I honestly don’t know where to start with this book. There really isn’t anything wrong with it, but as of right now, I’ve been reading it for nearly a week and I just have no desire to continue doing so. Based on the description on Netgalley, it has everything that I should love and I have no idea why I don’t.
James, Duke of Abermont, is the leader of an organization known as The Clocktower, which was formed by his father decades earlier as a way to honor their family’s legacy as Agents of the Crown. In order to maintain his cover, James needs a wife, but the one woman he wants is someone he cannot justify marrying because she’s not high enough in the aristocracy not to cause a scandal. Vivian Loren is a governess, working in James’s household, but she’s got a secret–someone ordered her to take the position and inform him of the Duke’s actions. In return, he would provide her with information on her brother’s murderer.
For a book about spies, there is absolutely no spying going on and at halfway through there should be. You don’t see any activity within The Clocktower. Most of this book involves backstory, which is understandable as it is the first book in a new series. However, all the information in the world isn’t making this more interesting. At this point, I know more about James’s ancestors than I do about how agents of The Clocktower behave or even what type of training they get.
The biggest issue is how very little choice Vivian has in anything. She still has no idea just what James does or how he’s going to keep her safe from her brother’s murderer. James doesn’t feel comfortable telling her everything about his true occupation, but he is absolutely certain that she’ll want to spy for him. As soon as he finds out what is going on with her, he decides she’s going to be the newest Clocktower agent. He never asks, never gives her the option to say no. Obviously, she isn’t going to say no, but she should have been told what she was getting into by plighting her troth to James. Just saying.
I Spy a Duke is available for pre-order and will be released on October 5th.