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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2008
I wouldn't usually write reviews either, but this would have been a book that I would have passed over - cheesy cover, trite title and a plot synopsis I feel I've read before - if others hadn't reviewed it elsewhere.

The book starts with a French spy, imprisoned by her own side, who in escaping frees the English spies trapped with her. The conflict in the book springs from the different aims of the French-spy Heroine, and the English-spy Hero - and the romance more from their similarities - both intelligent, competent, experienced, and principled people.
The dialogue is very well written - clever, and often funny - and the plot flows well. Right up to the end, I wasn't sure how the author would resolve the situation. And the romance works very well - at the end, you feel this couple is really meant to be together.
Just a great historical romance.
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on 20 January 2008
Annique Villiers is a French spy who, as the book opens, is being held prisoner in a French dungeon by a couple of villains who believe she holds the so called Albion Plans - Napoleon's plan to invade England and they want it. She does know the secret plan (as it is plain from the very beginning) and her inner struggle to decide what to do with them is the underlying plot for most of the novel - will she keep quiet or will she warn the British about it? If she does tell the British she will be avoiding death and destruction but at the cost of giving away France's secrets (number of weapons, men, ships etc) and this is why she is torn. She may not agree with Napoleon but she is French and she is loyal.

But as it turns out she is sharing the cell with two British spies: Grey and Adrian (who has a gunshot wound and is barely alive) and together they manage to escape from the prison but Grey knowing that the Annique is this ultra famous spy, plans to capture her and take her to England as soon as they are out of the dungeon. And hence beings a game of cat and mouse where we are never sure who is the mouse or who the cat is. They are both extremely skilled in their profession, cunning and smart but eventually Grey is the winner for he has the only thing that can subjugate Annique - physical strength.

And so they go about trying to leave France, fighting common foes and fighting each other all the way. Are they allies or enemies? The boundaries of their relationship keep moving as they go along - there is the undeniable attraction between Grey and Annique as well as their growing respect for each other's skills .

And what skills! This is where I say that this book is unbelievably COOL. There is no other word for it. As they shift from French and English to The Courtesan, to The Innocent, to The Master , to The Seducer, through all the fighting sequences that were so thrilling, my heart skipped a few beats a couple of times, I must admit.

But enough about the plot - I cannot talk about much of it as to not spoil the many twists - there is one in particular that left me gasping "Holy Guacamole, did I just read that? Are my eyes deceiving me?" - for where this book really shines is in its writing.

The storytelling is amazing but the writing is simply superb. Joanna Bourne managed to convey the accents of each person and how they speak in such a way, that you have no doubts about who is talking and when. You read Annique's speech and thoughts and you know that she is French. There is also such a cadence in her writing, it is almost like reading poetry:

"He did not touch her, but something in her body reached out and greeted his body as if the two were old friends who had not seen one another for a long time. She did not like it that her body chatted to his in this fashion".

I was awed by the writing, captivated by the heroine, thrilled by the plot , intrigued by all the secondary characters and I can not praise this book high enough. It is hard to believe this is her first book and I have only one question: what's next?
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on 13 February 2008
This is only the second time I've written a review but I felt compelled to just in case you're thinking of giving this one a miss! What a fantastic book - the plot is original despite the numerous "spy" stories out there, all the characters in the book are interesting and the hero and heroine are amazing. How refreshing to have the heroine of a romance who is skilled, dangerous, witty, intelligent and likeable. The romance is believable and I couldn't put this book down.
Shame about the ridiculous cover though...
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on 2 May 2008
Consequence brings together two enemies who are forced to become tenuous allies in the most perilous circumstance. Annique Villers , the elusive Fox Cub, is the most brilliant, beautiful and dangerous French Spy. Robert Grey, the Head of the British Section, is a ruthless spymaster. One holds the key to the fate of two countries. The other, the will and determination to unlock those secrets. Both are serving two conflicting masters; one of the world and one of the heart.

Let the Game begin.

