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Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery

Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery

Написано Andrea Penrose

Озвучено Mary Sarah


Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery

Написано Andrea Penrose

Озвучено Mary Sarah

оценки:
4/5 (12 оценки)
Длина:
8 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 10, 2018
ISBN:
9781977382023
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

Lady Arianna Hadley's desire for revenge has brought her back to London from exile in the West Indies. Determined to find the men responsible for her disgraced father's murder, she disguises herself as a man and contrives to be hired as a chef in one of London's aristocratic households. But when the Prince Regent is poisoned by Arianna's special chocolate dessert, she finds own quest has become intertwined with a far more deadly intrigue.

Because of his expertise in chocolate, the Earl of Saybrook is asked by the government to investigate the crime. Though he, too, is fighting inner demons, he reluctantly agrees. His first confrontation with Arianna has them at daggers drawn. But when someone tries to kill them both, they become reluctant allies in the hunt to discover what evil is afoot.

As their investigation takes them from the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the slums of St. Giles, they uncover a cunning plan of fraud that could throw the government into chaos. Determined to bring the culprits to justice, they set an elaborate trap, but they find themselves dancing on a razor's edge—and one false step will prove fatal . . .

Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 10, 2018
ISBN:
9781977382023
Формат:
Аудиокнига


Об авторе

Andrea Penrose is the bestselling author of Regency-era historical fiction, including the acclaimed Wrexford & Sloane mystery series, as well as Regency romances written under the names Cara Elliott and Andrea Pickens. Published internationally in ten languages, she is a three-time RITA Award finalist and the recipient of numerous writing awards, including two Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Historical Mystery and two Gold Leaf Awards. A graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in Art and an M.F.A. in Graphic Design, Andrea fell in love with Regency England after reading Pride and Prejudice and has maintained a fascination with the era’s swirling silks and radical new ideas throughout her writing career. She lives in Connecticut and blogs with a community of historical fiction authors at WordWenches.com. She also can be found at AndreaPenrose.com and on Instagram @AndreaPenroseBooks.

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4.1
12 оценки / 5 Обзоры
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  • (5/5)
    A captivating Regency period cozy with tantalizing intellectual parry. The history of and mouth-watering recipes involving chocolate are a delightful bonus and taunt the reader throughout the developing story. Well done Ms. Penrose!Loved the book. Cannot wait to devour the others in the series. Synopsis:England, 1813: Lady Arianna Hadley’s desire to discover her disgraced father’s murderer has brought her back to London from exile in the Caribbean. Masquerading as a male chef, she is working in one of London’s aristocratic households in order to get close to her main suspect. But when the Prince Regent is taken ill after consuming Arianna’s special chocolate dessert, she unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dangerous scandal.Because of his expertise in chocolate, the eccentric Earl of Saybrook, a former military intelligence officer, is asked by the top brass at Horse Guards to investigate the suspected poisoning. But during his first interrogation of Arianna, someone tries to assassinate both of them, and it quickly becomes clear that something very sinister is afoot within the highest circles of government. They each have very different reasons for wanting to uncover the truth, yet to have any chance of doing so they must become allies.Trust. Treachery. Arianna must assume yet another identity as their search takes them from the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the slums of St. Giles. And their reluctant alliance is tested in more ways that one as it becomes clear that someone is looking to plunge England into chaos . . .
  • (5/5)
    Excellent swashbuckling mystery with historical details about the South Sea Island Bubble. "Nothing new under the sun," it seems. This novel sets the stage for subsequent novels in this series. Lots of action, with chocolate facts and recipes as an added bonus.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent writing and a well-plotted, intricate story. The cocoa diary entries at the beginning of each chapter were interesting and the recipes look decadent. I look forward to reading more about Lady Arianna.
  • (5/5)
    Jack Dalton grew up on the streets using his muscle and brawn to keep a roof over his head and food in his stomach. After a brief stent with burglary he honed his skills as a fighter and then as a body guard for Lord Rockley. Dalton’s sister sold the only thing she had – her body – for money and became a victim of Rockley’s cold cruelty when he killed her. After watching his sister die from her injuries Dalton makes a botched attempt to kill Rockley, but only gets himself a sentence behind bars.

