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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Historical Romance At Its Best!

    GREAT introduction to the new “Covert Heiresses” series! Erica Monroe is going onto my list of “must read” authors after having read this book! I know she is a prolific writer but so far have only read a few of her books and each one has been an absolutely wonderful well written story! What a GREAT introduction to the new “Covert Heiresses” series! The Spencer family has been involved in secretly keeping their country safe for over a century. James and his sisters put country before anything else. Vivian Loren grew up in the home of a Viscount but was turned out with her brother when her cousin came into the title. When her brother was murdered she went into service as governess for the youngest son of the Spencer family and her life has been quiet and rewarding but also stressful due to the reason she is actually working there. Both Vivian and James have lost siblings and begin to bond after discussing their losses one evening. There is an ease and companionship between them but also chemistry waiting to be explored. Vivian needs protection and James has offered his to her. Little does she know that there is more under his expensive clothes and pleasant demeanor than a the wealthy Duke he appears to be. I loved Vivian’s strength of will, clarity of mind and determination. I loved James for his ability to realize his strengths and weaknesses as well as sensitive and tender side. Both characters were well written and the growth of their relationship was a joy to read about as it unfolded. A number of characters were introduced in this book that will no doubt have stories in this series later and I look forward to reading each and every one of them! Thank you to NetGalley and Quillfire Publishing for the copy of this book to read and review.
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    I Spy a Great Read!

    The start to her new series The Covert Heiresses, I Spy a Duke, launches Erica Monroe to the forefront of the historical romance suspense genre! This author's work keeps getting better, and that is no mean feat based on the quality of her previous works. In her latest book she portrays her hero and heroine as kindred spirits drawn together by their common quest in coming to terms with their despair and grief over the loss of a sibling. Ms. Monroe relates her characters feelings so clearly and adeptly that every emotion she describes is carried through to her readers in a sympathetic connection via her words. A quick moving espionage subplot coupled with liberally peppered humor, introspection, kindness and simmering attraction adds to the momentum of this novel. Showcasing this author’s writing talent and marvelous imagination I Spy a Duke could easily be called I Spy a Great Read! *I received this ARC via Netgalley.*
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    great start to a new series!

    In this brand new series from author Erica Monroe, love blossoms in unexpected places as spymaster James uncovers the secrets of his brother's governess Vivian. Suspicious of her behaviour in his family's home, it doesn't take long for her to share with James that she's on a mission to track down her brother's killer, a mission that it turns out is in vain when she discovers that she's been coerced into spying on her employer for the perpetrator himself. With her life in danger, James' solution is simple - a marriage of convenience in which she'll get his protection and he'll have an excuse to attend London soirees on the arm of his wife, thus giving him a chance to tune his spymaster ears into the latest news while avoiding society matrons wanting them to wed their daughters. But with a killer after them, will the newlyweds find wedded bliss only to see it disappear? This is a new style of historical romance story for this author, who has previously published the Rookery Rogues series (not yet finished) which showcased heroes and heroines from the poorer sides of London. That series is one of my favourites in the historical romance genre so I was eager to see what she could do with the spy theme, definitely a popular subgenre. I found that this story was less intense than the other series but still an entertaining read. James and Vivian were both likable characters who've experienced the death of a family member under horrible circumstances. James' entire family is in the spy business, working for England to undermine Napoleon's rule and his sister Louisa met an untimely death on one of her forays. James' guilt over sending her out into the field has never left him, despite knowing that she was aware of the risks in her ventures, as any good spy is. As a result, when he first discovers that Vivian is being duplicitous and the reasons for it, his instinct is to come to her aid and the best way to do that, and solve his own marital problem is to offer her marriage. There is no doubt that they are attracted to each other (though they had both taken pains not to reveal this due to their positions) so they will be compatible that way. Their romance is a slow burn, and it's not until the second half of the story, once they are married that the scenes between them get steamy. Vivian comes across as an empathetic character, a woman who deeply feels the loss of her brother and is desperate to find his killer. When she's offered the chance to spy on James family in order to learn more about what happened to him, she feels caught between a rock and a hard place, but ultimately chooses her brother over any other loyalty. But when she is unable to discover the information that the man who first approached her wants, the threats turn ugly and turning to James is the only answer for her. Luckily, she finds in him the man who is the answer to her prayers - someone who will not only help her find her brother's killer, but also teach her how to defend herself, as now that she's marrying into a spy family, she is going to need to have those skills. And on top of that, she'll have a strong, supportive man in her life, one who quickly becomes dear to her. The second half of the story has most of the action and intensity, and builds up to the final conflict, but never fear, James and Vivian get their happy ending. This story moves along smoothly at a good pace, and contained interesting characters, also introducing James's sisters who will have stories of their own in the series. I'm looking forward to the next one! 3.5 stars.
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    A MOST DANGEROUS TALE!

    #1 in the “Covert Heiresses” series and what a beginning. Simply WOW! Intriguing, passionate, and simply mesmerizing! Well written with engaging, and wickedly delightful characters. True, some was devious and evil, but nonetheless entertaining. Filled with intrigue, danger, spies, loss,grief, secrets, passion, engaging characters, to say the least and of course romance, passion and finally finding love amongst grief and angst. I was not disappointed in any any way in Ms. Monroe’s story,once again, she has written a story with such passion as to keep the reader mesmerized. I truly look forward to the next dangerous installment. Feisty, dangerous and courageous females makes this a not to miss series. Fans of Historical Romance, spies, feisty females, heroic males,dangerous situations and a wickedly seductive tale will enjoy “I Spy a Duke”. A most dangerous tale. Highly recommended!! *Received for an honest review from the publisher via Net Gallery and a personal buy* Rating: 4.5 Heat rating: Hot Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
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    An excellent intriguing novel!!

    Miss Vivian Loren wants to find her brothers killer. She will do whatever it takes to do so! Even spy on an unsuspecting family, in the guise of a governess. Her circumstances over the years have dwindled to very little consequence. So her and her brother lived together is a small home. After his death, she vowed to have her revenge. She is contacted by a man who claims to know who murdered her brother. James Spencer is the target she is "spying" on. Her contact sets tasks for her to complete in regards to the family. She does this thinking that the Duke, James Spencer, is a spy for the french and also that he knows or is the person who killed her brother! She comes to realize, he is a good man and she does not find any evidence that he is anything but a gentleman, but can she trust that? Throughout her time in this household, Vivian comes to have some feelings for the Duke. When they speak of loss, they both realize that they share the same struggles with the pain. This is a connection he can not avoid. And really does not want to. Until he suspects she has been spying on his family. The writing in this story was very good! It caught me immediately and I did not want to put it down. The heartfelt scenes between Vivian and James were wonderfully done. They made me feel for them as though I knew them. Filled with lies, spies, intrigue, and danger, our hero takes his job very seriously. His job is to protect those around him and he feels he needs to protect Vivian. He feels a very strong connection to her because of their shared grief. I loved the Hero and Heroine. Both strong, intelligent, thoughtful people, who put others interests before themselves. This is a very wonderful start to a new series that I will not be missing! I think anyone who enjoys a romance sprinkled with some witty banter and a bit of intrigue will love this book! I can not wait for the next book in the series!
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