An utterly romantic and riveting novel set against the backdrop of France and England during the Napoleonic Wars. Its simply astonishing that this is a debut. I have found when reading some supposedly 'spy' romance books, much of what is the actual daily *life* of a spy is not included. This ENTIRE book is just that -what they do, how they survive and accomplish their mission. This is not ballroom and parlor espionage. Rather its treacherous field operations with weapons, disguise and cunning. The book is full of rich historical detail which completely absorbs the reader. I actually felt like a voyeur, right there in every scene. There wasn't too much nor too little, just enough to keep me hooked. Bourne (author) has an uncanny ability to make even the mundane fascinating. Her characters are full bodied and well defined. And most importantly they DON'T compromise their own beliefs, which makes this novel even more astonishing. How exactly are two enemies going to end up together? Well you'll just have to read it to find that out!

I really think that this book defines what a 'spy' romance should be. If your going to write about spies then please WRITE about spies! Show me what they do and how they do it and I think this book more than does that.

Excellent. Highly Recommended.

Edit- apparently this is technically not a debut. Bourne wrote 'Her Ladyship's Companion' (1983) as well. Unfortunately it is not currently available. The hero is Giles, the young nephew of one of the secondary characters in TSL.
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on 24 April 2008
One word for this book FABULOUS !
Even if you dislike Regency's BUY IT.
I loved the plot, the characters, everything.
Before I turn completly fangirl, I'll just say it's one of the best romances I've read for a long time, & I eagerly await her next book
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on 8 September 2015
I have loved reading this series which really should be read in order to appreciate the world that JB constructs.. I've been completely absorbed in the world of the British Service and the French Caches. This is the story of Grey and Annique and a very good story it is, full of twists and turns with a charming love story woven within it.
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on 28 December 2015
This is the first novel written by Joanna Bourne in her Spymasters Series of books even though it is promoted as Spymasters 2. The events in this novel occur about 7 years after the events in the second novel written, 'The Forbidden Rose,' (Spymasters 1). I have read them all now and in my opinion, reading The Spymaster's Lady first is a really good way of getting to know the Spymasters world. It does not matter if you read the books out of order.

French spy, Annique Villiers, has me in awe of her wit, strength, tenacity, cleverness, ability to dodge any curve-ball thrown at her, and her courage. Oh how I love her. British spy, Grey, is Annique's enemy and her most ardent protector. He is strong, brave, clever, adaptable, romantic and he won me over so much I hoped fervently that Annique would overlook all the solid reasons to reject Grey and accept him instead. The pull between Annique and Grey is powerful and a joy to read.

There are many beloved secondary characters (Grey''s colleagues) who are fully fleshed out and wonderful including William Doyle (hero in The Forbidden Rose - 5 Star novel) and Adrian Hawker (hero in The Black Hawk - 5 Star novel). I could feel Annique''s longing to belong to a group of people who shared a strong connection & camaraderie as depicted in this group of spies. The loyalty, love and trust shared was truly beautiful.

I found this novel different to the regency novels I usually read. I was riveted by the adventure and romance of this spy story and found myself literally breathless wanting to know what will happen in the next section. The author got the pacing of the adventure, intrigue, and most especially the build-up to the love just right.

The writing and the plot are excellent. I did not think I would enjoy a spy novel but The Spymaster's Lady gripped me and didn't let me go even at the end. I just turned to the beginning and started again. It was that good.

This is an epic, remarkable romance, and I highly recommend it.
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on 10 August 2013
Brilliant opening chapter, setting up for the rest of the book. I found it very easy to visualise what was going on, the interaction between the characters. These books are not 'Scarlet Pimpernell' by any means. And when you reach the last book, ahhhh.
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on 16 August 2008
Amazon had featured this book in a lot of lists as a recommended item & I kept putting off buying it but eventually felt compelled to purchase it after reading some of the reviews & let me tell you I was not dissapointed. What an original plot! Not just a love story but a well grafted plot that enthralls & captivates you till the end. The characters are so well developed & the interaction between hero/heroine & the characters that surround them throughout the book is absolutely phenominal. What a debut!! What is really unusual about this book is the exploration of feeling & true human emotion which makes you ride the tide of feeling as well. I look forward to reading the next by this amazing author- and I know she only has one more but hopefully more to follow, Definately deserves 5 *****
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on 29 August 2012
(Despite there being so many favorable reviews I felt compelled to to write another.) If you like ripping yarns that go at breakneck speed you'll love this book. There is a real feeling of camaraderie among the insouciant gang of spies, who are masters of disguise, full of courage and originality. The heroine is fearless and intelligent, willing to use all her resources. The book will sweep you along. It is full of humour without being silly. I cannot wait to read the others in the series
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