Historical romance–with espionage!
Undercover with the Earl
Brotherhood of the Sword # 1
By: Robyn DeHart
Releasing August 10, 2015
The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.
The spirited Evelyn Marington is about to live out every country girl’s dream—becoming royalty overnight. Under the tutelage of the arrogant Earl of Summersby, she’ll have to fool the entire court that she is, in fact, the queen. But as danger threatens from every side, Bennett realizes that his lovely little protegé isn’t just placing her life in his hands… She’s stealing his heart.
He looked up from the parchment upon which he was writing and assessed her. His eyes scanned the length of her and a frown settled on his brow. He beckoned her forward with a wave of his hand. “Come, we have much work to accomplish before we leave for London.”
Work. So she would finally learn of what, specifically, she would be doing. She lowered herself gingerly into one of the chairs adjacent his desk, a massive, heavily carved desk of mahogany.
“Now then, I don’t know if you’ve already deduced what you’ll be doing for us, but I cannot stress enough the importance of your discretion. No one is to know, not your family, your friends, no one.”
His was formidable, there was no denying that, but she felt no fear in his presence. Instead, she found herself fascinated with the lines of his face, the square angle of his jawline, and the dimple that settled deep into his chin. He was ridiculously handsome, but his expression seemed permanently locked in a scowl. She wondered what a wealthy, handsome earl had to be so angry about.
He leveled his blue eyes on her. “Understood?”
He stood and walked around to her. He picked up a stray curl that rested near her ear, the strand curled around his finger as a cat’s tail wound around your leg when they begged for attention. She shivered against his touch. What had her cousin gotten her into?
“Have people ever told you that you resemble someone?” Earl Somersby asked.
His question nearly disappointed her, though she knew not what she’d expected. She frowned. “Once or twice I suppose.”
His brows rose. “Who have they said you look like?” He moved away from her then, sat in the chair adjacent to her.
“Well, one fellow in the market said that I was the spitting image of his Aunt Gertrude, but for the most part people say I favor Her Majesty, Queen Victoria.” Evie shook her head. She was loathed to admit that as she didn’t want him to laugh, so she quickly added. “Personally I don’t see it. Then again, I’ve never actually seen her, only seen portraits.”
“You and Her Majesty are about the same age,” he said.
“I am older, by two years I believe.”
He nodded, leaned forward and braced his elbows on his knees. “Miss Marrington, I need to know that I can trust your discretion.”
“Yes, of course.”
“I work for the crown, as your cousin told you. I will not detail how precisely, but suffice it to say, you have been chosen to assist on a very important task. We need you to pose as Her Majesty at an upcoming event.”
Had she possibly heard him correctly? Certainly not. Charading as the monarch must be an act of treason. “I’m sorry, I thought you said that you want me to pose as the queen?”
An author/spinster heroine who goes undercover with an earl in Victorian England? Yes, please!
I really enjoyed reading Undercover with the Earl, and cannotwait for there to be more in this series. I’m a total sucker for spy/undercover stories, especially ones that bring in a person who’s totally inexperienced and seems to not be the obvious choice. (I blame my first TV love, Scarecrow and Mrs. King .) Add in a romantic subplot (again, Scarecrow!), and I’m a goner!
It doesn’t hurt that I really liked both Bennett and Evelyn. She’s pretty much given up on making a good match, especially since she doesn’t want to settle for anything less than true love. She figures writing is going to be her first love anyway, so she might as well get herself a cottage and sit and write for the rest of her days. Now if only she could afford it…
Bennett’s been burned by love before. Engaged to be married, he thought he had the real thing only to find his bride-to-be in bed (his bed!) with another man. As she left him, she made sure to express her opinion that no one else would ever want such a large, brutish man–and the feeling has stuck. He feels an instant attraction to Evelyn, but knows that it will never be…
But of course, it’s a romance, so you know how it’s going to end–instead, it’s all about the journey. And though this one is fairly short (165 pages, and over a relatively short time period), there’s a whole lot of intrigue and chemistry along for the ride.
So…when will book two be out? 😉
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
National Bestselling author Robyn DeHart’s novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader’s Crown and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her “strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page” (RT Bookclub) and her “sizzling romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.
When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it’s hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.
Grand Prize: $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Retailer (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)
First Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Forbidden Love Series; A Little Bit Wicked, A Little Bit Sinful and A Little Bit Scandalous
Second Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Masquerading Mistresses Series of novellas; No Ordinary Mistress, For Her Spy Only and Misadventures in Seduction