CHECKMATE, MY LORD (Nexus #2) by Tracey Devlyn-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Released February 1, 2013
A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s sent to betray.
Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Lord Somerton, has spent the last decade protecting England’s shores against a French invasion. Known for his cold logic and ability to sacrifice anything for the greater good, few can outwit him, and even fewer dare challenge him. Until now.
After being exiled to his country estate, Sebastian is surprised when his beautiful, no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him. But years of intrigue have left him wondering why a respectable widow would risk scandal for a few nights in his bed. Sebastian takes his time unraveling the widow’s secrets, for he quickly realizes she might be the one sacrifice he is unwilling to make
REVIEW: CHECKMATE, MY LORD is the second storyline in Tracey Devlyn’s regency romance Nexus series set in the historical English countryside of 1804 against the backdrop of the French Revolution and continuing wars in Europe, and the men and women who work as British Secret agents.
Sebastian Danvers (Lord Somerton) returns home to discover that his widowed neighbor- Catherine Ashcroft- has taken it upon herself to aid the people of the ton on his behalf. With their Lord away on government business, much of the ton has fallen into disrepair. As a young mother and widow, Catherine learns more about the people of the ton than the absent Lord could have imagined and by doing so, she has also placed herself in a position to aid the Lord on his return. Sebastian will soon discover that he has feelings for the young widow but there are secrets about her late husband’s murder that Sebastian refuses to divulge and in this, the story begins. Catherine is unable to trust Sebastian and feels betrayed that he has knowledge that he refuses to impart.
Throughout the story, we see an emotionally strong young woman who has had to overcome the loneliness of an absentee husband only to discover that he may have been murdered by someone she has taken into her confidence and befriended.
But I had an issue as the storyline progressed. This fiercely independent, smart and free-thinking woman is told by a stranger that Lord Somerton and his men are responsible for her husband’s death and she willingly agrees (without question) to spy for and steal important documents for this stranger. Catherine is consumed in her journey to unravel the mystery of her husband’s murder but in doing so places everyone, including her young daughter and Lord Somerton in harms way. When Sebastian refuses to tell her the information, she believes he is responsible for the death of her husband and blindly sets out to retrieve important information of which she has no idea. It seemed completely out of character for the woman to whom we were first introduced.
Lord Somerton’s refusal to reveal information to Catherine sets up a series of lies, betrayals and emotional heartbreak when Catherine believes he is trying to hide his own guilt. In doing so, Catherine is willing to trust complete strangers before she can trust the man in whom she has fallen in love. Sebastian continues to prove that his intentions towards Catherine are those of a man protecting the woman that he loves, but Catherine sees only deceit and refuses to look at the bigger picture-even when evil moves into her home and threatens their lives.
CHECKMATE, MY LORD is the second storyline, but for a few references to previous events, can be read as a stand-alone without too much difficulty. The story is filled with espionage, deceit, betrayal, romance and love. Catherine and Sebastian are perfect for each once each can get past the fact that their relationship has been built on lies. If you like your historical romance novels with a bit of real history and background story, Checkmate, My Lord and the Nexus series are the perfect read for you.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy