Friday, February 10, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of A SECRET IN HER KISS by Anna Randol

I love reading books by new authors and am very glad I read this one!

A SECRET IN HER KISS is Anna Randol's debut Historical Romance Novel and does not disappoint. Released on January 31, 2012 by Avon Publishing, A SECRET IN HER KISS is a breath of fresh air that most definitely breathes new life into the historical romance genre.


She would gladly relinquish her life of intrigue…
A rare beauty, raised in the exotic heart of the Ottoman Empire, Mari Sinclair knows it’s time to end her career as a British spy when she narrowly avoids a brush with death. Unfortunately her employers think otherwise—and they are not above using blackmail to keep Mari in the Game.
Saddled with a handsome, duty-obsessed “minder” to ensure that she completes—and survives—one last mission, Mari is incensed…for her guardian, Major Bennett Prestwood, is simply too dedicated, too unbending, and too disarmingly attractive. But in the face of dark secrets and deadly treacheries, as the true peril to Mari is slowly revealed, loyal soldier Bennett realizes that, to save and win this extraordinary woman, he will have to do the unthinkable and break the rules—rules that passion and desire have suddenly, irrevocably changed.

So different from other Regency Romances, A SECRET IN HER KISS set during the time of the Ottoman Empire in the city of Constantinople, gives the reader a taste of the exotic while infusing the story with intrigue, danger, betrayal and undeniable passion.

The year is 1815, Major Bennett Prestwood, ordered to travel to Constantinople to play protector to a woman whose artistic talents are too important to lose to whoever has uncovered her role as spy for the English, discovers his new charge is headstrong and independent. Mari's loyalties to those closest to her - Nathan Abington, her father, her servants and Esad Pasha, the man whom she has come to think of more as a father than her own - may well be putting her in greater danger than her missions.

Annoyed and irritated that the Ambassador has saddled her with a guardian, Mari Sinclair's irritation doubles when she discovers how incredibly handsome and unyielding the British officer is both in appearance and in attitude. Forced to play the role as charming suitor, she sets out to persuade Bennett to leave her be and return to England. Working slyly, she attempts to drive him away by any means possible only to find her desire for him driving her to need and depend on him even more. Still not trusting the man, she begins to learn he has a side that he keeps hidden from everyone, including her. The man has something fierce driving his sense of duty just as she has her own secrets driving her reasons for completing increasingly dangerous missions for the British. 

As the dangers increase, so does the desire smoldering beneath the surface of this couple who are forced to play at courting in public but soon practice the role to perfection in private. The only thing holding them back is their lack of trust in each other. The pair take turns betraying each other's trust until both fear there is no trust left to salvage. Both have a duty to complete and neither are willing to allow that duty to fail even for love.

A SECRET IN HER KISS is an exotic trip into a land of strange and dangerous cultures. Intrigue abounds behind every door, market cart, and desert boulder. From the first page to the last, Anna Randol keeps the reader on the edge of their seat as a fiery desire develops between Mari and Bennett while the dangers around them increase.

Over all, I found this debut novel strong, inventive, and a delightful foray into an exotic setting. I do wish the ending was a bit stronger. This was a story that I didn't want to end and when it did, I was left wondering what would happen to Mari's father, Achilla and Selim. Even a simple line or two could have vanquished my concerns for these characters. 

I highly recommend A SECRET IN HER KISS by Anna Randol - published by Avon, available in print (beautiful cover) and ebook formats.  Happy Reading!!


BTW: If anyone is interested in entering Juliana Stone's WRONG SIDE OF HELL Pre-Order Contest - a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (1st prize) or a signed copy of WICKED ROAD TO HELL (2nd prize and the one I want) - click here for details.  : )


Beebs said...

This one is defo on the wishlist. I can't remember reading a book set in Constantinople before, looking forward to it. The great reviews it's been getting just add to my interest.

Amy Valentini said...

Oh, you'll love this one, Beebs! : )

Dalila G. said...

I've read nothing but wonderful reviews on this book.

Curiosity got the better of me, I had to see for myself.

Last time hubby and I went shopping, I hit the book section and grabbed a copy of A SECRET IN HER KISS and did a quick thumb through. Guess what.....I liked what I read. The little bit I skimmed (sp?) through was interesting, so I bought it. LOL!

It's sitting on my TBR pile near the top, I can't wait to start reading this book.

Amy Valentini said...

Good choice, Dalila, you'll really enjoy it! : )