    With Dalton in lock up, Rockley continues his selfishness by hurting and ruining young women without a means to seek retribution. Luckily a small group called Nemesis, Unlimited has been formed to seek justice for those who cannot get it themselves. When Eva Warrick learns of the harm Rockley is causing to members of the lower classes she knows something must be done to stop him. The only former bodyguard of Rockley’s who is still alive and may be willing to share information, however is behind bars. A plan unfolds to incite Dalton to escape from prison and obtain his revenge on the man who killed his sister. However controlling this convict is going to be way more difficult than Nemesis could have ever imagined…

    Eva is determined to keep her work for Nemesis and her quiet existence as a private tutor completely separate. She is good at getting justice for her clients and even better at keeping her own emotions in check. Dalton, however, is more than she bargained for. While he appears to be just the man to bring Rockley down, he also threatens to bring her carefully constructed walls down as well. With his surprising intellect, quick wit, and unnerving sensitivity to those around him he surprises her at every turn. As the danger in their latest mission increases, so does the danger to their hearts. How can a fighter and convict so quickly set her blood to boiling? Is there really any hope of a future for them if they make it out of this mission alive?

    Sweet Revenge is a delightful and creative romantic suspense. Veida Dehmlow does an outstanding job as Eva, and while Jack sounds a bit cruder and more folk-like than I would have imagined him, given his background the narration probably fits him well. The narration is smooth and even making the story easy to follow and enjoyable to listen to.
  • (4/5)
    Sweet Revenge is the first book in Zoe Archer's new Nemesis, Unlimited series. It is a gritty, historical, romantic suspense unlike anything I've read before. It is almost entirely set in the seedy underbelly of London during the late Victorian era, and most of the characters are anything but nobility. The only other romances I've read that even come close to this type of story are Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, but even they have some noble characters and more upper-crust settings. For this reason alone, Sweet Revenge gets extra points for uniqueness. I really like the premise for the series and how Nemesis, Unlimited is essentially a “Robin Hood” type of organization that helps people who fall through the cracks of the system to obtain justice and perhaps even a bit of revenge. The story gets off to a great start with an exciting prison break, immediately followed by the hero meeting the Nemesis agents, and from there, the action barely lets up throughout. This is a well-written and unusual book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys lots of action and adventure in their romance.To say that Jack is rough around the edges would be an understatement. He was a bastard who never knew his father and was born in the London slums where he grew up struggling merely to survive. After his mother passed away, the only person he had left was his sister, and they were very close. Jack grew into a big man who became a scrappy fighter, first earning his living in the boxing ring, and later, as a bodyguard to a wealthy man. When his sister was cruelly murdered by Rockley, the man for whom Jack worked, Jack tried to kill Rockley in revenge, but instead, was caught and spent five years in prison for his misdeed. Due in part to a little manipulation on the part of Nemesis, Unlimited, he escaped from prison, only to feel like he was being placed in another one when the Nemesis agents coerced him into working for them. After all that Jack went through in his life, it wasn't at all surprising that he was a hardened man, but he doesn't really have much softness in him at all. Every once in a while Jack shows some tiny chinks in his armor, such as when he went back for Eva when they first met and were running from the authorities, or when he exhibited some kindnesses toward children and the young woman Nemesis was helping, but overall, I prefer my heroes to show a little more vulnerability. He does have a tendency to put himself down, which Eva frequently corrects (he's far more intelligent and observant than most people, himself included, recognize), but in my opinion, he still didn't come off as being particularly tortured and rarely showed any emotion. While Jack's personality was certainly consistent with his background, I usually like my heroes, especially those in the historical genre to be a little more refined and gentlemanly. However, romance readers who love dark, dangerous, bad boys will probably eat him up.Eva is a very unique woman, who in many ways, seems to think and act more like a man. She can shoot, fight and exact revenge every bit as well as her male counterparts in