25 October 2013

Review: A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole

What they say: 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 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 secrets, plots, and a design that could change the future…and Cordelia is at the center of it all.
  • ISBN: 9780985331160 (ebook)

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review!
What I say: I enjoyed A Heartless Design because it wasn't just Regency balls and dresses. It's historical fiction with a lot of intrigue, mystery and subterfuge.

The main character Cordelia is a beautiful spinster. At 27 she's a lot older than many of the young ladies of the ton, yet she's extremely beautiful and has turned down numerous marriage offers including from a rich duke and a foreign prince. Her refusals have given her the title of 'heartless'.
Cordelia is strong, determined and really brave. What I liked about her the most was her refusal to accept a woman's place and how she aimed for more than an advantageous marriage. Cordelia has a lot of secrets and is something of an anomaly in Regency society.
Sebastien Thorne has inherited an earldom after the untimely death of his father and older brother. He is a spy and a member of the secret organisation known as the Zodiac. With his new title comes a whole different set of expectations. Sebastien's mother expects him to marry and produce an heir, but Sebastien is more interested in his latest mission and foiling the French.

Both Cordelia and Sebastien are incredibly intelligent and like their independence. Cordelia cannot marry if she wants to keep her secrets and she is more than happy to put herself at risk to help others.

I enjoyed the book and the spy/mystery element added to the story.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "I don't get asked to destroy a dream every day. If I can be a diversion, I will do so."
  • "Most women find me quite satisfying," he said in a lower voice. Cordelia flushed instantly. She couldn't believe he would say something so scandalous at a dinner table.

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