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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 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…. A British spy, Simon Grenville is now playing both sides in a time of war, his goal to keep his sons safe. Yet when he is 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….


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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 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…. A British spy, Simon Grenville is now playing both sides in a time of war, his goal to keep his sons safe. Yet when he is 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….

30 review for Persuasion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elis Madison

    Long-suffering dark-horse candidate for martyrdom seeks self-obsessed schmuck for long term relationship. Enjoys ridicule, humiliation and other assorted ill-treatment. Any excuse for self-abasement will be appreciated. I just got through bragging on Brenda Joyce, how her writing never lets me down, but here she goes and does it. I can only think that her publisher gave her an impossible deadline, and her editors were completely derelict in their duties, because the book is replete with adver Long-suffering dark-horse candidate for martyrdom seeks self-obsessed schmuck for long term relationship. Enjoys ridicule, humiliation and other assorted ill-treatment. Any excuse for self-abasement will be appreciated. I just got through bragging on Brenda Joyce, how her writing never lets me down, but here she goes and does it. I can only think that her publisher gave her an impossible deadline, and her editors were completely derelict in their duties, because the book is replete with adverb abuse and overuse of certain metaphors to the point of silliness. (I'm amazed any of the characters survived the story, given the way their hearts surged, lurched, jolted, thrummed (?), drummed, dropped, raced, and otherwise endured abuse.) Joyce is capable of so much better. And it's too bad, too, because she had a powerful story here, just aching to be told. We met Amelia in Seduction, where she is the responsible elder sister who sublimates her longing for a family by tending to her siblings and demented mother. We learn that Amelia once loved Simon, the second son of the Earl of St. Just. Simon once pursued her with lovely romantic overtures, leading her to believe a proposal was forthcoming. But then his older brother died unexpectedly, and now that he was heir to an earldom, Simon split for London without even bothering to say goodbye. He married another woman and went on with his life, leaving Amelia to realize that he'd only toyed with her. But hey, it's a great excuse for her to pine and sublimate her own needs—what more could a gal ask for? The story here begins with Simon in a prison in France. He was spying on the revolutionaries, and he's been caught. He's facing La Guillotine until he speaks with Lafleur, a man high up in the ranks of the revolution. Simon, who is posing as his own dead cousin (who perished early in the Terror), claims to have access to the Earl of St. Just (yeah, that's himself). He bargains for his life by promising that he will use himself to gain info on the Brits. (Not exactly period but the idea comes across.) It turns out that the Simon who, we're told, had no problem walking away from Amelia without a word, has remained true to form. He also had no problem walking away from his children when his marriage became unpleasant. He'd been spending most of his time at distant estates, gaining a reputation as a recluse, which made him an ideal recruit for Amelia's uncle, Sebastian Warlock. Warlock is his own kind of asswipe, who doesn't mind blackmailing his own family or putting women and children in danger, so long as he gets to convince himself he's doing it for England. I dearly hope that at the end of this series he is left to spend the rest of his life alone, wondering why nobody loves him. Amelia