Cover Image: Better Off Wed

Better Off Wed

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Member Reviews

You should read this book if you, like me love some of the best tropes.
-Forced proximity 
-Only one bed ( let's be honest, we all love this one.)
- Fake relationship 

I have truly enjoyed all three  books in this series so far! Better Off Wed was no exception. 
Laura Hopkins is righting wrongs done to women employed by wealthy and titled men as her alter ego Lady Sterling. Lord Sterling is a spy and codebreaker for the crown and is sent after her while she is on her latest mission. The two of them are forced into pretending to be newlyweds. I love how they play act scenes from bad plays to further their farce! 

 This was a very enjoyable and cleverly written book. I can't wait for the next installment in the Love and Let Spy series!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is book 3 in the Love and Let Spy series and we meet spy and viscount, Jeremy. He doesn’t like using his title, Lord Sterling, until he’s ordered to, because they need to find out what the woman calling herself Lady Sterling is doing. Lady Sterling is really Laura Hopkins, who robs men who abuse women. When they discover a conspiracy, things turn interesting when they try to get to the bottom of that mystery while faking a marriage which leads to many funny moments but a sweet relationship with a little bit of spice. 

Laura and Jeremy were a great H/h and watching them grow closer while trying to figure of who’s sending messages to the French. I do wish they were developed a little better as individual characters. What I thought felt flat was the actually spy plot. Once we connect all the dots and that story come together, there actually are a ton of plot holes that are never explained.

I read the first book in the series, but not the second. Maybe the critiques I have for this book would have been answered if I read both books but I don’t think I’m going to go back and read that one. I’m sure other people enjoyed this more than I did. 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 because there were still enjoyable and funny parts to this book.
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I have not had the opportunity to read other books by Ms. Craig, so I've missed out on the first two books of the series. But I can guarantee you that after reading and enjoying this one, I will be going back to read those as well. This is an entertaining and engaging story that was a delight to read. It captivated me from the very start and held my attention all the way through. There is just a  certain thrill when it comes to spies in the context of Regency. Laura is an avenging angel of sorts, taking from men who are predators and giving to the women they have wronged. Jeremy is a spy and has been given the task of investigating and recruiting her. They end up joining forces and pose as a married couple to take down a disreputable earl. As dangerous as their charade may be, there's no stopping the sparks that fly between them. This was such a fun and romantic read with just the right amount of mystery and suspense. I had such a great time reading this book! I will definitely be looking for more by this author!

I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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Lady Sterling meets Lord Sterling, sparks fly and mystery is solved. Great characters, things got a little slow in the middle of the story while Lady Sterling was laid up with an ankle injury. 3 stars.
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I've been reading Susanna Craig since her debut. It wasn't long before her witty banter, impeccable research, complex storylines, and intriguing, fully-developed characters made her one of my auto-buy authors. All of those facets, and more, are on full display in her newest novel: Better Off Wed. 

If you've been reading this series, and you were around in the 80's, you may have already noticed that each book is inspired by a popular 1980's television show. This one takes its inspiration from one of my favorites, Remington Steele, offering up original characters and a fresh storyline - set in a different era - but imbued with the wit, charm, and chemistry that made the TV series so enjoyably addictive. 

Laura and Jeremy are wonderful together and I adored them both. How could I not love Laura's determination to protect those women and girls with no voice or agency, at the mercy of entitled men? And kind, honorable, brilliant, bookish, virginal Jeremy. ::Sigh:: I do love a hero who is a virgin - for reasons - and Jeremy is one of my favorites. These two together had my heart happy dancing for so many reasons. The chemistry, respect, understanding and support of one another that grew, along with love, over the course of their story had me firmly in their corner, cheering them on the whole way. 

I especially enjoyed how Craig intertwined the evolution of their romantic relationship with the mystery element of the story. Both sides progressed forward apace, never falling too heavily to either side, keeping me eagerly turning pages to discover what would happen next.

One of the things I like about this series is that while there is a common thread - a matchmaking spymaster - each of the books in the series stands alone and they can be enjoyed in any order. If you haven't started reading the Love and Let Spy series yet, feel free to jump in with Better Off Wed. It has my enthusiastic recommendation. 

4.5 Stars
ARC received for fair and unbiased review
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I absolutely loved the first and second books the Love and Let Spy series with the second one being my favorite so far.  Better Off Wed is the third book in this series and a bit different in my opinion than the prior two.  You don't need to read any of these books in a particular order or they can be read as stand-alone books.  

This book follows a fake marriage trope, which I don't actually read all that much of.  I loved how it was written into the plot and interwoven with the mystery and suspense of Laura Hopkins pulling off her ultimate act as Lady Sterling.  I loved how much of the hero's (Captain Jeremy Addison aka Vicscount Sterling) best traits were revealed while posing as Laura's husband and helping her further her agenda as Lady Sterling.  Jeremey is trustworthy, dependable, somewhat demure and completely swoonworthy.  He is very much a gentleman through and through.

