Author: Sharon Cullen
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Buy Links: Amazon
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.
For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.
Review: This was a short, flirty little romp of a story with adventure, spies, death, misadventure, hidden social taboos, blackmail, women’s rights, and more stuffed into it willy-nilly. It’s hard to believe that so much could be packed into so little space, but there you have it. A talented author can do magical things with words, can’t they?
While some of the story was lost in translation as I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the story line, it was easy enough to follow. Sebastian and Gabrielle were both spies for England–Sebastian’s aristocratic lineage could get him into places most people couldn’t dream of being; Gabrielle because of circumstances beyond her control. They’d parted six months earlier after a brief three day affair; being reunited to work together over this case made both of them unhappy. That she was a spy surprised him; that he was a spy didn’t surprise her but it didn’t make her happy either. They both knew that their future could never be. But forces beyond their ken were playing a dark game, and either they could fight to live…
Or die in each other’s arms.
The sex scenes were hot, the chemistry was undeniable, but I felt the story suffered from its brevity. I felt that some of the emotional attachment felt unrealistic, and that some of the characters held on to their anger and/or coldness a little too long. I felt it was forced. However, it was overall an enjoyable read and for whiling away an afternoon, certainly is worth giving a try. Thanks!