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Dark Angel (Lescaut Quartet Book 1)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 23, 2011
In the late 1980s through the 1990s Tracy Grant cowrote Regency HRs with her mother Joan Grant. They published mostly under the name "Anthea Malcolm" but this particular novel they wrote as "Anna Grant". If you're a Tracy Grant (aka Teresa Grant) fan this is an interesting read and informative of how she's grown as a writer.

One definite improvement in her newer solo novels is the romance aspect. This older book tends toward the melodramatic, with the hero and heroine taking turns overreacting to some problem or other in their relationship. Tracy Grant's more recent novels (Vienna Waltz,The Mask of Night (A Charles & Melanie Fraser Historical),Beneath a Silent Moon, and Secrets of a Lady) have the romance element much more understated and more realistic.

One area where this 1994 book is as good as her newer ones is the historical aspect and there's a pretty good story here with action/adventure/intrigue in the plot. We have spies, bandits, enemy soldiers, intrigue, possible treason, attempted murder and kidnapping. Much of the story takes place on the continent behind enemy lines during the Peninsular Wars. It's a realistic look at the war and, as usual for Grant, she throws some real historical persons into her cast of characters.

The novel begins with a bit of a prologue taking place in 1808 in London, where we are introduced to hero Adam Durward, son of a Hindu mother and English father, who feels a bit unaccepted in both India and England. As a boy he was brought to England to live with his English aunt after the deaths of his parents in India. While growing up at his aunt's home he became friends with heroine Caroline but he feels rejected by her when she grows up and marries Jared Rawley, 100% English, wealthy and of an upper-class family. Adam now works as a diplomat and spy and exposes Caroline's husband as a traitor to England, involved in the production of defective weaponry. Caroline meets with Adam to plead Jared's case and ends up sleeping with him. But this intimacy does not improve their shaky relationship and they part again.

Fast forward to 1813 behind enemy lines in the Peninsula. Caroline has gone with her 4-year-old daughter to be with Jared, whose father's influence kept him from prison but who feels enough remorse to join the British troops fighting the French. Jared, however, is killed and Caroline and daughter are trapped in a small town in Spain with no way to get back to England.

Who should show up but Adam and his sidekick Hawkins to save the day? They rescue Caroline and daughter and set off for Portugal en route to England but along the way there's lots of adventure, attempts on their lives, meeting up with bandits, French troops, Spanish guerrillas, you name it, it happens to them. But it's an entertaining and interesting read. You learn things about the war, about Caroline, her husband's family, Adam's childhood, life behind enemy lines during the Peninsular Wars, military and diplomatic intrigues, etc. All in all, it's a pretty decent read, except for the overblown romance.

BTW, if you are a Tracy/Teresa Grant fan you'll be happy to know, as I was, that she is in the process of writing Book 4 of the Charles and Melanie saga. I believe the name will be IMPERIAL SCANDAL. Don't quote me on this, because that may be the name of a new Malcolm/Suzanne novel. Of course they're the same characters, just different publishing companies. If there's anybody out there who knows more than I about this new book, please leave me a comment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
I read 'Shores of Desire' first & loved it then read this one where Lescaut, the French spy is introduced.
I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this quartet!
I particularly like the perspective of spys on both sides interacting during the war on Emily's kidnapping.
I hope as the quartet develops over time to follow Emily's character into adulthood.
Loved Adam & Caroline but also enjoyed the development of the relationship of Hawkins & Elena.
Hope to follow all these characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2013
Let me start off by telling you I've never read this author before, and I came by this book via someone's post on Facebook. It sounded like something I might like and I bought it. I honestly never expected to like it as much as I did. The writing was so good, that finding out of it being a part of Lescaut Quartet, I bought the other four not even knowing whose stories they were about. I've never done that with `new to me' authors before!

I was impressed the most with its well-developed and solid plot. It was something to behold.

`Dark Angel' is without a doubt a historical romance yet its heavy emphasis on espionage in Peninsular Wars it reads well as a mystery too.

Its historical background is well researched and because of it, as a reader, I was deeply touched by the reality of the period. As most of this story develops in Spain and Portugal, behind enemy lines and it's filled with action, adventure and intrigue.

Despite its typical, predictable secrets and misunderstandings between the hero and heroine [at one point I wanted to slap Caroline around for her selfishness, but in the end I realized that the more these characters had their flaws, the more I liked them as human beings; no one's perfect and they certainly were not], I found the book well written, well researched, fast paced and vastly engaging and entertaining.

If the rest of the series is as this first book, I'm in for some great reads this summer! Highly recommending you give it a try!

Melanie for b2b

Book purchased from Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
Dark Angel is historical romance but with a strong espionage/mystery element, and like the rest of Grant's books, the historical background is very well researched and realistic. I enjoyed the fact that there was a mixture of well-drawn and interesting secondary characters, who were from different backgrounds, not necessarily upper class & English, as is common in most Regency novels. At least half the book takes place in Spain and Portugal. There are some of the typical secrets and misunderstandings between the hero and heroine, but the heroine at least had a good reason for keeping her secrets. They were not idealized, both of them were imperfect human beings who made mistakes, but learned from them. If you are a fan of Teresa Grant/Tracy Grant, this ebook is definitely worth getting, it's a bargain for a full length novel.
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on May 19, 2015
Though we have come to expect Ms. Grant’s extremely well-crafted stories to be thoroughly integrated with the historical events surrounding the intrigues and deceptions the characters fall into, this novel falls out of the historical novel category and into historical romance. Not that Caroline and Adam are not interesting, and not that there isn’t a villainous plot to unravel. It’s just that the heroine is not as formidable a woman as Grant’s other heroine, Melanie Fraser/Suzanne Rannoch. Courageous, yes. Intrepid, yes. Just not as complex or engaging. The plot is complicated, but not as complex, either. If you're looking for historical fiction, find the ones about Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch (also named Charles and Melanie Fraser). If you're interested in romance, this book is for you.
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on April 3, 2015
Multi-layered and rich with historical intrigue and detail, the plot covers a great deal of ground, from Regency England to war zones in Portugal and Spain. The emotional depth of the various characters sucks the reader into their world and its attendant limitations and prejudices like few novels have managed to do for me. A surprise find and a treasure to be shared.
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on May 29, 2014
Great storyline. Great characters. I am definitely looking forward to Tracy Grant's next book. Dark Angel is the first of a four book series.
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on August 8, 2013
Terrific novel! Great read that truly leaves one saddened when the last page has been turned. Would recommend this book.
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on April 16, 2015
The main characters are a little brooding and seem to be happy taking each other's cues wrong without explanation. You kind of see where it is heading although the end of the story has a surprise I was not anticipating. It is a little sexy but interesting overall- not just sexy for the sake of it. I think Tracy Grant is a winner overall.
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on December 18, 2014
It was okay but not my favorite book by Tracy. I like the Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch books the best.
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