Sunday, December 9, 2012

Twelfth Night Secrets - Jane Feather (Pocket - Nov 2012)

Lady Harriet Devere travels to Oxfordshire with her two younger siblings for their annual family holiday gathering. Now orphaned, the trio has recently lost their eldest brother Nicholas, who died serving his country in battle. Before his death, Nicholas had entrusted Harriet with a secret: he was working as a British spy, recruited to follow in their father's footsteps. Nicholas uses Harriet as an accomplice, expecting her to relay simple messages to his contacts while he was abroad. After his death, Harriet is suddenly asked to fulfill a request much more in-depth than those of the past.

Harriet must keep an eye on Julius Forsythe, Earl of Marbury, who, while also a spy for the British, is believed to be a double agent also working for the French. Harriet is expected to follow his every move to determine his status as a traitor. But before long, she begins to admire the Earl, and her romantic feelings are reciprocated. As the adventure unfolds, Harriet must do her best to honor the wish of her dearly loved brother, while attempting to keep the man she loves from harm.

Pretty good book. I liked both Harriet and Julius.  Harriet was surprised to be asked to watch Julius and determine if he was a double agent responsible for her brother's death.  When she met him at her grandfather's home she was attracted to him.  She also found him to be easy to talk to and very good with her younger brother and sister.  She saw things that made her think he was working for the French, but her heart told her that he wasn't.  Her waffling back and forth irritated me a little.  I did like her decisions at the end.  Julian was a complex man.  At the beginning we see the operative side of him which can be cold and calculated.  But while he is at Harriet's home we see the likeable gentleman that he is underneath.  He is surprised at his feelings for Harriet as nothing like that has happened to him before.  He is puzzled by her hot and cold attitude toward him, but something about her fascinates him.  The more time he spends with her the more he wants to let her see all of who he is.  I liked the way he helped her with the twins and how protective he was of her happiness.  I found it interesting, and a definite sign of his feelings, that he was willing to tell Harriet as much as he did. The end of the story was fairly satisfying though I think it would have been better were it longer with a bit more depth.  We never did find out exactly why Nick was killed or what Julius's personal mission was.

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