A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

 

26215628

 

Genre: Regency Era, Romance, Historical Romance, Christian Fiction, young adult

Pages: 322

Published by Waterfall Press

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In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and tawdriness thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?


 


This story is set in the regency era where propriety and wealth dictate who is well matched to who and society itself is a cruel mistress. A time where one’s reputation was easily sullied by something so trivial. That being said, this story makes me think of the beloved Jane Austen with a twist of course.

Julia Grey is a sweet girl who was orphaned at a young age and taken in by her gracious Aunt & Uncle Wilhern, they have a daughter Phoebe who absolutely adores Julia, too. From the start, you can see that there is an obvious distaste for Julia even though they brought her up as their own there also seems to be a definite separation and the mindset of ‘you will never be an equal to us.’ Excluding Phoebe, mostly because she’s more than a trifle dim-witted. I rather enjoyed Julia’s character, even if at times I wanted to shake her for not standing up for herself but I also reminded myself that during these times it was exceedingly difficult.

Nicholas Langdon is a soldier who is currently mending after wounds inflicted by the war, he has been put to the task to carry out a dying soldier’s last wish and that is to deliver a simple diary to someone at the War Office. He doesn’t know that it contains precious secrets that could be the undoing of England should it fall into the wrong hands. Nicholas took me a touch to get into his character, he was rather distant and offered no depth but then as the story progressed I really wanted to keep reading about him.

I had a few personal issues with the book, when I engage in a story I like to experience interactions, I don’t like to read about them continuously. For example.

“Edgerton proceeded to talk of the war, and he asked Nicholas several questions about his time in the Peninsula, about General Wellington, and what Nicholas thought the future of the British army would be. It was beginning to strike Nicholas as very strange conversation, not at all what Edgerton usually talked of.”

This is one of many instances where we as the readers don’t get to see the conversation take place or what the characters acted like so that we could decipher HOW strange it might have been. As I stated, though, this is more of a personal issue for me.

The overall plot is very interesting. I think what put me off was the way I felt things were often halted like it was treading water and never really moving anywhere. Or altogether skipped over as stated above.

I did enjoy the characters, I think Dickerson was able to achieve what she wanted as far as characters went. I grew to detest Mr. & Mrs. Wilhern, Phoebe was just a fickle, silly girl, and Julia you couldn’t help but feel sympathetic to her plight. Nicholas became swoon-worthy. However, the interactions between Nicholas and Julia soon became built out of frustration for me.

There was something missing for me in this story, though, I’m not sure what it was, but it kept it from being a true 4-star rating for me. Maybe it’s because there were too many things against my personal preference. It’s a good, quick read, though. 3.5 stars from me.


 


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