Review: A Spy's Devotion

Genre: Historical Romance
Subgenres: regency, clean read, faith-based
Author: Melanie Dickerson, @melanieauthor
This is my first read by Melanie Dickerson, an established author whose main focus seems to be
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faith-based/inspirational medieval romances. After reading the acknowledgments at the back of the book, I think this may be her first Regency. If so, well done, Ms. Dickerson. (Even if not her first, it’s still well done!)

I’m not a huge fan of Regencies. (I know! What is wrong with me???) But, I picked this one up because I am always looking for new historical authors whose books favor the sweeter side of romance. Plus, it was available through Kindle Unlimited, so the risk was minimal. I’m still not a huge fan of Regency romances, but I have become a fan of Ms. Dickerson’s.

The story starts out with the heroine and hero running into each other at a ball. It’s not a bad beginning at all, but in this day and age, when we’re used to someone getting shot or kidnapped by page six, it just seems a bit slow. It’s more reminiscent of an old-fashioned Regency, and those of you who miss this genre’s heritage, should like the way this one begins.

For those of you who crave a little more action (in the plot, not between the sheets), this one picks up nicely – as you might expect a spy novel/romance to do. It’s not exactly a spy thriller, but we’re reading romances for a different sort of thrill, aren’t we? The story doesn’t sag in the middle as so many do, and by the end, I really felt for the peril the heroine was in. The best compliment I can give this story is that I stayed up late and started work late to read it. I even considered putting off my Bible study homework so I could finish it.

The heroine in the story is level-headed, and the hero is an honorable man. He’s a soldier on leave from the Peninsular War (fighting Napoleon on the Iberian Peninsula.) This is probably one of the reasons I liked it so much, despite it being a Regency. The hero and heroine felt like real people, with real lives. He is supposed to go back to the front, but gets delayed as he investigates a potential plot to kill Wellington. There were a few loose ends that didn’t exactly get neatly tied up, but they may in the other two books in the series. (I’ve actually already read A Viscount’s Proposal and I am eagerly waiting A Dangerous Engagement, which will be released in September.)

I put this in the sub-genre of “faith-based” as opposed to “inspirational” because I characterize the latter as something which is intended to convert or convince. The heroine’s faith plays some part in this story, but it is downplayed. I think even readers who aren’t yet sure about “Christian romances” will enjoy this one.

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