Category Archives: Spies

A Dangerous Engagement, by Melanie Dickerson 

Melanie Dickerson is one of my go-to favorites. She dominates both my Audible library and a good portion of my physical bookshelf. 

I like to think that the heroines in her Recency Spies of London series and those in Jane Austen’s novels would be great friends. I can just picture Lizzy Bennett or Catherine Morland running around with Felicity, Julia, and Leorah, and getting caught up in all sorts of suspense and intrigue. 

A Dangerous Engagement is such a fast-moving book. This whole series keeps me on the edge of my seat in anticipation and… what’s the word?… almost holding my breath, if that gives you a good idea. I sit there reading (or listening), and it’s as if I’m in the room spying with the characters and just waiting for someone to discover what we’re doing. 

This story captured my attention completely, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. It was beautifully written with spunky, fun characters. Anna Parker-Naples did a fabulous job reading it. I always am excited to see her name on an audio book. 

What food best describes this book? Probably a deep, rich chocolate cake. Something that you want to savor yet can’t wait to take another bite. 


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A Viscount’s Proposal, by Melanie Dickerson 

Reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice, A Vicount’s Proposal has relatable characters who change and grow over the course of the story. 

Melanie Dickerson never disappoints. Her stories are both imaginative and engaging. With every book I read by her, I find myself wanting to be friends with the characters… and Leorah in A Viscount’s Proposal is no exception. Her headstrong ways, her compassionate heart, and her refusal to conform to aristocratic society’s expectations make her stand out. They make me admire her. 

Following Leorah’s story as she stands up for others and seeks to make a difference in the world around her made me smile. I was on the edge of my seat with the suspense and mysterious happenings.. including attempted murder by an unknown person. 

I enjoyed both the story of this regency era romance and the reading performance of it, as I listened via Audible. Anna Parker-Naples is always entertaining to listen to; her voices make the characters truly come to life in her narrations. 

Although this is book two in The Regency Spies of London series, and reading the first book would give more insight, context, and backstory, each story focuses in on a different character, and they would each be still very much enjoyable on their own. (Just a warning, reading out of order would give you some spoilers though.)

I would compare this mystery to a delightful chocolate cake… one with a surprise filling to go along with the mystery and spy aspect. 


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A Secret Courage, by Tricia Goyer 

I’ve been waiting for this book since before it was ever announced. For real. Tricia Goyer’s World War 2 novels are some that I always know I can pick up and adore. They are creative, thought-provoking, heart-stirring, and thoroughly researched. This one was no different. And it was completely worth the wait. 

A Secret Courage made me smile for this reason and so many others.

I loved the history in this book. I loved the research that went into it. Photographic reconnaissance wasn’t an aspect of WW2 that I’d read about before, and it intrigued me. One mark of a good historical read for me is that I find myself wanting to know more… I do this frequently; I begin googling pictures of the area, the landmarks/settings described, potential real people, etc. What I discovered this time just fascinated me, although I can’t say that it surprised me, due to the research that I know goes into Tricia Goyer’s writing — not only was Danesfield House a real life high security place during the war, Grace Darling, Emma’s lifelong inspiration, was a real life British young woman who lived in the 1800s. And investigating photos.. well, that is right up my alley.

The storyline, the spies, the trust in Jesus, the characters, the surprises… I loved everything about this book. The romance that was sweetly there but not overpowering was a beautiful touch to the story. The friendship that sprouted and bloomed between two young people who were determined to find the lovely even in the midst of such an ugly war brought a smile to my lips. The courage to put others’ needs ahead of their own and to trust God in everything… Yeah. I really, really liked this book.

What food can I relate this one to? A cup of tea. Probably because I’ve been reading Tricia Goyer’s work since her first novel was newly published in 2003 (?!), and probably also due to the fact that I saw some of myself in Emma, this book felt like home to me. Just right for a nice big cup of tea. 


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Not By Sight, by Kate Breslin

Do you ever find that you don’t want to finish reading a book? That’s how I was with this one. Not because I didn’t want to read it, and not because I didn’t want to know how everything was going to play out.. but because I simply didn’t want my time with my friend Grace to be over. And that’s exactly how I see the heroine of this truly beautiful book.. as my friend.

Not By Sight is the tale of Grace Mabry, a young woman with high ideals and even higher ambitions. She has her sights set on gaining the vote for women, as well as on doing everything she can to aid in World War 1 so that her brother can come home. She is a fiery spirit who goes to great lengths showing her loyalty as a friend.

It is also Jack Benningham’s story. Jack, who is quite the dashing, handsome, ladies’ man with a reputation.. but also Jack, to whom there is so much more than meets the eye.

This historical novel is so very aptly named. Throughout its pages, both Grace and Jack learn, on several different levels, what it really means to live and walk by faith.. and Not By Sight. From chasing potential spies to helping friends make a new start in life, from learning who to trust (and how to trust them) to navigating the complex nature of love, the fact that all is not always as it seems becomes increasingly obvious to them. Even when we think we know the right path, it’s important to keep at the forefront of our minds that “it’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going” (2 Corinthians 5:7, The Message).

Trusting God even when we can’t see how things could possibly work out.. this is what this book is all about. Whether it is through compensating for physical blindness or more on a spiritual level, the stars of this sweet story are confronted with learning to walk by faith at every turn and pothole in the road.

I highly recommend this Beauty and the Beast tale that Kate Breslin has woven. Personally, I think I’d classify it as a chicken salad sandwich type book. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? This is something I’ve been considering since early on in my reading, and I decided on a chicken salad sandwich because it has substance.. this book has much meat to it, but also sweetness. I like craisins and apples in my chicken salad, so the combination of substantial meat to fill me up while at the same time getting the sweet flavor and variety of chewy versus crispy with the apples, craisins, and maybe a few nuts.. well, it seemed like the perfect comparison.

*I have had the privilege and honor of being on Kate Breslin’s launch team for Not By Sight and received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Historical fiction, Kate Breslin, Spies, World War 1