Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review of A Lady and a Spy by Ranee' S. Clark

Still on Blog Vacation


Blanche Audley's old-fashioned grandfather cut off her mother after she married Thomas Audley and his millions of "new money," and for the last ten years since her parents' deaths, Blanche has lived under the gloom of his disappointment. So when she recklessly loses a thousand dollars to Etta Channing in a game of baccarat, she will do anything to keep her foolish actions from him. Except he oversees every penny she spends of the wealth her father left her, leaving her no way of paying the debt without his knowledge.

Until Etta offers her a deal. Alexander Whealdon, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, needs a companion to shepherd his younger sister through her first season. Etta wants Blanche to take the position and use it to infiltrate the household and pass along information that will help Etta get her hooks into the reserved Mr. Whealdon. It seems like an easy way to pay off the debt and save face at the same time. But the more Blanche sees of Mr. Whealdon's playful side, not to mention his surprising generosity, the less she wants to help Etta win him over.

Backing out means humiliating herself and disappointing both her grandfather and Mr. Whealdon, not to mention losing Miss Whealdon's trust and friendship, but if she goes through with her promise to Etta, she will lose what might be her last chance for love.

Ranee' and I have known each other online for a while, and we finally got to meet at Storymaker last month. Before we met, I'd had the opportunity to critique a couple of her regencies and really enjoyed them. Don't you love that cover?

I'm a fan of clean regency romances. I've read enough of Georgette Heyer's wonderful regencies to know that gambling in this day and age was as much as issue for the women of the ton as it was the men, so it was easy to sympathize with poor Blanche for getting sucked into such a high risk game. 

Blanche has been living under her grandfather's residual disapproval left over about her mother's marriage, yet Blanche desires the old man's praise. I could also understand her desire not to confirm the man's poor opinion of her and her willingness to hire herself out as a companion to Whealdon's youngers sister, Elsie. Ah, Elsie Whealdon. Loved her character. Clark's secondary characters were quirky and fun, making for a great ensemble cast.

I also enjoyed the ethical questions that came for Blanche as she agrees to spy on Mr. Whealdon. A fun summer read!

There's a rafflecopter give away on Ranee's blog. Click here.

Ranee` and her personal superhero, her husband, live in Wyoming where they are raising three future super-villains. When she's not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in her living room or losing to one of her sons at Uno, she loves to read and write. She has a bachelor’s degree in history that is probably useless, but she had a lot of fun earning it. She blogs about writing, reading, and editing at


  1. I wonder at what age the grandfather no longer controls her money?
    Cool you got to meet Ranee.

  2. Awesome you got to meet and greet and great cover to indeed

  3. I do love that cover and the title! It sounds great!

  4. Let it be known that Donna is a FANTASTIC critiquer. If A LADY AND A SPY is good, she gets a lot of credit. ;) Thanks, Donna!

  5. Let it be known that Donna is a FANTASTIC critiquer. If A LADY AND A SPY is good, she gets a lot of credit. ;) Thanks, Donna!

  6. Rad cover and title...why didn't I think of that? ;)

  7. If I may respond to Alex's comment - I believe in those days, many woman never took control of their own money. It was always left in the hands of the father, husband, or other "responsible" male family member. Mere women couldn't deal with such complicated matters.


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