Threatened by French spies, assassins, and calculating suitors, can Lady Henrietta Harcourt trust the infamous rake, Lord Cordelier Rathbourne, with her carefully guarded family secrets?
In his new, undisclosed position as Director of English Intelligence, Cord faces more peril keeping the brilliant, Harcourt family of code breakers safe than he did as undercover spy in Napoleonic France.
Cord’s passionate attraction for the indomitable Henrietta hasn’t diminished in his four years abroad, but neither has Henrietta’s memory of his libertine past.
In pursuit of the missing brother, Henrietta and Cord become entangled in a web of international intrigue, danger, and white hot passion.
As a teen, my reading preference was almost exclusively regency romance and Ms. Delecki’s novel reminds me so much of why I loved the genre. Henrietta is everything I love in a regency romance heroine – she is intelligent, outspoken, loves deeply, and doesn’t mindlessly fall in line with society’s expectations for a woman of the ton. Lord Rathbourne, or Cord, is the slightly damaged rake whose reputation is known far and wide, despite a four-year absence from the country, and who, of course, is hopelessly in love with our heroine. Add to that, spy games between the English and the French and you get a constantly moving storyline full of action and intrigue.
The men of Henrietta’s family, the Harcourts, have long worked for the crown as code breakers – as the French’s coded messages during the war were intercepted, her uncle and later her brother were often called upon to break the codes as they were considered the best in the country. What the powers to be did not know was that Hen’s uncle recognized her intelligence and affinity for the family business and often included her in his work, so when his mental health began to decline, she continued her uncle’s work when he was unable to. When her older brother finds himself in danger of losing valuable code information he has stolen from the French, he solicits his sister’s help and unintentionally puts her in a dangerous situation.
Fortunately for Hen, Cord has no intention of letting anything harm her – even when he is ignorant of her awareness of and involvement in her uncle’s position with English Intelligence. Despite his history of being cool, calm and collected as he successfully completed missions of espionage, he loses his control around Hen and frequently finds himself engaging in behaviors that he has to apologize for later, especially as he tries several times to tell the independent Hen what to do. As this is a regency romance and ladies of the time were expected to be proper virgins before they married, intimate scenes focus more on kissing and serve as a reminder of what it was like when you first discover the power of a kiss and getting caught up in the moment. But because Hen doesn’t toe the line of the ton, we do get a couple of sex scenes that are written consistent with the genre.
A Code of Love is the first book in the Code Breakers series and the series is clearly off to a great start. Ms. Delecki has produced a well-written regency romance that is full of spies, intrigue, action, adventure, passion and love and I look forward to next book in the series.
“They call themselves gentleman, pshaw.” Henrietta plunked her boot into a muddy hole on the sidewalk outside the Abchurch secret offices. Cold water seeped through to her toes. “Arrogant, self-righteous….” The unpleasant feel of wet stockings only served to fuel her anger at the clerk and all the men in the Abchurch office, the bastion of male superiority.
Her body shook from the insult and her soaked clothes. The clerk, who had refused her admittance to speak with Sir Ramston, had implied she was a spinster worried for naught about her brother. She bowed her head into the driving rain, glaring down at her sodden black boots. Her dark mood festered like the foul weather plaguing London this last week of April.
The impact was sudden. She stumbled backward, her arms swung in an outward arc. The slippery mud grabbed at her boots.
The man thrust his hands in the mud beside her shoulders trying to stop the impact of his large body driving her further down on the wet ground.
The shock of the fall left her immobile and speechless. She was flat on her back in the middle of a main London throughway with Lord Rathbourne’s hard body pressing against her. The huge man loomed over her, grinning with all the nerve of a blatant libertine. Looking up into his chiseled face, she noticed the small laugh lines surrounding his bright eyes that seemed to be laughing back at her.
Descended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance.
Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with the Seattle Opera Company and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her travels to London and Paris ignited a deep-seated passion to write A Code of Love, a romantic mystery set in the Regency era. Jacki is certain she spent at least one lifetime dancing in the Moulin Rouge.Although writing now fills most of her days, she continues to volunteer with Seattle’s Ballet and Opera companies, as well as leading children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire.
Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, are her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write both dogs as heroes in A Code of Love. A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies—a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. Fortunately, her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog. Jacki’s extraordinary heroines love and heal.