Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review: Spy Fall by Diana Quincy

From the Back Cover:

In this uniquely fresh and innovative Regency romance, a fearless French parachutist lands on top of a wicked rogue who endangers her mission—and her heart.

Mari Lamarre is gaining fame on both sides of the Channel for her daring aeronautic endeavors, but she hasn’t come to Dorset to showcase her talents. Rather, she’s been tasked with recovering sensitive information that may have fallen into the hands of the Marquess of Aldridge. It’s the riskiest adventure of her career—and it begins with a crash landing. Her fall is broken by the Marquess’s very own son, Cosmo, who’s clearly a rake and a drunk, not to mention a liability. So why does Mari find him so utterly alluring?

When he first spots the vision of loveliness in the sky, Lord Cosmo Dunsmore surmises he’s imbibed one drop too many, and an angel has come to fetch him. Little does he know that this female daredevil will make him feel more alive than ever before. But when their torrid affair takes a shocking turn, Cosmo must choose where his loyalties lie: with his respectable father—or with the captivating beauty whose fierce passion makes him feel like a new man.

My Thoughts:

As soon as I saw the description of Spy Fall, I wanted it. Y'all know I'm always looking for something different in romance, and here it is! This is a smart, sassy, sexy, totally original, adventurous, and FUN Regency romance!

When Mari Lamarre parachutes into Dorset, she literally lands on top of Sir Cosmo Dunsmore in a cornfield, returning from a night of debauchery. Annoyed by the shockingly improper and infuriatingly alluring rake (who can't wrap his still-drunk head around what he's seeing), her attitude quickly changes when she realizes who he is: the son of the Marquess of Aldridge, the very man she's investigating, and her ticket into his house. Faking an injury, she convinces an unwitting Cosmo to carry her into the house of the man she intends to destroy. And her luck gets even better. Turns out the Marquess is fascinated with the emerging world of aeronautics and extends Mari an invitation to use his grounds to practice for her upcoming London exhibition. Soon her flying brothers--and fellow spies--arrive, and the three of them get down to work, the brothers canvassing the countryside and village taverns while Mari searches Aldridge's house for the evidence she needs.

But Cosmo is no dunce, and he is quick to catch on to the fact that his angel is hiding something. He's fascinated by Mari, who is unlike any woman he's ever known. So it's really her own fault that he catches her mid-snoop since he can't take his eyes off of her. But when he learns why she's there and what she suspects his father of, he becomes determined to prove otherwise, and in the process, he begins to learn more about his father and the burdens he shoulders, and Cosmo starts to do some long overdue growing up. Things get even more complicated when he and Mari finally become lovers. (Things do get a little wild and a whole lot of hot between them, but I found it all to be tastefully done.) As if her profession weren't already dangerous enough, a series of accidents turn out to be anything but, and Cosmo is forced to accept that not only might his father be a traitor, but someone is trying to kill the woman he loves, and he may be the only person who can save them both.

There is much to love in this sparkling novel from Diana Quincy. The hero and heroine are fresh and engaging, and even the supporting characters have real dimension. The banter between Mari and Cosmo is peppered with wicked dialogue full of sexy double entendres. And the best part? It has a real plot! I know my above recap seems rather vague, but I don't want to risk spoiling it for anyone. I was burning through the pages as secrets unraveled and new twists were revealed. There are real obstacles standing between Mari and Cosmo's happily ever after--no contrived plot points or annoying misunderstandings here. And the entire story is underscored by Mari's love for balloons and parachuting, and the author has obviously done her research to make that aspect of the story come to life authentically and believably.

I'm bumping it down a notch for some modern language, and the final resolution of the mystery didn't play out quite as I'd thought it would, veering too much into melodrama instead of the poignant turn I was hoping for and leaving me with some questions, but I'm thinking those might be addressed in the next book in the series, which I've already added to my wishlist. If you're like me, always looking for something different in a historical romance, and if you like your romance with healthy doses of sass and sex, add Spy Fall to your list.

My Rating:  4.5 Stars out of 5

*This review was originally posted to Romantic Historical Reviews.

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