CHECKMATE, MY LORD by Tracey Devlyn



A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s forced to betray.
THE STAKES ARE HIGH, THE PLAYERS IN POSITION…Catherine Ashcroft leads a quiet life caring for her precocious seven-year-old daughter, until a visitor delivers a startling ultimatum. She will match wits with the enigmatic Earl of Somerton, and it’s not just her heart that’s in danger.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN…Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Earl of Somerton, is famous for his cunning. Few can outwit him and even few dare challenge him–until now. After returning to his country estate, his no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him–but why would a respectable widow like Catherine risk scandal for a few passionate nights in his bed?

RHL CLassifications

Napoloenic Era

Historical Romance

Heat Level 2

Rating: 4 Stars


Catherine Ashcroft has come to London from her country residence to see Sebastian, Earl of Somerton, a friend of her late husband, and her neighbour. She brings with her letters that she received from her husband in the last month of his life. Catherine believes there is more to his murder by street thugs, and that important clues lie in his letters.

Sebastian Danvers is the head of Nexus, an elite group of spies working for the British government against Bonaparte. Known for his cool head and cold logic, Sebastian has been stood down from his position after a spy has been found working inside the Foreign Office, and he in turn is being investigated.

This is the second book in the Nexus series and is another very good spy story by this new author. Although Checkmate, My Lord takes place only a short time after the events of book #1 A Lady’s Revenge it can be read as a standalone. Characters from the first book make appearances, Guy Trevelyan, Ethan deBeau and his sister Cora.

Catherine is a protective and loving mother, an intuitive heroine and a wonderful match for Sebastian. In the first book, Sebastian came across as a cold and calculating spymaster. Catherine brings out the softer side of him. Their romance is lovely, the sex scenes steamy, the suspense intriguing.

I do wish though that Sebastian had said something sooner to Catherine to ally her fears and suspicions. And for Catherine who was obviously bright and intelligent, and cautious of Sebastian, should also have been a little more circumspect in placing her trust in others.

Nevertheless, this is another great addition to the Nexus series. For readers who found Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Ladyseries a little heavy-going, but who enjoy historical romance and intrigue, this series would definitely suit.


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