hears from her brother Lucas (also a spy for the Brits—gee thanks, Uncle Sebastard) that Simon's wife Elizabeth has died in childbirth. Amelia met Elizabeth once, and found her kind and likeable (of course she did). So even tho Lucas tries to talk her out of it, Amelia feels the need to torment herself by attending the funeral, because gee, what could be better than watching the man she's been pining for grieve over his dead wife? When Amelia arrives, she finds two very confused, very lost little boys and the beautiful newborn girl in the care of their governess and the boys' tutor. Simon has had no contact with the staff, and they're at a loss how to go on. Amelia is a natural masochist caregiver so she jumps right in and, despite the fact that she's a singleton and has no children of her own, seems to know better than the professional tutor and governess what's best for the wee darlings. Simon arrives just in time for the funeral, briefly greets his sons, ignores the baby, and gives Amelia a look that tells her he remembers her (which she repeats to herself over and over through the funeral as if it's a mantra). He sits through part of the funeral and then makes a dramatic exit leaving two completely useless employees and Amelia to sort things out. To be fair, Simon is dealing with PTSD. He's had to pose as a loyal revolutionary and applaud the beheading of a good friend. He still hears the crowds and smells the blood. He finally managed to get home only to learn that his wife is dead. He barely knows his sons and has absolutely no interest in the baby. And now the pressure of pretending that he gives a rat's tuchas about any of it is too much for his wee dinky brain. So he runs back to the manor and gets tap-hackled. When Amelia approaches him, he's angry, confused, and completely piss-eyed. So he acts as if she's throwing herself at him. He mauls her, humiliates her, and sends her running, but her "concern for the children" keeps bringing her back. She finally scolds Simon for being a drunk-assed idiot and tells him to man up and start being a dad. And maybe a human being. The revelation changes everything. But instead of deciding to behave like a responsible and loving parent, he gets the completely witless idea that he should pop the question. Yes, he asks Amelia if she would do him the singular honor of becoming his… [image error] …housekeeper. And, of course, Amelia accepts. OK. I'll cut a little slack. Simon knows he's in a deep pit of midden. He's promised the revolutionaries in France that he'll get them intel on the Brits. Meanwhile, his English handlers, particularly Uncle Sebastard, also expect him to continue gathering intel for the English cause. Simon is just astute enough to realize that he can't please one without pissing off the other, and one or both may try to use his family against him. So he's obviously well aware that he ought to keep Amelia completely out of it. Which seems to make it all the more imperative that she move into his house--not into a room normally designated for servants but into a nicely appointed guest room so that nobody gets any "wrong" impression. She's got carte blanche WRT the daily household decisions and the care and feeding of his children, so it's not obvious at all. The theory is that she'll take care of his kids if something happens to him. Because a housekeeper is naturally going to get custody and guardianship of the earl's children. The logical inconsistencies continue from there. Seriously, Joyce had the makings of one of her more powerful stories, with all the spying, betrayals, and broken, bleeding hearts (yeah, well, we could've done with fewer hearts, but…). The author just needed one more thorough revision and some legitimate editorial support. I hope her publisher reads this and henceforth gives her time to turn out the quality work of which she's capable. Cuz it really breaks my surging, lurching, thrumming heart to give this only two stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    LaFleurBleue

