by Debra Elizabeth
GENRE: Regency Romance
Miss Hannah Richardson is enjoying a Season in London. She's not looking for a husband, at least not this Season. She wants to enjoy herself before settling down to married life. All that changes, however, when she sees the Duke of Wetherby. He's tall, dark and impossibly handsome and someone Hannah wants to get to know better.
Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, is not fond of attending soirees, dinners or balls, but his latest mission for the Crown demands he mingle with the ton. He has vowed never to marry because of his dangerous work and the constant bevy of beauties anxious mothers throw into his path is not tempting him in the least. That is, until he meets Hannah Richardson, a young woman unlike any other he's ever met. Can he learn to love or will his hardened heart rob him of the very thing he needs the most.
Camden Darkin stared at the pile of papers spread out on his large oak desk—Parliamentary papers, receipts, invoices, invitations—the list went on and on. He ran his hand through his dark hair, frustration etched on his handsome face. This was not the life he had envisioned for himself. He was a soldier and a spy, not a duke. The untimely death of his older brother, Alexander, had cast him into a position that he was not comfortable with and woefully unprepared for. He had not been the one sitting at Father’s knee, learning all the intricacies of running a successful dukedom. Alexander had excelled at it, and Camden had made a practice of skipping lessons, although his father had tried to engage him in the details. His brother had been the heir and the next Duke of Wetherby. Camden was used to blending into the background, using his perceptiveness to root out conspiracies against the Crown. That was what he was good at and that was the only thing he wanted to do. Unfortunately, life had had other plans for him, and try as he might, he could not think of any way to change that.
With Alexander’s sudden death eighteen months ago, Camden was now responsible for his sixteen-year-old sister, his thirteen-year-old brother who was currently away at Eton, and his mother, Katherine, the Duchess of Wetherby, at least until he married. That was another point of contention. Marriage was for other people, not him. It was the problem that plagued him most these days. He didn’t want to marry, especially after enduring the aftermath of Henry’s horrific death. His friend had died on his watch. He was responsible for the lives of the spies under his command. What kind of spymaster was he if he could let this happen? Henry’s wife was devastated, and Camden did not want to subject any woman to that late-night knock on the door. Witnessing Lady Sunderland’s distress at losing her husband was enough to strengthen his resolve never to marry.
He had made up his mind to hold steadfast to his decision. The dukedom would pass to his brother, William, and Camden would make sure he was well schooled in the running of it.
He was drowning under the burdens and responsibilities of so many lives—his mother, his sister, his brother, his tenants—it was enough to keep him awake long into the night. Adding to this stress was his work for the Crown, and Camden had no time to dwell on anything or anyone.
Miss Hannah Richardson.
Dare to Love a Spy will be $0.99 during the tour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Debra Elizabeth is the romance pen name for fantasy author Debra L. Martin. She has been writing stories since her teens and decided to finally publish her romance stories under a pen name so as not to confuse her fantasy fans. She publishes epic and urban fantasy under her true name with her co-author and brother, David W. Small. A full list of all of her books can be found at her blog, Two Ends of the Pen.
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Dare to Love a Spy by Debra Elizabeth is part of the ‘Age of Innocence’ series. The story centers around Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, as he is trying to discover who is killing his agents, and Hannah Richardson, a somewhat headstrong young miss enjoying her first Season, thanks to her aunt and uncle. The two main characters continue to cross paths under suspicious circumstances but their undeniable attraction builds and threatens to disrupt not only Camden’s investigation but also his peace of mind. Unfortunately, the danger increases as well, and their romance may have to end before it can even begin.
This romantic suspense tale is set in historical England and provides a glimpse of the network in place to keep the Crown safe, contrasted with the glittery world of the aristocrats as they maneuver to ensure their succession. The hint of danger provides an exciting element to the story and it is fun to see the dual roles many of the characters play, although it would have been nice to see more of their background in the network. I wish there was a bit more depth to the hero and heroine as I didn’t feel a strong connection to them, and wasn’t sure I was convinced of their suitability, although I did enjoy watching the heat build between them. She seems a little too naïve and sheltered to match his worldliness and knowledge, and her inability to keep her curiosity in check would seem to be a terrible liability. This story provides cameo appearances by characters who starred earlier in the series, but it stands alone just fine. I think this is an entertaining light read that will be enjoyed by fans of historical romance who like a hint of danger in their stories.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review