Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
Overview from Amazon:
No man can outsmart him…
Lord Adrian Smythe may appear a perfectly boring gentleman but he leads a thrilling life as one of England’s most preeminent spies, an identity so clandestine even his wife is unaware of it. But he isn’t the only one with secrets…
She’s been outsmarting him for years…
now that the Napoleonic wars have come to an end, daring secret agent Lady Sophia Smythe can hardly bear the thought of returning home to her tedious husband. Until she discovers in the dark of night that he’s not who she thinks he is at all…
One of the most underrated movies out there is Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Brad and Angie. Super spies. Sexy. Thrilling. And most of all funny. This book reads like a Regency version of the movie.
Adrian and Sophia care more about saving England than their marriage. It’s a convienent cover so they can serve the Crown as spies. But once the Napoleonic wars are at an end, they are cut loose. Taking one last job is an easy choice for the two, although they have no idea that they will inadvertently cross paths. Once they are unmasked as spies and liars, they must work together to figure out a rather nasty plot to get rid of them and damage England’s political landscape. Sound familiar? It was no hardship to imagine Brad and Angelina in these roles.
What was fascinating was how the author addresses simple things like Sophia’s attire. Unlike Angelina’s character in Mr and Mrs, she wasn’t able to be running around in black leather pants. The author takes the time to mention how fist fighting in a dress was cumbersome, yet the reminder keeps it fresh that this is the 1800s, not modern day.
The years of service have left this marriage in a sorry state. The couple are virtually strangers. Sophia and Adrian hide their true nature from each other and society. Sophia even wears frumpy clothes to disguise her beauty so she remains relatively unnoticed in society, therefore free from committees and social teas.
The neglect they have given their marriage is compounded by the fact they are experiencing infertility. This is an issue not often addressed by romance novels, unless the heroine has to produce an heir in record time or a King beheads a wife to get a new young thing. Of course there is a happy ever after – it is a romance novel after all.
The cloak and dagger aspect of the book is well done. You really feel like you are with Adrian and Sophia for their adventures. From stinking alleys to combatting enemies, the action moves at a good pace. The two find each other and get to know the real spouse they married. Since there is no Internet in this time, they can’t fabricate families and identities, so they learn to reconcile who they are with the facts they already know.
Overall, this book is well written, intriguing and the supporting characters enhance the story. The author amps up the heat as the bedroom scenes are quite steamy. Who would have thought a romance novel about a married couple would set off such sparks! The passion they eventually reveal for each other is realistic and keeps in line with how they fall in love with each other as they learn the truth.
This is the first book in a series of spy novels by the author. I read the next couple of books, but this one was the best of the bunch and I really only kept reading to hear more about what was happening with Adrian and Sophia.
Well worth reading…a definite keeper!