Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Secrets of a Lady by Jenna Petersen (e-book)

When Audrey Jordan said "Yuck" -- I also said yuck.

The book is set in 1809 -- I don't expect my historical novels to adhere strictly and accurately to the language of a particular period -- but this was blatantly anachronous.

Jenna Petersen returns to writing about lady spies -- she wrote a marvelous series featuring 3 remarkable lady spies (From London with Love, Desire Never Dies and Seduction is Forever) --

I had high expectations for The Secrets of a Lady and I was sadly disappointed by it.

Audrey and Noah Jordan are spies who work for the British government.  Their latest mission has brought them back to London and back in contact with an old family friend, Griffin Berenger.  It is an especially difficult homecoming for Audrey who, five years earlier, had awkwardly revealed her feelings for Griffin ... on his wedding day.

But the safety of the Prince Regent and of their country forces them to put aside their past and to work together to uncover a plot involving France and traitors to the British Empire.

I felt that Noah and Audrey's plan to get close to Douglas Ellison was unnecessarily complicated:  they have Audrey be courted by Ellison so that Audrey can infiltrate Ellison's circle and try to get information about the plot.  They enlist Griffin's help because he is next-door neighbors with Ellison.

Wouldn't it have been simpler for them to: break in Ellison's house (which Audrey eventually does anyway) or to do covert surveillance?

To Petersen's credit, her talent at writing shines through in some parts -- I especially love how Griffin is tormented by his attraction to Audrey.  His late wife, Luci, had deceived him and was unfaithful to him.  And now, Audrey comes back into his life -- and her whole world and profession is about deception and lies.

I think Jenna Petersen had a good story -- but wasn't able to tell the story well.


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