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The Road to Silver Plume

(Secret Service #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Secret Service operative Emlyn Strickland may be new to field work, but his talent for identifying counterfeit bank notes, honed over ten years at the Treasury, has given Sing Sing's population a respectable boost. When counterfeiter August McKee takes illegal advantage of a sinking silver market, his former confederate Darrow Gardiner shares that information with Agent St
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published December 24th 2015 by First
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Tamara Allen In about two weeks, if I'm able to find a proofreader with a good eye for misbehaving commas.
Tamara Allen Hi, Madonna,
I think it's not at Kobo because it doesn't have an ISBN. It's up at Smashwords in different formats, and also in epub at B&N. If that…more
Hi, Madonna,
I think it's not at Kobo because it doesn't have an ISBN. It's up at Smashwords in different formats, and also in epub at B&N. If that doesn't work for you, please let me know.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  306 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Kaje Harper
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tamara Allen is one of my favorite writers and I was delighted to see this new novel appear. This author has a gift for both accurate, immersive historical detail and great characters whom I come to care about. This book was no exception (and even had a little more on-page erotic content than her normal fade-to-black.)

The romance is a very slow burn, which is fitting since we begin with a Secret Service operative, Emlyn Strickland, and a counterfeiter, Darrow Gardiner, natural opponents (the mo
Anyta Sunday
All the stars.

I can't express how much this book worked for me. Tamara Allen really knows how to write slow burn. God, the banter between Strickland and Darron! The sexual and romantic subtext! The slow, realistic transitions of their relationship from adversaries (criminal and man of the law) to companions and more.

This is a big book and there is a whole fascinating counterfeiting plot going on, but really this story was showing these guys' journey toward each other. Actions speak louder than a
4.5 stars

Historical action adventure + road trip romance

This was full-on, non-stop historical action and adventure. Sweeping from the depths of Sing Sing to the dark bustle of the Bowery, from a Chicago preparing for the World's Fair to underground silver mines in a Colorado facing the potential repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.

Darrow is a counterfeiter who has already served six years of his sentence at Sing Sing when a counterfeit coin falls into his lap. With it, he sees a way toward
I think this is Tamara Allen's best book to date - and what's even better - it's the start of a series!

Once again I'm tired (because I write all my reviews before I go to bed), so I'll keep it short and sweet.

