I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter
Published by Penguin on 2013-09-24
Reviewed by Vanessa
THE BEAUTY. THE SPY. AND THE BEHOLDER. From the beloved New York Times bestselling Madeline Hunter comes this riveting historical romance, in which a darkly handsome nobleman is determined to unmask a delicate and mysterious young beauty... A refugee from the war in France, Marielle Lyon has established herself at the fringes of London society. Claiming to be the niece of an executed aristocrat, Marielle welcomes the gossip that she is a spy. The more eyes she has watching her, the better protected she is—and the better chance she has of saving her father’s life. A warrior at heart, Alban Norwood, Viscount Kendale, would still be in uniform if not for his older brother’s untimely death. After all he’s seen, Kendale doesn’t trust the French—or their femmes fatales. He has set up a surveillance network to ferret out undercover agents, and he believes he’s found one in the delicate, mysterious Marielle. Ready to pounce on his tempting prey, Kendale arranges a meeting with Marielle, who is more beautiful and more cunning than he anticipated. But the Viscount is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask her—even if it means playing a game of seduction...
Marielle Lyon has a few secrets to keep. However, she enjoys the fact that gossip speaks of her being a spy for France. Feeling as though the attention will keep her safe, she continues to push for her ultimate goal. Alban Norwood, Viscount Kendale, has made it his life’s mission to right some wrongs from the past. He doesn’t trust what appears to be the truth and ferrets out undercover spies to balance the past. Marielle soon comes on his radar and all signs point to her and her duplicity, yet no one has been able to prove anything. Will Kendale be able to see through the surface to what is truly going on in Marielle life, or will he accept the book by its cover?
The Counterfeit Mistress was an intriguing read that pulled you in from the first few pages. However, I soon found that our leads didn’t have a lot of chemistry between them. I wanted them to get together because I enjoy HEA stories, but The Counterfeit Mistress didn’t really have that “oomph” that I want between my h and Hs.
The Counterfeit Mistress is a great stand-alone novel, and the mystery of what Marielle was hiding was a decent story line. However, even that fell a bit flat in the end of The Counterfeit Mistress. The conversations between Kendale and his friends were amusing, and the fact that Marielle thought that she was so clever compared to Kendale also provided some humor in The Counterfeit Mistress.