Just a reading list of historical fiction ebooks from my public library (uses overdrive). More than books pictured.
'Wed to a Spy' by Sharon Cullen is book One in the New series "An All the Queen's Spies". This is the story of Aimee de Verris and Simon Marcheford.
Aimee is from France and is in love with a man her Aunt Catherine de Medici does not like. So when she is caught in a compromising position with him, her Aunt sends her to Scotland to spy on Queen Mary. Catherine has promised Aimee if she does this she will agree to her marriage to this man. But Aimee isn't spy material and hates it.
Simon is a spy for Queen Elizabeth and had hoped to retire but the Queen asked that him and his friends help her with one more mission. Simon is sent to Scotland to spy on Queen Marry.
Queen Mary has ordered Simon to marry Aimee...of which neither has a choice.
Simon and Aimee soon find themselves having to depend on each other and possibly fallen in love.
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Simon has served Queen Elizabeth faithfully for many years but now he is ready to retire back to his manor. However, Elizabeth wants one more assignment out of him, to find out if Mary of Scotland and Philip of Spain are conspiring.
Aimee wants to marry the love of her life, Pierre, but her aunt Catherine wants her to spy on Mary before she will consent to the marriage. Aimee is no spy and instead finds herself married to an Englishman.
Simon and Aimee have found themselves pawns in a larger game but their hearts won't be controlled.
He'd been sent to Spain and ended up in Scotland, married to a French woman.
With a stunningly gorgeous cover, Wed to a Spy is book one in All the Queen's Spies series. We are introduced to Simon, Will, and Tristan as Elizabeth of England sends them off to gather information about Mary of Scotland. This first book focuses on Simon and even though he is sent to Spain, through what seemed an unnecessarily tangled way, he winds up in Scotland and Mary's court. Simon seems nice with his desire to get to know his younger sister and retire to home. He's twenty-five and claims to be world weary from working for Elizabeth but we don't get any solid information or stories of his background for us, as the reader, to really sympathize for him.
Our heroine, who for most of the book I assumed was sixteen or seventeen, is twenty-one and a very immature one at that. The vast majority of the story she languishes for her lost love Pierre, which we see through very southern belle hand on forehead and clutched to chest letters written by her. I just could not connect with this heroine, she wasn't given much substance. She mopes about a lot about her circumstances and lacks the backbone I personally like seeing in my heroines. I felt the longing for Pierre went on for far too long, especially when we never get to meet the guy and then she decides being turned on by Simon disrobing means she is in love with him; sex with Simon seemed to cure her longing for Pierre.
As I mentioned, Elizabeth and Mary make appearances in this story, along with other real historical figures and the murder of Mary's private secretary Rizzio, plays a main part. Even though this was set during a tense political time, I felt like the story was slow moving. The suspense of the time is touched on but more of a little sprinkling than intricate weaving and our couple lacked the chemistry and emotional relationship that keeps me locked into stories. Having Aimee pining for Pierre didn't so much as create angst but acted more as a wall between the romance and Simon and Aimee. The latter second half felt like sex scenes suddenly thrown in for stimulation but I found them lacking because of the dearth of emotion. This story kind of boiled down to people in fancy clothes banging for me, which for the less historically inclined, may just hit the spot.
The first book in a new series by Sharon Cullen takes us into the Scottish court of Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth has sent three of her spies to Mary's court in order to keep tabs on her. One such spy is Simon, a man who dedicated his life to Queen Elizabeth and now just wants to retire to his country estate with his younger sister. But Elizabeth forces him into yet another mission. While in Queen May's court, he meets Aimee, a French woman who was sent to spy on Mary for her Aunt in France. She hates that she is forced to leave her home and the man she loves but she does it with the hope of returning to France to marry her love. What she wasn't expecting was for another meddling monarch, Queen Mary, to force her and Simon into a marriage, one that neither wants. Once married their adventure truly begins and it takes them into hiding during a coup, on the run to England from an angry Queen Mary, and then into Queen Elizabeth's court to fight for the right to their happy ending. Their story was enjoyable, passionate, exciting, and emotionally stimulating. I liked it a lot and enjoyed watching them grow to first trust then love each other deeply. They were well matched and I look forward to seeing what the series has in store for the other two English spies. This was a Netgalley read.