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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

5*Review & Giveaway! Sebastian's Lady Spy by @SharonCullen @TastyBookTours

Sebastian’s Lady Spy
Secrets & Seduction # 5
By: Sharon Cullen
Releasing March 31st, 2015

Seduction abounds in Sharon Cullen’s steamy historical romance! For the Crown’s top agents, love is a hazard best avoided—until an unforgettable affair exposes their undercover hearts.

Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.

For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.

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Review 5 Stars
Sebastian’s Lady Spy has adventure, steamy romance, great characters, and an intriguing plot. I loved reading it. It may seem an odd word to use, but it fits, this book was delightful.
            On the outside, Sebastian has quite the life. Money, a title, good looks, etc. However, his life has never really been his own. Orphaned at sixteen, he raised his two siblings, only to become a servant of the crown as one of their top spies. The biggest sacrifice in this job is any kind of permanent relationship. So when he meets Gabrielle, and he loses his heart, he is forced to let her go.
            Gabrielle was plucked from the streets at a young age and molded into a weapon for the good of England. Though she was saved from an unimaginable life, there is a part of her that yearns for those things she can never have, a husband, children, a family. But, she knows those things are beyond her reach and has accepted her position. Sebastian sneaks up and steals her heart, but she lets him go, knowing she has nothing to offer him.
            Sebastian and Gabrielle are then thrown into an assignment together. Sebastian is unhappy to work with anyone, but working with Gabrielle is completely unacceptable. His passion for her consumes him and he knows she will be the ultimate distraction. However, he is given no choice and his incorrect assumptions about Gabrielle’s knowledge of who he was at their last encounter, cement his decision to cut her out of the investigation and do his best to stay away from her.
            Gabrielle is not about to be left behind. Sebastian underestimates her and she is forced to prove her worth to him. Unfortunately, in the process, she falls for him all over again. The sparks between them are almost impossible to ignore and thought they are both good at their jobs, it is clear that the mission may become compromised because they are so consumed with each other.
            The author has done a wonderful job of weaving this tale. There were a few surprises that kept it interesting and the cast of supporting characters rounded out the story nicely. Sebastian is quite hardheaded and very quick to assume the worst of people, but he is still captivating and it was easy to want to be in Gabrielle’s shoes.
            Gabrielle is the ultimate string and independent woman. As a spy and assassin for the crown she would have to be. However, the author also took an unusual twist on this story that was actually pretty brave. Even today, when sex outside of marriage is so accepted, you will rarely find a story where the female heroine is forced to sleep with the target. It may get close, but in the end, she is often saved from having to commit this act, and if she does, she is treated as though she were prostituting herself. However, today, as it was then, men who sleep with the target are treated as somewhat of a hero, the playboy who can get all the women. So, for the author to put Gabrielle in the circumstances of the men, and keep her from seeming like a prostitute to the reader, seems like it would be a slippery slope. But, the author manages to do it. I liked Gabrielle very much and I felt empathy for the position she has been forced into.
            This a creative love story and I shut the last page with a smile, satisfied that Gabrielle and Sebastian found their happily ever after. I was also caught by the other characters in the book who have a story of their own. I’ll definitely be putting those on my TBR.

Author Info
Displaying sharoncullenphotobigw.jpgSharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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