Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rogue Spy (Spymasters #5) by Joanna Bourne

Ten years ago he was a boy, given the name Thomas Paxton and sent by Revolutionary France to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service. Now his sense of honor brings him back to London, alone and unarmed, to confess. But instead of facing the gallows, he’s given one last impossible assignment to prove his loyalty.

Lovely, lying, former French spy Camille Leyland is dragged from her safe rural obscurity by threats and blackmail. Dusting off her spy skills, she sets out to track down a ruthless French fanatic and rescue the innocent victim he’s holding—only to find an old colleague already on the case. Pax.

Old friendship turns to new love, and as Pax and Camille’s dark secrets loom up from the past, Pax is left with a choice—go rogue from the Service or lose Camille forever…

Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 2.5 out of 5-- very limited
Rating: 3 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

So, Rogue Spy has landed me in a bit of a waffle. And I'm so not a waffler. Usually I'm either firmly in the "oh I loved it!" category or..."dude...back away slowly" category. This one...wafflin'. It's one of those books that was enjoyable but that I didn't really love. And at barely over 300 pages took me a whopping 5 days to read. Something I can read in a day and a half usually. There were parts I really liked but others that just dragged on for me. Nothing that I hated or really disliked you can see my problem, right? Anywho. Here goes...

  • The set up was fantastic. Two spies that trained together as children running into each other a decade later when having issues with the same man. Someone that's blackmailing her over her real identity. And someone that he was sure was dead and needed to stay that way. I mean. How could you NOT love that?
  • The characters were great! They were interesting and nicely done. And they suited each other. Pax and Camille were both deadly, skilled and determined. She's no wilting flower and he loves her for exactly who she is. Nice things, that. I found it pretty easy to like them both and enjoyed them together.
He said, "I don't deserve this." Maybe he didn't know he'd said that aloud.

She felt shy suddenly. "It's not so much. A body. They sell those on the streets..."

"This isn't about your body. It's you. The body just comes along for the ride."
  • Their background was crazy fantastic too. He's a Danish French spy that infiltrated the British Intelligence Service. She's an Italian French spy that was placed in the home of British sisters who were code breakers for the government. He's turning himself in as a traitor to Britain after all these years (even though he's not done anything against them while grown). She's being blackmailed over being a spy and having her world upended. They'd both been forced into a French spy training program when they were just children--10ish--and nearly killed while doing so. They had brutal childhoods and really are deadly weapons and so incredibly smart. It's all a spot convoluted but so incredibly awesome.
  • The cover is gorgeous! And fairly fitting at least for the feel of things.
  • Quite a few secondary characters that while you didn't really get a huge feel for any of them they were entertaining and seeing them interact was nice. Especially her "Fluffy Aunts" who were code breakers and quite excentric. They may have only had a couple scenes in the book but really they stole the show. I'd love to hear their story or that of the other intelligence officers Pax had worked with for years. They had some interesting thought processes and some nice humor now and again.
  • The romance. While I liked these two and liked them together the romance just wasn't convincing. Most of the book is spent tracking down the blackmailer and with Pax coming clean to his group about being a French spy and having lied to them for so many years. So the romance was extremely light and based mostly on them having known each other as children and surviving the horrors that was the French spy training they were put through a decade earlier. There really wasn't much current stuff to have the love/commitment happening in a matter of days I didn't think. It wasn't bad exactly it just felt like an after thought to the suspense storyline.
  • Things dragged. For me at least. It felt like an extremely long book. I think a bit of that was from the lack of development on the romance side of things. It really was more thriller/mystery in a way and for me I really needed more on the romance and just getting to know the two as individuals. You get to know them in certain ways but in others there was very little about them other than their past being delved into.
  • The suspense was interesting but not all that suspenseful. It was fun watching them piece things together and track down the bad guy(s) but the actual OMG showdown bit was very brief and tied up very quickly I thought.

I know it really sounds like I didn't like Rogue Spy all that muchAnd that's not exactly the case. While it was interesting for me it just wasn't...captivating. Which made it drag by incredibly slow I think. If this had been a novella and things condensed I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. In the end I was just okay with it. If you like spies and have enjoyed the series give it a go. If you're looking for an edge of your seat spy thriller romance...might take a pass on this one. I've heard great things about the series in general though so maybe starting from book one is the way to go with this one. I just don't know. I never felt confused or like I was missing out on back story but you never know. I'll definitely be giving Bourne a try again at some point and hopefully that one will click with me in all the ways that were a slight miss in this one.

Have you read Bourne?
What did you think?
Do you like reunited romances? Or spies?

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