Friday, March 28, 2008

Review - The Spymaster's Lady

Title: The Spymaster’s Lady
Author: Joanna Bourne
Publishing Date: January 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm

Annique Villiers is a renowned French spy, known as the Fox Cub, who has been captured by another French spy, Leblanc. In his dungeon, she encounters Robert Grey and Adrian who are British spies that have been captured by Leblanc as well. Adrian has been shot and is wounded in his shoulder. His life hangs in the balance. Annique helps both Robert and Adrian escape Leblanc, who is a particularly nasty character. Grey recognizes Annique and believes that she had something to do with the death of his men. After she helps him escape, he returns the favor by capturing her, with the intent of questioning her to find out what happened to his men.

First off, let me say that I am not a big fan of spy novels. I hate all the subterfuge and deceit that takes place in these types of books. Having said all that, I absolutely loved The Spymaster’s Lady. The top reason is because of the heroine, Annique. She is the perfect balance of strength and determination intermingled with an innocence and vulnerability. It is amazing to me that with the life she has lived, that she is able to take pleasure in the little things and hasn’t become cynical and jaded. This book is heroine-driven, so more time is devoted to getting to know Annique. For those readers who like to focus on the heroine, this is definitely the book for you.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Robert is a strong hero and, even though he is not the main focus, he is still thoroughly developed. I liked his character and thought he was a good match for Annique. She needs a strong, intelligent man and he definitely fits the bill.

Bourne has the amazing ability to develop the characters so strongly that even when they are acting out one of their spy personas, we can see the subtle nuances of each personality; with the way they talk or with body language, etc. This was just so very, very clever and fascinating to read. There are quite a cast of secondary characters, none of whom seem one-dimensional. One of my favorites is Adrian and I hope he gets his own story.

There has been much talk in romance land about this book and all of it good. I don’t believe I have come across a negative review yet. If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
The Book Smugglers
Jennie's Book Log
Cupid's Chokehold
Ramblings on Romance Etc...
Dear Author (Janine, an opposing review)


Ana said...

Welcome to the club Jill!! Annique was indeed amazing wasn't she?

Mollie said...

I'm not big on historicals but you're right all I've seen are good reviews. I might give it a go.

Jill D. said...

Ana, I just love Annique. I am so glad I read this.

Mollie, Truely, I hate spy stories, but I loved this one. Bourne's characterization is amazing!

Kristie (J) said...

Wasn't this one grand? I thought Annique just leapt off the pages! And Adrian did indeed make an interesting secondary character didn't he? I'm not that keen on historical spy stories either but this one was a real exception!

Jace said...

I just bought this book over the weekend, after hearing so many good things about it. :) Should be reading it soon.

nath said...

this book really has been collecting good and positive reviews... but I don't know, I just can't bring myself to buy it!

Jennie said...

This book is very heroine-centric, isn't it? I hadn't really thought of that before. Good thing she's such a great character. ;)

Katie(babs) said...

This was simply an amazing book! One of the best historical romances to come out in 10 years.
Ann is a true kick ass heroine! Doesn't take any crap.

Carolyn Jean said...

I loved this one! Great review. I can't even imagine how Joanna Bourne can top it.

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, PS I saw your comment on Sarai's blog, and blogger vicki lane is somewhere in FLA, and has lots of florida people going to her blog.

Jill D. said...

Kristie, I loved it and am so glad I read it! Annique was great!

Jace, I really think you will like it. I just hope with all the hype you won't be disappointed. I wasn't, but you never know.

Nath, Yikes, I know how our tastes differ. What can I say? If you run out of things to read, I recommend it.

Jennie, It is very heroine-centric, but I enjoy books of that nature and this one was fantastic. Have fun in Hawaii!

Katie, Yes Annique was perfect, not only was she kick ass, but she had an innocence and vulnerability to her that made her so gosh darn lovable. She could do no wrong!

Carolyn Jean, Hi and welcome to my blog! I will check out Vicki's link. Thanks!

Brie said...

I loved this book. It was great. Annique was the best kind of heroine. Awesome all around.

Rowena said...

Ooh this is going on my list, great review!