twit. She used her skill in art just like anyone else was. As opposed to other romance novels, it wasn't her saving grace that "freed" her from her world. It was just a skill and hobby she enjoyed. Also, I like how she just jumped the Kit.
Young woman, Susannah, loses everything when her father dies in debt and she must go live with a heretofore unknown aunt in a much humbled lifestyle.
Almost middle-aged man, Kit, is banished like a child to the country by his father who sees his behavior as self destructive. Kit's also a former spy with spy sense and sniffs out a mystery when Susannah has too many "accidents". More mishaps ensue, they fall in love, mystery solved. HEA.
Julie Anne Long writes compelling characters to be sure. The story is good in that the couple is attracted from the start but Long lets them get to know each other before it's "lurrrve". However we're over 200 pages into the book before either will admit even to himself/herself that there's even attraction. That isn't super interesting romance. Long includes a couple pretty good love scenes, not very titillating IMO but not totally glossed over either.
Perhaps it really would've happened this way, but it was also disconcerting that 34-37 year old Kit (she couldn't quite make up her mind about his age but did describe him as a "geezer") is forced by his father to either go to the country for 30 days or he'll be put on a ship to Egypt. Through most of the first 2/3 of the book, Kit seemed like a child. We're supposed to believe that a man who served for 10 years in a war with valor and honors then returns home to be ordered around and treated a like a child by his father? And he's supposedly been home and not on active duty as a spy for 5 years and does nothing but sit around drinking but he's physically fit and ready with super-spy action? He's not fat and swollen like most heavy drinkers? It's easier to get around stuff like that when characters are interesting and persuasive, which in this case they are, but when the book is over, that's what I'm thinking about, not the love story.
I liked the book well enough to read the next in the series, which pretty much sums it up.