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The Spymaster's Lady (The Spymaster Series) Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: The Spymaster Series (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425219607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425219607
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #952,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

British spymaster Robert Grey came to France to find Annique Villiers, the notorious “Fox Cub,” only to end up sharing the same prison cell as the beautiful spy. In order to escape, the two enter into a reluctant partnership that ends the minute they’re free. Believing that Annique has valuable information about the “Albion plans”—Napoléon’s scheme to invade England—Robert’s only goal is to get her back to London, but the surprisingly resourceful Annique is determined to thwart Robert at every turn. In her exceptional debut romance, Bourne deftly distills danger, deception, and desire into a seamlessly constructed story that will captivate readers with its irresistible combination of superbly nuanced characters and a high-adrenaline plot. --John Charles


Praise for the novels of Joanna Bourne:

"Once in a while, during every reader's literary life, you encounter a book that reminds you why you are a reader. It renews your faith, if faith was lost; it rekindles your interest, if interest waned; and every word, every page, is a wonder.....Joanna Bourne is one of the best authors currently writing. If Ms. Bourne continues writing at such quality, she would deserve to be called one of the greatest romance authors ever. And I mean that." --All About Romance

"Books by [Joanna Bourne] are like a box of fine Laduree macaroons, not cheap junk food. They should be leisurely savored as the exquisite delicacies they are, for Bourne is a master wordsmith, able to charm, excite or break a reader’s heart with the stroke of her pen."--Dear Author

More About the Author

I write historical fiction set in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and Regency England. It was a time of love and sacrifice, clashing ideals, and really cool clothing.

I live in the Appalachian Mountains with my family and my dog and cat.

Customer Reviews

One of the best historical romances I have ever read!
Story moves right along and you do not want to put it down til you finish and then... you want more to read - do not want the book to end!.
Melissa Hinwood
All the supporting character is also well written in this story.
Olivia Piel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Misuzmama on January 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Consequence brings together two enemies who are forced to become tenuous allies in the most perilous circumstance. Annique Villers , the elusive Fox Cub, is the most brilliant, beautiful and dangerous French Spy. Robert Grey, the Head of the British Section, is a ruthless spymaster. One holds the key to the fate of two countries. The other, the will and determination to unlock those secrets. Both are serving two conflicting masters; one of the world and one of the heart.

Let the Game begin.

An utterly romantic and riveting novel set against the backdrop of France and England during the Napoleonic Wars. Its simply astonishing that this is a debut. I have found when reading some supposedly 'spy' romance books, much of what is the actual daily *life* of a spy is not included. This ENTIRE book is just that -what they do, how they survive and accomplish their mission. This is not ballroom and parlor espionage. Rather its treacherous field operations with weapons, disguise and cunning. The book is full of rich historical detail which completely absorbs the reader. I actually felt like a voyeur, right there in every scene. There wasn't too much nor too little, just enough to keep me hooked. Bourne (author) has an uncanny ability to make even the mundane fascinating. Her characters are full bodied and well defined. And most importantly they DON'T compromise their own beliefs, which makes this novel even more astonishing. How exactly are two enemies going to end up together? Well you'll just have to read it to find that out!

I really think that this book defines what a 'spy' romance should be. If your going to write about spies then please WRITE about spies! Show me what they do and how they do it and I think this book more than does that.

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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Melinda Harrison on January 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The heroine of this beautifully written novel is a clever French spy named Annique Villiers and her story begins in a dark French prison where she is being tortured by her own countrymen. It is here that she meets hero and British spymaster, Robert Grey, and then, wow--thus begins one wild and wonderful journey from France to London, England. This is the best historical romance I've read in years, no kidding. The plot is incredible with no less than four surprises I did not expect, the first one really shocking and so well written, I had to go back and reread the beginning to see it all laid out on the page. Incredible writing skills. And a very romantic read. I would compare the psychology of the characters to the first Judith Ivory novels, even the earlier Judy Cuevas. These are fantastic characters. It's also a story edged with a real sense of impending danger and yet, there's wit.

One last praise. I know this time period and the writer has really respected her story and setting. Very detailed.

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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Reader 200 on February 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for the reviews and D.G.'s blurb. It was definitely better than other debut author's that I have read, and the writing had some definite high points.

The characterization is fantastic. Annique is French inside, outside, upside down. Her thought processes are perfect. I really enjoyed getting into her. The other characters were equally memorable and came to life just as much. I particularly liked Doyle and Adrian. I also liked the names she gave her characters (minus the hero). They didn't have that used and reused feel of so many regency's.

There were somethings that were less than stellar to me. First, I found the story plodding. There was one point where I rather desperately wanted Annique and Grey to stop talking, stop fighting and DO something. I checked the page length and the conversation (admittedly in the bedroom, but still) lasted 25 pages.

My second issue was that the book seems to be mainly about Annique being captured by someone, trying to escape, and getting caught again. I expected better from a super spy. I expected the story to be more driven by her rather than reactionary by her. And it really bugged me that she tells her entire life story to every person she meets (speaking dramatically on my part). What kind of spy tells the truth?

And while I know being overcome with lust is bread and butter to this style of book, I felt it was lathered on a little too thick. Or maybe it is just that I expected more from Annique herself. I expected her to have more common sense than she did. I don't know.

In summary, this book was great for a debut author. I'll probably keep an eye on J.B. to see if her stories improve, but The Spymaster's Lady is not a keeper for me.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on January 8, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I maintain a certain skepticism about the adjective "resourceful" when applied to any romance heroine. Too often the word has less to do with the character's actual ingenuity, than with her ability to sit in the maw of a deus ex machina and say all the right words about how this turn of events confirms the slender few choices she's made in the course of the novel --chief among these being her surrender to the hero, some chapters earlier.

Fortunately, Annique Villiers, heroine of The Spymaster's Lady, is not that sort of lady: tossed into a cell and left to wait for fates worse than death, she calmly constructs a cosh out of a silk stocking and a few fistfuls of scavenged gravel, plays one of her captors for a fool, and then efficiently bashes the man unconscious. It's a hell of an introduction, and the rest of the book only improves upon those first few pages: Annique is simultaneously devilishly ingenious, consistent, and pragmatic --and, for a bonus, beautifully written by author Joanna Bourne, who gifts her heroine with a distinctive, delightful voice. Even the syntax of her thoughts echo Annique's French origins persuasively.

Similarly excellent are Bourne's supporting cast, all blessed (again) with distinctive patterns of speech and thought; for my tastes, Adrian is the standout, but Doyle is thoroughly enjoyable and even the master spies Galba and Soulier are engagingly written. The great secret of the story, although subtly foreshadowed, is by no means obvious, and the plot moves along at a clip, helped along by Bourne's superb prose. Many romance authors these days seem to write in Reader's Digest prose --serviceable but undistinguished.
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