Series: Liar's Club
Author: Celeste Bradley
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: October 5, 2004
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Collis Tremayne could make any female swoon; yet no one would guess the hidden desperation that drove him to become the most skilled spy in service to the Crown. All that stands in his way...is Rose Lacey, a confounding chit who manages to outsmart him with cunning and courage. She is the only woman he cannot melt with his smile. With every breath, he wishes he never laid eyes on her. And with every flash of her green eyes, he craves to possess her...
Rose Lacey fought hard to meet the challenge of becoming a spy for the infamous Liars Club. And if it weren't for Collis Tremayne, who manages to make her blood boil with his arrogance, and leave her breathless with white hot longing, she'd achieve her dream. Now, they must work together on a secret mission to uncover a dangerous plot-one in which the very safety of England hangs in the balance. Armed with wit and wiles, they must face deadly intrigue, clever enemies, and-if they can manage not to murder one another-the intoxicating lure of
Ethan Damont is a gambler, constantly living on the fringe of Society - dangling between worlds - not quite an outsider, but not belonging either. This trait of his has brought him to the attention of the Liar's Club, and he finds himself the newest, and not so willing, recruit to the strange band of thieves, gentlemen, and spies.
His first mission is to "infiltrate" the household of Lord Maywell, a suspected traitor to the Crown, where he meets Maywell's niece, Lady Jane Pennington, hanging upside down from a tree branch.
Neither suspect, that his gallant rescue is just the beginning of a whirlwind that might save or destroy them both.
Finally! Ms. Bradley has finally succeeded in pulling me in fully, without having to bring in the Regent. ;)
Though the mystery and intrigue is still there, it has been succesfully pushed into a subplot, while the main plot, and its intricate twists and turns, revolve around Ethan Damont, oh so conveniently introduced in The Charmer when we ran out of drool-worthy and eligible spies.
Ethan truly has it all. He's handsome, sexy, charming when he needs to be, yet upon closer inspection, his easy-going nature is but a mask. A mask behind which he hides his insecurities and his fears. This is a man I wouldn't mind falling in love with and it's obvious why Jane did.
His gradual growth from drunken gambler and rake extraordinaire to a trustworthy and love-worthy man, not only in the eyes of those around him, but most importantly in his own eyes, is endearing and pulling from beginning to end.
Jane, his heroine, literally disappeared when Ethan strolled onto the scene. IMHO, she served no higher purpose than help him redeem himself and see himself for the man he truly was.
The "attraction" and romance between them seemed a bit strained, though the one full love-scene was quite daring and much hotter than the previous books in the series.
The ending was quite nicely concocted if you ask me. Although the Liar's series might have come to an end, the ongoing spy theme is far from finished. The revelation of the Chimera's identity and the cameo of the Falcon carry us onward into The Royal Four series.
A really nice move, that.
P.S. This book also put in stark evidence that whoever writes the blurbs, evidently doesn't bother with reading the book first.