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A Spy's Devotion (The Regency Spies of London, #1)
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Archived Group Reads 2016 > October Book of the Month - A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

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message 1: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
One of our group reads this month is A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson!

Goodreads Summary:
In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and tawdriness thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

Chime in if you think you might join!


Susan | 44 comments I plan to start this weekend:) Just finished another book.


message 3: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I plan to start this weekend:) Just finished another book."

I look forward to seeing what you think! I'm about 10 percent in now.


Amelia R | 5 comments Hope to join in on this one! I've got to get through some library books first though...


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments I read this earlier in the year and hope to join in on some discussion...


message 6: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Hannah wrote: "I read this earlier in the year and hope to join in on some discussion..."

Glad to see your 4 star rating! :)

Amelia wrote: "Hope to join in on this one! I've got to get through some library books first though..."

Yay! :)


Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments I'm in for this one Ya'll!


Amanda (mandey1) | 46 comments I loved this one. I'll try to join the conversation.


message 9: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Amanda wrote: "I loved this one. I'll try to join the conversation."

Glad to hear that you loved it!

Chantel wrote: "I'm in for this one Ya'll!"

Aweseome! :)


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments Yes, four stars...I'm a sucker for a good spy story.


message 11: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Hannah wrote: "Yes, four stars...I'm a sucker for a good spy story."

I almost like her writing more in this one than in the fairy tale ones...it's hard to tell this early in the story though.


Kayleigh (bluegeraniumbooks) I read this one earlier this year and loved it. I completely agree that it might even be better than her fairy tales. But I have loved all of her books that I have read.


Lauren | 2 comments First time reading a book by this author, so far I really like it. The author is staying true to a more traditional way of speaking for the time period while giving us a good spy thriller.


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments Beth wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Yes, four stars...I'm a sucker for a good spy story."

I almost like her writing more in this one than in the fairy tale ones...it's hard to tell this early in the story though."


Yes, I definitely do.


message 15: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Hey, you guys! I've talked to Melanie, and she says she is going to stop by the thread! She is happy to answer questions, so if you have any, make sure to post them here. :)


Della Loredo | 4 comments I've just discovered this monthly reading group - so excited! Downloading this book for Kindle now


message 17: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Della wrote: "I've just discovered this monthly reading group - so excited! Downloading this book for Kindle now"

That's great, Della! Glad to have you join in! :)


message 18: by Chantel (last edited Oct 04, 2016 11:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments Beth wrote: "Hey, you guys! I've talked to Melanie, and she says she is going to stop by the thread! She is happy to answer questions, so if you have any, make sure to post them here. :)"

Oh wow!This is exciting news! I've read so many of her books, I'm so glad she can join!


message 19: by Melanie (last edited Oct 05, 2016 07:20AM) (new)

Melanie Dickerson (melanie_dickerson) | 2 comments Hi, Christian Fiction Devourers! Thanks so much for choosing to read A Spy's Devotion! I really hope you enjoy/enjoyed it! I just finished the sequel, A Viscount's Proposal, which comes out in February, and I think it's one of my favorite books that I've written! And I don't normally say that. :-) It was so fun to write Leorah's and Lord Withinghall's story. :-)
Sorry! This discussion is about A Spy's Devotion!
Ahem. I do hope you enjoy Jane's and Nicholas's story. I got really attached to Jane, and it was fun thinking in "Jane Austen terms." Everyone had to suppress their emotions so much to conform to society's rules, it makes it that much more fun when they fall in love and choose not to suppress their emotions anymore. :-)
Anyway (I'm long-winded today!) if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! And I'm not judging. If you didn't like something about the book, you can say that too. I'll just be here to answer questions. :-)


message 20: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana | 47 comments I read this a couple of months back and loved loved it. Can't wait to discuss!!!


message 21: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Melanie, thank you for stopping by!

