Author: Erica Vetsch
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Serendipity & Secrets #2
Release Date: July 28, 2020
He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life
When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.
But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?
Reviewer: Linda Klager
I loved the cover of this book and this is my second book in the Serendipity & Secrets Series!
Lady Charlotte Tiptree was what people called a spinster. Charlotte's Father never let her dress like a debutante or wear her hair regally. As a result, Charlotte had not found a marriage match. Charlotte's Mother was very much trying to find a stable man for Charlotte's future husband.
Charlotte found out that her father had a mistress for 20 years and she also had a sister from that tryst. Then her father left both his mistress and daughter and they had to fend for themselves. The daughter became a prostitute. This angered Charlotte so much and she confronted her father. Her father became so angry that he told his servant to get all of Charlotte's books and burn them. Charlotte had a very small allowance from her father and had saved for many months to buy these books. Back in the Regency period women were not supposed to read books to be educated on current events. They were just supposed to be pawns in their marriages and bear children and a lot of them were abused or neglected. Charlotte would not let that happen to her. Charlotte wanted more out of life.
The main character of the book, Marcus Waverly, was a spy for the crown. Marcus kept his life compartmentalized - his family never knew he was a spy. When Marcus' father and brother were both killed in a carriage accident, Marcus reluctantly became The Duke of Waverly. Marcus was the second son and therefore called the "spare."
Charlotte's parents and Marcus' mother were trying to get them both wed to appropriate spouses. Marcus was attracted to Charlotte's wit and intelligence. They abruptly became engaged and in a month's time were wed. Charlotte and Marcus did not know a lot about each other even though Marcus knew of the terrible life Charlotte lived under her father's roof.
Charlotte wants to help her sister to not be a prostitute. Her sister resented Charlotte.
I had to chuckle to myself because of the banter that Charlotte and Marcus did when speaking with each other. That is why I included that this book could be considered a comedy in that instance.
There was a big villain in this book - Charlotte and her sister were very much in danger.
At the end of the book there was a sneak peak for book #3. I am very much looking forward to the story of Marcus' sister, Sophia.
This book was provided courtesy of Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
What an adventure and treat it was to read Marcus Haverly’s story in The Gentleman Spy! I met him in the first book in author Erica Vetsch’s Serendipity & Secrets series, and I was definitely ready to see him get a happy-ever-after.
Marcus wasn’t expecting or desiring to inherit a title, but when his father and older brother passed away unexpectedly, he ended up with more notoriety than was good for his job as a spy for the Crown. I loved his compassion, his determination, and his courage as he tried to fulfill all his many responsibilities and compartmentalize his life.
Lady Charlotte is intelligent, plucky, and ready to be out from under her parents’ caustic rule. It was amusing to see Marcus allow Charlotte enjoyment of her newfound freedom and the ability to develop her own passions. The growth of these two characters was so satisfying. Vetsch is a master at crafting endearing, flawed, colorful characters that come alive on the page. The stellar cast of secondary characters adds greatly to the enjoyment of the tale.
If you enjoy Regency romances with lots of intrigue, suspense, and a dash of inspiration, you’ll adore this series. Themes of forgiveness, mercy, and grace are woven tenderly through the story and add depth and dimension to it. Though this can be read as a standalone book, I’d suggest reading The Lost Lieutenant first to get more of the backstory. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"I can be a married man and still maintain my freedom in other aspects. Charlotte will suit me fine. There when I need her and capable of being autonomous when I don't."
Compartments. That's how the new Duke of Haverly had been envisioning his life; in neat little compartments. Marcus had functioned in this manner for so long, he erroneously assumed that adding a wife, just added a compartment . . . . . not so. Lady Charlotte's brilliant mind drew him in like cold hands to a warm fire, but when her heart began showing, matching her outer beauty to what was hidden within, Marcus knew he was in deep, deep trouble.
"What did you expect? By now you should know better than to think that anything good would come your way or last more than a moment. God may be the giver of good gifts, for some, but not for you."
