Friday, June 2, 2017

BOOK REVIEW- WED TO A SPY by Sharon Cullen

Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel by [Cullen, Sharon]
Simon Marcheford wants nothing more than to settle down on the land bestowed upon him by the English crown. Queen Elizabeth, however, is not about to let her best spy retire so easily. Simon will have his reward, she decrees, after he completes one last mission in Scotland. But no sooner has he sussed out a diabolical plot up North than Queen Mary weds him to her cousin—an exquisite beauty with troubled, soulful eyes—and orders Simon to watch her every move.

Aimee de Verris is no spy. But her life may depend on becoming one. Banished from the French court by Catherine de Medici, Aimee finds herself tasked with reporting on Queen Mary’s activities in Scotland, where she’s unnerved by the frigid weather and brutish customs. Worst of all, Aimee’s been married off to a most uncouth lout. But when murder strikes, she learns to appreciate Simon’s talent for shielding her with every inch of his muscular frame. If Aimee desires her husband, perhaps she could trust him—or even love him.  AMAZON 3.5 STARS

Simon and Aimee are both good characters in the book; they are constantly looking over their shoulders in one way or another but for different reasons.  But as time goes on, you also realize they also have some things in common. You have to admit a spy marrying a spy to keep an eye on her is something different. Both are subject to the whim of people of the court especially different monarchs.   When its all said and done Aimee will have been whipped around to the will of at least 3 different ones.  That is also one of the ways she ends up wed to Simon.  And its not like she can say no.  All she wants to do is return to France and the man she loves, Pierre.
She grew up in a French Court but even other foreign courts aren't all that different.  They have their own gossipers, back-stabbers and intrigues going on.
When Aimee ends up married to Simon, she doesn't make things one bit easier for him,  Even though he didn't want to marry her either, he also couldn't say no.  He tried but to no avail.  He ends up giving her a nickname of "Magpie" and soon discovers although she is naive about the real world she does have a spirit of steel to her.  In fact he said that although she looked like a fragile little bird, she was full of strength and fire.  She didn't know she had that strength in her but as the dangers add up, she ends up pulling on that strength.
I found Simon's observation that he had been sent to Spain, ended up in Scotland and married to a French woman, funny.  Accurate but also humorous.  He was a likable man, who lived with honor and skill.  I like her description of him reminding her of a lion both in coloring and attitude at times.

I think the reader could figure out he loved Aimee before he did.  His admiration for her and her beauty was something that attracted him. But he also enjoyed being with her, most of the time.  She could act like a brat but she also had good qualities too.

The only thing that bothered me was Aimee stewing so much about her lost love (?) for Pierre.  That could probably have been dialed back a bit and shortened the story.  I think the author got that point across pretty well without the need to dwell on it for so long.
There is action, some twists and surprises that do make the story more interesting.
 I did like how Simon protected and cared about Aimee even when she disliked him so much.
Eventually there will be some pages of marital sex in the story.

I really like the attractive cover of the eBook.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley and this is my honest opinion of it.

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