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The Charmer by Celeste Bradley
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The Charmer

by Celeste Bradley

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The Charmer is the 5th installment in Celeste Bradley's Liar's Club series of regency spy romances (it is technically the 4th novel in the series, but I included the short story "Wedding Knight" in my reckoning). This novel tells the story of Collis Tremayne and Rose Lacey.

Synopsis: We first met Collis way back in The Pretender, while he was convalescing in the hospital. Since then, he has been in training to be a full-fledged member of the Liar's Club ring of English spies. Rose was a trembling little housemaid (see The Impostor) who has decided to be a victim no more. She, too, is now in training to become the first female Liar. Both are determined to succeed and a strong rivalry has formed between them. When one of their heated sparring matches leaves the Liars' training room in shambles, they are given the ultimate penance: they must work together as partners on a test mission. As they bicker their way through the pretend mission, they stumble onto a real plot against the crown and are forced to work together to solve it.

This is one of my favorite books in the Liar's Club/Royal Four series. Collis is so charming and funny. And while Rose is a strong and determined woman, she still has a believable vulnerability that leaves you cheering for her and Collis to make it as a couple. And there are lots of obstacles in their way: their pride, the fact that they are both spies who need clear heads and unfettered hearts to be effective, and the vast gulf between their stations (he is heir to a title, she is a former servant).

The plot itself in this book is really engaging with fast-paced action. I like the overall story arc that the author uses in this series. It develops a little with each book, even carrying on into the Royal Four series of novels. It was also kind of neat to see a real historical figure (the Prince Regent) playing such a prominent role in the story. Bradley makes him an entertaining character and I enjoyed his interaction with the main characters.

My Favorite Part had to be when the Prince decides to go along with Collis on his break-in of Wadsworth's house. It was hilarious picturing His Paunchy Highness clad all in black (to look cool) sneaking through windows and then on the run from the bad guys. ( )
  katybear | Jun 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312999712, Mass Market Paperback)

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
unbidden passion...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:43 -0400)

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