Book review: The Secrets of a Lady by Jenna Petersen (Amazon Kindle, 2011)
Audrey Jordan isn’t your typical Regency lady. To escape unrequited feelings for her brother’s best friend Griffin Berenger, she entered a life of a spy. But her current case has brought her back to the man she once loved and lost, a man who is now a broken widower.
Audrey and her brother are stalking his neighbor, a man who may be plotting to kill the Prince. Staying in Griffin’s home, Audrey is reminded of all the desires and feelings he once stirred in her. As for Griffin, he finds himself obsessed with Audrey, and driven to protect her even if it threatens her case.
But as their desire for each other grows, the case Audrey and her brother are investigating heats up. And if she cannot arrest the blackguard in her sights, she may not live, let alone get to live happily ever after with the man of her dreams.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading this, but I presumed it to be a romance novel and the time period was listed as the Jane Austen era, basically. What came next was more of a surprise: a spy story!
The novel begins with Audrey Jordan getting drunk at the wedding of her childhood crush, Griffin Berenger. She kisses him, and his newly wedded wife swears vengeance. Some years later, the wife is a late wife and Griffin is alone. Meanwhile, Audrey has been with her brother learning how to be a spy, and now they need Griffin’s help.
One of Griffin’s neighbours is a creepy man plotting to kill the Prince Regent. To get closer to him and his plots, Audrey puts up with his sleazy wooing. Audrey and her brother move in with Griffin to keep an eye on the creepy neighbour/would-be suitor. To Griffin’s surprise, he finds himself more and more concerned about Audrey’s safety, and about kissing her …
I rather enjoyed this novel, I have to say. It was well-paced, interesting to find out what was going to happen, good use of sexual tension, and I really liked the characters. Well, aside from Mr Creepy Sleazebag, that is. Eww, he made my skin crawl, which in turn is something I applaud the author for – great characterisation!
How and if ladies actually did spying back in them days, I wouldn’t know. They might have done. To read about a young woman who is some kind of 19th Century Ros or Ruth is entertaining, though. Not sure about the sex, because it felt a bit too unchaste for the times, but it was done in the right way. So to speak.
If you like a bit of excitement and adventure and a bit of danger in your historical romances, this is great. I’m looking forward to reading the next two novels in The Jordans series, which have already been released. Or at least one has and the third one is on the way. 🙂
Either way, there’s nothing much to comment on (aside from one use of the Americanised “scotch” instead of “whisky” somewhere near the beginning), but it sure made my train journey to London and back seem a lot shorter than it was.
4 out of 5 wooden boxes.
Thank you to the author for giving me a review copy of this novel! Jenna is a fellow blogger, and her blog is called Just Write Romance – why not pop by and see what other writings she’s up to? 🙂 She also has a website and you can follow her on Twitter (@jennaromance) too.