To Entice a Spy
by Diane Scott Lewis
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 11 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2021
Widowed Countess Eseld Trehearne seeks revenge for the brutal death of her female companion during a Paris riot. On her return to England, Eseld delves into espionage to defeat the French rebels.
Baron Robert Penhale, Eseld's childhood love, rejoins the Secret Services after his wife's death. He's determined to protect England from the revolution terrorizing France.
A ruthless French spy fights for the common man while disguised as an English aristocrat. He's intent on revenge against those who oppose him.
With the spy stalking them and Robert in fear for Eseld's life, the fate of the couple verges on disaster.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
Widowed Countess Eseld Trehearne seeks revenge for the brutal death of her female companion during a Paris riot. On her return to England, Eseld delves into espionage to defeat the French rebels. Baron Robert Penhale, Eseld's childhood love, rejoins the Secret Services after his wife's death. He's determined to protect England from the revolution terrorizing France. A ruthless French spy fights for the common man while disguised as an English aristocrat. He's intent on revenge against those who oppose him. With the spy stalking them and Robert in fear for Eseld's life, the fate of the couple verges on disaster. This is a good story of treachery and love. Spies abound in this tale. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
I love spy story's usually from the regency so this seemed a good match and it was. A new author to me I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and mystery involved in this. The difference with this book being set earlier is that it contained a tale of living through the terror in France. It's also nice that the couple are older in their late thirties so all round a good new read for me and a new author to go investigate her other books. I received this book from NetGallery in exchange for an honest review as given above
Eseld Trehearne has been in France for five years, since her husband died. She has returned with her daughter. She has been asked to look for Frenchmen in town. Her old friend Baron Penhale is also trying to find the spies for the French. They have loved each other since they were children. Can they find a life together since having both of their spouses dead. Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this story.
Widowed Countess Eseld has spent years living in France, where she’d moved with her daughter to assuage her grief. Yet as the Revolution rages in 1794, she’s battered again by the violent death of her beloved ladies’ maid / companion. Eseld offers to become a spy to avenge the tragedy and returns to England, to pursue her quest and to keep her teen daughter safe. She reenters society and feigns interest in a handful of men to try to rout the spy. But her mission is complicated by awakened feelings for her boyhood love, Baron Robert Penhale. Penhale also is widowed now, and he fights his desire for her while sharing the urgency to capture the spy funneling money to support France’s upheaval. Yet even as she’s drawn to him, Eseld holds back her own intentions, knowing he’d warn her away from the dangerous endeavor. Reading To Entice a Spy deeply immerses readers into Truro, England in the late 18th century. Author Diane Scott Lewis has a great capacity for historical detail, adding many nuances to enhance the Regency setting. The novel called up images of the swoon-worthy PBS drama, Poldark – one of my favorites. Eseld is a strong, likeable heroine, who exhibits courage and moxie through her mission, even while upholding the propriety of her station. It was lovely watching the childhood sweethearts reunite, even as challenges intervene.
The book starts off as a mystery trying to solve which aristocrat is a French spy. The history of the book is so well researched as is the French Revolution. Childhood friends reconnect and each is trying to discover who is spying for France. There is a shift midway into the story that deals with time travel and I think a character from the book [book:Beyond the Fall, a time-travel adventure|42760932] is introduced. I enjoyed that part a bit more than the spy novel and may read the book. The romance is secondary to finding the spy.
I received a free copy from NetGalley and this is my freely given review. This is a historical novel set in Truro, in 1790, with the return of Eseld, widowed Countess of Trehearne, home, after being in France for several years. It was a traumatic period for her, first with losing her husband, the Earl, suddenly to a heart attack. This prompted her to flee to France, to be with her stepmother, for some emotional comfort after her loss. Unfortunately, she gets caught up in the Revolution there and stuck until she could safely arrange papers to return to England for her daughter and herself. In the process of trying to gain this, she is witness to some horrors of the Revolution, including the murder of her friend and companion, Hester. This prompts desires for vengeance against the Revolutionaries, and she begins some clandestine work to try to uncover spy activity in Truro on her return. Returning also brings about some strong memories, including her loss of her husband. After all, they shared many years together and grew to love each other, and had two children together. But, her marriage was an arranged one. Her first love, Robert, Baron Penhale, also lives in Truro. He is recently widowed, and on seeing Eseld again, realizes there is still a strong attraction, but their stations in life have changed, as she is a Countess, and he is too far below her in the social strata. Also, he is also covertly working with the government and local officials to try to flush out those who are supporting the French Revolution; spies and traitors. There are rumours that there is female aristocrat, recently returned from France, who may be working with a Royalist Duc, and he suspects Eseld, and worries for her safety. Eseld engages in the social events in Truro to get closer to various members of local society, reengage in friendships, but also to strike up relationships with various men, to winnow out who could potentially be a spy/informant. This raises worries, and jealousy in Robert. Eseld also comes to realize that she may be in over her head, especially when she realizes the danger that her daughter may be exposed to. This was a very enjoyable novel in many aspects. A spy and intrigue story with good historical bones. I found the love story of Eseld and Robert to be quite touching and very believable. They were childhood friends and sweethearts, pulled apart into different relationships. She came to love her husband and was broken apart when she lost him. He married, and while he did not love his wife the way he loved Eseld, it sounded like he cared and respected her, and did come to love her, only to lose her tragically as well. But then the two lost loves ended up finding each other again. I enjoyed the quiet strength of Eseld, and her relationship with her daughter and her support of the daughter's rather unusual hobby and interests. One thing I found confusing was the introduction of a time travel/supernatural element to the story. It did not fit in with the tone of the story. However, as I look back on the other works of the author, it does reference a previous book she had written, even though this does not appear to be a sequel or part of a series with that other book. Those tidbits seemed quite out of place and a bit jarring in the storyline. Interesting, but distracting and detracting I felt, even though there is the allusion to the rise of Bonaparte and the long duration of the impending war. I did however enjoy the little twist of turning paper clips and shampoo, some things that we take for granted today, into an entrepreneurial endeavour though. Regardless, I did feel this was a good read about second chance love, with mild intrigue. The history was sound, the dialogue interesting. The action rather mild, but does draw you in, and there was a bit of mystery as to the various factions involved, especially as it would appear that Eseld and Robert may be working for two different entities that may or may not be at cross purposes? 3.5 stars out of 5 for me.