After coming off of a high with the completion Lord and Lady Spy, I was eager to jump into another Shana Galen book. I've had this book sitting around and figured it would be a great time to dig into it. I wish I could sit here and say that I loved it and it was just as good if not better than Lord and Lady Spy, but I can't. For some reason I just could not get into this book. I felt a disconnect from the characters and I just never really warmed up to them or their relationship with each other.
Julien Harcourt, Duc de Valere has worked hard over the years to repair everything that was taken from his family when they were forced to flee France. Forced to leave behind his brothers, Julien has never given up hope that they are still alive and has made several trips back to France in attempt to find them. When Julien is sent a letter from his former butler stating that he knows where Julien's younger brother Armand is, he knows he must leave immediately. Problem is, both countries are at war and if he caught he will be labeled a traitor and placed in prison.
Sarah Smith is working as a governess when she is approached by her employer and informed that she is to help him with an investigation for the crown. They have reason to believe that Julien Harcourt is a traitor and they need Sarah to find information supporting that theory. Sarah will be staying at the home of Julien Harcourt and while there she is to find any information that she can convincing the Crown that Julien is indeed a spy. Sarah is to become Serafina Artois, a daughter of former family friends. From the beginning Sarah expressing misgivings, she's just a governess, not a spy and does not believe she will be able to convince anyone otherwise.
When Sarah begins looking for evidence against Julien, she begins to believe there is more to the story than she is being told. She begins to believe that he isn't a traitor that her employer believes he is. And when Julien finally tells her of his mission to save his brother Sarah knows that she must help him in anyway that she can. Together they both embark on a journey to find Julien's brother.
The attraction between Julien and Sarah is instant. Though, they don't get along all that well at first, we see them gradually become closer and the feelings each have grow deeper. Even when Julien suspects Serafina as an impostor, he can't deny his feelings for her and wants to make her his wife.
I'm not sure if my problem with this story lays with the character of Sarah, or if it's a combination of factors. I just never really warmed up to her. Almost up until the end of the book she has valuable information that Julien can use to save his brother, yet she keeps it to herself until she is able to get her way. I felt like she was whiny and conniving. She seemed to only care for her well-being.
As for Julien, I felt that he was a good and honorable man. I thought he was selfless and would do anything for those he cares for. I just never understood his deep feeling for Sarah. Why does he care for her? I just felt like on one page he is attracted to her but can't really stand her and then all of a sudden on the next page he loves her. Why doesn't he care that she has been lying to him? Sarah just sort of walks all over him and it's okay. Maybe he just wasn't alpha enough for me? I'm not sure, but there is definitely something off for me.
I really wished I liked this book more. It had such a great beginning and then it just seemed to fizzle out once I hit the middle. Hopefully Armand story is able to save this one for me. I find that I'm interested to see how his HEA turns out.