    Some heroines are pushover. Amelia is much more than that: she would be more of a "standover", if I'm allowed the neologism. Indeed she would lie down so that other people might trample her more easily, and not satisfied with that yet, she would also point out on which parts someone could do her the maximum hurt by stabbing a vicious heel or an elbow. She's supposed to be very nice and sweet, but she just seemed spineless and utterly passive. Her intelligence was mentioned a few times, I never s Some heroines are pushover. Amelia is much more than that: she would be more of a "standover", if I'm allowed the neologism. Indeed she would lie down so that other people might trample her more easily, and not satisfied with that yet, she would also point out on which parts someone could do her the maximum hurt by stabbing a vicious heel or an elbow. She's supposed to be very nice and sweet, but she just seemed spineless and utterly passive. Her intelligence was mentioned a few times, I never saw anything to believe it existed outside of the goodwill of some people around her. On the other hand, Simon, her beloved hero, is an oaf. He never explained why he had maried someone else whom he never even liked just a few months after having enjoyed the premise of a torrid affair full of love. And the spying business seemed more and more poorly managed. If he was indeed one of the best of what England had for spies at the time, no wonder the Allied forces did not win the war. I'll stop there with this unsatisfying series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Amelia has got to be the most dull-as-dishwater, meddlesome, loyal-to-stupidity, love-sick, sickeningly devoted, gag-worthy heroine I've ever read. Seriously. There were over a dozen times I wished I could reach through the book to slap her silly. I could not identify with her at all and I only finished the book out of sheer stubbornness. I was frankly hoping she'd get killed at the end. Amelia has got to be the most dull-as-dishwater, meddlesome, loyal-to-stupidity, love-sick, sickeningly devoted, gag-worthy heroine I've ever read. Seriously. There were over a dozen times I wished I could reach through the book to slap her silly. I could not identify with her at all and I only finished the book out of sheer stubbornness. I was frankly hoping she'd get killed at the end.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I wrote this review ages ago and somehow forgot to post it! The story begins in 1794 with the “Reign of Terror” that followed the storming of the Bastille in full flow, and Simon Grenville languishing in prison, awaiting execution. He gains his freedom by making a terrible bargain, but he knows it’s the only thing he can do to buy himself some time and to protect the lives of his children. The opening scenes are detailed and atmospheric – you can almost smell the reek of the prison, and the autho I wrote this review ages ago and somehow forgot to post it! The story begins in 1794 with the “Reign of Terror” that followed the storming of the Bastille in full flow, and Simon Grenville languishing in prison, awaiting execution. He gains his freedom by making a terrible bargain, but he knows it’s the only thing he can do to buy himself some time and to protect the lives of his children. The opening scenes are detailed and atmospheric – you can almost smell the reek of the prison, and the author is clearly knowledgeable about the terrible extremes wreaked on the French aristocracy by the fanatic Robespierre and his Comité. I’m not normally one for “spy” novels, but this one is really about the consequences of the hero’s actions, his battle with his inner demons and the lengths to which he will go in order to protect those he loves. The heroine, Amelia, is no young miss – she is twenty-six and has been running her family’s household for well over ten years. She’s capable and not afraid of speaking her mind, but as the book progressed, I found myself getting a bit impatient with her goodness and self-sacrifice; and of her continual rebuttal of Simon’s repeated insistence that she shouldn’t think highly of him. And then there are her continual attempts to get him to tell her what’s going on when he’s trying to protect her. Of course, as a woman in love, and as someone concerned for the welfare of both him and his children, I can understand her wanting to know. But the only strategy she seems able to adopt is to keep badgering him about it, which only increases his determination not to involve her! Perhaps this is meant to show us that Amelia is “feisty” – but after the first couple of times, I began to understand why Simon wouldn’t answer her, and to think she needed to change her tactics. But this is balanced out by her absolute devotion to Simon’s family and the huge difference she makes to the lives of his motherless children. Despite the fact that I wasn’t over-enamoured with the heroine, I nonetheless enjoyed the book. It was well-written, had a bucket-load of romantic tension and a good eye for period detail. There was plenty of background about the state of France and how that was affecting Britain and the rest of Europe – the corruption of the new regime, the fury of the mob, the betrayals and espionage – but not so much that it slowed down the story. During the course of the book, we meet Amelia’s sister Julianne, who is now the Countess of Bedford. On checking Amazon, I see that she was the heroine of Seduction, and it looks as though there is another book featuring another of the Greystones coming out towards the end of this year. With thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley, for providing an ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Olguin

