by Dina Sleiman and Susanne Dietze
This week we enjoyed Laurie Alice Eakes lovely article on Regency Christmas traditions. Today we would like to recommend her wonderful new novel, A Necessary Deception.
In 1812, England is engaged in war against France…and on the verge of another war with the Americans. Political intrigue swirls through the ballrooms of London’s elite like the silk gowns of marriage-minded debutantes.
In this environment of whispers and schemes—both political and matrimonial—Laurie Alice Eakes delivers a satisfying tale in A Necessary Deception, weaving delicious Regency detail with a fast-paced plot and a tender romance.
Young widow Lady Lydia Gale believes she is repaying a favor of her deceased husband’s when she obtains parole for a French prisoner, expecting to never hear about the matter again. But when a mysterious man uses the information to blackmail her, placing her family in jeopardy, Lydia’s troubles are just beginning. When the French prisoner, Christien de Meuse, appears in her drawing room, Lydia finds herself enmeshed in a dangerous web of international stratagems.
Lydia should be helping her younger sisters, bluestocking Cassandra and defiantly daring Honore, make their bows to Society, but balancing her responsibility with handling the terms of her blackmailer is no small task. Especially when she feels attracted to the Frenchman. For which country does he truly spy? Is she protecting her family or leading them into danger?
Eakes is an award-winning author, recognized for her way with a story and her attention to historical detail. Once again, she's written an engaging plot, emotionally and spiritually. I was fully invested in Lydia and Christien's adventure. The blackmail plot takes many twists and turns, too, urging the reader to keep turning pages to determine the identity of the true villain. The characters are interesting and sympathetic, and I’m pleased I’ll get to see them again in two more books, forthcoming in the Daughters of Bainbridge series.
Since Susanne did such a great job capturing the essence of this book, let me dig a little deeper into my three favorite aspects.
1) The Genre: There is something marvelous about a writer working in their bliss. As a friend of Laurie Alice, I know this is the book she always dreamed of writing. While she paid her dues in sweet romance, category inspirational romance, and even romantic suspense set on the American shores, in this book she finally gave us the Patricia Veryan style Regency romantic suspense of her heart. And her love for the genre shines through on every page.
2) The Spiritual Thread: What I enjoyed about the spiritual thread in this novel was that hero and heroine both struggled with the same basic issue--a need to forgive themselves. And while neither felt they deserved forgiveness, both wanted forgiveness for the other and for those around them. They both needed to accept God's forgiveness and healing for the book to achieve its happy ending. This is how a Christian romance should work. They need God first before they are ready for each other.
3) The Sisters: I like my romance meaty, full of subplots and rich minor characters, and Laurie Alice certainly supplied those in this book through the sisters. These spirited girls further supported the theme by needing forgiveness for their own weaknesses. I can't wait to join the scientific and bespectacled sister number two on her journey through the world of hot air balloons, or to see what sort of mischief sister number three will manage to get herself into in the final book of the series.
Have you read any of Laurie Alice's novels yet? Do you like romance, Regency, suspense? What do you think about a fusion of the three?
Find Laurie Alice Eakes online at www.lauriealiceeakes.com. A Necessary Deception is available at your favorite Christian retailer or on Amazon.