After her father is wrongly accused of selling secrets to Napoleon, lovely Jess Whitby infiltrates the London underworld for the real traitor—only to end up naked in the bed of a rude merchant captain. Not only is she falling in love with him, but he may be the scoundrel she’s looking for.
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Jess the Hand was my first glimpse back into the world of Annique and Grey. I love how Bourne weaves her characters together without drawing big, obvious connection (Adrian is most often the common thread, his story pieces together beautifully). Jess and Sebastian are a great couple, and hold up just as well on re-reads as they did the first time.more
I read the first book of this series, The Spymaster's Lady, and really enjoyed it. I don't know why I never bothered to pick up the next book in the series when it came out. I finally decided to get it off my wish list and order it. I really wish I hadn't. Everything that I loved about the author's style in the last book was repeated here, but it really didn't work for me.What I really liked about the last book was the flow of the language. The heroine was French and her thoughts and dialogue really felt authentic to me. The wordiness didn't bother me because it was all part of the experience of Annique (most of the book was from her pov). That same style was duplicated in this book. What was wonderful and had a great feel for Annique was horribly tedious for Jess.I thought Jess was going to be really interesting. I mean, with her past she had to have some interesting character motivations. Unfortunately she wasn't anything special. Her actions made no sense to me and even though she was supposed to be some genius mind I honestly couldn't see it. She was a very weak character (even though we're told again and again that she's strong) and caved to whatever pressure was placed on her. It was irritating to read about.I really didn't like Sebastian's character. He was basically a carbon copy of Grey from The Spymaster's Lady. Grey too was overwhelmingly dominant. He was very much so an "I know best" kind of guy. It worked for him because of his position as spymaster. I didn't mind him overwhelming Annique and controlling her actions because she was the enemy and to act otherwise would be stupid. That does not mean it was ok for Sebastian though. Why exactly is he acting that way? His controlling, egotistical behavior was so irritating.Now, why exactly did these people fall in love? I really have no idea. One moment they're lusting and hating each other and then the author tells us they're in love. I just disliked the characters and couldn't get into the book.One thing I do have to admit though... I really want to read Adrian's book. I liked him in the last book and I liked him in this one. I truly hope that he won't be a carbon copy of the other two male leads though.more
I found the 2nd novel in this series a bit of a let down. In my opinion the heroine was not fleshed out enough, and although much of the book is done through her POV, I never really identified or empathized with her. Also felt that the hero was a little too stereo typically 'sea captain' and the secondary characters (who we meet in the first novel) were rather one-dimensional. However I found the plot line interesting, just wished it had delivered more.more
Absolutely brilliantly written! This is one of the most original historical romances I've read in some time. You're never quite sure what direction it's going to go next. The heroine, Jess is refreshing and very smart - not your typical sheltered heiress! Sebastian definetly has a hard time keeping up with her. Best of all I love that the author doesn't give anything away. With intrigue all around, this story will keep you turning pages.more
Just so enjoyable. this is a keeper and a sure reread. Jess is a daughter committed to freeing her father, who is suspected of treason during the Napoleonic wars. She is also a considerable heiress. With her father detained it is up to her to navigate the complex politics of London. She decides that Captain Sebastian Kennett might well be the traitor and organizes a chance to 'bump' into him, and pick his pockets. But things go awry with this plan and she ends up naked in his bed. I really liked the relationship between Jessa and Sebastian, it felt true. I liked what they saw and responded to in each other. And I believe in them and their feelings. My only quibble was that the villan was under written, and that the actual seduction scene was not as sensual as the scenes leading up to it. But that is half a stars worth, it's still an A rated book. I particularly liked the descriptions of London's underbelly, which were so vivid. There were many pretty turned phrases in this book!Glad to add it to my keeper's shelf.more
I am a big fan of Bourne's heroes, who are very self-confident and either average-looking or flatly unattractive. Her heroines, however, are always impossibly beautiful and a little flat compared to the heroes. I hope down the road she goes the other direction, and gives us a dreamboat male falling for an unremarkable-looking but madly interesting woman.more
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