Title: A Spy's Devotion
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: The Regency Spies of London #1
~ MY REVIEW ~
I am accustomed to Melanie Dickerson's beautiful, intriguing medieval fairytale retellings, but I was nonetheless delighted to see she was coming out with a regency romance! And though A Spy's Devotion was different than Melanie's other books, being a simple historical, without the fairytale-ish thread, it was such a sweet story! ^_^
Julia Grey is an orphan without a substantial dowry, living as the ward of her aunt and uncle, the Wilherns. There's not much chance of a love match for her ... she'll hope some gentleman sees fit to ask for her hand, or resign to a lonely life of a governess.
Things are stirred up as Julia's cousin, Phoebe, declares she is irrevocably in love with Nicholas Langdon, and Mr. Wilhern wants Julia to marry a man she does not trust. To make matters worse, something important goes missing ... and whispers of treason are heard.
Will Julia have the courage to do what's right and just, or will she live a life she can hardly bear?
Despite a more slow beginning, A Spy's Devotion soon enough captured my interest and pulled me on a lovely journey! It was different than expected, but I ended up very much enjoying it! The sweet love story. The intrigue. The dear characters. And just the regency era feel! Melanie Dickerson did well with that, I felt; and I was immersed into the early 1800s where treachery is afoot and a true love is forbidden.
I found Nicholas to be quite an interesting and likable character. That he never danced with the same lady twice during balls certainly caught my attention, I was waiting for the day when he would single out a special young woman! *smiles* I loved his sense of humor. His very gentlemanly attitude, yet the kind and gentle heart underneath. I like him very much, and it was lovely getting to know him more through the course of the story.
Julia was a lovely character as well. Sometimes I wanted to yell and storm about a little for her ... as it appeared she had angry thoughts time and again, but was so calm and pleasant again and again. I could hardly bear how badly some people treated her! Julia did have her moments though. And eventually, she learned some important lessons and such. I enjoyed watching her courage and strength come out. And I liked that she kept her forgiving, kind nature even while learning to stand up for herself. She had some words of wisdom even as she wondered and questioned society's rules, and maybe made some mistakes. Overall, Julia was a sweet and lovely character to journey along with.
The whole spying business that was expected from the title was very fun! Once it came to that part. As I mentioned, the beginning a bit slow. But once we get the action, was it ever intriguing and fun! And nerve-wracking!! I'm happy to say it wasn't too complicated and terrifying; because sometimes I just want a more light story, that still has a generous dash of intrigue and suspense! At one point, things get more deep, and you see indeed it is a dangerous, frightening situation.
Oh, and did I mention that I quite enjoyed the secondary characters of Sarah Peck and Leorah Langdon? Felicity too! Phoebe rather annoyed (and sometimes infuriated) me. But she did perhaps have a pleasant, kind side as well. Anyway, they were grand. Perhaps we'll see some more of them ... ? *smiles*
The romance was very sweet. (I always say that, don't I? Well ... I can't help being a hopeless romantic! Most love stories in books I read just make my heart sigh! Haha. *smiles*) But yes. It was endearing. Gentle, though forbidden. There weren't hardly any "romance-y" scenes during the novel; no kissing. However, at the end, there are two scenes with many kisses exchanged. So that's why I recommend for about sixteen and up. This book is classified as adult though, mind you.
So yes. I really liked A Spy's Devotion! A beautiful regency tale! Lovely historical. Some action, danger, and suspense. Drama, and a darling love story. Fans of historical romance, particularly regency, you will not want to miss this new book by Melanie Dickerson!
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a e-copy of A Spy's Devotion in exchange for my honest review.