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Joanna Bourne - The Spymaster's Lady
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Vanessa



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Joanna Bourne - The Spymaster's Lady Reply with quote

Has anyone read this one yet? First things first guys, I thought this book was a solid A, maybe even A+. I was completely blown away by how much fun I had reading this Very Happy .

So our story is about Annique, French master spy and all around awesome chick who never once approaches TSTL territory, and Robert Grey, British master spy, big, broad shouldered hottie who is also extremely smart and cunning. These two were just so much fun to read about, and the conflict between them was so believable. The bare bones summary of the plot is that they find themselves imprisoned together, she gets them out, he tries to keep her with him so he can take her to Spy Headquarters in England, she gets away, they meet again. And lots of stuff in between that was all excellent lol I rarely post review like stuff about books that I love, but this one just blew me away.

One of the biggest reasons I was so into The Spymaster's Lady was the heroine, which is huge because most times (not all, but most) I read for the hero's POV. Annique Villiers was smart, funny, witty and so French, I could almost hear her talking. I'd read another review (i think at DA?) that mentioned her absolute French-ness, and I totally get it, her nationality pours out of her.

So, yeah, after much fangirl gushing, in conclusion, this book was awesome. Does anyone know if she's written anything else? Joanna Bourne (if she is new lol) has just moved up to my "debut authors who are awesome right off the bat" which was, up until right now, comprised solely by Meljean Brook Laughing
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put in a request at the library as soon as I read the Dear Author review (they gushed, too). I'm currently number 17, waiting for one of 6 copies. Sad
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Em



Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Just got it! Reply with quote

I read a review in Romantic Times which gave Bourne and her book a top rating as a new author. I usually read their stuff with a grain of salt, but decided that it was worth a look at a debut that has garnered such raves. Now you make me doubly glad I bought it! I plan to read it this week--hope I like it as much as you did.
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading this book now and I am enjoying it....I love the banter betwwen Grey and Annique. After reading this review over at Dear Author and at another web site I pushed this book way up on my TBR pile and I'm glad I did.

This is the first book written by this author, I did find a Joanna W. Bourne who wrote a book called Her Ladyship's Companion which came out in 1983.
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Em



Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the men were watching football, I snuggled down with The Spymaster's Lady and finished it in one sitting. What a treat this debut book is! I may not rate it as one of the greatest romance novels ever, but it is definitely one of the best I've read in some time. Just when you get depressed that there aren't any new original writers out there, up pops someone like Bourne.

Like Vanessa I totally enjoyed the heroine's character--smart, not remotely TSTL, with every move having a rational motive behind it. That's refreshing in itself! I also liked the complexity Bourne infused into the plot, suggesting that espionage is always fraught with moral and ethical difficulties, no matter what period of history. The surprise plot twists were well done too. (Does anyone else see a book for Hawker in the future?)

But the aspect I most enjoyed was the absolute accuracy Joanna Bourne brought to this book. I teach this period of history, and I couldn't find one mistake- in the plot-she really did her research, thus not insulting her readers. Her French was accurate (thank you, thank you Ms. Bourne for not provoking one of my pet peeves!); even the throw-away observations about Napoleon's actions in Egypt were exactly right. One of the off-stage characters (Vauban) boasted a name of great fame in French history--but of the 17th century--which raised an anachronistic portrait in my mind every time he was mentioned, but that was a mere bagatelle.

I urge all of you romance readers to grab this book! It may not have any elements that will spark controversy in romancelandia, but it is a cracking good read!
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Maggi



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, ladies. While checking availability of Spymaster's Lady, I found that Ms. Bourne has what appears to be a sequel coming out 7-1-08. The title is My Lord and Spymaster.
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maggi wrote:
Good news, ladies. While checking availability of Spymaster's Lady, I found that Ms. Bourne has what appears to be a sequel coming out 7-1-08. The title is My Lord and Spymaster.


Thanks, Maggi --- I'll be sure to write in down in my notebook for books to buy in July.
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Vanessa



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Location: New York

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have reread this book a couple of times since I've finished it, and I continue to be amazed. The rest of what I'm going to discuss most definitely falls under spoiler, so if you are interested, highlight away lol

Spoilers!

After the "Big Secret" of Annique's is revealed (the whole blind thing), you go back to see what the clues are, because how do we not get it?! And the thing is, Joanna Bourne was just that awesome of a writer that this is hidden in plain view (lol). Annique is never once described as having "seen" something, and we are even told that she moves through sound, and at first, like Grey, we believe that it is only that she is so good at what she does. I love that when it is revealed it is just as much as a shock to us as it is with Grey and all the other characters.


And again, the language! I notice that even when the characters speak in other languages, the cadence of speech changes with that language, I cant get over how masterful this whole book was in that. I'm happy to see that others are reading this book and are also getting satisfaction from it. I feel like we don't see a great many authors these days loving words as much as I feel Joanna Bourne does. Very Happy
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 758
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG! I just finished this book and loved, loved, loved it! This is why I read romance and struggle through piles of decent to mediocre books, in the hopes that I'll stumble across one that is as wonderful as this one. Don't be put off by the fact that the heroine is a French spy. She is not hardened in any way, just very smart and convincing. Everyone should do themselves a favor and read this book! Very Happy
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jenreads



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a difference a few weeks makes. If this book had been released in the Fall, it would have been in my Top 5 of favorite 100 books. As it is I'll have to wait a few years to put it in it's righful place. By then it may be #1. Just pure perfection from beginning to end. Everything I read romance for.

BTW, if you haven't read it yet...DO NOT READ ANY SPOILERS. This book deserves to be read without knowing the big reveals! Thankfully, they are not secret babies.
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katiebabs



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been on the fence about this book and even had it in my hands when I went to Borders. But everyone and I mean every single person who has read this has been raving about it!
So guess what I will be buying today.... Very Happy
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1110
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading it now and I can tell it's going to be my first DIK of 08. I'm LOVING it so far!
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kristie(J) wrote:
I'm reading it now and I can tell it's going to be my first DIK of 08. I'm LOVING it so far!


I don't know about you, but sometimes when everyone is raving about a book ---- I'm sometimes afraid of reading it for the fear of being disappointed in it. I'm so glad that your enjoying it....now I just have to remember to vote for it in next year's AAR Poll.
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nikki



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1134

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kristie(J) wrote:
I'm reading it now and I can tell it's going to be my first DIK of 08. I'm LOVING it so far!


ditto and ditto. i've been reading it for the last two days, slowly as so to savor it. LOVE it so far. this heroine is on my short list of fave heroines. i'm not usually into heroines like this, but annique deserves her own category of greatness cuz really...i haven't read a heroine this good in a LONG TIME.

aiight, back to the book so i can finish it.
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1110
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
LOVE it so far. this heroine is on my short list of fave heroines. i'm not usually into heroines like this, but annique deserves her own category of greatness cuz really...i haven't read a heroine this good in a LONG TIME.


Isn't she wonderful?? Such a mix of great strength, incredible bravery, wonderful compassion and heartbreaking poignancy. Yet she still manages to retain an almost innocent air about her. Like you Nikki, for me this great a heroine doesn't come along all that often and though it may be possible, I can't imagine another one as good for along time. And it is too bad this is a 2008 release - otherwise I'd have a whole bunch of categories this could go in for the poll. But luckily I have a handy dandy excel spreadsheet to remind me of this book this time next year!!
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