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The Spymaster's Lady Paperback – Bargain Price, May 4, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Spymasters Series

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Paperback, Bargain Price, May 4, 2010
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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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236215
  • ASIN: B0040RMF6G
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,584,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title of my review summarizes my view: this was mostly a spy novel rather than romance. The book was loaded with action at some pages and so boring at others that I almost gave up on it once or twice. My main problem was Annique, not as a character but as a spy: We learn that she is a super spy, one of the best of the Game early on. We get glimses of that when she makes her first escape. But after that, she could be a spy in her first mission and you wouldn't know the difference. If that was the best spy Napoleon had, no wonder he lost the war! She manages to get caught four times, spills her guts to strangers because she is "refreshingly straightforward" (a must quality for a spy!), is constantly scared or terrified when facing her enemies and is heavily depended on Grey to make her feel safe. It was like reading about two different persons: one is the experienced, dangerous spy as described by the other spies but whom the reader never meets, and the other is the Annique the reader gets to know, a vulnerable young child, who needs protecting from a strong, experienced man (that would be Grey). I am sorry, but after a while, when I read how terrific spy she was, I wanted to throw the book away (I actually did it once). The romance was mediocre, took little space comparing to the action, and didn't hold my interest. Although Adrian seemed interesting enough, I don't think I will make a second try with Ms Bourne.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Annique Villiers is a French spy who, as the book opens, is being held prisoner in a French dungeon by a couple of villains who believe she holds the so called Albion Plans - Napoleon's plan to invade England and they want it. She does know the secret plan (as it is plain from the very beginning) and her inner struggle to decide what to do with them is the underlying plot for most of the novel - will she keep quiet or will she warn the British about it? If she does tell the British she will be avoiding death and destruction but at the cost of giving away France's secrets (number of weapons, men, ships etc) and this is why she is torn. She may not agree with Napoleon but she is French and she is loyal.

But as it turns out she is sharing the cell with two British spies: Grey and Adrian (who has a gunshot wound and is barely alive) and together they manage to escape from the prison but Grey knowing that the Annique is this ultra famous spy, plans to capture her and take her to England as soon as they are out of the dungeon. And hence beings a game of cat and mouse where we are never sure who is the mouse or who the cat is. They are both extremely skilled in their profession, cunning and smart but eventually Grey is the winner for he has the only thing that can subjugate Annique - physical strength.

And so they go about trying to leave France, fighting common foes and fighting each other all the way. Are they allies or enemies? The boundaries of their relationship keep moving as they go along - there is the undeniable attraction between Grey and Annique as well as their growing respect for each other's skills .

And what skills! This is where I say that this book is unbelievably COOL. There is no other word for it.
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