5 out of 5 witty stars
August 1815. The war with France is officially over, Napoleon’s an exile on St Helena, but Europe is still a very dangerous place to be.
Kidnapped and held for ransom at nineteen, ducal heir William Ravenwood knows the only person he can rely on is himself. Now part of a spy ring that includes his friends Nicolas and Richard Hampden, he’s the smuggler known as The Raven, a ruthless agent who specializes in rescuing hostages and prisoners of war from captivity.
Raven longs to discover the fate of his colleague, Christopher ‘Kit’ Carlisle, who’s been missing, presumed dead, for over two years. He’s also equally determined to stay away from the one thing he knows is dangerous to his health – the bane of his life, his best friends’ infuriating and provocative little sister, Heloise.
Heloise is a brilliant code breaker, one of the English government’s most valuable assets. She’s also loved Raven for years, but considering that he rejected her at sixteen, before her face was scarred rescuing her brother from an icy river, she’s certain he doesn’t want her now, despite his outrageous flirting.
But when Heloise decodes a message that proves Kit is alive and a prisoner in Spain, Raven realizes she’s in grave danger. With French agents determined to silence her, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe – even if that means taking her to Spain with him as an unwilling hostage.
As they face French deserters and Spanish freedom fighters, Raven and Heloise try to ignore the simmering attraction that’s been building between them for eight long years. The differences between them are striking but they’ve always had a strange underlying bond. Heloise might be scarred outwardly, but Raven’s wounds are all on the inside. He knows he’s not worthy of her love—a shadowed Hades pining for sun-kissed Persephone—but he’s not above showing her passion for the short time they’re together.
A master at decoding complex messages, Heloise finds Raven frustratingly hard to read, but as their lives hang in the balance she’s determined to unravel his secrets and unlock his dark, elusive heart…
This is a comedic romance story with a great set of characters!!! You love them right from the beginning!!!
“That’s how it is with me. When you go, all the light goes, too.” He sounded both defiant and vulnerable.
Heloise is just at the right age where the marriage proposals come from every angle, and even after she was in an accident that left her with a scared face, the marriage proposals still came, and her father was pushing her to pick someone, so she would be properly wedded. Except… she did not want to get married just because, she wanted love, and adventure, and more than what she was seeing as her future.
She is a bright and very intelligent girl, with a job: helping in the war by decoding messages! But above all, she is and has been in love, since she was 16 years old, with her brothers friend.
“Come on, you’ve fancied me since you were sixteen,” he goaded mercilessly.
“It was a temporary aberration. I’m cured of it now”
Except he only sees her as his best friends little sister, one that has to be looked out for, one with a witty mind, but still the little girl he’s known since he was a boy.
Raven, or William de I’Isle, Viscount Ravenwood, is the dashing devonaire, a spy for the English, a typical Don Juan de Marco. Money, grace, girls…. Except he really can’t have everything he desires, because SHE is the forbidden fruit, she is the little sister of his practically brother.
And while someone is trying to kill her, he is charged with the responsibility of keeping her safe, being this close to her is being more problematic for him, since he can’t seem to decide whether to strangle her himself, or kiss the ever living heck out of her.
“That’s true. You’ve resisted me for years. Why is that?” She fought the seductive pull of him. “Because unlike so many of your conquests, I possess a working brain?”
So to keep her safe, he practically kidnaps her and takes her to an exciting adventure , new places!
The story is told by both points of view, and it is really good. The witty banter between them, and the chemistry is of the hook.
I can not begin to describe how it gripped me since the beginning, first two pages and you are hooked!!!!
Definitely a book I can and will recommend, and I look forward to reading more material from K.C. Bateman
To buy the book, click here: http://amzn.to/2dHDY0x
Authors page: http://www.kcbateman.com
I recieved this ARC in an exchange for an honest review.