Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Spymaster’s Lady-Joanna Bourne

The Spymaster’s Lady
Joanna Bourne
Berkley, Jan 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425219607

Leblanc tortures spy maestro Annique “The Fox Cub” Villiers demanding she give him the Albion plans that Vauban gave her in Bruges to take to England. Annique is the best at the espionage game especially when it comes to checkmating men so since she has no plans to die here, she must find a way out of this mess. She has outplayed every male opponent with ease and wouldn’t be in this hell hole with the devil’s spawn if her elderly associate was not so desperate; still she expects to win every time though right now she lingers in a French prison and ponders how to escape.

British spymaster Robert Grey is assigned the task of abducting the infamous Cub in order to interrogate her to learn what she really knows and who gives her orders. Thus he enters the same French prison where she is currently a resident and meets the renowned Cub. This is a case of hate at first sight in spite of an attraction. However they both conclude they need one another to escape their jail, which they do. As they flee across France they begin to fall in love, but their various enemies and some alleged allies pursue them with one thought kill the spies.

Although The Fox Cub seems very vulnerable and not quite the invincible professional that she allegedly is, THE SPYMASTER’S LADY is an exhilarating historical romantic espionage thriller starring two strong adversaries needing to team up if they are to survive those wanting them dead. The story line is action-packed, but belongs to the courageous lead couple who go from distrust to dependency to love. Joanna Bourne begins her legacy with a fine tale.

Harriet Klausner