    Way too melodramatic for me. Suffered through chapter 16 before I finally gave up. I found the plot comeplling. But the main characters react way over the top of normal. The heroine, who is supposed to be the housekeeper is nosey and annoying. The pace is slow with and by chapter 16, the hero hasn't actually done anything but worry - instead of taking control of the situation and his life. So, I moved on to another book. Way too melodramatic for me. Suffered through chapter 16 before I finally gave up. I found the plot comeplling. But the main characters react way over the top of normal. The heroine, who is supposed to be the housekeeper is nosey and annoying. The pace is slow with and by chapter 16, the hero hasn't actually done anything but worry - instead of taking control of the situation and his life. So, I moved on to another book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    S

    When you build a character around the premise that she's really, really good at keeping secrets, you might not want to have her spill her guts to friends, relatives and whomever happens to be strolling nearby on the very next page. Makes your characterization weak and the character unlikeable. When you build a character around the premise that she's really, really good at keeping secrets, you might not want to have her spill her guts to friends, relatives and whomever happens to be strolling nearby on the very next page. Makes your characterization weak and the character unlikeable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    The story was good, but Amelia kind of grated on my nerves a bit. i couldnt fisnish it. I think the book wasnt for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daisy

    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 neighbo 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

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This is the second book in her Spymaster series. I have not read the first book and honestly don’t feel it is necessary to read the first in order to read this. It is very much a standalone book. I like Brenda Joyce as an author especially her historical books (The Francesca Cahill series is one of my favorites), but she falls flat with Persuasion. Joyce has always been a good one to turn to for having your senses teased. Her earlier books are filled with such heart pounding, sexual tension that This is the second book in her Spymaster series. I have not read the first book and honestly don’t feel it is necessary to read the first in order to read this. It is very much a standalone book. I like Brenda Joyce as an author especially her historical books (The Francesca Cahill series is one of my favorites), but she falls flat with Persuasion. Joyce has always been a good one to turn to for having your senses teased. Her earlier books are filled with such heart pounding, sexual tension that leave you tingling all over, but lately she just doesn’t measure up to her previous books. It is understandable that as a writer grows their writing style changes and it is pretty easy to pinpoint which book is the one that began the change, however; with Joyce I can’t seem to pinpoint when it happened. I’m not complaining, but it makes me long for classic Joyce. I had high hopes for Persuasion because the blurb looked interesting and let’s face it I’m a bit of sucker for these types of novels of long lost love returned. Basically in a nutshull Amelia Greystone was sixteen when she fell deeply in love when Simon Grenville. She expected a proposal, but he abruptly ended the courtship. Ten years later he returns to Cornwall and asks Amelia to be his housekeeper. She of course can’t say no because he has children that need her help. There is of course the underlying issue of their past relationship. Simeon brings it up and Amelia likes to pass it off as the past. Amelia notices Simeon is distant with his children and quickly discovers he his a spy, but which country does he owe his allegiance to? England or France? The idea was interesting, but Joyce failed to execute it in several places. Simon’s relationship with Amelia takes off quickly as he tries to scare her off by seducing her. At no point in time do Amelia and Simon have the talk. You know the talk as to why he left her the way he did. Later we are told that his brother who was the heir dies and it’s assumed that’s why he left Cornwall, because he now becomes the direct heir to his father, the Earl of St. Just. We are also told by Simon that his marriage to the countess wasn’t a happy one and that she and his brother would have been perfect. It is never implied, but assumed: the history of Simon’s brother with his wife. Were they once engaged and therefore Simon felt duty bound to offer for her hand? The reason why Simon becomes a spy is never addressed. That bothered me a little more than anything else. I got the feeling he didn’t care to be the Earl of St Just; it is a huge responsibility, but if he felt honor bound to ask for his wife’s hand then why throw it all away? Now I know some readers have said that Amelia comes off a shrew because she tells Simon how to raise his children, how to manage his household, etc. I don’t see her as one, but more like a woman who is use to taking charge of a situation. Amelia has a mother who is ill and has been caring for her. This is one of the reasons why Amelia has never married. Joyce doesn’t tell us what her mother has, but I fully expect it be dementia. I did have a slight problem with the whole taking of the mother situation. How can Amelia be the housekeeper, oversee the kitchen staff, take care of his children, be on the lookout for Simon, and still take care for her mother? The one key element missing to Persuasion? The reason why Simon couldn’t stop being a spy. I anticipate the reason why Joyce doesn’t tell us is because it will be addressed in a later book. The same reason why we aren’t told the full role of Amelia’s brothers and uncle’s as spies. Sadly I won’t be reading the rest of the series to find out the grand answer. The story had potential, but quickly fell flat. I debated over the rating. I gave it a three for the slight sexual tension and for Simon’s espionage getting more screen time than the couple’s romance.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Moon Love

