Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Review: A Spy's Devotion

I just love this cover!  It's so lovely!

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and tawdriness thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

About the Author:
Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama.

She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

My Review: 3 stars
I have to say, the cover is what first drew me to this story. Then, after reading the description, I was intrigued. I don’t see many regency mysteries, which I quite enjoy. I love the time period and mysteries, so I believe they are a great combination. I’ve read a few of Ms. Dickerson’s books and enjoyed them, so I hoped that would be the case for this one. I can happily say I that it met my expectations.

I believe this is Ms. Dickerson’s first attempt at a regency novel, and I think she did a wonderful job! The descriptions were well written and didn’t overwhelm the story. Ms. Dickerson seems to lean toward the “less is more” writing style with this one, which I really appreciated. I found her writing engaging and she kept me quickly turning the pages to see where the story might go next.

Now for the characters. I adored Julia! She is a great heroine and I was able to easily connect with her. I loved how realistic she - though she is strong and determined to do the right thing, no matter the cost to her, she has flaws. We see her hurt, angry, resentful, but also kind, loving, and generous. I found a character that I would love to be friends with, if she was real.

Because a good portion of the story comes from Julia’s perspective, I didn’t really feel that I knew Nicholas that well. Which I found kind of disappointing, because I believe I would’ve really liked him. From the little I knew of him, I knew he was kind, generous, bold. All of the foundations for a great hero, if a few more of the blanks had been filled in.
I do have to say that I really didn’t like a few of the secondary characters, particularly Julia’s cousin, Phoebe. She drove me crazy! She is incredibly selfish, self-centered, and shallow! She’s honestly one of those characters that I alternate between feeling sorry for and wishing some terrible fate would befall them. That being said, her errors made me love Julia more. And surprisingly enough, Julia even learned something from her loony cousin.

The suspense was woven in well, without inadvertently becoming the main focus of the book. There honestly wasn’t much done in the way of detective work, which makes sense for the time period, but I found that it bothered me just a bit. I think I’ve simply become too accustomed to our modern way of investigating. Though it threw me off a bit at first, I still really enjoyed the question of how everything was going to play out.

My final thoughts are that though I enjoyed this book, I don’t believe it’s going to become a favorite of mine. It has all of the marks of a great story, but there were just a couple things that I would’ve liked to be different. That being said, I am looking forward to reading the next in the series and finding out where Ms. Dickerson takes her stories from here.

I happily recommend this book to anyone looking for a regency novel that breaks from the norm and shows that there is more than one side to every story.

I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review!
Have a delightful day!


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