The second novel in the Secrets of the Zodiac series: Full-length historical romances, featuring sexy storylines, complex characters, and international intrigue, set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.
A seductive agent, a disillusioned lord, and a web of deceit only they can untangle....
Sophie Bertrand is skilled in acting, espionage, and the subtle art of seduction. An independent spirit, she fought her way from rough streets to the top secret circle of spies known as the Zodiac. Her newest assignment is one of her most delicate yet: hunt down a traitor within Britain's own government. But there's a catch...this time she can't work alone.
Bruce Allander has a title, honor, wealth...but he'd trade it all to restore his family. The Zodiac gives him a chance for justice in a world that's already taken too much from him. Now he finds himself close to this captivating Frenchwoman - possibly too close. Sophie defies all his expectations, yet in her he senses a kindred soul.
Passion draws the two together, but a web of betrayals threatens to tear them apart. To survive, they have to trust each other. They have to be a little reckless....
©2014 Elizabeth Cole (P)2015 Elizabeth Cole
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"Entertaining Espionage Thriller Set in Regency"
A Reckless Soul by Elizabeth Cole is an entertaining espionage thriller set during the Regency period. The "Zodiac" is a secret spy network formed to protect the crown and mother England. There are multiple scenes with action, adventure, and near death experiences for our heroes. Although it is the second book in the Secrets of the Zodiac series, it is truly a stand alone book as I didn't feel like I was missing something by not having listened to the first book in the series.
The story focuses on the relationship between Sophie Bertrand and Bruce Allander who are teamed up to work undercover on a case where government secrets are being sold to Napoleon from a member of the nobility. Up until this point in time, all Zodiac agents worked alone, so the first half of the book is a competition between Sophie and Bruce as to who is the most skilled at their job. In the second half of the story, Sophie and Bruce slowly learn to appreciate the other and realize how similar and compatible they are.
Marian Hussey did a fantastic job narrating. She really brought the characters to life, giving each character their own distinct voice. Marian's narration definitely contributed to my enjoyment of this book, raising my overall satisfaction by at least one star. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review. In short, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and recommend it!
I like to listen while I walk and I actually walked an extra mile without realizing it.
"Strong female lead"
I loved the first book in this series and I was anxious to read this one. The narration was great but, for some reason, I found the book dragged a bit.
That being said, the characters were quite interesting. Sophie is strong, prefers to work alone, and willing to do what it takes to complete her missions. Bruce is pretty much the same. When they are assigned together, sparks fly - in a few ways.
Good overall but just a bit under 5 stars.
At 25% I’m already tired of these two. Bruce and Sophie can’t even talk to each other without being mean and hateful. Sophie just wants to be a man, from the way she talks, and everything has become a contest to see who can get the information they’re after. Sophie keeps talking about how she wants to work alone and won’t even give Bruce a chance to prove himself. She really doesn’t care what her boss, Aries, told her about working together with Bruce. This book says it has 419 pages. I can’t read 419 pages of arguing, and rudeness, and trying to outdo one another. Maybe I’ll pick this book up again someday but I just can continue to read a book that’s going nowhere.
3 stars to be fair to the author since I seem to be in the minority here. I don’t like the heroine so it’s hard for me to read that kind of book.
I read A Heartless Design and gave it 4 stars but this book is just to negative for me. If Bruce or Sophie would have said one kind thing to the other I would have gone on, but they didn't.
As to the narrator: Ms. Hussey always does a fabulous job. But not even her narration could help with this book, at least not for me.
"Very enjoyable spy story! Great Narration!"
I really enjoyed this book. The hero and heroine, Bruce and Sophie, started out a bit combative but not for too long. They ended up making a great spy couple. Bruce was strong, smart, and well developed. Sophie was a spitfire and a very good spy. They had some great chemistry together and there is one mildly written sex scene. The relationship grew between the two and felt real and genuine.
The story line and plot was very good. I enjoyed the espionage and secret identities, the then you have a villain of course. Made for a great story and plot for sure. There is a lot of dialogue throughout the entire book, I love lots of dialogue.
As for the narration, it was fantastic! Marian Hussey is a super narrator. Especially for this genre. The men sound like men and the hero sounds sexy. All the characters get their own distinct voice so you know who is speaking. She gives all the servants that cockney accent which sounds so real. She reads with emotion and has a very nice reading voice. She is truly one of my favorite narrators! Excellent performance Marian Hussey you made a good book even better! Thank you.
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