Lady Charlotte Tiptree had been overlooked and under valued for most, if not all, of her life. Threatened to a life of spinsterhood by her overbearing father, he delivers a shocking ultimatum; find a husband or become relegated as a companion for her insufferable aunt. Imagine her surprise when the answer to her dilemma arrives in the form a handsome enigma. . . .was the Duke of Haverly's offer a dream come true, or the continuation of a living nightmare?
Undoubtedly, one of the most romantic stories that you will ever read! And suspenseful! And inspiring! May it come as no surprise if you close the book only to open it back to the very first page.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
“If you treat your fiancée as you have been treating God, I suspect you’ll get the same results. You can’t put God in a box, and you can’t put a wife there either. Both will spill over, and both deserve more from you. You’re missing out on life’s greatest joys, and you don’t even know it.”
Another delightful Regency romance by the wonderfully talented Erica Vetsch. This second book in the series continues the thread of intrigue and suspense from the first book The Lost Lieutenant, so reading the series in order will help in understanding this subplot and also getting to know the secondary characters. With an intricate plot, fascinating and lovable characters, clever writing, and deliciously witty dialogue, The Gentleman Spy will woo your Regency-loving senses and absolutely satisfy your romantic heart and justice-seeking mind.
Marcus, the Duke of Haverly, inherits the title after a tragic accident but has a hard time keeping his public life as a duke, his personal life, and his private life as a secret agent for the Crown compartmentalized and separate as all parts of his life ramp up in intensity. He marries Charlotte almost as a marriage of convenience, but Charlotte refuses to see their marriage that way. Their mutual love of books and their shared passion for helping those in need bring them together. Charlotte’s gentle, compassionate ways start to chip away at Marcus’ wall. Since Charlotte didn’t receive much affection from her home and Marcus didn’t receive much attention for having been the second son, they are drawn to the kind of love and affection shared by Evan and Diana, Marcus’ friends from the first book. Throw in a good subplot of tracking down those who would attempt another assassination on the Prince Regent and a sobering subplot of the plight of the impoverished families of deceased soldiers, and you have a must-read novel with everything you could want as a reader.
I received a copy of the book from Kregel Publishers via Interviews & Reviews. I was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
I wanted to read this book so bad, and I finally got my wish. I wasn't disappointed! I definitely wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! This book y'all was so amazing. It was hard to put down.
I really admired Marcus for being so down to earth despite his newfound status. Just simply dreamy! But, oh my, did I ever feel sorry for him. Putting up with his nagging mother and all. I love how he just let all of her nagging roll off his shoulder just as pretty as you please. I wish I could do that with my mother-in-law. She sounds exactly like her, and it is almost scary.
I adored Charlotte. You go, girl! I love how you stood up for yourself in this book. I applaud you all the way. Charlotte has a heart of gold. Always wanting to help others and being down to earth as well. I thought that Charlotte and Marcus made a great team.
There's a hint of mystery going on in this book as well. I loved guessing at who it was. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it when I found out who it was but yet at the same time I wasn't surprised. I had my suspicions.
This is an excellent beach read that will pass the time away before you know it. All these wonderful characters all blended in to make a perfect guessing whodunit. This author sure knows her stuff. I really enjoy her books a lot. I highly recommend this book and all of her books!
My thanks to Kregel Publishing and Interviews & Reviews for a complimentary copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
I couldn’t wait for the second installment of this series by Erica Vetsch and I was not disappointed.
I was drawn to Marcus in “The Lost Lieutenant” and happy to read his story. In this book his character is fleshed out, showing not only the good friend and spy for the crown, but also his vulnerability as a second son thrust into a spotlight he never desired.
Charlotte is a girl after my own heart. She is outspoken, loves books, and though sheltered, has humor and wit. I love her determination to do right by her illegitimate sister despite what society considers acceptable.
There is a thread of faith that runs through the book that is refreshing and not preachy. Both Marcus and Charlotte are genuine, with their own redeemable flaws. They are better together, and compliment each other.
