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Persuasion - Brenda Joyce Title/Author: Persuasion (The Spymaster's Men #2) by Brenda Joyce
Publisher/Date published: HQN Books, July 24 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Betrayal Tore Them Apart
Amelia Greystone was deeply in love when the earl of St. Just abruptly ended his courtship and left Cornwall ten years earlier. So she is stunned when Simon returns, recently widowed. Now she must forget the past they shared and his betrayal and console him as any neighbor would. Simon has changed - he is dark and haunted now - but he can still make her reel with a single look. When he offers her the position of housekeeper, Amelia knows she must refuse. But for the sake of his children,she throws all caution to the wind...
Passion Will Reunite Them
A British spy, Simon Grenville is now playing both sidesin a time of war, his goal to keep his sons safe. Yet when heis brought face-to-face with the woman he once loved, he realizes nothing about his feelings for Amelia has changed-if anything, they are even stronger. Still, Simon knows he must stay away from Amelia; his life is too dangerous now. But sometimes passion is too strong to be denied..."

So this thing with spies and all is a whole different type of historical romance than the ones I usually read and I was excited to give this type of plot a try. I mean, it had to be exciting, right??

Turns out being a spy is kinda depressing. And a whole lot of dangerous for everyone, including your family. And I KNOW this is probably closer to the truth than any other portrayal of it. But, well, in my romance novels I'm not always looking for reality and it sort of put a gloomy feel over the whole novel, and I would have liked to just get the warm fuzzies, which is what I'm personally looking for when I read a novel in this category.

But let's talk about what I did like: Amelia was a very warm and caring person and she had an enormous heart and was great with kids. I really loved this side of her character. I also really liked that Simon was so protective of his family, even though he did some pretty stupid things in the past, he was stepping up as a father and well, that is kinda sexy in my opinion (see, there goes my swooning over the good-guy parts again).

What I didn't like so much was the fact that after Simon completely shattered Amelia's heart 10 years ago, they take one look at each other and are in love again. Even though Simon is acting like a royal b-hind. It felt off to me. I mean, sure I can get there still being something between them, but if someone had hurt me like that I'd be SO ANGRY! And not all 'oh, let me hold your hand while you're being rude and hurtful'.

The lovestory just didn't work so much for me, though Simon gets his act together, it just takes him somewhat too long for my taste. And well, the sexytimes weren't all that sexy. And there was a lot of 'crying out' going on. In random conversations as well as at more appropriate times. Amelia went around 'crying out' at everything and I found myself wondering why nobody told her it was annoying or if she was actually saying something. I mean, if I just randomly starting ooh-ing or aah-hing or just making non-comprehensible sounds at everything, I think my family would tell me to stop it or take me to a doctor to have me get checked out.

Also, near the ending I was worried the story would be dragged out over a sequel, when in my opinion the story could have been done already. And I was thinking 'but how will they get this resolved in a satisfying way in only 20 pages'. Which didn't happen by the way, it was rushed and awkward and was a plotline that could have been either skipped or had to be fleshed out a bit more in my opinion.

I know I sound negative and this wasn't really a bad book. It just wasn't for me and between to me the unsatisfying lovestory, the depressing background of spying in the war between France and England and the rushed ending, I'm left feeling disappointed.

My rating: 2 stars