All in all I loved reading this and the only reason I ended up giving it four stars was because it took me awhile to get into and I did not love it as much as the second book in the series.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series that you get a preview of at the end of this one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington book for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All of the above opinions are of own.
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my sort of story with spy's/intrigue so I expected to like this which I did. However I wasn't expecting the humour it was very funny in places like a historic rom com. This is the first of these I have read but will not be he last.
I received this book from netgallery in exchange for an honest review as given above.
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This is the first book I read from this author and I really enjoyed it. 
Miss Laura Hopkins uses the alias Lady Sterling to help young women who have been mistreated or compromised by their employers. But while in pursuit of her latest target, Laura is unexpectedly aided by a gentleman who announces that he is Lord Sterling. 
As a spy for the Crown, Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, has been assigned to investigate Lady Sterling. Forced to pose as newlyweds at the home of a disreputable earl, Laura and Jeremy forge an unexpected alliance…and a passionate connection. But can such a dangerous masquerade possibly lead to a real, lasting love?
I had my issues with Laura at the beginning of the story, but she started to grown on me during the book. I love the idea of strong, smart women and she was one of those. Jeremy is the perfect gentleman and is always trying to find a better way to help these women.
They work great together and you can see the attraction in the pages. I would have enjoyed steamer scenes between them but it’s pretty much a slow burn romance kind of book. 
The writing is flawless and engaging.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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I'm really enjoying the Love and Let Spy series, and this latest instalment is not exception. Laura Hopkins is masquerading around town as Lady Sterling, avenging the women who have been mistreated and wronged by wealthy men who employ them. Her rouse is going well until Lord Sterling, a codebreaker for the Crown, is sent after her. Posing as newlyweds, the two begin to investigate their respective crimes only to begin to fall for one another.

This was enjoyable - suspenseful and light-hearted at the same time. Both Lord and Lady Sterling have great chemistry together and while initially skeptical of each other, begin to form trust. 

There are plenty of my favourite tropes - forced proximity/only one bed, fake relationship, spies, codebreaking, sassy heroines and bookish heroes.
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A fun, romantic, suspenseful, satisfying story that I absolutely loved! Of course that is not surprising as anything from this author I have read has been wonderful.

She is determined to avenge the women wronged by rakes, including those in the employment of said rakes.  Lady Sterling is her calling card name and she puts those rakes in a compromising position and obtains retribution for those wrongs and usually something valuable to give back to the women!

Unfortunately, on a mission to one such "Lord's" house, her carriage breaks down and she is injured and thrown into the company of the true "Lord Sterling" and ends up having to pretend to be his wife!

What she does not know if that Lord Sterling wanted to make her acquaintance at the request of the crown, but he never expected the situation that happened! Great addition to this series!
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Better Off Wed is the third book in the Love and Let Spy series, could be read as a stand alone, though there is an over arching mystery to the series (still unsolved in this book, but getting closer to the conclusion).

I enjoyed the characters in this book a great deal.  Laura poses as "Lady Sterling" to help young women who are being mistreated or abused by their employers.  Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, is a code breaker / spy for the Crown.  Through a series of mishaps, Laura and Jeremy pose as newlyweds in order to further their respective causes.

There was just enough of the mystery interwoven in the romance, which I like, this is a romance book after all.  

Tropes:  forced proximity, secret identities, one bed

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions are my own and freely given.
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A spy romance with a pretend relationship and there's only one bed!
Miss Laura Hopkins steals money and secrets from rich men who think they can take advantage of women and get away with it under the guise of Lady Sterling. Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, is a code breaker for the crown ordered to find Lady Sterling and figure out if she'd be willing to work for them. They meet in a very unexpected fashion and are forced to pretend that they are indeed married in order to gain entry into the house of a man who Laura knows is in the bad habit of abusing the women who work under his roof. Thus begins a fun tale of discovery for Laura and Jeremy, as a couple, as individuals, and in the pursuit of everything they work for. 
Craig does a great job of mixing in elements of fun, romance, intrigue, and drama to create a story that continually entertains and keeps things interesting. Laura and Jeremy are the perfect couple that doesn't realize it until the ideal romantic end and reading their story is satisfyingly fun. 

Very happy thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the exciting read!
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Spymaster General Scott is at it again! Mixing business with pleasure and matchmaking with his spies!

Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling is used to his behind the scenes work codebreaking for the crown, until he is assigned d a special case… finding the mysterious Lady Sterling who has been stealing from the aristocracy. General Scott casually suggests that he may want to marry the enigmatic lady when he finds her since they already share a title!

