Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne (Spymasters #6)
Released: August 1, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Severine de Cabrillac, orphan of the French revolution and sometime British intelligence agent, has tried to leave spying behind her. Now she devotes herself to investigating crimes in London and finding justice for the wrongly accused.
Raoul Deverney, an enigmatic half-Spaniard with enough secrets to earn even a spy’s respect, is at her door demanding help. She’s the only one who can find the killer of his long-estranged wife and rescue her missing fourteen-year-old daughter.
Severine reluctantly agrees to aid him, even though she knows the growing attraction between them makes it more than unwise. Their desperate search for the girl unleashes treason and murder. . . and offers a last chance for two strong, wounded people to find love
Favorite Quote: Hawker muttered distinctly, “Another corpse. What is it about today?”
To say I love this series is an understatement. Joanna Bourne can write a sentence like no other. Her words fill me up and her characters are so clever and engaging and I’m greedy for all of her words.
Joanna Bourne has created a cast of characters so rich and vivid, that I hang on every detail. But I’m selfish. I want each book to be about Hawker. Or Doyle. Or even Pax. I crave a glimpse of these past characters on each page – and she lets us see them again in this book. I found myself not as attached to Raoul in this one. He is a lovely man. A thief, a wine maker, a man with many, many secrets (don’t all of her men have secrets?). But my history is with Hawker, Doyle and that gang. I felt a little snobbish towards Raoul, poor guy. He doesn’t deserve my quick judgement. I can’t help it and I fully admit it. Even though Raoul didn’t steal my heart, this is still a lovely book with action, adventure and the most clever of characters.
Severine is Hawker’s sister in-law for those that follow this series and her adopted father is William Doyle. Spying is in her blood, to put it lightly. She is now a retired spy (but really, are they ever truly retired?) and works for Military Intelligence, solving murder mysteries and the likes. But when a man enters her room in the middle of the night, demanding to know the whereabouts of his daughter and an amulet, Severine knows her days of spying are not quite over. This man is Raoul, and he wants answers.
Raoul is not a brute by any means. He is quiet, sly, and even though he shows up with a knife, Severine quickly becomes more enamored by the missing girl and amulet, than any threat he poses. Her craving for a mystery outweighs her fear, and she finds herself meticulously going over his apartment, finding clues on how the girl went missing and how the murder of the girl’s mother happened. All the while, pulling herself into a tangle of secrets and danger. Hawker and his crew in the British Service get pulled in, and an adventurous mystery unfolds. I won’t go into the many details of the mystery but it plays out well and gives us lots of adventure.
There is also a lovely romance:
“I won’t kiss you,,” he said. The tip of his finger slid to rest gently, just barely tugging on her bottom lip. “But damn, I want to.”
“We will not indulge in that.”
“We will not begin the lightest flirtation.” She’d step away from him. In a minute. “I don’t sneak into corners and kiss men at parties.”
“I don’t kiss men like you at all.” But she ached warmly everywhere important when she said it. She ached significantly.
“You’re wiser that I am,” he said. “That’s something else I admire.” He went back to outlining her lips with is finger. “I’ve changed my mind about a kiss. Have you?”
“Yes.” Only a whisper, but that was enough.
So romantic. I enjoyed Raoul and Severine together a lot. They fit well – both with that drive to find answers and so clever – they out wit each other. Severine can be dressed to the nines undercover in a ballroom and still knee a bad guy in the balls, pull a knife on him and have him dragged away, all while the ton dances around them oblivious to her skills. She is bad ass.
I enjoyed this book, with the mystery of the missing girl and other bad guys who are targeting Raoul. And Raoul is dashing and mysterious himself and makes for a fun hero.
But my attention would always go back to Hawker and Doyle – their extremely understated, clever banter wins me over every single time. Hawker and Doyle will forever have my heart. But Raoul and Severine definitely caught my eye.