Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
September 6, 2011
Reviewed by May
Favorite Quote: “Tell us your name, or you’ll have more than a broken nose. My husband has a rather nasty propensity for violence.” She inhaled and allowed her breath to feather over the man’s neck. “I confess I’m rather aroused by it. The blood, the crunch of bones breaking, the howls of anguish…”
Mr. and Mrs. Smith – excuse me Lord and Lady Smythe, are England’s most skilled spies, working for the elite Barbican group and never suspecting that their spouse is in fact, also a spy. Both have been forced to retire, and the prospect is both unappealing and mind-numbingly dull to both of them. When the opportunity arises to get back into the spy business – both leap at the chance. Little do they know they are leaping into competition with each other as there is only one spot open, and they must compete for the job.
The author takes this story and gives it magnificent regency twists – this book was magnificent. There are so many great scenes, such compelling emotional pain and a sense that aside from being highly trained deadly members of the ton, these two are very much real people with problems and issues that need to be dealt with. I loved watching as each realizes their spouse is so much more than what they thought, so much better and so much more suited to them than they could ever have imagined.
One of the best things about this reading experience is that the author gave me scenes I wanted. From comparing injuries and talking to each other about past missions to Lady Sophia admitting to having fantasies about agent Wolf – each built upon the story and gave me a pair of characters I could really root for. I especially enjoyed the scene where they reveal their spy identities to one another, and Wolf (aka Lord Adrian Smythe) finds out that a spy he very much respects (Saint), is not a man, but his wife. Not only that, but she is just as good as him, possibly more experienced too:
He stared at her, anger and something else- admiration? – rising inside him. “I wasn’t even part of the Barbican group yet.”
“I know. Agent Wolf came on after I joined. If it’s any consolation, I was allowed to join only after we married. Lord Melbourne didn’t find it seemly for an unmarried miss to work as a spy.”
“So you married me for the entrée it afforded you into the Barbican group.”
She sat in the cream Sheraton chair she’d pulled to the table where the Jenkinson file still lay, now in some disarray. “It’s as good a reason as any. Why did you marry me?”
He felt himself begin to squirm and tamped the feeling down. “I needed a wife and an heir. You weren’t as silly as the other girls. You didn’t pepper me with questions about my whereabouts or cling. I thought we would get on well.” And she’d never mentioned his father.
She sighed “Obviously, we’re both hopeless romantics.”
I appreciated that neither character was made to seem like spy work wasn’t a passion, or that they couldn’t balance a real life and some international intrigue. I also enjoyed this spy story, as without gadgets and high-tech gizmos to aid them it was the characters themselves who had to solve the mystery put in front of them.
The author’s writing style, how this story is built and all of the delicious scenes, and the characters themselves are just so rich, so enjoyable I found myself smiling and absolutely enjoying every single page. I closed the book after finishing the last page utterly satisfied, and wondering what adventures the Smythes got into next.
If the premise of this book interests you, I strongly recommend it.