Lady Sterling, aka spinster Miss Laura Hopkins is not your common thief- more like a Robin Hood! She steals from the rich, who abuse their powers and gives back to the victims to start over. She is about the embark on one of her most difficult nob to nab, when an accident lands her in the arms of the Viscount Sterling! Lady Stirling works alone, but it seems her fake husband is also after the same man- a most convenient coincidence!

As these two start to work together under the guise of marriage they both get closer to the their working goal, find themselves in danger and manage to fall for each other!

This was a fun Robin Hood retelling and I loved Lady Sterling’s conviction for her cause. Captain Addison was a darling as he played along with Miss Hopkins and they both discovered more about their true wants and that perhaps two is better than one in the end!

This was a great historical romance with an intriguing plot. I feel like spying definitely took more of a backseat to the romance in this book, compared to the other- but I was too into the romance to care! Bonus: the teaser in the epilogue hints at a series favourite being the next spy to fall in love! I can’t wait!

Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig was released December 28th, 2021.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Laura Hopkins is a beautiful heiress. She is also a vigilante known as Lady Sterling.  Captain Jeremy Addison is a spy for the Crown; actually, a code breaker.  He is also a viscount, Lord Sterling.  Using the common name (as an excuse), Jeremy’s commanding officer throws them together, so that he can determine if she might be an effective, and willing, spy for the Crown.  The resulting “assignment” is a light-hearted rollercoaster of action and romance.  There is a fake marriage, a room with only one room, suspicious cookbooks and chess guides, and a treacherous earl.  There is a bright, sassy heroine and a wonderful, intelligent, shy hero.  This is an interesting, intriguing spy story and a lovely, somewhat sexy love story.  It is a great addition to the series.  I enjoyed Better Off Wed and can’t wait to see what’s next.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  My review is voluntary.
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This is the 3rd book in the Love and Let Spy series and follows Jeremy and Laura who have to pretend to be married. I loved their romantic tension and the slower build of trust and affection between them. I also enjoyed the mystery and intrigue in the plot that led to their fake marriage. One of my favorite scenes involves a late night hunt for incriminating evidence and a saucy chess board.

Alsoooo for those that care, Jeremy is inexperienced and Laura is only slightly more experienced. I really liked that they were both not too shy to say what they wanted and were both 100% into it. 

I also really liked the way that the ending panned out for them, and that they both ended up getting exactly what they wanted. 

I’m so excited for the next book in this series! It sounds like marriage in trouble/second chance romance and I really like those tropes. Also random, but I love the scenes with General Scott bc yeah he’s in charge of this whole mastermind spy ring for the crown, but he’s also out here matchmaking his spies. I think it’s so funny. 

A huge thank you to Kensington Books and #Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review! This is one of my favorite historical romance series, and I can’t wait for the final book!
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Laura Hopkins, alias Lady Sterling, Thief Taker, has made it her mission to help women who have been preyed upon by their employer.  Taking secret items and money from the predator is to stop his continued predation and give the women another life.  Captain Jeremy Addison is a code breaker.  Intrigued by Lady Sterling, what irony that he is the real Lord Sterling. His job is to find Lady Sterling and marry her or did his commander say that in jest?  A carriage accident finds Jeremy assisting in Laura's rescue. Pretending to be man and wife, they infiltrate the home of Lord Thornton, a predator and a spy. I find this series totally entertaining with humor, intrigue and passion between Laura and Jeremy.  Once again we read about the cookbook that isn't a cookbook and a book of chess is something else. STEAMY with witty conversations.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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3.5 stars

In an effort to help women in service fight back against the men that take advantage of them, Miss Laura Hopkins adopted an alter ego; Lady Sterling and has successfully taken on many men of the ton.  But despite her success, one man has eluded her brand of justice – Lord Thornton and now she has been called on again to try and right his wrongs.  But things go wrong from almost the start and she finds herself in the company of the real Lord Sterling and claims him as her husband!

Captain Jeremy Addison is the reluctant Viscount Sterling, he unexpectedly inherited the title and debt-ridden estate years ago and has worked tirelessly to pay off the debt and restore honor to the title.  He joined the army for an income and soon caught the attention of his superiors and was recruited into service for the home office, where his skills in mathematics and wordplay made him a successful code breaker. A position that he has been struggling with of late, so when his commanding officer assigns him to seek out the infamous Lady Sterling and see if she would be a good fit for the “network” he thinks the change might do him good – that is until General Scott says he wants him to marry her!

