Joyfully Reviewed, Cassie
THE NOBLEMAN AND THE SPY adeptly mixes historical romance with a bit of mystery and intrigue. With yet another winner, Ms. Dee and Ms. Devon have managed to get themselves onto my auto-buy list. Nicely done, ladies.
Sensual Reads, Elise, Lyn, 5 stars
Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon should spend a lot of time writing together because THE NOBLEMAN AND THE SPY is excellent with its compelling combination of danger, passion and emotion. You cannot go wrong with this one as you immerse yourself in their story, falling in love with Jonathan and Karl in the process.
Mrs. Giggles, 85
THE NOBLEMAN AND THE SPY is the third consecutive effort from these authors that I enjoy heartily. It looks like they are a solid combination where man-on-man romances are concerned!
Speak Its Name blog, Erastes
I loved the way the relationship started early, and the way that Binder was the experienced one, when I’d half expected it to be the other way around. Binder has good gaydar and his seduction of the man he’d already spotted as following him was quite delicious. There’s a lovely sense of paranoia from both men as they size each other up: what is he up to, who is working for, all these questions go through both men’s minds and it works well and is very believable, even for men who have just had an intimate encounter.
Rainbow Reviews, Jimbo, 5 stars
This story of two very different men, one optimistically ready to give his heart, the other fighting emotions he never thought himself capable of, captured my imagination, and kept me involved from start to finish. The authors have done a brilliant job, again, of creating an atmosphere of sensual suspense and bringing to life characters you are willing to cheer for, and to cry with. Highly recommended.
Jessewave Reviews, Jenre, 4 stars
The historical setting, especially in relation to the Crimea War and the aftermath, was unusual and the character of Karl more than made up for a few deficiencies in Reese. Overall, if you like historicals then I think you’ll enjoy this book.
The Romance Reviews, Tyra Berger, 4 stars
I felt the connection between the characters and thought the feelings they both had were believable. The mystery of who is trying to kill Karl was written with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep you reading to find the answer. With bombs and betrayals and some scorching hot love scenes, I think anyone who enjoys a well-written story will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Night Owl Reviews, Daisiemae, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick
I love the lyrical and easy style of writing that these authors have. Not only are their stories well plotted out, the heroes always have amazing chemistry together which I truly appreciate. Plus, the sex scenes are smoking hot and at times, pretty creative. I also thought Karl and Jonathan brought out the best in each other, and I really enjoyed watching these polar opposite men find a common ground and make a life together.
Padme’s Library, 4 1/2
It’s my opinion that the adrenaline rush when reading a story isn’t always about the end result but the journey getting there. Once again, this is a perfect example of that, that certainty in the who was after Karl did not lessen my need to reach the last page.
Toole had told Reese to use whatever methods worked. It hadn’t occurred to Reese to simply state a portion of the truth, but why not?
He’d have to pick an answer that didn’t reveal too much, of course. After almost a week of following Binder, he could tell the man all sorts of truths. He might tell him that he’d spotted someone — a foreigner from Binder’s own country, perhaps — following the count’s son.
Or Reese could spill even deeper secrets. That his dried-up twig of a soul felt an unfamiliar flicker of life every time he saw Binder laugh. That he’d listened in on the conversations Binder held with his underlings and had grown to admire the way he treated his servants and staff. That he lay awake at night and thought of what it would feel like to put his mouth on Binder’s lips and other parts of his body. He might admit that, in a crowd, he’d drawn too close to Binder more than once just to see if he could smell the man.
Except Reese had excellent self-discipline. He’d released the guard on his impulses only once in his life and had lived to regret it. He sure as hell didn’t welcome this attraction to an enemy from the past, this very dangerous man.
Still, one truth would do no harm, and perhaps he’d be able to learn the answer to the question that had nagged him for years. “You’re right. I was at Sevastopol. Why do you think you remember me?” He didn’t add for I recall you too.
Binder’s blue eyes glowed, and he smiled as if Reese had admitted something wonderful. “I don’t understand it myself. That day of the battle. God.” He shuddered, and Reese felt a ghost of that same response in his own body. “There were hundreds — thousands of us — and it was a blur of bodies and pain and fear. My horse was slain under me. I was injured.”