I'm so glad to see that Leorah has her own story - I was drawn to her immediately! She is so spunky. :)

I can't imagine living in a time that had so many social restrictions. I do love all of the ball scenes though!


message 22: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Dickerson (melanie_dickerson) | 2 comments Thank you, Dana and Beth!!! :D


Celeste (celeste57) | 2 comments I'm about a third of the way through this, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I think Melanie did a wonderful job capturing the tone of the Regency era. The description and dialogue both bring Austen to mind, which to me is a sign of success in a Regency novel!


message 24: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Finished it this weekend! :) Oh, my, I loved the ending!


message 25: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Celeste wrote: "I'm about a third of the way through this, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I think Melanie did a wonderful job capturing the tone of the Regency era. The description and dialogue both bring Aust..."

I completely agree with you about the tone - matches the times, and very engaging.


Celeste (celeste57) | 2 comments Well done, Ms. Dickerson. You’ve drawn me back into the fold.

I adored The Merchant's Daughter, the first novel I read by Melanie. It was a Christian retelling of my favorite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, and I thought she did a wonderful job. I read three more books from her Hagenheim series, also retellings of famous fairytales. I liked each book less than the first. When I read The Captive Maiden, the fourth in the series, it fell flat for me and I struggled to finish and have not read the most recent books in the series. Because of this, I was hesitant to try Ms. Dickerson’s new Regency series.

I’m so glad I picked it up. Thanks to the Christian Fiction Devourers group here on GoodReads for choosing it as one of their Books of the Month. Without that nudge it might have sat on my Kindle forever, and I would have missed a wonderful story. A Spy's Devotion, in my opinion, takes the setting and conversational format of Jane Austen’s novels, mixes in the spy intrigue of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and sprinkles Christianity throughout, while remaining as readable as any modern novel. It was a remarkably fast read. Once I had some free time, I flew through it quicker than I have any book in a long time.


(view spoiler)

A Spy's Devotion was the best Christian fiction book I’ve read in quite some time. I will eventually be buying a hard copy to have on my shelf. This book is definitely worthy of a re-read. I can’t wait until February to read A Viscount's Proposal, the story of Nicholas’s sister Leorah!


message 27: by Chantel (last edited Oct 15, 2016 09:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments I finished the other night and I loved this book so much! Definitely one of my favorite read to the year!


message 28: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Yay! I'm glad to hear that, ladies! :)


message 29: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Hi, everyone! Here are just some short questions for discussion! :)

1. Who is your favorite character and why?

2. What is your favorite scene and why?

3. Which aspect of the story was your favorite? Did you like the Austen-esque social situations? Or the espionage?

4. Do you think the two elements mentioned in question 3 are blended well throughout the story?

5. Do you think Julia will ever be able to be reconciled with Phoebe after everything that happened? Do you think Phoebe might realize how poorly Julia was treated by her parents?

6. We know from Melanie that Leorah is getting her own story - what do you think will happen to her and what sort of challenges do you think her character will face?


message 30: by Chantel (last edited Oct 18, 2016 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments 1. This one was a hard!! I had a couple of favorite characters in this book but my top 3 are Julia,Nicholas and Leorah. But if I had to pick one the person who made the biggest impression on me was Julia. She had so much wisdom! I respected that she held on to her standards meaning that she didn't jump at the opportunity to find a husband when it would have been convenient for her to because she really didn't have a wealthy family or a large Dowry or anything like that. But she wasn't willing to settle for anything less than love. And I also value her Integrity. When it would have been easy to try to cover things up with her family doing wrong she decided to make a stand, even by doing so she put herself in danger and risked a lot. But she still did what was right.

2. I like the scene whenshe wrote the two letters to Nicholas. The one where she just lets her real emotions show of how she felt for him and the other one that was well within propriety. Seeig her decide to choose which one she was going to give to him that was one of my favorite memorable scenes. I like that scene because she spent so much time trying to put others ahead of herself. And so many times she had to hide what she really felt about so many things. So it was nice to finally see that she was able to really let go and let the man that she loves know how she felt.

I also like the scene where her uncle is talking to Edgerton and he was saying how Julia was weak and won't defy him.. meanwhile she's collecting info so capture him. I was like ha ha!! lol, I know mature... :-) Julia was such the underestimated person in her houshould but She relied on God's strength to do what was needed.

Oh! I Also like the scenes between Julia and Nicholas on her way to her music lessons at thr BartHoldy's. I loved seeing their relationship grow at a realistic pace.

