Monday, October 17, 2016

REVIEW: Dare to Love a Spy (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Dare to Love a Spy
Author: Debra Elizabeth 
Series: Age of Innocence #3
Date Published: 2015
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!-only $0.99 during the tour! 

Miss Hannah Richardson is enjoying a Season in London. She's not looking for a husband, at least not this Season. She wants to enjoy herself before settling down to married life. All that changes, however, when she sees the Duke of Wetherby. He's tall, dark and impossibly handsome and someone Hannah wants to get to know better. 

Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, is not fond of attending soirees, dinners or balls, but his latest mission for the Crown demands he mingle with the ton. He has vowed not to marry because of his dangerous work and the constant bevy of beauties anxious mothers throw into his path is not tempting him in the least. That is, until he meets Hannah Richardson, a young woman unlike any other he's ever met. Can he learn to love or will his hardened heart rob him of the very thing he needs the most.

~My Thoughts~
Camden Darkin, the Duke of Weatherby, is an excellent male lead. Don't hate on me, but I do get tired of the same old same old when it comes to historical fiction. You have your handsome noble (fill in the blank with king, duke, viscount, etc.) and he falls for a spirited maiden. Or your scottish rogue, or your jovial've got the picture. While these adventures can be fun, there sure are a lot of them to be had and it's hard to find a truly original man among the dashing hordes. Yet Camden has an exiting job outside of his romantic dalliances with Hannah, and that really makes him stand out...although...being a spy that may not be what he was going for ;) 

I was less enthused about our leading lady. Miss Hannah Richardson was your typical young lady of good prospects and she never really surprised me. I kept waiting for her to have more of a personality or more of a spark...more...something. But although she was rather flatter than I like in my leading-ladies, she did offer a good foil for Camden and their interactions were more entertaining because of it. I enjoyed the play of words between them as the tender-hearted lady melted the cold, distant heart of the jaded gentleman, but because I liked Camden so much more than Hannah I never got to the point where I was outright rooting for them to get together. More like rooting for Camden to go out adventuring and find a prostitute or duchess or servant or something that could match his personality and fire. 

The plot moves forward at a roaring pace. Blink once and you've missed a crucial piece of information so be paying attention as you navigate from darkened rendezvous to glittering ballrooms to dangerous pubs and beyond. I loved the murder-mystery flair that seemed present and the deliciously tense undertone of the spy network. These points gave lots of flavor to the budding romance and caused lots of conflict well so we ended up with a really meaty story! I'd definitely give Debra Elizabeth's other books a try after this! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Richardson curtsied to her partner before leaving the dance floor. Her cheeks were flushed, and the ringlets of her rich brown hair that had escaped their pins lay wet against her neck. She made her way to the double doors leading to the balcony overlooking her aunt’s gardens and stepped through. She looked around to make sure there were no gentlemen in the vicinity so as to not compromise her reputation. She was hot from dancing and a few moments outside on the balcony couldn’t possibly cause a scandal. She inhaled deeply of the cool night air. Goosebumps rose on her arms from the chill, but she ignored them. She was happy to be out of the stuffy ballroom, if only for a moment or two. Aunt Mary’s gardens were one of her favorite places to visit, and she felt at home and comfortable here. It was her own private sanctuary, and she relished the beauty and peacefulness of the place. A few goose bumps were well worth it for such a sanctuary.

“It’s so lovely here,” she murmured as she stepped off the balcony and wandered down the path while breathing in the exotic smells of the gardens. Her aunt had hired the best and most experienced gardener in London, and no other gardens rivaled the Tisbury Gardens, especially with its many varieties of roses. Hannah bent over one of the more fragrant roses and breathed deeply. When she straightened, she thought she heard voices scattered on the breeze. She looked farther down the path, but the shadows were deep and no one was in sight.

“Who’s there?” she whispered. Perhaps it was a couple seeking privacy. She knew she shouldn’t go snooping, but the thought of seeing who was meeting in secret spurred her down the path.

She looked left and right, but there was no one around. She sighed. There would be no spying on illicit love tonight and it was time to return to the ballroom before her own reputation was compromised. Before she could take another step, an arm circled around her waist and a hand tightened around her throat as she was tugged back against a broad, hard chest.

“Oh!” she cried out in surprise as her heart hammered in fright. A cold, quiet terror unfurled in her chest. She had never been handled so roughly in her life. Who would dare do such a thing, and especially in her aunt’s gardens? What was the meaning of this?

“You must be careful not to walk alone at night, Miss Richardson,” a deep, husky voice whispered in her ear.

“What do you want? Unhand me at once,” she demanded, her rising indignation overtaking her original scare.

“To pass along a warning, that is all. Heed my advice,” he said, his hot breath on her neck sending unexpected shivers down her spine.

“How dare you put your hands upon my person?” she asked, trying to dislodge the arm around her waist.

In an instant, the pressure was gone, and she almost felt adrift with the mystery man gone. Hannah whirled around to confront the scoundrel who had accosted her, but there was no one there.
~Meet Debra!~ 

Debra Elizabeth is the romance pen name for fantasy author Debra L. Martin. She has been writing stories since her teens and decided to finally publish her romance stories under a pen name so as not to confuse her fantasy fans. She publishes epic and urban fantasy under her true name with her co-author and brother, David W. Small. A full list of all of her books can be found at her blog, Two Ends of the Pen.
 Debra will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Replies
    1. Mary, I had so much fun writing about Camden. He's an very interesting guy.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting my book, Dare to Love a Spy. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Would you also consider posting your review to amazon? That would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again!

  3. I can relate to finding love when you aren't looking. It's similar to when you quit trying so hard for a baby and then one comes along. Sometimes we try too hard, so to speak....

    1. Laney4, I so agree with you. Sometimes if we're patient, what we are seeking comes to us on its own and it's the best surprise ever!

  4. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Good luck on the drawing!

  5. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  6. Replies
    1. Hi Laura, I really enjoyed writing about spies. There's such a wealth of information out there to choose from.

  7. If you could be a super hero who would you choose to be and (of course) why?

    1. Hi Mai, hmmm...superhero, now that's a hard to only choose one. I'd like to be a super hero that champions women and children. There's enough other super heroes out there to go after the bad guys.

  8. This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Niklina, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I had a good time writing this book.

  9. Great post - thanks for sharing your review :)

    1. Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.