The Soldier and the Spy

Annabelle Greene. Carina, $4.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-369-70012-4
Greene’s middling sophomore effort in her Society of Beasts series (after The Vicar and the Rake) sees impudent, impoverished August Weatherby sidle up to arrogant war hero Benjamin Frakes with a request that Benjamin protect him from his creditors at an upcoming ball. Benjamin, who is immediately attracted to August, reluctantly agrees—and a near-death incident at the ball ensures August’s introduction to the Society of Beasts, a private club for men who love men. But August has a secret agenda: he’s being blackmailed by Lord Eustace Harbury, who knows of August’s sexuality and hopes to expose London’s most prominent men as sharing his proclivities. To that end, August must purloin evidence that will expose Benjamin and the society. The mounting passions between August and Benjamin—including their frisson during a tennis game—provide the story’s highlights, as in the emotional scene after a fight when August tells his lover, “Say we’re done, and I’ll tell you you’re lying.” But the spy drama, which involves August and some incriminating letters, lacks tension, and a subplot about August keeping his ailing sister, Leticia, safe feels perfunctory. The result is an uneven series entry that fails to balance the romance with the suspense. Agent: Deirdre Knight, the Knight Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/01/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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