3. I think both aspects of the story flowed so well together!! I would have never thought so until I read this book. I love the Austen-esque ballroom scenes in the social occasions and drama. But I also love that it had mystery and spy intrigue. I thought it was so well done. It's kind of like you get the best of both worlds Regency and suspense. But I think how the setting was placed and the fact that Nicholas was a spy and him asking for Julia's help. You see this sometimes a lot in history how normal people are asked to do thing like this and help turn over battles or wars and help save their country. Kind of like a hidden figures story.

5.That's hard to say, because I think Phoebe was so shallow at that time I don't know if she would understand or ever want to understand why Julia had to turn in her father. I don't think Phoebe was purposely mean to Julia, I just think she was just oblivious maybe she might grow out of it... hopefully.

I am so excited that Leorah is getting her own book!!! The girl is one of my favorites. I thought she was outspoken and funny. One of my favorite quotes is when she wrote a letter to Julia:

" But to resign yourself to be a governess-- you are too good and too talented and too wonderful a lady to be teaching a passel of Brats to read and write and embroider cushions."

Lol! That was one of my favorite lines from her.

6. I'm not sure what will be her challenges yet... I think the fact that she was outspoken that could create some challenges for the time period... But it is always good to shake things up. I can't wait for book two.


Melanie Kilsby (realitywriter) | 8 comments I actually read this book recently and I am so glad that it was your book pick :D I wish I noticed that sooner and could have participated a bit more!

1. I pick Julia. She reminds me so much of my good friend--Julia and she is just as sweet! She also reminded me so much of Jane Austen as well. It was delightful!

2. Probably when Julia had to "spy" for the first time. LOL! I loved that.

3. Both. I loved both! I love how there was an element of sleuthing. Especially given that time. I think Melanie did such a great job bringing that to life. But she also stayed true to the era. Which was brilliant.

4. I think that the two elements were when they were introduced together. The first part of the story was more the building blocks and then when we learned of the crisis to Julia and her families involvement, it was knit well into the plot!

5. Very good question. It depends... how well off financially she might be which will secure her some... or if she is humbled by this all. Melanie set her character up well that she could go either way: revenge, hatred, humility and/or redemption! I loved it :D

6. I never try to think about that lol! I go in blind and always love the outcome. That is why I love Melanie's writings SO much!

Great questions!!!


message 32: by Chantel (last edited Oct 18, 2016 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments I think the part that I really thought was kind of like a opener side of the story was how lonely it was to be a governess. I didn't really think about it before because you see so many movies and books that show the fun side of being a governess. But in this story you can see how the position can be isolating. I really felt for Julia's friend Sarah.


Melanie Kilsby (realitywriter) | 8 comments I totally agree Chantel. *nodding head*
I was really shocked about that actually... because given the families status and then just because of circumstances and such, they are now lower class... and the people they knew as the same, have to treat them differently... but then they are above other classes and yeah... just so lonely! I sincerely loved how Julia understood that type of dilemma and she was able to help by finding people willing to help too!


message 34: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary (mlasse) | 5 comments The part I resonated with the most was Julia's struggle to find the balance between her head and her heart. Between what society tells her is proper and what she knows to be good and true because it is the right thing to do. A small (relatively spoiler-free) example of this is her passion to help those in need. Instead of ignoring the plight of the poor or maintaining a safe distance as a lady is *supposed* to, she loves the downtrodden and helps where she can.

I recently studied John 3 and the story of Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a leader in the Jewish community. He had a tremendous wealth of knowledge regarding the Old Testament and was privileged to study the Scriptures, yet he had a hard time comprehending that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. I see this same type of battle in Julia - what do you do when everything you've learned hinders you from seeing the truth?

Anyway! My two cents.


Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments Wow Mary!! that is such a good life application lesson that you pointed out! I like that a lot about Julia too, she was willing to sacrifice her own comfort to help somebody else. And that's how Jesus wants us to love and that's How he loves us.


Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments Melanie wrote: "I totally agree Chantel. *nodding head*
I was really shocked about that actually... because given the families status and then just because of circumstances and such, they are now lower class... a..."


I was so happy for Sarah too!


Melanie Kilsby (realitywriter) | 8 comments Absolutely Mary! She also surrounded herself with friends who felt the same way as her and that would go with her... brave, noble ladies! Which I loved!


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