In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception 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?
In a departure from her well known fairy tales, Melanie Dickerson has released the first in a new series of Regency era romances. A Spy’s Devotion is set during the Peninsula War at the height of Napoleon’s reign. Nicholas is back in England to deliver a coded diary on behalf of a fellow soldier. Since it’s in code he makes a copy of it, which is fortuitous since the original is stolen from him. The book actually opens with a lighthearted social event where the main topic of conversation is about finding a suitable spouse either for oneself or for one’s heir. Money is important, as is the ability to follow society’s unwritten rules. Nicholas and Julia are immediately attracted to each other, but he isn’t looking for marriage at the time and she is penniless and beholden to her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, Julia’s wealthy cousin, Phoebe, imagines herself in love with Nicholas and is determined to become his bride.
Dickerson’s writing is straightforward. There isn’t anything major to overthink. There aren’t flowery descriptions or an overload of similes. The narrative is divided between the perspectives of the two main characters. Most of the prose reflects their thoughts on what is happening, therefore moving the story along. It’s also easy to like or dislike characters. For example, I thought Phoebe was insipid and vacuous with no redeeming qualities. I did feel sympathy for one of the possible villains of the piece until, near the end, he proved himself to be a cad with few morals.
Overall, A Spy’s Devotion is an enjoyable romance with just a touch of drama and scandal. I shall look forward to the next book in the Regency Spies of London series.
Thank you to Waterfall Press for my complimentary electronic copy of A Spy’s Devotion, which I downloaded from NetGalley. No review was required.
Have you read A Spy’s Devotion? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Waterfall Press (an imprint of Amazon Publishing)
Publication Date: 09 February 2016
Page Count: 320
Read more on: Author’s Website