The Spy’s Convenient Bride (The Macalisters #5)
by Erica Taylor
What a pleasant surprise. I can honestly say when I started reading this book – I didn’t expect that. This is my first time reading anything from Erica Taylor, and I was blown away. In regency romance and historical romance in general, I have personally found that more often than naught – the plot and historical aspect of the story gets overshadowed by the romance. I understand why that is the case, what we are all usually reading for is the romance after all. But what truly makes a book enjoyable and memorable for me is an amazing plot to go along with a love story. The Spy’s Convenient Bride delivered on that front and more.
Vivian Burke has not had an easy past few years. After her father’s death and the subsequent deaths of her brothers, her family’s home had gone up in flames, leaving Vivian and her mother to fend for themselves. After a terrible season in London, she has resigned to a quiet life with her mother on the grounds of her crumbling childhood home. There, she could at least live in peace….well, that is until the new Earl of Kensiwick, comes barreling into her life. Full of smiles, charm and an infuriatingly adorable dimple – Luke Macalister is everything Vivian hates about the ton. Yet, she can’t help but be drawn to him. When the opportunity comes to restore her childhood home and take better care of her mother – she leaps at the chance. But can she trust the mysterious man all her hopes fall on?
Luke Macalister has been a spy for Crown and country for the past 10 years. After being rewarded for his last case with an Earldom and retirement, he doesn’t know what to do with his life. After running away from the boring and mundane duties of the Earldom for the better part of three months, he decides the start of the season is the best time to begin checking in on his estates. He falls, butt first, right into Vivian and quickly sees an opportunity to get back into the Prince Regent’s good graces and back to what he really wants – his life of espionage. Marry Vivian, turn over the estate to her, and he could convince the Prince he is to go back to work for the Crown.
Soon their agreement turns into a life-or-death adventure; full of intrigue, excitement, and rich history. Vivian soon finds out there is more to Luke than what meets the eye. And Luke finds out that Vivian carries secrets of her own. What started out as a marriage of convenience, turns into something much more.
This book was a smash. It was unexpected, exciting, intriguing, and fun. Yes, there are still the wonderful romance elements we all love, but what really stands out of this book to me was the plot. The story was rich in beautifully written history elements, and twists that were unexpected and exciting. The characters had interesting storylines, complete with wonderful arcs. The writing flowed really well and was easy to follow. This was everything I wanted in a historical romance.
What I liked:
I’ll start off with my favorite thing about this book, the spy-chase/adventure and the history elements woven throughout it. It reminded me of elements of the Da Vinci Code, or National Treasure. I loved the architectural details and the history behind them. I also appreciated the author’s note at the end of the book. I could really tell there was some serious research involved in making this book.
Vivian was a kicka** heroine. Strong and self-sufficient, but honest about her shortcomings. I really liked her background with the four brothers, and the skills learned from her father. I won’t say anything else because of spoilers, but her story was really cool and different from anything I have read in regency romance before. Her character arc was by far my favorite.
Luke was an extremely charming and hot hero. But there was a wonderful depth to him that the author explored. His history, vulnerability, and career choice made him interesting and gave his character some real substance.
I loved the side characters, especially Redley Ralston and Quan Li Hai.
The romance between Vivian and Luke was amazing. They had wonderful chemistry and really complimented each other. I really felt them falling in love as they got to know one another.
I loved the Macalister family. I definitely want to go back and read about all the rest of them and their respective stories!
What I didn’t like:
Listen, I have to be honest here – I don’t like the cover. I think it doesn’t do this book justice and could be any other regency romance out there. Not to say it’s bad, I just think this story deserves more.
The Spy’s Convenient Bride by Erica Taylor [Publication Date : February 4, 2020]
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Heat Level: 3 / Hot
For more info on the heat scale, refer to the amazing All The Kissing scale here.
To learn more about the Author, visit Erica Taylor’s website here.
I received the ARC of this book via the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.