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The Pretender by Celeste Bradley
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The Pretender (2003)

by Celeste Bradley

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321853,688 (3.81)10
Masquerading as a married woman, Agatha Cunningham heads for 1813 London to search for her missing brother, a search that leads to the handsome Simon Montague Rain, a member of the Liar's Club with a secret of his own.

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
3.5 stars ( )
  mitabird | Jun 10, 2018 |
This was a 3.5 for me. I thought it started very slowly and then about 1/3 of the way through I started to like it a lot. It was a 3 star start, a 4 star middle and a 5 star ending. These were really great characters, loved them both, and the complications they faced were more authentic than is the norm in these types of books. A fun read that keeps getting better. ( )
  Narshkite | Jun 1, 2014 |
First read ever for this author. Well paced, humorous, interesting characters. I did spend the entire book feeling like I'd read the story before. This is mostly because I've read a dozen or more regency spy romances. I like Bradley's heroine as much as I like her ability to drive the story. ( )
  lesmel | Jul 20, 2013 |
E-book - I enjoyed most parts of this romance. The dialog was intelligent and I enjoyed the spy side of the book a lot. ( )
  Fernandame | Nov 7, 2010 |
This book was alright. It didn't blow me away but it kept me entertained. I'll look for the other books in the Liar's Club and see if any of them do better for me.

I had a problem with Simon's spy business right away. He thought that Agatha was her brother's mistress (which I can believe) and that she might be a spy too. He kept remarking that she put everything together too well to be anything but a spy. I really started to doubt his intelligence. Agatha's logic didn't really strike me as anything special and it really made Simon seem incompetent when he kept being so impressed by her information.

I really liked the dynamic that Agatha and Simon had between them. I really felt their love and passion for each other. They seemed like they just fit. The scenes where Agatha keeps trying to seduce Simon and he keeps throwing her out made me laugh. I loved Agatha's determination to have Simon. Nothing I like better than a woman who knows her own mind. I did have a problem with her belief that it was okay to "steal" a baby from Simon and never let him know. That really dropped her character in my eyes.

I found it hard to believe that Agatha would be so naïve as to invite some random stranger to live with her for a couple weeks. It really made her seem stupid. Also, I know the fake husband thing gets used a lot in historical romance, but was it really all that common? Maybe I'm just critical of this trope because it has been done to death.

I found the ending with the Prince to be an eye rolling event. It all just seemed faintly unbelievable. I really did like the humor in this book though. The brother seemed interesting although his "whatever" attitude toward Agatha and Simon didn't ring true. I think that this author has the potential to be a keeper for me so I'm going to check out more of her work. ( )
  Catherine331 | Dec 28, 2009 |
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