A Lady’s Secret Weapon
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: October 1, 2013
Sydney Hunt and her extensive system of spies have worked hard to improve the lives of London’s less fortunate. Hearing of strange occurrences at a nearby orphanage, Sydney is forced to join ranks with a notorious rake known for charming his way into the beds of wives and mistresses across Europe. Ethan deBeau, Lord Danforth, is headed to London to locate a missing child, and soon he and Sydney are entrenched in London’s dark underworld. She harbors more secrets than the Foreign Office and he’ll uncover each one, kiss by kiss.
Ahh, Casablanca, you and Entangled are quickly becoming my favorite publishers for romance. And you, of course, top the duo in historicals because of your awesome stable of authors! Tracey Devlyn is now included in that number for me.
I loved the push and pull of all the secrets that both Sydney and Ethan have. Both have deep and compelling reasons to do what they do, and they’re both totally driven to continue doing them even as they try to keep their alternate identity/task (spying) a secret.
I loved Sydney because she comes from such a working-class background and never shies away from that fact. She’s a bastard, but doesn’t exactly advertise it, though in the gossip-filled world of London, it’s not a secret either. She’s turned her humble beginnings and appreciation/respect for the servant class into a somewhat profitable business for herself. Her parents support her and she’s an independent woman. She has little need or want for a man, but then Ethan comes along and finally helps her purge the dark wound from her childhood (and that’s all I’m going to say about that, other than said dark wound needs to be strung up by his unmentionables, covered in honey, and then have a jar of fire ants dropped on him).
Ethan’s only desire has been to lead the spying agency, ever since his father passed and it was expected that he would one day step into his father’s shoes. He’s utterly devoted to the spying agency, and is devastated when he learns he’ll be passed over for the promotion. But while there’s a heavy level of resentment toward his friend, who got the promotion, he doesn’t let that get in the way of any of his missions, nor finding out who saved his life (a cloaked figure and a maid, both of whom turn out to be Sydney of course – this isn’t a spoiler, it’s clear in the prologue).
Their current missions overlap surrounding an orphanage and these two strong characters, while growing closer, don’t let their emotions distract them from the path of discovery. They learn to work together and save one another, both from the monsters involved in the orphanage debacle and their haunted pasts. I can’t say enough positives about this book.
This is totally a 5-star review from me and I can’t wait to read more by Tracey Devlyn. Thank you Sourcebooks for letting me read this!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.