The Tide Watchers by Lisa Chaplin

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Lisbeth has nothing left. Abandoned by her husband, her newborn son stolen, she has been forced to work as a tavern wench and unable to leave the France to return to her native Britain in dangerous times with Napoleon plotting to take over the world. A handsome stranger saves her from an unpleasant encounter with ruffians, and offers her a deal she can’t refuse.

He will save her from her miserable situation, get her son back for her and take her to safety…If she will help the British spy network to spy on the American inventor who is working on submersible watercrafts which could change Britain’s efforts against Napoleon and bring them levels of intelligence they’ve never had before. She will, of course, do whatever it takes to convince the inventor that she can be trusted…Even if her virtue is at stake.

Thrown into a world of politics, crime, murder, espionage, and even a touch of romance, Lisbeth’s life is being turned upside down. Can she escape to safety in the end? Can she get her son back? Who can she trust? What will she do to save her son from the clutches of his horrible father? Will she give up all of her principles? Where will she end up, if she fails?

The Tide Watchers, by Lisa Chaplin, is NOT a quick, easy weekend read-the novel is intelligent and full of history and politics. If you want a novel that’s meaty and complex, The Tide Watchers is for you. I, personally, enjoyed it very much and look forward to the inevitable second installment of Lisbeth’s story.

Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randol

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The third installment in The Sinners Trio series, by Anna Randol, is here. You may remember the preceding novels,  Sins of a Virgin and Sins of a Ruthless Rogue-Sins of a Wicked Princess is about the exiled Princess Juliana who is determined to get her country, Lenoria, back, after her castle was burned in a rebellion. She calls upon someone she knows who possesses a certain skill set to help her get the documentation she needs to regain control over her lands….She calls upon a spy, the famous man known in the underground as Wraith.

Ian Maddox has one goal, to ensure the safety of himself and his friends from an unknown threat. When he is summoned by the Princess of Lenoria he has no intention of assisting her in whatever petty problem she may have…But he quickly learns that her troubles may be woven into her own somehow, and decides to join forces with the girl and face the enemy together…Besides, she’s terribly attractive, especially when provoked to annoyance….

This is a mystery/historical romance that will satisfy anyone who loves bodice-rippers, so if you need a fix, buy Sins of a Wicked Princess. After a long week, everyone needs a guilty pleasure….

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Two women decided to risk their lives to serve Great Britain in effort to end World War II. One is a pilot, the other is an agent specializing in espionage. Proving themselves in a man’s world is the least of the problems these ladies face: one night, during a mission, the plane is shot down and the women are separated beyond enemy lines. One of them is brought into SS custody and placed in a makeshift prison to be tortured for information and held until she can be “dealt with”. The other goes into hiding with a solid plan : find her friend, rescue her, and get the hell out of France.

The situation is very, very dire…But the operation is not hopeless. These amazing women cannot be stopped, and the power of friendship is an impenetrable force. Secret codes, secret operations, espionage, targeting rogue enemy operators, and the strength of two remarkable women fill the pages of Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.

If you liked reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you are likely to enjoy this novel. Reality is harsh, but inner strength and the power of love drive the heroines through the wreckage. If you can’t handle some allusion to POW torture techniques, however, I recommend you avoid this one. Code Name Verity is considered a Teen novel, but is very adult in nature. If you love espionage, especially with strong heroines, you won’t want to miss this one.