I am “sold” on this author’s stories…they just keep getting better and better! I loved this strong heroine who does not suffer fools and has more bravery than she ought. Rose is a redhead from a border rieving family and is sent to the Scottish Queen Mary’s court to “find a worthy husband” and she finds it distasteful with all the court posturing, secrets, lies and intrigue. But she meets someone she can get excited about who is “not as he seems”—Will Sheffield, a spy for the English court to find out what the Scottish Queen is about. Rose and Will overhear a conversation by a group of unscrupulous men, which puts Rose in grave danger and forces Will to protect her. The rest of this love story I will not give away here but readers will not be disappointed. It is another “winner” by Ms. Cullen.
Full review appeared on Reader's Edyn on 11/04/17 ... Lord Will Sheffield has been a spy for Queen Elizabeth for years. Having gone to school with Queen Mary’s husband, he possesses the perfect alibi for entrance to Queen Mary’s court. When he sees Rose discover the plot to kill Mary’s husband, he knows she is in danger if her identity is discovered. He’s been trained to accept casualties within the spy world, but the thought of the vibrant Rose as a casualty has him thinking about things that have no place in his life. Before too long, he can no longer resist the head strong woman in Queen Mary’s court. But neither can Rose resist Will. When danger creeps too close and Rose’s life is on the line, Will has to decide whether to let her go and allow one more casualty of war, or up end his entire life by admitting feelings he has no business entertaining. I had a little difficulty getting in to this book initially, but just a bit in and that difficulty had passed. There was quite a lot being explained and initially, I saw Rose as a bit of a weak-minded person. I couldn’t have been more wrong and glad I am of it. Rose was a lot of fun getting to know once she came out from under her fear of the King. For good reason, but her fear took over everything and it wasn’t until she built trust with a couple of the ladies in the court and comfort with Will that we were treated to her refreshing view of the world and her natural flair in bantering with Will. She is anything but what you would expect from a young miss at court and that is what makes her so enjoyable. Will is also amusing because he is set in his ways and beliefs and Rose threatens to topple all of that. They get to a point where you know the inevitable is going to happen because it simply has to. And even then, Will is still trying to deny a part of himself to both himself and Rose by participating in the moment without actually completing it. I know that is vague, but I don’t want to give anything away. Equally enjoyable was the introduction of Rose’s family. Now those are some interesting characters that I’d love to red more about. What fun and mischief they could get into. This is the second book in ALL THE QUEEN’S SPIES series. I have not read the first and it did not interfere with my reading enjoyment at all. Rather, it made we want to read the first book because of the references of the previous characters and my curiosity to see what happened with them. A few of the secondary characters played a fairly significant part, but only a couple of them ended up breaking out into a person I would want to read more about in future. The suspense was mostly predictable, so no huge surprises here, but still enough to keep me engaged. I was questioning the Scottish slant initially because Rose exhibits very little Scottish dialect. Yes, she’s from the lowlands, but there wasn’t much to mark her as Scottish save the red hair – until her family is introduced. Overall, this book was quite a pleasant surprise with an interesting plot and equally fascinating characters. Those who love HR with an unlikely couple, a dash of mystery, a touch of suspense, and a lot of sensuality, is sure to be pleased! Ms. Cullen has a talent within HR and I am sure I will visit her writing again soon. Kindle version provided by NetGalley/Author in exchange for an honest review.
There is plenty of intrigue, danger, and royalty in these pages. I liked Rose's love for the outdoors and her acceptance of who she and her family are. The honesty was refreshing. It took me a bit to warm up to Will because of his secrets and ability to close himself off. It was fun watching him thaw by being around Rose. I enjoyed this story and recommend it. I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.