    Amelia Greystone is in Cornwall when she finds out the Countess of St.Just, her closest neighbor has died giving birth, leaving behind three little ones. Amelia realizes, Simon, the Earl of St.Just, the same man who broke her heart 10 years ago when he left without a word, will be returning to Cornwall for the first time since then. Amelia being softhearted sees the grieving children and the changed and disturbed Earl, takes a job as his housekeeper. Simon is suffering from nightmares and parano Amelia Greystone is in Cornwall when she finds out the Countess of St.Just, her closest neighbor has died giving birth, leaving behind three little ones. Amelia realizes, Simon, the Earl of St.Just, the same man who broke her heart 10 years ago when he left without a word, will be returning to Cornwall for the first time since then. Amelia being softhearted sees the grieving children and the changed and disturbed Earl, takes a job as his housekeeper. Simon is suffering from nightmares and paranoid that someone will hurt him and those he loves and finds the attraction they once shared is still strong, and even though he knows he's placing her in danger, can't help but want her near. What is Simon hiding and why won't he look at his new daughter? Persuasion is the second book in this series about men who are involved first hand in the British war effort in France during the period known as "The Terror". This book was enjoyable with a good story, however I couldn't bring myself to like Amelia or Simon that much. While I admire Amelia's take charge attitude in seeing that the children needed love and care in this trying time after losing their mother, and stepping in to do so, there were many times when it seemed she had a split personality. While Amelia could be strong, she could also come across as very weak. Amelia ignored her gut feeling that Simon was involved in the war effort after getting numerous confirmations that something was wrong. What I found extremely disturbing was her reaction to coming across that if leaked could harm England's was efforts both there and in France. She was asked by the spymaster Warlock, also her maternal uncle, to swear she would not disclose what she knew, and she refused. Her first response was to run to her brother, Lucas, and tell him everything, not realizing exactly how much danger she is in, until Warlock shows her by kidnapping her. She gasped. "How could you do such a thing?" But as she stared at her uncle, she realized he was right. She was in danger now, because she was Simon's lover and knew too much. French agents could abduct her, just like her uncle had. Ms. Joyce's characters seem to be formulaic. If it's not broke, why fix it right? However, the hero's tend to be domineering and overbearing, and the women vary from being strong in one moment, to very weak, and doing things that seem extremely foolish in the scheme of things. Seduction also had this flaw. This behavior can be annoying. I am hoping that the character development in the next book is stronger. However, this is the only flaw in the book. It was good to see Julianne and Dominic from Seduction/u>. I liked them much more in this book, even though their involvement and presence was minimal. Brenda Joyce has been a published author for 24 years, this year. She's written mostly historical romance, along with a paranormal series and a romantic historical mystery series. The next and third book in "The Spymasters Series", Surrender is set to be released this November, which will be about smuggler Jack Greystone. I'm hoping that my guess regarding whom Lucas will be paired with in the scheduled final book of the series is correct. I am really looking forward to reading both Jack and Lucas's stories.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tien

    I’m feeling sad, at the moment, because I’ve finished reading this book! Seriously, it’s 393 pages but it really didn’t feel like it. I thought I was in a rut as I found myself reading one paranormal romance after another and I started this book (courtesy of Netgalley) without much expectation. The first 100 pages flew by and I had to force myself to put it down to go to sleep early this morning. I kept sneak-reading this book for the rest of today and I couldn’t believe I’ve finished it. I don’t I’m feeling sad, at the moment, because I’ve finished reading this book! Seriously, it’s 393 pages but it really didn’t feel like it. I thought I was in a rut as I found myself reading one paranormal romance after another and I started this book (courtesy of Netgalley) without much expectation. The first 100 pages flew by and I had to force myself to put it down to go to sleep early this morning. I kept sneak-reading this book for the rest of today and I couldn’t believe I’ve finished it. I don’t read very many historical romances, maybe about a dozen or so in a year (out of my 200+ reads) but I went through a Georgette Heyer phase plus I. JUST. LOVE. The Scarlet Pimpernel. What’s this book gotta do with Scarlet Pimpernel you ask, well, granted it does not have the masked hero but… what interest me from the book blurb was that Simon Grenville is a Spymaster in the time of the French Revolution. That little bit of similarity to Scarlet Pimpernel was enough to piqued my interest. Plus that dark & handsome brooding hero in need of salvation… *sigh*, my kind of man ;) It was a very easy read, one thing after another happened and before you know it, you’ve read over 100 pages! Things slowed down a little but the romantic suspense was there pretty much ‘til right near the end. The ending is slightly disappointing. I am happy but it was just an average sort of ‘romance’ ending which was wrapped up pretty quickly. I wish there was more action. Actually, I Want some Action. The only two exciting happenings were a near-abduction and a loaded gun being totted around. Aww, c’mon! Surely, surely, some sort of action-adventure could’ve been fitted in this book, he’s a Spymaster! Still if you are looking for an easy fluffy engaging romantic fling, this book may just do it for you. The key is to NOT have too high an expectation ;) I thoroughly enjoyed my reading and kinda sad that it’s over. “Next!”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nina Reads Too

