REVIEW | A SPY UNMASKED | Tina Gabrielle

By Adeselna Davies - 00:46

A Spy Unmasked 
(In The Crown's Secret Service #1)
Tina Gabrielle
Published by  Entangled: Scandalous
285 pages
ARC provided by Entagled: Scandalous for an honest review

London, 1820 The mission did not go quite as Robert Ware--known in society as the new Earl of Kirkland--planned. A spy in the service of His Majesty, Robert is a "guest" at a masquerade party as he retrieves vital information for a murder investigation. Until he's quite unexpectedly interrupted by an exquisite, masked woman with glittering green eyes. And a pistol she has cocked and aimed right at him... Lady Sophia Merrill has defiantly taken up justice's shining sword, determined to expose the brigand who murdered her eccentric but brilliant father, and stole his latest invention. Now she must masquerade as Robert's betrothed in order to infiltrate the Inventor's Society and find the killer. But the undeniable potent attraction between them not only imperils the investigation, but Sophia's reputation... and both of their lives.

A spy unmasked… I must confess that I did not read the synopsis until half of the book not to spoil the fun, but while yesterday Love’s legacy was more serious, this one has definitely a more mainstream tone. Truth be told I did enjoy 

A spy unmakes a lot more than Love’s legacy, it had sparks of steampunk, the heroine is adorable, the hero is also pretty likable and it has spies and conspirators, so what’s there not to like? Well, I liked everything, I loved some parts and I even adored the plot twist, it was actually a twist, the ones you go: uh, I did not see that coming at all, instead of the usual: oh for Christ sake, I already know who the guy is, hurry up! 

Tina Gabrielle’s writing style is a lot more pleasant than Avery, she uses a style that we see on other writers mostly like Lisa Kleypas, but what differs from the latter are the characters. Lady Sophia is an amazing hero and she leads the plot without a problem. Everything flows naturally, she waltzes around the elements of the plot like she knows what she is doing. While on Avery’s you did notice some fragile elements, here everything stands in its place. 

The sexual scenes are hot, the most fragile romantic moments are heartfelt and warm. Sophia’s chemistry with Robert is genuine and you look forward to see everything will be all right for them. 

The more inventive parts were the strong point, I mean until this part you can see that it is a “safe book” probably suitable for the majority of the audience, so when there are some scenes with inventions and some “scientific” talk there is something to be praised. Lady Sophie is an inventor like her father. She is very clever and a little unorthodox in education, but nevertheless she is looking after her father’s invention and eventually starts making her own. While her father may be known as a mad marquis due to his dedication to work, Sophie almost follows his steps and that is the grand beauty of A Spy unmasked. It is great that Sophie finds love eventually, but she can be independent. She doesn’t need to marry to have money, she has a brain. She doesn’t need the attention of men, she is focused on her work and on finding out who murdered her father. I believe this is where Gabrielle’s novel diverges from Kleypas and other authors. While in their works, most of the time the heroine is hardly self-sufficient, Gabrielle’s seeks to make sure that hers is. She never lowers Sophie so that the hero can do wonders and save her or the plot, while Robert does save her a few times, she aids him and together they work more as a team. He is sometimes cocky, but also loyal and does what is right. Overall, he is not a very interesting hero, but he works as Sophie’s sidekick and love interest. 

A love unmasked is a page turner especially when it drives off other regency novels and focus on an eccentric heroine. Tina Gabrielle takes a dare step with the first book of the series mixing mystery and suspense with good romance. And it also teaches that women that are almost mad scientist can love and be great wives and great spies as well!

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