The Secrets of a Lady by Jess Michaels

August 19, 2014 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Secrets of a Lady by Jess MichaelsThe Secrets of a Lady by Jess Michaels
Series: The Jordans #1
Published by Jess Michaels on August 19, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-stars
Audrey Jordan isn't your typical Regency lady. To escape unrequited feelings for her brother's best friend Griffin Berenger, she entered a life of a spy. But her current case has brought her back to the man she once loved and lost, a man who is now a broken widower. Audrey and her brother are stalking his neighbor, a man who may be plotting to kill the Prince. Staying in Griffin's home, Audrey is reminded of all the desires and feelings he once stirred in her. As for Griffin, he finds himself obsessed with Audrey, and driven to protect her even if it threatens her case.

But as their desire for each other grows, the case Audrey and her brother are investigating heats up. And if she cannot arrest the blackguard in her sights, she may not live, let alone get to live happily ever after with the man of her dreams.

Audrey Jordan has loved her brother’s best friend Griffin Berenger since she was a little girl.  Once, she even kissed him.  Too bad it was at his wedding to another woman!  Five years later, Audrey works with her brother, Noah, as a spy for the War Department.   Their latest assignment brings them back to Griffin’s townhouse in London which happens to be right next door to their latest target.  Audrey has spent the last five years trying to forget her girlhood infatuation with Griffin Berenger and he has spent the last five years trying to hide the feelings stirred by Audrey Jordan’s kiss.  Now that they are living under the same roof, will they be able to resist their mutual attraction?

Audrey is intelligent, determined, and sensible.  As a spy, she’s learned to adapt well to new and difficult situations which serves her well in juggling the affections of her latest assignment (Mr. Ellison), her lingering and growing attraction to Griffin, and how best to succeed in her mission.  When she’s thrust back into Griffin’s life, all of those traits she held as a child come bubbling to the surface – her stubborn streak comes out in full force and she makes some impulsive decisions which land her in trouble both physically and with Griffin.  Despite her impulsiveness, she is also sensible enough to attempt creating a barrier between herself and Griffin in order to protect her fragile heart.  She is open about her thoughts and feelings, but understands the many reasons why Griffin will never be interested in her and why she maintain a professional demeanor around him.   Audrey is also confident enough in herself to know that she deserves love and refuses to settle for anything less.

Griffin was a little on the broody side, but this stems from a deep betrayal by his now-dead wife.  As a result, he is distrustful of many of the people around him, unsure who did or did not know of his wife’s deceit.  Griffin is decisive, sometimes forceful, and very protective of Audrey.  He doesn’t like her dangerous involvement with the War Department, but also recognizes her desire for independence and respects those boundaries as best he can.

Audrey and Griffin’s love story is a complicated one, which makes for an interesting story.  Not only do the spy story elements create dramatic situations, but the deep emotion Audrey and Griffin feel for one another in those situations adds an extra layer to the narrative.

I would have liked to see Audrey and Griffin’s relationship develop a little more.  I also felt as if Audrey was under-utilized as a spy (a sentiment shared by Audrey a few times in the book).  For this assignment, Audrey was essentially just bait – there to flirt and act the “pretty Miss,” but no real ‘spy’ work done; or at least not explained that way.  The role seemed to work for this assignment, which is fine, but I would have appreciated references to other assignments that show off Audrey’s real abilities as a successful spy.

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