Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Steampunk
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Where potions run technology and passions run deep. A barmaid with a rare talent. Paris, 1882. Barmaid and potions expert Elle Deschamps knows a worrying secret: the supply of the magic serum that gives her potions their potency is running dangerously low. When a mysterious gentleman hires her to help search out new sources for serum, she jumps at the chance to earn her way to a life of less drudgery. A spy on a mission. Agent of the British crown Henry Ainsworth has a simple directive: end the potions crisis, by any means necessary. Posing as a bodyguard, he joins the beguiling potions expert on her continent-hopping expedition, determined to protect her from the unknown foes who wish to thwart her. A love neither can resist. With time of the essence, Elle and Henry must rely on one another to avert disaster. As enemies close in, they find the greatest danger of all may not be to their lives, but to their hearts.
How to Seduce a Spy (Potions and Passions) by Catherine Stein is a delightful and captivating historical read filled with romance, intrigue and suspense. Readers will be thrilled and charmed by the unique storyline and plot. In it, readers are taken into the neo-Victorian setting in 1882, Paris, where technology is propelled by magical potions. But the supply of the serums is quickly running out. Barmaid and potions whiz, Elle Deschamps, is worried that the magical ingredient that gives her potions their power will no longer be available. But, then she is employed to search out new sources for the serums. She teams up with Henry Ainsworth and begins traveling from one country to another. Their adventurous, yet dangerous journey takes them to the beautiful Countries of Italy, America, Egypt, France and England. As they search and spy out new sources for the serum, danger lurks and passionate love is in the air.
How to Seduce a Spy had me captivated from the very first chapter. Author, Catherine Stein has created a unique world unlike any other. The settings are vivid and beautifully described, causing me to feel like I was traveling the world along with the characters. The world building is astounding, putting readers right on the scene, feeling, seeing, touching and hearing all the unusual elements belonging in that time in history, and place.
Readers that like Steampunk with Gaslight technology will revel in this one-of-a-kind story. The descriptive writing is superior to anything that I have ever read. It flows well and is fast paced, easy to read and understand. I literally couldn’t put this one down and turned the pages quickly to find out what would happen next.
The characters are well developed, interesting and realistic. Elle Deschamps is a strong, bold and determined woman that is on a mission and won’t give up. Catherine Stein did an exemplary job of creating these dazzling characters in her book. Readers will connect with and love them. The dialogue between them is clever, witty and impressively written.
This book was a complete delight to read. With a gripping storyline and plot, it is fascinating, irresistible and magical. It was very interesting to learn about how potions were used in the 19th century.
How to Seduce a Spy by Catherine Stein is a must read, smart, inviting, entertaining and compelling novel. Chick Lit Cafe totally recommends it to all enthusiastic historical romance lovers. It is definitely and delightfully unique in its genre. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the second book in the Potions and Passions series.
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