Elizabeth's Reviews > Lord and Lady Spy

Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
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's review
Oct 13, 2011

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bookshelves: historical-romance, regency, romance

One of those books I wanted to like more than I did. The premise is entertaining - two spies married to each other. It was a good read, but not a great read. It's an easy read, and will probably be enjoyed by those who like fast-paced spicy historical romance novels. The fight and actions scenes were quite vivid. I could visualize them quite easily, which is always fun.

I think part of my discomfort was that the author's writing style did not grab me. The book did not start off on a strong note. "The spy called Saint hunkered down in the bottom of the wardrobe . . ." The first several pages clued the reader in that this was indeed a spy. I really wanted more show then tell to start off.

At times I found the physical/emotional relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Smythe very confusing. They were married for several years but did not seem to know each other. Mr. Smythe thought his wife was mousy and perhaps uptight. Yet once there characters were revealed, oh boy, the sex was good. What puzzled me was comments that our heroine made during the deed to previous encounters with her husband like "

In an effort to set up a contrast between the hero and the heroine, the hero was characterized as strategic, a man who planned ahead. The heroine relied solely on her intuition. Although I know that some persons do focus on one trait or the other (hence the "N" and "S" on the Meyers Briggs personality test), I don't think that one could be a successful spy if one relied solely on one or the other. (For example, I found it hard to believe that Mr. Smythe did not include the murder victim's wife in his initial list of suspects.)

Sticklers for historical accuracy may not be happy. I don't know much about the spy business in regency England. There probably were spies, but I'm not sure there would have been such an agency. Even if there were, I have trouble believing that a titled lady would be be used in some of the cases in which Ms. Smythe was allegedly involved. Perhaps she would be used where her title would give her access, but not in situations that would put her in grave danger and where the title was no use. The language also did not feel right at times - for example, the "argh, matey" to characterize a pirate. I think that language came from Disney not real Pirates.

The fact that I thought about it that much about language or Meyers Briggs Personality types probably does not bode well for the book. A romance reviewer whom I enjoy commented the other day that if you start focusing too much on nitpicky things, it probably means the overarching story did not grab you. And that may be the issue for me here.

To recap, if you're looking for a fast moving, spicy and fun romance, this book is for you. But if you easily get hung up on details, move along.

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