Author: Lisa Chaplin
Publication: William Morrow, trade paperback, June 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
A seasoned spy known as Tidewatcher, Duncan apprenticed under Lisbeth's father and pledged to keep his mentor's pretty daughter safe—a promise complicated by Napoleon Bonaparte. The British believe he is planning an attack, and Duncan is sent to search for signs of invasion on the French coast—where he draws dangerously close to adventurous and unpredictable Lisbeth.
A sensational new invention may shift the tide of a French victory. A brilliant and eccentric American inventor named Robert Fulton has devised a deadly weapon that can decimate an enemy's fleet. To protect English ships, Tidewatcher must gain control of Fulton's invention and cross enemy lines . . . but he cannot do it alone. Left with no other options, Duncan enlists Lisbeth's help in outwitting the American inventor and uncovering Bonaparte's secret plans – in return, he will help her take her son back to England.
Going undercover for the handsome and duty-bound spy, Lisbeth risks her freedom and her life as she navigates double agents and submarine warfare to outwit the greatest military tactician in history. The only question is . . . . who can she trust?
Audience: Fans of historical fiction, readers who enjoy books by Lauren Willig and Tasha Alexander
What I liked: This is a fast paced adventure combining several elements I enjoy: espionage, complicated family relationships, and women contributing to war efforts. Lisbeth is quick-witted (albeit far too passive) and willing to help defeat Bonaparte although her priority always remains reclaiming her child. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I found this novel and its unusual setting entertaining. By far the most interesting aspect of the book, however, was finding Robert Fulton in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars – how had I never known that, despite being born in Pennsylvania, by 1797 he was in Paris, an 18th century scientific center, where he began to design torpedoes and submarines.
What I disliked: I did not find the plot very convincing: I didn’t understand why Lisbeth’s husband courted her in the first place and why he lost interest so quickly; why her father and brothers allowed her to suffer with a known villain, far from home. Duncan’s complicated heritage was confusing, and it seemed unlikely someone would marry his chambermaid mother without any blood connection, just to secure an heir to torment. There seemed to be far too many plot elements floating around without proper setup or resolution, although I suppose the author is already planning other books in the series. A skilled editor would have helped the author with the anachronisms and her lack of familiarity with this century and Revolutionary France.
tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours. I received this book in return for an honest review.