Revealed, by Kate Noble

>> Sunday, June 24, 2012

TITLE: Revealed
AUTHOR: Kate Noble

COPYRIGHT: 2009
PAGES: 400
PUBLISHER: Berkley

SETTING: Early 19th century England
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: None

Phillippa Benning is the unrivaled beauty of the Season. But when another lady challenges her for a marquis’s attentions, Phillippa entices him to a secret rendezvous—only to stumble upon The Blue Raven, England’s most famous spy, lurking at the site of her planned tryst.

The Blue Raven has uncovered an enemy plot directed at upcoming society functions, but he’s unable to infiltrate London society. Phillippa makes an offer: in exchange for entrĂ©e among the ton, he agrees to have his true identity revealed at the Benning Ball—guaranteeing her unrivaled notoriety. As the danger draws closer, the mysterious spy and Phillippa give in to mutual desire. But when the game turns deadly, betrayal waits around the corner, and Phillippa must decide once and for all—is it the myth that captured her heart, or the man?
I wasn't too impressed by the first book I read by this author, but Revealed was -to go with the obvious joke- a revelation.

The heroine, Phillippa Benning, was a character who had me practically jumping for joy. She is a ton leader, the most beautiful woman in Society and an arbiter of taste. And she isn't in that position involuntarily, through the radiant goodness of her character. Nope, Phillippa works hard to be there, and takes pleasure in beating her rivals. At long last, a heroine who's well aware of her popularity and, what's more, really enjoys it!

The hero is Marcus Worth, who comes across as an unassuming nobody. Marcus is pleasant-looking and quite respectable, but a mere younger son, and is not some macho, dashing millionaire. He does some work for the Government around spying, but isn't a master spy, or anything like that. However, Phillippa thinks he is, and they end up working together, with Phillippa helping Marcus infiltrate top ton parties, which means spending a lot of time in close proximity...

I loved this. I finally get why Noble's compared with Julia Quinn. Revealed is funny and charming, and features a truly lovely romance. These two start out dismissing the other. Phillippa doesn't think there's anything special about Marcus, while Marcus doesn't think Phillippa is particularly intelligent or deep. Noble shows us how they gradually get to know each other better, and how their opinions change. The attraction is there from the start (even if Phillippa can't understand why she's started to feel so attached to someone as average as Marcus), but the beauty of this is seeing the increasing fondness and liking for each other develop, and how these two really get each other completely.

This is a character-driven romance, with the external plot there just to set things off on their way. The spies and stuff are a bit blah (the main reason this is not an A), but the romance is the main thing here, and it's soooo good.

MY GRADE: A B+.

2 comments:

Lilo 25 June 2012 09:49  

Thanks for the review; will check this one out. Currently on a romance slump; tired of Regency heroes who are always the most gorgeous, richest, most powerful, blah3x. This book just might jolt me out of it

Rosario 27 June 2012 06:38  

It just might! Count me in as yet another one who's tired of heroes not allowed any vulnerabilities. I wish there were many more books like this.

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