29 January 2011

Review: My Lord and Spymaster, by Joanna Bourne

I've been saving this book. Whenever I'm taking a look at my shelves, wondering what to read next, I've paused, then passed it by. A Jo Bourne book is sort of like a piece of really good chocolate--you need to save it for when you really need it.

I eventually gave in, in part because there's a future book on the horizon. Granted, it's not for TEN MORE MONTHS (November 2011), which is a painfully long time to wait, especially since Black Hawk is Adrian's story. Anyway, back to the review...

Spymaster is, as you've probably guessed, about spies. Yay! Regency-era spies, which are the best kind. Some romance readers like space pirates (I'm not thinking of anyone in particular, mind you), some readers like Navy SEALS. I like spies. Clever, intriguing, good-with-their-hands spies. Who carry knives in their boots and pick locks and think of breaking and entering as a good evening's entertainment.

The Spymaster plot revolves around Jess Whitby, who is a shipping heiress and accounting genius with an interesting history, to put it mildly. Her father has been accused of espionage and she'll do whatever it takes to prove his innocence. She hires Doyle (from The Forbidden Rose) as a thug and attempts to entrap Our Hero, Sebastian. Killing and death ensue.

There is also a ferret.

He is not a particularly friendly ferret and he and Sebastian develop what proves to be a very stormy relationship. Just in case you're unfamiliar with ferret behavior and want to be assured of accuracy, let me tell you that Jo Bourne knows a thing or two about ferrets. She is also very good at depicting male attitudes toward the favored pets of females--a sort of amazement coupled with forbearance.

Just in case I haven't been clear--I loved this book. While my favorite of Jo Bourne's three spy romances remains The Spymaster's Lady, My Lord and Spymaster is a superb read. Pick it up if you like historicals, Regency-set or spy romance. You'll be counting the days until the next release, just like I am. For an excerpt of Spymaster, click here.

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