I received an advanced review copy of this title from the author.
Historical fiction, mystery, espionage and romance are all part of Stanley Hurd’s new novel that centers around the character of Colonel Fitzwilliam. Hurd takes Austen’s beloved character from Pride and Prejudice and creates a story just for the Colonel. When the story opens Fitzwilliam is working in the War Department trying to figure out Napoleon’s next move. A peace has been declared and French ports are starting to open back up to British trade, but no one in the British government trusts Boney to keep his word. So the government decides to send Fitzwilliam undercover as a spy to see whether or not Napoleon is sincere about peace or if he is using this time to build more ships and gear up for war.
Before he is shipped off to France for his mission, Fitzwilliam is invited to his cousin Darcy’s house for a social dinner. At this gathering he meets a lovely young woman named Emily for whom he instantly develops romantic feelings. Love and romance spring up very quickly between Fitzwilliam and Emily and just as they are getting to know each other Fitzwilliam has to go off on his spy mission in France. One of the best aspects of the writing of this book are the heartfelt letters that Fitzwilliam sends to Emily. Since their acquaintance is new he doesn’t want to be overbearing or inappropriate towards her; his letters contain just the perfect amount of amorous sentiments and a description of his time spent spying on the French.
While he is in France, Fitzwilliam meets up with his spying partner, a feisty and charismatic man named Esparaza. The situation gets especially interesting when they rescue an upper class French woman who claims she is a Countess. They bring the Countess back to England where she reveals to them that the French have captured her mother and are holding her ransom until the Countess provides them intelligence about the English war plans. Fitzwilliam and Esparaza have quite a mission on their hands at this point; they need to somehow rescue the Countess’ mother from a French jail and keep her safe from French spies watching her in England.
The entire novel comes to a rather exciting and unexpected conclusion. A duel, a stint in a French prison and a rescue all play a part in Fitzwilliam’s adventure. I like the fact that Hurd is not trying to change or rewrite the Colonel’s story as it is handed down to us by Austen. He gives us a truly unique and exciting story that is in line with Austen’s original character.
Many of his friends are amazed that he should be writing a Regency romance; he takes a particular delight in that fact.
The author is generously giving away two e-book copies of his novel. This giveaway is open internationally as long as you can accept a Mobi version of the book for Kindle. Just leave a comment letting me know you want to win. I will pick a winner on Friday.