Lord Thornton, Jeremy, and Laura all meet by chance at an inn after Laura’s coach is involved in an accident and she is injured.  When Jeremy calls her Lady Sterling, Laura quickly claims to be his wife and Thornton invites them to stay at his nearby home.  Jeremy plays along and even elaborates on the lie, giving Laura hope that she will be able to carry out her mission with Jeremy’s help.  They soon realize that Thornton is more than just a man that takes advantage of his help, it is possible that he is a traitor and they will have to work together to expose him while fighting the growing attraction between them.

This was a well-written, nicely paced story that held my attention until the last word.  Laura and Jeremy are very likable characters and their chemistry is undeniable.  The book is filled with secrets, intrigue, a slow-burn romance, warm love scenes, surprising revelations, and finally a very sweet HEA.  I enjoyed this story, but honestly one of the revelations at the end seemed a bit much and unnecessary, but overall, it was a good read.  This is the third book in the series, but they are loosely connected and can easily be read as standalone titles.

  *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*
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Better off Wed is the 3rd book in Susanna Craig's Napoleonic-period Love and Let Spy series.  I didn't read the first two books - though I'm pleased to discover that I have them - but this story totally stood alone.  What I think were references to previous books in no way confused my understanding here.  I love historical romance stories with military men, so this one was right up my alley!

Miss Laura Hopkins lives quite the unusual secret life for a woman in 1808 England.  Under the alias Lady Sterling, she helps young woman who have been compromised or treated indecently by their employers.  Though some see her actions as stealing or blackmail, she uses the proceeds of what she takes from these evil men to help the woman they abused.  On the way to assist the governess of the vile Lord Thornton, Laura hurts her ankle in a carriage accident and is helped by a handsome young man...a man named Lord Sterling.  What are the chances?!  Captain Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, is a codebreaker for the Crown.  His commanding officer has ordered him to discover the identity of Lady Sterling to perhaps put her to work.  When they are invited to stay for Laura to recover at the home of her intended target Lord Thornton, Laura and Jeremy must pretend to be newlyweds so they can discover the man's secrets.  Can two secretive people learn to trust - and love - each other?

This was a hugely entertaining story with absolutely charming leads in Laura and Jeremy.  Laura often put herself in danger trying to avenge the young women who were hurt by men with money and prestige and almost always got away with their sins.  She was very successful in her endeavors, and her Lady Sterling calling card struck terror in the hearts of bad men.  Jeremy, as a codebreaker, usually spent his time working on codes in his dank little office, but his commanding officer seemed to find it amusing to send Jeremy, Lord Sterling, to find and collect Lady Sterling.  Actual spying wasn't his usual forte', but he turned out to be well adept at it.  The chemistry between our hero and heroine was electric, even before they did not trust each other.  They worked really well together, however.  Also, when sparks began to fly, the results were incendiary!  Carriage rides never seemed quite so steamy.  I enjoyed the fact that Jeremy, a very kind and seemingly quite innocent young man, had secrets of his own that I did not discern until almost the end of the book.  The Epilogue was lovely and touching.  I look forward to reading many more books by this author.

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig
Love & Let Spy # 3

Sterling is a word that has meaning and thus, LADY STERLING chose her name…she is not really Robin Hood but one who does work for women in need of a little something extra after they have been exploited in and abused the homes that employed them. 

Lady Sterling, really Miss Laura Hopkins, has ties via her brother to the government’s spy-force. (I do hope her brother will show up in the future in his own book.)

Anyway, this book takes on from the past book in the series in which a book was acquired that has information the government wants/needs but who can decipher the code?

Step in Jeremy Addison, Viscount Sterling, with his own backstory and why did he step in? His boss pushed him forcefully forward and he was suddenly center stage and dealing with…his wife? The woman he was sent to find information on? 

Anyway…this is an interesting story with reference to plays that may or may not have existed in real life, characters that were possibly real, and a series that did make them real. Their matchmaker was a man high up in the government spycrafting information gathering echelons and their story…interesting if not riveting though well worth reading. 

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read another book in this series? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington – Lyrical Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4 Stars
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I have really been enjoying this series and this is another great addition to it! I was pretty much drawn in from page one and did not want to put it down. Laura is such a great character - tough, smart, putting herself on the line to help others - that it is easy to root for her. Jeremy's reluctance in taking the assignment because of how much people have given him a hard time over "Lady Sterling" is quite humorous, as is Laura's reluctance in having to team up with him and pretend to be his wife. They work great as a team when it comes to solving their respective mysteries/problems - they truly are perfect for one another. Millrose's reaction to Laura's secret identify is also pretty funny. Susanna Craig does such a great job of balancing the seriousness of the story and moments of levity; it keeps the story from taking itself too seriously and becoming boring. My only complaint is that I thought what Jeremy's father had told him on his deathbed was kind of cruel because he had to know it would only upset Jeremy (I don't want to give anything away here, but I'm sure other readers would agree). I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series!
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