Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole

Title:  A Heartless Design
Author:  Elizabeth Cole
Series:  Secrets of the Zodiac #1
Published:  September 10th 2013 by SkySpark Books
Page Count:  328
Genre:  Historical romance
Shelf:  Review
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

An enigmatic woman, a determined spy, and a design that could shake the foundations of Europe…

“Heartless” Cordelia Bering refuses every marriage offer she receives. Yet men still try to win her, drawn by her sharp wit and intoxicating green eyes. But Cordelia knows a marriage could reveal her deepest secret and truly endanger her life. Besides, she hasn’t met a man worth considering, until…

Sebastien Thorne, a spy in the service of the Crown. One of the elite agents in the group known as the Zodiac, he comes to London determined to solve a mystery with roots on the Continent. He won’t let anything distract him. But is Cordelia a distraction, or the key to the mystery? As he learns more about the “heartless” woman, he becomes embroiled in secrets, plots, and a design that could change the future…and Cordelia is at the center of it all.

A Heartless Design is the first book in the Secrets of the Zodiac, a series that blends the sensibilities of modern romantic suspense with the rich background of the Regency period.

My Review:

This is a very intriguing and period worthy tale. Both the narrative and the dialogue are written to fit the time period. Everything is quite formal, eloquent, and breathtaking. The exciting and suspenseful storyline keeps you racing forward, while the understated suspense makes this tale all the more enjoyable. I also enjoyed the engineering behind this story. It was breathtaking and really made me think.

It was great to see a female step out of her stereotypical role for the time period without creating a revolution or forwarding revolutionary thoughts. I got a good few giggles over this remarkable female lead trying to be a proper lady and failing miserably. The contrast between the prim, proper societal lady and the behind the scenes engineer made for a very intriguing and thought provoking read.

Overall, this story was a mix between Sherlock Holmes and a historical romance. I was intrigued and quite enjoyed it.

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