RECLAIMING THE SPY by Lorri Dudley
SERIES: Agents of Espionage #2
GENRE: Historical Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Wild Heart Books
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2023
How can he protect her from himself when she keeps winding up in his arms?
She never gave up hope. After ten years of prayers for her husband, presumed dead in the Peninsula Wars, Abigail Emerson is shocked to discover him alive. Yet what should be the happily ever after of fairy tales becomes a nightmare when he coldly instructs her to forget she’d ever seen him. Abigail refuses to let her beloved slip through her fingers again, and she’s willing to battle for his love, despite the walls he’s created to barricade his heart.
Nicholas Emerson’s time as a spy for the War Office has left physical and mental battle wounds. He can never be the charming, carefree man he once was—the man his wife deserves—but when a threat to Abby’s life returns him to their small Midland village, keeping her safe proves more challenging than expected. If only Abby would forget him and remarry, then he wouldn’t have to face the torment of all the tender, buried feelings she evokes. The consequence of his life as a spy means he can never have her again…
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Whew, y’all. Keep a fan, fainting couch, and perhaps an alternate source of oxygen handy because the romantic tension between Abby and Nick is off. the. charts. I barely breathed whenever they shared a scene, so palpable was the electricity in the air.
This story, y’all. It had me captivated from the beginning. Actually, I was captivated by the possibility since book one, Revealing the Truth, when I met Abby and suspected that the mysterious man who guarded his identity but only had eyes for Abby might just be her long-lost husband. Two madly-in-love newlyweds separated by military duty the day after they were married, and then Nick disappeared – presumed dead, a casualty of the Peninsula Wars. Then, ten years later, a scarred (internally and externally) Nick is forced to reveal himself as very much alive when Abby’s life is in danger. He’s been working for the War Office all this time… so why hasn’t he come back before now? What torments his spirit? And why is he insisting that he won’t stay?
Ahhhh the tension!! All kinds of tension abound in Reclaiming the Spy (my favorite, of course, being the romantical kind which we’ve already established is swoonilicious). Not to worry, though, despite some angst from all of the above, this novel is not without a plentiful amount of wit, joy, or KISSES (i know… i keep bringing up the romance but y’all….. whew). The joy is hard fought but that just makes it all the more meaningful, doesn’t it? Most of the humor comes from Abby and Nick’s respective interactions with Lady Etheridge, whom we were first introduced to in Dudley’s Leeward Island series book The Merchant’s Yield. Let’s just say her nickname seems to fit perfectly, but in this book very little is as it seems.
Bottom Line: Reclaiming the Spy by Lorri Dudley is a heartfelt romance with a gentle-but-profound message of faith and richly-developed characters…and swoony kisses! I found the PTSD plot to be fascinating and layered – the perceptions, the stigmas, the dangers it presented, etc – because it’s not something we see often in historical fiction even though it was very real even then. I’ve been rooting for Abby & Nick since book one in this series, and I was delighted to watch their story play out on these pages. It engaged all of my emotions and had me reminding myself more than once that i DO in fact trust this author to deliver a happily-ever-after, even if it looks like an impossibility in the middle of the story. (And isn’t there a spiritual truth for all of us in THAT statement?) In short, I loved it, and I think you will too! If you’re a fan of Mimi Matthews or Jody Hedlund, you need to be reading Lorri Dudley too!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 4 / keep those fans and fainting couches handy
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone-filled household. Connect with Lorri at her website.
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