I received this book for free from Loveswept in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Counterfeit Heart by K.C. Bateman
Series: Secrets and Spies #3
Published by Loveswept on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Napoleonic Era, Regency Era
As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.
Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.
Sabine de la Tour wants a fresh start away from her past. Sabine has worked as a talented counterfeit agent for Napolean, but wants to change, to improve herself. She never wanted to be who she has become, but certain circumstances left her no choice. So along with her closest friend, they leave France and leave for England for a time. Sabine has a plan, a plan which if it works will leave her with more than enough funds to make a fresh start, but there is one problem, she must work with Richard Hampden and he is not making it easy. Richard doesn’t trust Sabine, especially with her record of being a criminal, but the more they work together, the more Richard starts to weaken his resolve against her and he realizes how much he admires her and her strength and desire to keep her by his side.
I was swept away by this book, and I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. Even the writing isn’t five star reading for me, it was still engaging and I really enjoyed the set up of this story. Our hero having worked as a spy, and our heroine having worked creating counterfeit money for Bonaparte….it definitely adds a unique mix of chemistry and tension for sure. And even though these two are enemies of sorts, it also wasn’t as angsty as I thought it would be and I was relieved by that. Their relationship seemed to progress so smoothly, and we also see them grow quite a bit. Our hero learns compassion and understanding and our heroine learns about making the right choice and standing up for what she believes in. Sabine especially learns quite a bit about herself as well. I believe that this story really focused quite a bit on her journey. Sabine isn’t hardened or cynical, and even though she does like her rebellious side, and seeing who she can trick at times, she is also wanting to better herself. She didn’t have it easy, and was left an orphan as a teenager, and had to find her own way to survive. With the history surrounding France around this time, and we also see that she hasn’t liked what she has had to do and wants to find a new way of life.
The romance that builds between Sabine and Richard was quite fun to read, I will admit. These two had me laughing so very hard. Richard is so serious all the time, and Sabine has a playful side to her character. And she tends to play tricks on Richard especially when he gets all alpha he male on her. Yeah makes for a lively and entertaining read for sure. Her counterfeit talents definitely gives her an edge in certain ways that I reveled in. It is quite entertaining to see them go at it, and the way they just work and fit so well together. Their chemistry is pretty explosive, and man can Richard make a girl swoon. Some of these scenes between them were sexy as sin and I just wanted more of this author when I finished this one.
The story is pretty exciting though, on top of the actual love story, we also have a solid suspense and dangerous plot line, dealing with criminals wanting to destroy England which definitely adds a certain edge to this book that creates a finalizing touch that is just right!! My first read by this author, and it won’t be the last, I can’t wait to read the previous books.
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