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Rogue Spy (The Spymaster Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 4, 2014
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"Complex plotting, flawless pacing, truly exquisite prose, and characters who leap from the page, stilettos in hand, result in a riveting story that is rife with surprises. One more gem from a master of the craft." - Library Journal
"Rogue Spy is so many things: puzzles within puzzles, a race-against-time to prevent a disaster that will leave many people dead in its wake, an exploration of friendships, the meaning of family, and personal trials, but at its heart it explores a love that did not and will not fade over time." -Heroes and Heartbreakers
"When two former double agents who trained together as children risk everything to help each other, falling in love becomes the most dangerous move in a deadly spy master's game." - Kirkus Reviews
"I can say with complete honesty that Rogue Spy is one of the best books I've read this year. There's plenty of fast-paced action, a tender romance, lots of humour, and a shocking denouement which had me on the edge of my seat. It's intelligently and beautifully written - and now I think I need to go and read the entire series all over again. Brava! Ms. Bourne." - All About Romance
It's funny how many times I hear people say they don't like historical spy romance books. They are tricky and complex to write, but Joanna Bourne does them so well. There were several times during Rogue Spy that I set down my Kindle and thought to myself, "How did Joanna Bourne even come up with this? She is so tricky!" - USA Today Happily Ever After
About the Author
Joanna credits a lifelong fascination with history, her many beloved Romance books, and the pulp classic tales of fantastical adventure as the inspiration of her stories. She lived for many years in England and France, the settings of the Spymaster series.
Nowadays Joanna makes her home on a mountaintop in the Appalachians with her family, a peculiar cat, and an old brown country dog.
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Top Customer Reviews
THE STORY: Camille "Cami" Leyland is "dutiful niece, British subject, codebreaker and French spy." She is cache: one of the children trained as spies and killers and sent to England as spies for the French Revolution. Cami has spent ten years masquerading as the niece for codebreakers for the British government. Cami's world comes crashing down when she receives a blackmail note demanding that she turn over a code or her identity will be revealed. Although Cami has not actively spied for France, she knows that she must leave but she has to travel to England to find out the identity of the blackmailer in order to protect her "aunts".
In London, Cami runs into Thomas "Pax" Paxton. Cami and Pax were fellow caches who knew each other as children. Pax was sent by the French to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service. Having been revealed as a spy, Pax has returned to England with his confession. Although Pax has been loyal to the British for years, having rejected his mission, he doesn't know what will happen to him. Cami's appearance presents Pax with another dilemma: will he betray the service again or will be betray Cami.
OPINION: ROGUE SPY is a well plotted, deeply emotional book. The uncertainty about the motivations of the characters gives the story much momentum and the slow unveiling of the true natures and emotions of two people steeped in deception is compelling. The complexity of the story is marvelous. Bourne doesn't play games with her plots. They are gritty and realistic and definite page turners. What I like best about ROGUE SPY is the emotional depth of the characters. Pax and Cami have lead honest lives for years and yet they are tainted by the lies that their childhood forced upon them. Pax has been an assassin for the service for years. The lives he has taken have made him world weary and in some ways much more vulnerable than Cami. In many ways, she takes care of him at the point of his life where he is most vulnerable. The book manages to give readers are great spy story while also delving deeply into the emotional lives of these characters. Fans of the series will also be pleased at the appearances of Doyle and Hawker.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book also does some role reversal with a virgin hero and a sexually experienced heroine. Because of the lies they live, Cami knew that she would not marry and instead decided to seek sexual experience as a substitute. Pax, knowing that he could not bear to lie to women that he cared about, decided to be abstinent. In this book, they find in each other the one person they don't have to lie to. This gives their relationship intellectual, emotional, sexual honesty that is quite beautiful.
FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Although it is not as good as THE BLACK HAWK, it is also not as tortuous a journey for the characters. This is my second favorite book of the series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: ROGUE SPY is the fifth book in the Spymasters series. Readers should note that the books are not in chronological order and that ROGUE SPY occurs during the events of THE BLACK HAWK.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC from the author. I was not asked or required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Cami has been now been "recalled" into active service by a man who is known as "The Merchant" - an evil man that Pax has long vowed to terminate because of past cruelties. The charisma between Pax and Cami is evident from their first reunion. We learn their backstories which includes harsh methods of training inflicted upon them to turn them into killing machines. In addition, there's a big Italian family that Cami descends from that she manages to hook up with which adds much color and flavor to the storyline.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the way Ms. Bourne gives us more of Pax's and Hawk's friendship. I adore Hawk, but was a bit confused thinking he had worked everything out with Justine in The Black Hawk (The Spymaster Series Book 4). However, one reviewer mentions that the events in this book are somewhat concurrent with Hawk's story, which leads me to think I might need to re-read Hawk's story. In any event, apparently, this story doesn't actually build upon the events in Hawk's story, but rather seems to have taken place around the same time or before the events in Hawk's story.
Bourne is a very gifted writer.
But there's another level to this story which is difficult to explain...that is, unless one happens to be as brilliant a writer as Joanna Bourne. Which I am not. But I'll try.
Every scene is a masterpiece of setting, character and point of view. The main characters, and many secondary characters, are extraordinarily vivid, and the author brings them to life through more than externals like clothes and mannerisms, and interaction with other characters. Their very essence is revealed, their personal history, their native language, their cultural and family background...all accomplished by showing us the world through the character's eyes and living in their thoughts. And there is no telling. It's showing.
Joanna Bourne is a brilliant author. Whether you are a romance or literary or historical reader, read this book. And if you're an author, or aspire to be one, read this book. It, and all but one of her other novels, are iconic in their sheer, absolute, breathtaking perfection. Brava!