A Spy’s Devotion (The Regency Spies of London Series #1)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.
At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?
My Review: Julia is the poor relation to the Wilherns, who took her in when her parents died. Even though she is beautiful and captures the attentions of many men, she has little prospect of marrying well. The only future she has is to be a governess. Yet, one day she meets Nicholas Langdon at a ball. He is handsome and has good connections. Little does she know that her encounter with him would change her life. For Nicholas is a spy who suspects Julia’s uncle to be guilty of treason. He asks Julia to help him keep an eye on her uncle. Can Julia betray her family or will she risk everything, including her family, to save her country?
As a fan of Mrs. Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings, I was interested in reading her first book that was not based on fairy tales. This novel did not disappoint, and the story is reminiscent of Jane Austen. I thought Mrs. Dickerson was accurate in depicting the society of the elite during the Regency era. I also loved the vivid descriptions of the setting of Regency England such as the balls, the bustling city of London, and the English countryside.
Julia is a likable character. She is selfless, kind, and clever. At first, she is very obedient and timid. She likes to be in the background at a party. She also does any command that her guardians tell her. Yet over time, she becomes more confident. She begins to be more social at the parties. She also becomes more stubborn and headstrong. She starts to stand up to her guardians and chooses to fight for her own happiness.
I also like Nicholas Langdon. He is very reserved and distant. As the novel progresses, we learn more about him. He is a man who was once wounded by his past. Yet, when he meets Julia, he slowly starts to heal. He is also a man of good character and takes an interest in caring for the poor. He is very clever and is willing to risk his life for his country. I thought that Nicholas and Julia made a good pairing because they had a lot in common.
Overall, this book is about friendship, love, sacrifice, and hope. The message of the story is about trusting in God’s love. The beginning of the novel is slow-paced, which focused on the development of the characters. Once the characters are established, the novel gradually increases its speed. This book also has elements of mystery, action, and suspense. I also loved the ending. It was nicely wrapped up and ended happily, much like her fairy tale retellings. A Spy’s Devotion was a great start in a new series, and I hope we get to meet Julia and Nicholas again in a future novel! This novel is perfect for fans of historical romance with a powerful Christian message, fun characters, and an intriguing plot.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars