Tuesday, June 6, 2017

ARC REVIEW Wed To A Spy by Sharon Cullen

Wed to a Spy is the first book in Sharon Cullen's newest Historical Romance series, All the Queen's Men. I have avoided Elizabethan era romance I use to read it quite a bit and burned myself out on it. I also tend to avoid books where they have actual historical figures for me, I tend to overthink and overanalyze the small nuisance of the minor/secondary characters if they were real people; in other words my brain gets in the way and it pulls me out of my fictional world. That being said, I loved this book. Sharon Cullen does a fantastic job setting up the premise for this book and the others to follow. It established the three main characters for the series and what she wants them to do. The intro focuses on Simon Marcheford a spy who is ready to retire and take the time to get to know is adolescent sister. The Queen basically blackmails him into cooperating. Aimee de Verris comes from a large french family and her mother has basically given up on getting yet another daughter married off so she pushes Aimee off on a family relative, her Aunt Catherine. However when Aimee thinks she has fall in love with a young man her guardian sees fit to send her off to Scotland as her "spy". Aimee can't defy her aunt and is stuck in cold and dreary Scotland spying on Queen Mary.

Simon was initially sent to Spain to keep tabs on the Spanish King's ties to Mary, but after gaining the King's confidence he was sent to Scotland on a errand for the King. Mary is delighted to have Simon there and sees the perfect opportunity to handle one of her obligations since he showed up. Queen Mary knows that Catherine sent Aimee to her to act as a spy but is going to honor Catherine's request that she find Aimee a husband, and she does, Simon. Marriage is the last thing Simon wants but he can't get out of it and he figures it's a easy way to get on Mary's good side and therefore easier to spy on her. It doesn't hurt that Aimee is breathtakingly beautiful and Simon is halfway in love already. Aimee doesn't take the news well. She very much is a petulant child at this point, but raised in that era spoiled yes, but she also should have also expected to have her marriage arranged for her and shouldn't have been as whiny, but it leads to her actions. Simon tries not to show how hurt he is by the fact that Aimee wants nothing to do with him and reacts in a way she he's not exactly proud of.

Meanwhile the conspirators that are out to dethrone Mary have a plan firmly in place and when they take action Aimee and Simon are in the thick of it. At this point Simon must confide in Aimee of who he really is so he can safely sneak her away from Scotland and back to London so he can explain everything to Elizabeth. In this time Aimee realizes how wrong she was about Simon and accepts her fate as well as falls in love with him. But more trouble comes when they get to London and Elizabeth discovers the truth about Aimee. Their fate lies in the hands of Queen Elizabeth.

Overall, it really was entertaining and I liked the characters, really for the exception of Aimee, but I look forward to the other spies to get their HEA.          

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