This story would have been a really good story if it had been easier to read. The whole basis of the story at the beginning was about blackmail and espionage. But the way they conversed about it, I didn't follow the blackmail part at all. They always talked around the issue rather than telling the reader what was going on. I'm not up on English history and English/French wars. I haven't got a clue why the heroine needed to be involved in blackmail or what that blackmail was about. I wish the author had clarified that for the reader. It would have made the book a whole lot more interesting to read.
It took you back to the early 19th century but the story line was very unbelievable and by the end of the book you are more confused than when you started. I am surprised it was published. I am hesitant to bother with reading any of the author's other books. I was very disappointed with this one.
A Necessary Deception was a great ride back into the past. The author did a wonderful job of describing life in the ton and life in general back in the regency time period in England. This first book in the series follows widow Lydia Bainbridge as she tries to determine truth from lies and protect her family, while also staying true to England.
Lydia finds herself in quite a predicament when she is blackmailed by spies and forced to help them gain entrance to society. She is further dismayed to realize that she is having trouble determining who is truly working for England and who is looking to undermine it. She finds herself drawn to a French man, Christien, but is unsure of whether he is able to be trusted.
There is much to love about this book. The descriptions of the time period, the frustrations that Lydia faces in dealing with her sisters' activities and bad choices, the guilt that Lydia bears over what she deems her failure as a wife, and the danger that follows Lydia and those she cares about all add up to a most appealing novel.
I am rating this book at 4 stars because it took me a while to really get into the book and truly understand all of the players. I was a bit confused at first. But, I am so happy that I persevered. The second half of the book just flew for me and I definitely plan to read the next two books in the series. I want to see what happens with Lydia's two sisters and see them get their happy endings. I believe that lovers of Regency novels will truly enjoy this novel.
In this first book of her new series, Laurie Alice Eakes sets the story in England in the spring of 1812 when France is at war with England, and the United States is threatening war with England as well. This is also known as the Regency period, and the story is set among the aristocratic class.
Lady Lydia Gale is a widow, living a rather poor life in comparison to her upbringing on her husband's pension as he died while in service to his country fighting the French. She only enjoyed one week of marriage before her husband set off to rejoin his unit, and Lydia never saw him again. She received one final message from her husband before his death and now the time has come to fulfill the obligation set forth in his message. After meeting this obligation, she thinks she is done with her duty and heads off to London to help plan one sister's wedding and another sister's coming out season. Her mother is often ill and leaves this task to Lydia as she is the oldest. Lydia also is still trying to measure up to her father's expectations in anything she does as she feels she has always failed him in everything she has tried to do. She failed at being a wife, a mother, and a daughter in her eyes. She believes God no longer hears her prayers and has given up on praying. Now she is being blackmailed by an unknown government official to introduce two operatives into society or else her family will be ruined once it is found out the task Lydia was obliged to perform per her husband's last edict.
This novel is classified as historical romance, but there is much more. There is a tension, intrigue and suspense with each page as the reader tries to figure out who is really who they say they are and who is lying. Also, there is humor, camaraderie and bolstering of shaky faith of some. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have already started on the second book in the series, which I will review here shortly. This is a great adventure with great dialogue to keep readers interested and quickly flipping pages until the very last page.
It took a little while for me to get into the book; but in the end it was a wonderful read. The characters are believable and you do come to enjoy them. The book ended rather abruptly I felt; but a good ending.
I began book #2 just a day ago and I am excited to see where this one goes. Book 3 is on order so perhaps by the time I finish book 2, book 3 will be here.