This is a well-written and tightly-plotted historical and I loved it. It's not for people who need a lot of on-screen sex and romance is seemingly not the center of the story but then again it is. When push comes to shove, all the characters' actions are motivated by their growing attractio
I enjoyed the story, quite a lot, but it took me forever to get through it. And the burn was much slower than I would have liked and there is almost no steam. Still, the writing was really good and I enjoyed the banter between the MC's and the story was interesting. I'm glad I finally read it. I may read book 2, we'll see.

~~~Many thanks to the Pixie Elf for gifting me this book!~~~
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actions speak louder than words...which is my response to those who say Tamara Allen's latest book isn't romantic enough. Are there numerous sex scenes? No. Do the two M/Cs ever say they love each other? I don't think they do, nor is it necessary. Yet for anyone who likes a slow burn love story rich with historical detail, The Road to Silver Plume will be very rewarding. Allen writes late 19th/early 20th century historical romance with a eye and ear for this period of enormous change, and the se ...more
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I need to confess I am a fan of Ms. Allen and her work. I have been looking forward to this book for quite some time. And I was not disappointed.
It is an archetypical story - two guys, one of them well-situated, rule-respecting nice boy, the other a rogue with the heart of gold but with little respect for rules. Naturally, they influence each other and together come better off. Well, there is quite a number of stories that could be described in this manner, including most of Ms. Allens pr
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, queer, my-e-things
So lovely. Tamara Allen writes such wonderful historicals. I really enjoyed this. It's a beautifully written road trip story about counterfeiting in 1890s America and it's so interesting and very exciting too. The level of historical detail is amazing and never overwhelming. The characters are well developed and so delightful. The love story is subtle and slow-building and very well done. Tamara Allen's books always make me feel good. She always takes the time to tell the whole story and never r ...more
I just can't rave enough about the world building, the depth and breadth of the characters, the gorgeous prose and clever dialogue, and the perfect editing. This author is wildly talented and I'm at a loss as to why I waited so long to crack open one of her novels. I own five of them! I guess the real reason is that I am no lover of historicals regardless of how well they are written. I did put this one aside at about 25% for a day, but because the author is favorite of one of my reading buddies ...more
Feb 13, 2019 marked it as probably-not-but-freebie
Freebie at the right now:
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
So, this happened. I went on a Tamara Allen binge and in the space of 48 hours, I went from "who is Tamara Allen?" to "Tamara Allen is in my top 3 historical romance writers and, oh my gosh, I still have so much to learn in life".

The Road to Silver Plume was the book that started the binge. The funny thing is, I had the kindle extract for the longest time and when I finally read it, a few months ago, I decided it wasn't for me. I think it wasn't straightforward enough for me at the time- too muc
Lonestar Mama
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful! Probably her best book yet. And coming from someone who rereads 'The Only Gold' at least once every other month, that's saying something. Loved the book, can't wait to read it again!
Joyfully Jay
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sue
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Well written and evenly paced, The Road to Silver Plume is, when rendered to its simplest form, the story of one man’s road to redemption and another man’s attempt to prove himself capable of a difficult job. But the book is so much more than that. It’s a romance, a western, and a small treatise on the use of currency and counterfeiting in the United States. And Allen weaves all of this complexity together in a fluid story that rarely lags or stumbles. Darrow and Em
Very Special and Beautifully Done

I was so impressed with Tamara Allen's "Whistling in the Dark" that I hopped to it and bought this book as soon as it was published--and I am so glad I did.

Now, there are going to be people who will say that it is slow in the beginning, and takes too long before the MCs (Emlyn and Darrow) get more than familiar with each other, but even though I want a lot of sex throughout a book, I am in a forgiving mood. That's because this book rambles along like a cross-coun
Jan 18, 2015 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
HOLY CRAP! This is now out!
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb writing, just superb. Very little (read practically none) sexual activity and this is a sssssloooooowwwww burn.
An historical novel (late 19th century) about America's Secret Service and the department responsible for counterfeiting dollar bills and dollar coins. Two protagonists, one Secret Service Agent, one convict on release from Sing Sing, to aid said SS Agent.
Great historical information, great characters, great plot....a little slow in tempo occasionally, but forgiven because of th
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.
Some readers seem to have found the romance aspect to be too slow for their tastes, but I found it moved believably within the character development and historical time period.

I'm not one who usually enjoys American historicals, much less anything having to do with Western expansion, and god forbid, mining. Having grown-up in the West in an area built on mining just the idea of ore of any kind makes me start looking for a poorly built shanty to freeze to death in. Howe
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some might call this enemy to lovers sub-genre, for me Emlyn & Darrow are not quite enemies to begin with but they are definitely what I would call adversaries. At first, I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to "get into" this story right now as it wasn't really the time frame I was searching for but it only took the first chapter and I was hooked. Emlyn might be out of his depth as a field agent but he sure does know his money. Darrow may be a convict looking for his way out but he too ...more
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
★★★☆☆ ~ 3 Stars
Well-written story that I had a very hard time finishing. After the fact, I found out that this author has little to no sex content in her books which is fine, but I doubt I'll read anything further from this author. Just not my cup o' tea.

So if you don't like sex in your books - this is the author for you, she does write well. If you do like sex in your books, heed my warning.
Jonathan Penn
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read this year. I've seen some complaints about the slowness of the burn, but this is a story about trust, and to have moved an enemies-to-lovers plot along any more quickly would have defied credulity. The pacing is perfect. I'd love to see more of Em and Dare!
Skye Kilaen
My only complaint about this suspenseful M/M road-trip cop-and-criminal historical romance is that there isn't another book about these two guys (yet). First, we have bookish, honest gay Secret Service agent Emlyn Strickland, a specialist in identifying counterfeit bills. He's a doll, if slightly inexperienced in actual field work. Second, we have bisexual former counterfeiter Darrow Gardiner, who's just spent the last six years in prison and figures pretending to trade information for his freed ...more
Emlyn and Darrow were two different men, one a newly appointed Secret Service agent and the other a counterfeiter who Emlyn had helped put away. Darrow comes across some new evidence and is released from prison in order to bring this information to the Secret Service. (The book reminded me of a historical "White Collar" so to speak.) Darrow takes it upon himself to travel with Emlyn out to Colorado to supposedly help with Emlyn's case.

Neither trusted the other, but they both had a grudging admi
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Long, lovingly crafted, full of detail and consistent representations of the time period. Em and Darrow need a lot of time to overcome trust issues, misplaced loyalties, and some hired thugs to find their strengths, and find each other.

Love their growing protectiveness of the other, and their friendly flirting. Totally slow build to some hot intimate moments, but they do take their sweet time getting there (possibly due to all the chasing, and trying not to get killed, and things like that).

Anna Mladen
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down, and I can't wait for the next one. Very interesting MC, I liked the female character and the 'bad' guy. I liked reading about the monetary and financial interests of that period. The pace, the length of time this first book covered, it all worked wonderfully for me. One of my favorites, simply put.
4.5 stars!!!
I found this story engaging and well paced with lots of action. Definitely not a "romance" in the typical sense but there's the slow twining of our two main characters. And I always love me a good enemies to friends/lovers story!
Regardless of the the two MCs, I would read this anyway just for the counterfeit currency storyline. I will definitely be reading the next one.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know how I was lucky enough to pick this up FOR FREE??? But what a phenomenal story! This was slow burn at its finest. The characters were loving developed with such clear voices and the story itself was exciting at every turn. I was rooting for these two gentlemen and wasn’t disappointed. Would love an update on their lives.

And now to read the author’s back list.
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
This book was sloooooow to start. Way too slow. I generally like books that take their time, but this one just plodded along for the first 60% and I actually had to put it aside for awhile. Which is a shame because it has all the elements of a great adventure story if everything else hadn't gotten in the way. Like drawing lessons. And breakfasts from kindly ladies. Far too much of this takes place on a train, with almost nothing of importance happening. You'd get one scene of action, followed by ...more
The writing was amazing, but the story was too slow in the beginning...I had a hard time trying to keep reading. The last 35% more than made up for the rest, though, and I absolutely loved the ending.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, 3-star
3 stars for the quality of the writing and the period feel, but this was slow and long with very little romance.
Actual rating 2.5 stars.

I was led to believe that this is a slow burn romance novel by this list and although I kind of believe that there are some romance elements to the overall story, it's more of a mystery novel than a romance novel. While I quite liked the novel, I have to admit that it didn't work for me like I wished it to, but it may have had a lot to do with the fact that I looked more for a romance than a mystery novel.

I wanted to see attraction and tension and some good old anticipat
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Downtime was originally published under the pen name James Allen.

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Secret Service (2 books)
  • Playing the Ace (Secret Service #2)