Nemesis. She is tough as nails and isn't really flustered by anything, including bearing witness to brutal violence. In fact, seeing Jack going head to head in a brawl kind of turns her on. Eva is very intuitive, which is something I typically love to see in a character, but in some ways, it felt overdone here. It was almost like she could intuit anything about Jack without him saying a word, which stretches the bounds of credibility. It also leads to a lack of uncertainty about the other person and eliminates the need for meaningful conversation, which to my way of thinking, is essential to building a true romance. The thing that bothered me the most about Eva though, is that she remains an enigma for the entire book. Even after turning the final pages, there are still things I don't know about her. I spent the whole story thinking that something more was going to be revealed, but it never was. She guards her heart almost zealously, like a woman who has been hurt in the past, yet nothing of that nature ever came to light. She has no fear of anything, and therefore, no real vulnerabilities, but I didn't know if this was simply a part of her nature or if she learned to be that way due to past experiences. The entire backstory of how she came to work for Nemesis was so cursory, it was over in a heartbeat and shed little light on her character. She is an extremely independent woman who lives alone and works to support herself, which was somewhat unusual for that time period, yet there is no explanation of why this is the case. With her parents being Christian missionaries, she came from a pretty conservative background, but she is obviously a hot-blooded, passionate woman who is anything but an innocent miss. In fact, she is said to have had several lovers before Jack, which seems not only at odds with her upbringing but also with the historical mores of the era, yet no explanation is given for her out of the ordinary sexual behavior either. There is something of a tacit admission that she only ever truly let her sensual side out with Jack, which left me wondering if her other lovers didn't satisfy her or what. When it came right down to it, Eva couldn't even admit that she loved Jack and wanted to be with him until faced with losing him entirely, and even then, it took her co-worker's intervention to get her to act on her feelings. Overall, Eva was a very closed off heroine who was somewhat frustrating to read about and rather difficult for me to connect with.The other thing I thought was rather lacking was Eva and Jack's romance. I think they were both a little too much alike with their I-am-an-island personalities, which made it difficult for them both to express their feelings. It's abundantly clear that they were physically attracted to one another right from the start, but I didn't really sense anything beyond lust for most of the story. Their relationship simply lacks the kind of sentimental sweetness that I typically associate with romance. There are no loving words or romantic interludes between them. In fact, Eva is turned on by Jack's barely leashed savage nature and his straight-talking ways, which she likens to poetry. Unfortunately, neither of these things is a big turn-on for me, so I had a hard time understanding where she was coming from. Their love scenes are imbued with a raw and almost feral intensity that borders on the erotic, not because they're particularly rough or kinky in any way, but because they don't really express any emotion. It was a fiery, torrid sexuality that didn't really lend itself well to softer feelings or tender interactions. As I mentioned before, Sweet Revenge is the first in a series. Readers are introduced to some of the other Nemesis operatives who could end up becoming main characters in future stories. My personal favorite was Simon who is slated to be the hero of Dangerous Seduction, the next full-length novel in the series due for release in November (2013). He was more to my liking, because of his gentlemanly behavior toward women, so I'll definitely be looking forward to reading his story. Sweet Revenge was my first read by Zoe Archer, and I can't deny that overall, it was an exceptionally worthy effort if for no other reason than because of its originality. There is nothing else out there like it in the historical genre that I'm aware of, but despite that, I'm not entirely certain that it was quite my cup of tea. I'll admit that it kept my attention engaged, but the lack of relatable main characters prevented it from earning keeper status from me. However, the series premise, as well as the potential of Simon as a hero, has sufficiently intrigued me to continue with it when the next book is released.Note: This book contains a significant amount of strong and/or explicit language that I've typically only seen in the erotic sub-genre and which may offend some readers.I received an ARC of this book from the author via GoodReads FirstReads in exchange for an honest review.