Sebastian’s Lady Spy: Secrets & Seduction # 5 by Sharon Cullen with Excerpt

Another fun romance from Sharon Cullen! Please be sure to check out the other tour stops for book five in the Secrets & Seduction historical romance series. Then be sure you enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller, Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish.

Sebastian’s Lady Spy

I’ve read all but the first in this series, and I really do enjoy Sharon Cullen’s ability to tell a story that is connected by some common threads, but each book stands alone nicely.

In this book, Sebastian, Earl of Claybrook is one of the King’s top agents. He’s carefully maintained his façade for society: they know him as the young man who did his duty, and provided for his siblings after his father’s death.

Contessa Gabrielle Marciano is also an agent for the King, with a façade created for her when she was removed from a rough life on the streets surviving by her wits, thievery and prostitution.

When they put aside their responsibilities and grab a few moments to be themselves, wholly immersed in their passion, their connection is electric, if wholly based in lust and fantasy. At the end of the affair, they part to concentrate on their own respective assignments. But when a threat arises, Sebastian and Gabrielle must work together to capture the miscreant while ignoring their past.

I loved Gabrielle! She was bold, intelligent, completely determined and utterly honest about what she wanted. Surprising as a spy has to be both duplicitous and a bit restrained, her ability to make Sebastian aware of the connection between them while not losing the plot was clever. On the other hand, while I understood Sebastian’s unwillingness to enter into a relationship with someone he really hadn’t bothered to develop a true connection with,  he was often a stereotype of the titled man: heedless of other’s feelings because his were all that mattered. Still, there was an admiration of Gabrielle’s brains when he thought of her as a co-worker, and when he did make a few efforts to know her better and expand on their relationship, even though I didn’t believe it as much as I have in other installments of this series.

With plenty of action, twists, turns and secrets, the plot moves along quickly with plenty of surprise moments for readers to enjoy.

Sebastian’s Lady Spy: Secrets & Seduction # 5 by Sharon Cullen with Excerpt

Title: Sebastian's Lady Spy
Author: Sharon Cullen
Series: Secrets & Seduction #5
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 31 March, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 168
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Seduction abounds in Sharon Cullen’s steamy historical romance! For the Crown’s top agents, love is a hazard best avoided—until an unforgettable affair exposes their undercover hearts. 

Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.

For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.

 See the Secrets & Seduction series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

He had not told her he was an operative, and she had not told him she was. They had followed the protocol and played by the crown’s rules. Why he was so furious at her, she didn’t know, for she had not revealed any more or less than he had in those far too few days together.

He moved with quiet grace and determined purpose, his bright blue eyes boring in to her. His mouth, that sensuous, beautiful mouth, was a slash of anger, and yet she could not seem to look away from it. Her body tingled at the memories of what that mouth had done to her. If she could have, she would have leaned on something and fanned her overheated face. The memories were too much, coming too fast. She hadn’t expected that. She thought she’d been prepared.

She’d been very, very wrong.

He stopped before her and looked down at her with no expression. But she saw and she knew. He was conservatively dressed in black and white, and he towered over her, using his considerable height to intimidate. If only he knew that he was doing the opposite. He made her insides quiver and that private spot between her legs ache with repressed memories.

“Contessa Gabrielle Marciano,” Lady Eastman said. “May I present Sebastian Addison, earl of Claybrook. My lord, Lady Marciano.”

Lady Eastman stepped back, and just like that, their mission began.

Sebastian bowed. “My lady, a pleasure to meet you.”

He smiled, and for a moment Gabrielle forgot to breathe. It was the smile he had bestowed on her all those months ago, when the outside world was nothing but an inconvenience. The smile that had been accompanied by a loose laugh as they lounged in bed, talking about everything except what was truly important. Because the important things were taboo. The important things reminded them that an outside world awaited. A world that would not accept them as a couple.

Brought back to reality and the ball and the man who was now a stranger standing before her, she realized his smile merely stretched his lips and never reached his eyes.

She curtseyed and smiled back. “My lord. I have heard much about you and am pleased that Lady Eastman introduced us.”

The crowd watched avidly. Gabrielle had no doubt they were cataloging every word, every eyelash flutter. It was rare for the earl of Claybrook to appear at a ball. His introduction to her, a woman with a tarnished reputation whose presence was merely tolerated, was beyond the pale and fodder for a week’s worth of gossip.

“Would you care to dance, my lady?”

What she wanted to do was turn around and walk out, to return to Venice and her apartment. To forget this Sebastian Addison and remember the other Sebastian Addison. Since that wasn’t possible, she took his arm and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor.

Conversations faltered. People stared. The pieces were in place.

When they reached the center of the dance floor, Sebastian turned and held out his hand. She placed hers against his, preparing for the minuet to begin. She refused to allow her memories to overtake her. Yet the images persisted of Sebastian sprawled across her bed, wearing nothing but a lazy smile and the scent of their lovemaking. The sound of his laughter haunted her lonely nights.

The music started, and he moved expertly though emotionlessly. He knew the steps and executed them flawlessly, but there was no emotion behind them. No joy. Nothing.

He looked down on her. On her. Not at her. A seductive smile played around his mouth, but she was no fool. At least not anymore. It was all for show. He was playing his part well, as she should have expected from a decorated veteran spy.

 

 

 

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About Sharon Cullen

Sharon is also the author of romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. The Notorious Lady Anne is Sharon Cullen’s first historical and her debut novel with Loveswept.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.

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