It’s never easy keeping secrets…
Only her desire to crush the Crown’s enemies could induce Lady Lucille Stanford to endure another Season. For years she has worked secretly for the Home Office, and she has come to London with one purpose: foil the attempted kidnapping of a highly valuable target, identity unknown. Inconveniently, Lord Harrington—Lucy’s brother and guardian—has other plans. He won’t be satisfied until she is at long last married.
After years on the Continent, Blake Gower, Earl of Devonton, returns to England in need of a wife. He should not be surprised when his best friend Harrington’s sister recaptures his attention. But there’s more to the woman Lady Lucy has become than the delightful girl Blake remembers. When she takes an unexpected jaunt to the country during the height of the Season, Blake is determined to know why—and to discover all Lady Lucy’s secrets.
Unwilling to give up her patriotic mission for marriage, Lucy is conflicted when she meets the enigmatic Lord Devonton. She never expected to feel this way about a man again.
When the ransom demand comes due—will it be for Lady Lucy’s heart?
A little about Rachel first:
Rachel Ann Smith writes steamy historical romances with a twist. Her debut series, Agents of the Home Office, features female protagonists that defy convention.
When Rachel isn’t writing, she loves to read and spend time with the family. She is frequently found with her Kindle by the pool during the summer, on the sidelines of the soccer field in the spring and fall, or curled up on the couch during the winter months.
She currently lives in Colorado with her extremely understanding husband and their two very supportive children. Be sure to visit Rachel’s website for updates on cover reveals and new releases.
Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4.5-Stars
Secrets of Lady Lucy is the first book of Rachel Anne Smiths’ Agents of the Home Office series. As such it has some of the usual expectations of a historical romantic fiction series: some characters mentioned in the first book that will no doubt be expanded upon in future works, loose threads that will be further established and concluded in future installments, as the mainframe that holds the series together. In a series like this, for me at least, it’s difficult to form a general opinion, since the later works are more important in establishing how an author holds to the elements launched in the first work, so keep that in mind in reading this review.
No, I found nothing amiss, or features to be improved upon, generally speaking, but still, in reviewing this author’s first work, I kept thinking, ‘this is good, now what will you do with it?’ This of course demonstrates one goal of the author; they sunk the hook in me enough to read the next book in the series. All right, I’ll admit, they have a chance to real this reading fish in.
With this entire preamble stated, there are a few things that need to be said for the work itself, or at least I feel needs to be mentioned for the work itself.
First, it’s believable. I bought that Lady Lucy is skilled at making and breaking codes, and that one of those code-breaking activities lead to the belief that someone will be attempting to kidnap the Earl of Devonton. A kidnapping scheme for the Earl was completely plausible, since he also works for the crown, particularly in cartography — when waging a war information on the terrain is absolutely vital, and keeping your enemy from that information equally so. Obviously, our Lady of the hour, figuratively and literally, is invested in preventing this from occurring, which is also equally credible. This is the key pivot on which a large portion of the work turns, but it definitely is up to the task of Atlas in supporting everything else, which is more or less attractive layering on the bedrock of the essential facet of the plot.
Second, the characterization is good, the characters’ motives are believable, and at no place did I find any glaring historical inconsistencies. The dialogue is a bit fast and loose in places, but that’s to be somewhat expected since well, it’s difficult to be entirely true to the time in language all the time. While the pacing is equally well-fashioned to fit the plot, I still can’t help but feel that the work was a little short, but that’s probably just me. For this, and all the other reasons previously stated, I’d give this work a solid 4.5, out of five, a good beginning, but I’d recommend any reader to withhold overall judgment until more of the series is
Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars
The title drew me right in. How could it not? I have a historical book character named Lucy who lived during Recency times (albeit across the pond in the US). The story starts off with all the right elements for a Recency romance. A feisty young lady is pushed to find a husband in the current social season. Of course, as most all Recency heroines are in modern romances, she is bored with these seasons, the ton, and resists the notion of marriage.
Her brother is the one eager to see her wed, but she secretly carries on a double life as a spy. Yes. A spy! She dons breeches under her gown and sneaks away to clandestine meeting points to pass off packets of letters in elaborate ruses that are never really explained. But it’s all part of the fun and this story is pure, hilarious fun.
This feisty, independent lady who eschews marriage and prefers adventure spends most of her time mooning over her love interest and reveling in her appearance and cuteness. For some reason, we are reminded of how short and diminutive she is every few pages. However, at five foot two, she would be about average height for 1800. It was just one historical faux pas I had to turn a blind eye to in order to enjoy the story. And it is a fun flight of fancy, an easy vacay read while traveling or hanging out at the beach. What the heck! Give it 5 stars for being so so adorably cute.
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