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Publisher's Summary

"James Bond meets Jane Austen!"

An enigmatic woman, a determined spy, and a love that could shake the foundations of Europe...

"Heartless" Cordelia Bering refuses every marriage offer she receives. Yet men still try to win her, drawn by her sharp wit and intoxicating green eyes. But Cordelia knows a marriage could reveal her deepest secret and truly endanger her life. Besides, she hasn't met a man worth considering, until...

Sebastien Thorne, a spy in the service of the Crown. One of the elite agents in the group known as the Zodiac, he comes to London determined to solve a mystery with roots on the Continent. He won't let anything distract him. But is Cordelia a distraction, or the key to the mystery? As he learns more about the "heartless" woman, he becomes embroiled in a design that could change the future...and Cordelia is at the center of it all.

A Heartless Design is the first book in the Secrets of the Zodiac, a series that blends romantic suspense with the rich background of the Regency period.

©2013 Elizabeth Cole (P)2014 Elizabeth Cole

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Marian Hussey keeps it Captivating

Marian Hussey does a real good job. Liked her voice not to high nor low.

She can change the tone and intonation and do good accents for the characters.
Liked the story, like the mixed matched household help from the butler to the maids and all in between.
Liked the way it flowed smoothly, the action is right there almost at the beginning and it did keep me interested.
The spy and the lady do go round for round and finally do get together.
I think it was interesting enough that I will look for other books cause I'm sure Jacques, the young man who helped her in France will return in them and they didn't catch one of the bad guys.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Excellent

Any additional comments?

This was a joy to read and listen to as I have both the book and the Audible version. Very well written and things constantly happening to hold the listener or reader's interest. Marian Hussey's narration was flawless. The way she spoke the French character's English lines was perfect. Reminded me so much of Montreal....Thoroughly enjoyed this novel and narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cassandra
  • Corinth, Mississippi, United States
  • 03-23-15

Enjoyable

I like that the heroine was intelligent, self sufficient, she was a very believable character. Her household secrets were commendable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sherri
  • thousand oaks, CA, United States
  • 03-09-15

Not your typical romance

The lead characters in this book are a little different from the average romance novel. I enjoyed their interactions and it was nice to have insight from both of the characters throughout the novel.

The reader was exceptional and made the story more enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I really wasn't expecting much from this story....

I bought this book at almost three times what it would have cost me to simply read it myself, but I thought, what the heck, its just this one book and that will be enough. OMG I was wrong. I was able listen to this story in situation where reading wasn't permissible. I could listen while driving to work, while waiting on clients, while cooking and cleaning. I am so please. I was also not tempted to skip parts of the story or bored as I can sometimes be, and so I got a Mich greater feeling for the characters and what they were about.
as for the story itself...very nice work. it was fluid, it was engrossing, AMD the the heroine wasn't some simpering miss who took what hand was dealt her and went with it. she was a kind person, strong, steady, and wonderfully forgiving. I found that I quit liked her. The hero was a bit more predictable, but in a good familiar sort of way. There where I found myself completely unamused by those two idiots, but mostly as a mother hen. this is a great listen and would recommend this book to all of my romance reading friends and family. (which is most assuredly a compliment since I've been reading romance novels at least two a week for the last fifteen years. it takes a lot to impress me these days. well done.)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An excellent historical romance/spy novel!

Any additional comments?

Well written, good plot, very good pace. The narration was also very good. Reminiscent of Julie Garwood's Crown Spies Series. I will definitely recommend this audiobook and await the next in the series!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tracy T
  • Jacksonville, FL USA
  • 04-22-14

Very good book!

I really enjoyed this book. Great hero and heroine, story line and plot. Great chemistry and some good sex scenes. The story line itself was a bit different in a very good way!. There was plenty of dialogue too.

The narrator did a really good job as well.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Excellent Narration in Regency Spy Mystery

A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole is an entertaining espionage thriller set during the Regency period. It is the 1st book in the Secrets of the Zodiac series wherein the "Zodiac" is a secret spy network formed to protect the crown and mother England. There are multiple scenes with action, adventure, and near death experiences for our heroes. I listened to the second book in the series first and don't feel like I missed out on anything by reading them out of order.

The story focuses on the relationship between Cordelia Bering and Sebastian Thorne who unwittingly team up to uncover who is trying to steal plans for a new type of war ship to sell to Napoleon. The first half of the story pits Cordelia and Sebastian against each other as neither one trusts the other and believes the other is working undercover for Napoleon. In the second half of the story, they slowly learn to appreciate the other and realize how similar and compatible they are.

Marian Hussey did a fantastic job narrating. She really brought the characters to life, giving each character their own distinct voice. Marian's narration definitely contributed to my enjoyment of this book.

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Ok

This was an ok time passer, I wasnt completely engrossed. The narrator did a good job.

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Okay for a mystery/suspense...not quite a Romance

Throughout the book, it really felt like the author intended to write a mystery/suspense novel, and threw in the "romance" part after the fact. You don't really feel any chemistry between the novel's hero and heroine and the "love scenes" fall flat.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful