My Wicked Little Lies

Victoria Alexander
My Wicked Little Lies
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Publisher
Zebra
Release Date
January 2012
ISBN
9781420117066
Series
Book 1 of Sinful Family Secrets
Genre
Historical Romance

SUMMARY
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander, a captivating new romance in which a daring young woman must choose between her past and her future. . .

Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all--a genteel Victorian life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once "Eve," a spy for England's most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss "Sir" prove too tempting. . .

Adrian Hadley-Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as a veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love. . .

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Mar 23, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
151 people found the following review helpful
A wickedly charming story about true love and its unpredictable courses, MY WICKED LITTLE LIES proves that, no matter what, love can truly conquer all. With some surprising twists and turns, this is a story full of clever humor and fascinating characters and I was hooked from the first chapter.

Evelyn, Lady Hadley-Attwater, has the exact life she has always wanted: a calm, reliable husband, a precise schedule and a thoroughly sedate, comfortable existence. After living a life of deception and intrigue as a secret agent of the Crown, Evie is ready to put her life of deception and danger, and her memorable correspondence with her handler, Sir, aside and live a life of love and routine. For two years, the plan has gone perfectly.

Her husband, Adrian, is the only man she has ever met who could stir her spirit and hold her heart, and their relationship seems strong enough to weather all the tests of time. But when a file that contains the names of her fellow agent and, most worryingly, the identity of Sir, is stolen, Evie is called back into action for one last job.

But now, the complications are infinitely greater. Adrian knows his wife far too well not to see that something is preoccupying her mind, and far too deeply in love with her not to fear the worst. Despite his present veneer of respectability and responsibility, before he met his wife, Adrian's life was far more intriguing than he would ever want his wife to know, and he knew far more about deception and intrigue than he cares to admit. So even though he knows he is the biggest fool in London, Adrian sets out to discover just what Evie is hiding, even if it means threatening the happiness that they have worked so hard to create. And when Evie's secret correspondent, Sir, reappears, it seems there are far darker plans afoot than a simple file—and a far more dire choice, between the life she has always known and the only man she has ever wanted.

Evie and Adrian's story picks up where most romance novels leave off—not with the happy ending, but the real fulfillment of a happily ever after. It was a very nice change to see two people who knew each other and understood each other, falling in love all over again, not at last, but forever. And while these are certainly some heavy topics, everything was handled with such a light grace that all the travails and pitfalls become great entertainment. This is because, thankfully, beneath the masks and secrets and the deceptions, there is never a moment of doubt that Evie and Adrian want to be together and are committed to each other, in spite of all the schemes that surrounds them.

I admit that at first, I thought Adrian was jumping to a rather ridiculous conclusion about his wife. But when the layers and layers of lies that surround their lives and the lives of those around them became evident, it became all too clear that domestic happiness can be as treacherous a world as the ones they left behind upon their marriage. Examples abound of marital infidelities and indiscretions, and the gossip mill that is the London ton serves only to feed the fire and turn every misstep into a potential calamity. Lies and secrets are usually the two things that will kill a story for me, but in this case, I could sympathize with both Evie and Adrian and their struggles to live honest lives in a world of dishonesty and secrets.

The secondary romance featuring Evie's best friend and fellow agent, Celeste, was a showstopper in and of itself and perhaps worthy of a bit more attention than it received. It certainly highlighted the stacks of secrets that every character in this story carries, as well as the enormous relief that comes from finding the person who can love all of you, secrets and all. Celeste herself was a master of disguise in the Agency, and even now hides behind her spectacles and her role as Evie's secretary. When her true nature and fiery character comes to light, the effect is truly remarkable. Similarly, Adrian's boisterous family was a joy to meet and a wonderfully well-drawn cast of eccentrics.

This story had all the joie de vivre and arch humor of the best of Oscar Wilde's plays, and the multi-faceted, engrossing characters that Victoria Alexander has always excelled in creating. It was nice to read about a married couple whose love was so strong and whose romance continues to grow, and I hope we'll have a chance to spend more time with these characters soon!

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