Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Survivors #3
Publication Date: 7/3/18
This book is filled with spies, assassins, danger, trickery, betrayal, and yes, love and lust. The writing is excellent, the plots well thought-out and executed and the characters are very relatable and likable. The series focuses on the few survivors of a suicide team from the Napoleonic wars – they were spare heirs whose lives were expendable and they took on the most dangerous secret missions of the war. Most didn’t make it back, but these are the stories of the few who did survive. Rafe Beaumont is one of those survivors and you just always knew there had to be more to him than was apparent and that there was a story buried deep within him. I certainly loved learning what that story was.
Rafe Beaumont, the fifth son of an earl, is seen by everyone as a fribble, a seducer, someone with no real substance. The truth is, he isn’t a seducer – those women chase him with one purpose – being seduced. He’s drop-dead gorgeous, a skilled lover and the most charming man anyone would want to meet. Everybody loves him. Rafe is one of the survivors and he’s always been a little resentful that he was never given the dangerous, exciting missions. His missions were always about seducing information from the wife or lover of someone who held knowledge of French war strategies, etc. Those were easy tasks for Rafe because he never got attached to anyone – he never had a problem walking away. As a matter of fact, he always did the walking away. He’d never give anybody the chance to make him care and then walk away from him.
Imagine Rafe’s total shock when, after being given an assignment, the lady in question seems totally immune to his charms. She’s just not interested. That is just not possible. Is he losing his touch? He’s never actually had to pursue anyone, so he’s not sure how to proceed. Can he figure it out and complete his mission?
Collette Fortier is the daughter of Napoleon’s most successful assassin. The wars are over, but the English would love to get their hands on him. Actually, the English aren’t the only ones. The French royalists have already taken him prisoner and are forcing Collette to spy for them. Her mission – to obtain the codes England uses in its communications. If she doesn’t succeed, her father doesn’t survive. It is just that simple. So, Collette absolutely cannot allow her attraction to Rafe Beaumont to show or to act upon it in any way.
Collette’s ‘cousin’ in England, Lady Ravensgate, is actually no relation at all. Collette had never met the woman before. However, this ‘cousin’ now holds the future of both Collette and her father in her hands. She sees that Collette gets to all of the important social functions that would allow Collette to collect information and meet the people who can lead her to the codes she needs. Collette is focused on Lieutenant Colonel Draven, but she cannot get her to engage with her – and then, suddenly, Rafe Beaumont is paying her attention. When he can’t seduce her, he offers to be her friend. Can she be friends with him and not let her attraction show? Is he really offering friendship or does he have ulterior motives? Can she use him to get the information she needs?
There is always an element of humor involved in these books – and this one is no exception. Collette used a natural history volume on hedgehogs in order to learn English. So, when she is nervous – quotes from the manual escape her mouth. It is totally entertaining and smile-worthy to see where and when these quotes pop out of her mouth.
“During courting rituals the hedgehog sow continually rejects the boar, turning to give him her flank.”
“The majority of snorting during hedgehog courtship originates from the sow.”
Epilogues are one of my favorite things in a book, and this one had a lovely one. However, I would have liked the epilogue to either be longer – or for the epilogue to have an epilogue – something. I wanted to know more about the trip, what happened at the end, how they survived with no money, etc. I just wanted more. Since the end seemed rushed, I really did want more substantive answers to my questions.
Now, to begin my impatient wait for the next book which will feature Jasper.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”