Reese shook his head. He hadn’t known.
“Much of it comes back when I close my eyes. I expect it does for you too,” Karl went on. “But one of the most vivid images of that day, of that whole bloody, pointless war, is of you. You’d lost your cap, and you were covered in blood. I was looking for more…” He cleared his throat. “For the next to kill. I was filled with that lust. You know the feeling.”
Reese couldn’t answer. He knew and loathed the primal killing instinct that overtook him whenever he’d had to dispatch another man. He shrugged.
“And then I saw you watching me.”
Reese leaned forward, his entire being at attention. At long last it seemed he was going to receive an answer to the intolerable question — why me? Of all the men in the field that day, why had this stranger passed him over like the angel of death in Egypt?
“Yes, I admit I recall seeing you. What of that?” he asked with feigned casualness. Amazing he could sound so nonchalant when his heart was racing. “Tell me this. Why did you spare me?”
Binder inclined slightly toward him too and lowered his voice as he answered, his throaty rumble sending lust spearing through Reese. “Because I saw your eyes. I saw…” He shrugged broad shoulders.
Reese tilted his head to show he listened, and Binder went on. “I saw so many things. I saw myself when I watched you. So self-centered, eh? Angry, passionate, and ready to die. But I also saw a man who’d suffered too much. And, well…” He rubbed a blunt finger over the lace tablecloth. Reese watched those hands, large with golden hair on the back of his wrist, and he was almost too distracted by the sight of them to hear Binder’s next words. “I saw what a bloody monster I’d become.”
He stopped speaking, and for once, Reese wasn’t patient enough to let silence linger. “We were all bloody monsters in war.”
He should not allow his thoughts to venture in that direction. Curse the man for rousing the emotion of unwelcome memories. With one long, deep breath, Reese suppressed the ripples of disquiet disturbing his calm. He looked straight into Binder’s face, but the other man didn’t appear to notice. His blue eyes seemed sightless as he gazed at something else, those days in Sevastopol, probably.
Reese could examine him at leisure, a pleasant task. Even with Binder’s large, Germanic features, there were touches of grace — the way his throat rose from the high collar, the line of his jaw, and the well-brushed, gleaming, wheat blond hair.
His enemy’s low voice woke Reese from a fantasy of touching that hair, stroking it, seizing it, and gripping it while he drove into the heat of the man’s mouth. His carnal fantasies about this man were getting out of hand.
“Ah. But your face, your eyes.” Binder at last met Reese’s stare. “Do you know the word tzadik?”
Reese knew German, but this word was unfamiliar. He shook his head.
“It’s Yiddish. It means ‘one who acts righteously.’ Back then I didn’t know the word. I’m not Jewish.”
Reese knew that. He’d read the details of the man who’d been born to an English mother and a German Catholic father and who had been brought up in the Church of England.
“After the war, I heard a bit of the definition — just a little — and at once I imagined you. That day on the battlefield, your eyes sent a burning arrow into me. If a man’s eyes could do such a thing, you would have killed me — a part of me — with that look. I saw the righteous judge who’d witnessed my failure as a human. I couldn’t face you, and I certainly couldn’t kill you.”
His explanation was weighty and far more truthful than Reese would have expected.
“All that from a look,” Reese said sardonically, though he felt slightly dizzy. Through all these years, he’d also vividly recalled Binder, as if that scene were a fresh memory.
A moment later, Binder grinned suddenly, and his laugh lines showed Reese the man’s natural face — lighthearted, almost mischievous. Reese had already seen evidence of his mercurial nature, but this jump from grim to delighted was sudden, even for Binder.
“You are amused?” Reese asked.
“Now that I consider the matter, I wonder if I simply liked your appearance, blood-smeared and all. It was an impulsive decision to spare you. Shall we call it that?”
Jesus God, was this man admitting to physical attraction? Reese suppressed the urge to look around and see who might be listening. He was no green lad who would blush at bawdy suggestions — even those of forbidden practices — but this was no place to mention them. He smiled blandly but didn’t answer, as if he’d heard no suggestive meaning — and perhaps one had not been intended.
“So, tell me why you are following me,” Binder demanded, abruptly changing the subject.