The side characters are realistic and believable, adding depth to the story. I enjoyed this book and recommend it.
I was given an ARC from Kregel Publications through Interviews and Reviews and this is my honest review.
Reviewer: Paul Shreckhise
Erica Vetsch continues her Serendipity and Secrets series with another wonderful Regency tale. I have read and loved her stories for quite a while, but when I read the first in this series, I saw her shine! This second book wows like the first. I read it very quickly. I love this time period, and she showcases it vividly. Spies are intriguing and Marcus fits the bill.
Marcus Haverly has become the Duke due to the untimely deaths of his father and brother. His duties as the new Duke could change his role as a loyal agent for the Crown. Marcus tends to put his different responsibilities into boxes to keep them separate. More difficulties come to light when both his overbearing mother and his boss urge him to find a wife.
Charlotte Tiptree is a lady, but one who is well-read and not interested in the usual pursuits of fashion and rubbing elbows with the elite of society. Besides, her father keeps a tight rein on her. She has no real friends except her precious books, which she has purchased on the sly. Give me a heroine who loves books and is not afraid to use her brain. Charlotte ponders: “Any husband would be preferable to spinsterhood under her father’s control...As long as her new husband left her alone...And maybe let her buy books.”
While both Marcus and Charlotte are believers, they show their willingness to learn from God and their friends. Dolly, who runs a refuge for women, “God is not in a fluster about my predicament. He has a plan, and He will reveal it to me in His time and not a moment before. If I did not have to believe without seeing, it would not be called faith.”
They both grow in their faith, learn to trust each other and learn to order their priorities, finding that: “Your worth comes from the God who created you and the people who love you.”
There is excitement and evil, rescue and reformation and lessons in love. Kudos to Ms. Vetsch for a fresh voice in the Regency genre. I cannot wait for book #3: The Indebted Earl.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Kregel through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
When I finished reading The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch, I knew I had to read the next book, The Gentleman Spy. My, oh, my! I love this series!
While it can be read as a standalone, I wouldn't advise it. This series is perfect for Regency Romance fans, so why deprive yourself of a good read? I was intrigued by Marcus in the first book and thought he would make a dashing leading man. I was right. Although I pictured him as more rugged than the man on the cover of the book, his character is what appealed the most. It was no wonder that Charlotte was drawn to him. The circumstances that finally bring them together are definitely swoon-worthy.
Both characters grow and become better versions of themselves, which I loved. Charlotte's growth from wallflower to a confident woman was especially exciting to watch. And while not overly preachy, the author adds a faith element that clarifies the importance of God as someone to know, rather than just pay lip service to.
Overall, this book was a delight to read, and I seriously cannot wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: Nancy J. Brown
Matthew 26:41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
This is my first Regency era Christian fiction romance book. Erica Vetsch has written a story about two intelligent people who, through a series of events, are rather thrown together, and they realize they like each other.
Her characters are well-developed, and interesting to read about. Each one has their own introduction, with a lot of details, which gives readers enough time and information to put all the pieces together nicely. Erica gives a good background of each person, and a look at their strong points, and their character flaws. She makes each person likable, though. You enjoy seeing what will happen next.
For Interviews and Reviews rating system, I give this book 38 points, or 3 stars. Reasons being: the cover didn't draw me in, as a matter of fact, I passed it by several times because of that. Also, God was mentioned a few times but wasn't central to the theme, and since this book is under the Christian fiction heading, well, this book could have been a secular fiction book, for the sparseness of the Christian Gospel message in it. It also had too many pages devoted to prostitution, and, a bit too many mentions of sexual innuendos. It had violence and too much deception for me to be able to feel comfortable rating it highly as a Christian fiction book. Making the deceiver handsome and attractive still doesn't hide the lies that were told throughout the book, without much compunction from the character, either.
I don't recommend this book as a clean, Godly Christian fiction romance.
I received this book courtesy of Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
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