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Historical Fiction Review: Tainted Angel by Anne Cleeland

Tainted Angel by Anne Cleeland


Synopsis from Goodreads
A deadly game of deception
A notorious beauty with a shadowy past

In the time of Napoleon, Vidia Swanson appears to live a gilded life of ease and luxury. Beneath this façade, however, she works for the Home Office as an ‘angel,’ coaxing secrets from powerful men who may or may not be traitors to the Crown. In the course of her latest assignment, matters take an alarming turn when she realizes that her spymaster suspects that she is the one who is tainted--a double agent working for the enemy.

Lucien Carstairs is a fellow agent with his own dark secrets--unless he is setting an elaborate trap to reveal her own supposed treason. Backed into a corner, she can only hope to stay one step ahead of the hangman in a race to stop the next war before it destroys them--and destroys England.

Tainted Angel offers up a compelling game of cat and mouse in which no one can be trusted--and anyone can be tainted.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
I'm telling you straight away, if you like Michelle Diener and her 19th century spy historical novels, you'd really enjoy Anne Cleeland.

She calls Tainted Angel "regency Mr. & Mrs. Smith" but I'd say, add "Ocean's Eleven" to this mix. Tainted Angel is a delightful regency heist with some pretty phenomenal banter between its main characters. I loved it!

Vidia is a British spy who is suspected of double-dealing. Enter Lucien Carstairs, who is sent to determine if she is indeed a "tainted" angel. What you don't expect is that both have more layers than you can count and that both are deliciously wily. They also have insane chemistry between each other, and that chemistry works against all their plans and is perhaps the only genuine emotion in this whole affair.

Expect quick thinking, tricks and treachery, twists and turns, pretend drama and non-stop action in this absolutely delicious regency spy mystery. Vidia was a delightful minx, and Lucien had some cards up his sleeve as well. The secondary characters were well rounded and also unexpected in their depth, so please don't discount them and their own little games.

Overall, a must read, clever and charming.

* * *
С большим удовольствием читала этот исторический роман и рекомендую его всем фанатам Мишель Дьенэ, особенно тем, кто любит её шпионские романы времён Наполеона.

Сама Анна Клиланд описывает "Запятнанный Ангел" как "мистера и миссис Смит эпохи регенства", однако я добавлю к этому описанию "афёру Томаса Крауна", так как вся книга - это одна большая, шикарная афёра!

Видия - британская шпионка, которую начальство подозревает в продажности. Люсьен Карстэрс отправлен провести расследование и узнать, не перешла ли Видия на сторону Наполеона. Готовьтесь к прелестнейшим, хитроумным перепалками и к многослойным, обманчивым натурам главных героев. 

Казалось бы, что ну вот, разгадал кто такая Видия или кто такой Люсьен, но они опять меняют личины. Единственная правда в этом романе - это феноменальное влечение между главными героями. Всё остальное может вас обмануть, а вот от этого ни Видии ни Люсьену с их дьявольскими уловками никак не отмахнуться.

Также не забывайте прекрасных второстепенных персонажей, которые тоже все шпионы и к тому же совершенно не глупые личности со своими планами и идеями, постоянно переходящие дорогу Видии, которая ведёт свою собственную игру.

В общем, прекрасно, смешно и дьявольски хитроумно. Рекомендую!


Unknown said...

I've already added this to my pile when you first blogged about it. But back then, you just said it was a historical Mr. & Mrs. Smith. If you add Ocean's Eleven to mix, then I'm done for! OMG. I can't wait to read this book now!

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