These stories rate 4-5 stars and the voice recording is 4-5 stars. The reader for the audio book has a lovely British accent and she does a good job with creating a variety of voices for the characters. Her expression and reading of the stories is excellent.
Compromised for Christmas
I generally don't read spy novels because I don't like to be stressed out when I'm reading to relax. But this novella had just the right amount of excitement for me, maybe because it was short so the suspense doesn't drag on too long. The story opens in Paris where John and Elizabeth have been spying on Napolean for two years. Despite working closely together, they have remained totally professional. When Elizabeth receives a letter from her grandfather, the Duke of Danby, summoning her home, she needs John to come with her and pretend to be her husband. He's less than thrilled at the prospect, then their position as spies is compromised and they must flee. This is when the excitement begins and I won't spoli it with details. I will say that Jane Charles successfully creates a James Bond-like scenario for the hero and heroine to save others and escape with their lives.
Will they make it back to England and answer the Duke of Danby's summons? Will they part ways or admit their feelings for each other? I've read several of the Tenacious Trent books and several of the Danby novellas and this is one of the best. The story sweeps you away so quickly that I had no trouble suspending belief. This novella has one or two explicit scenes - the other two novellas don't go beyond kissing.
Landing a Laird
Moira is desperate to marry a man who lives in Scotland to take her away from her overbearing, shrewish mother. She has decided on Scotland because she's certain her mother will never visit her there. Upon mentioning this to her sister-in-law, she's overheard by a young buck who puts her name in the betting book at White's. I won't go into detail about the bets, because that would spoil the premise of the story.
Gideon is good friends with Moira's brother and he happens to live most of the year at his estate in Scotland. Moira does not know this. As she and Gideon become friends and discover their attraction for each other, Moira finds herself wishing Gideon lived in Scotland. Or maybe Scotland isn't so important after all?
Jane Charles always writes well with great dialogue and a touch of humor. I found this book a tad repetitive, which is not typical of her writing. I don't think I noticed this the first time I read the book, but I also own the audio and I noticed it more when listening to it for a second reading. Even so, the characters are charming, the plot is simple but effective and this is a light, fun read.
Devil in Her Dreams
This novella really packed a lot of story into a few pages! The hero and heroine are both appealing, with honorable intentions and kind dispositions but neither of them are annoyingly perfect. This is a follow up story to the Duke of Danby book "Compromised for Christmas." Louisa Whitton is visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and John Trent, when Lord Marston stops in to warn John and Elizabeth about French officers coming to England to arrest them for spying.
Lord Marston and Louisa are immediately attracted to one another and have the opportunity to get to know each other while staying with the Trents. As stated in the book summary, Marston cannot court Louisa yet because he wants to get his three sisters married off. He asks Louisa to wait, but will she? The first half of the story takes place at the Trent's estate with typical country activities and the second half takes place in London attending balls and driving in the park. There's a lot going on with spies, jealousy, ballrooms and falling in love. Overall an enjoyable and clean (only passionate kissing) novella.
Tip: If you buy the Kindle edition of this book (currently $2.99) you can add the Whispersync audio for only $1.99, totaling $4.98 instead of $17.95. What a great deal! This info is accurate as of time of writing this review.