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just want to say that I am a huge Brenda Joyce fan and her books come out, I automatically buy them. With this being said, I was not a huge fan of her last book, Seduction. I felt the character were a little under developed and the plot was not very enticing. However, I thought I could give Amelia’s book Persuasion, is the second book of the Spy Masters series a try. Persuasion, starts with the dead of Simon Grenville, the Earl of St. Jude wife. At first, Amelia is surprise and bewilder by seei I just want to say that I am a huge Brenda Joyce fan and her books come out, I automatically buy them. With this being said, I was not a huge fan of her last book, Seduction. I felt the character were a little under developed and the plot was not very enticing. However, I thought I could give Amelia’s book Persuasion, is the second book of the Spy Masters series a try. Persuasion, starts with the dead of Simon Grenville, the Earl of St. Jude wife. At first, Amelia is surprise and bewilder by seeing Simon back in Cornwall. She is still scared by their failed romance 10 years ago. However, she accepts the Simon’s proposal of being his housekeeper. Simon now a widower, is a little astonished by the fact that Amelia is unattached and that he still feel an attraction toward her. Disregarding his feeling and the fact that he might endanger Amelia’s life he ask her to be his housekeeper. Amelia’s role as housekeeper is to look over the house, staff and of course the Greenville children. Amelia fall in love with Greenville children especially the baby girl. We can see Amelia’s maternal side. Greenville is fighting his lust of Amelia as well as being a double agent for both the British and French. Amelia and Simon story is a beautiful love story, very endearing and filled with a slap of suspense. However, I felt the Joyce did not entirely resolve the reason behind why Simon left 10 year before. I felt Amelia was to quick to forget the past. However, I really enjoyed the story and I felt it was better than her previous book. I can’t wait to read Jack book and I have a feeling that Lucas and Nadine might have a romance in the future. What do you guys think? I want to thank NetGallery for the opportunity to read one of my favorite authors.  Thank you so much!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    This is another one of those stories that you just keep rooting for the hero and heroine. Both Amelia and Simon capture your attention for different reasons. ten years previously they were a couple but for some reason Simon just left Amelia. Her siblings hate him for this and the pain that Amelia went through at that time. But Amelia has forgiven him, she enters his household to care for his children and the child of his recently deceased wife. How many women do you think could do that? I'm not This is another one of those stories that you just keep rooting for the hero and heroine. Both Amelia and Simon capture your attention for different reasons. ten years previously they were a couple but for some reason Simon just left Amelia. Her siblings hate him for this and the pain that Amelia went through at that time. But Amelia has forgiven him, she enters his household to care for his children and the child of his recently deceased wife. How many women do you think could do that? I'm not sure that I could. As you might expect Amelia also comes to care for Simon, and gets herself into trouble doing her best to protect him. Simon is a troubled soul, he was in a marriage he didn't care for his wife was unfaithful to him. Simon was in a dark place when he entered the spy world. That was a release for him, an escape from the troubles of his life. But in the end he was caught way to deep in the war with France. When he comes home he is scrambling to save his children, to find his wife is dead and a child that is not his is now in his household. With the spy world closing in on him he is desperate to come out on top. Amelia soon becomes a welcome refuse from his crazy world and while she cares for the household and the children he slowly reveals himself to her. So many times in this book you see Amelia taking risks to find out what is going on while the men folk in her life are doing their best to protect her, why don't they recognize its better to tell her from the start and she can help instead of keeping her in the dark for so long. This is a great book that will keep you entertained, and guessing what is going to happen next. Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley. The rating, review, and all opinions are my own

  14. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne

    My review originally posted on Romancing-the-Book.com is below: This was book 2 in Joyce’s Spymaster’s Men series although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Seduction, book 1. It is a regency romance that involves many of the characters we met previously but they weren’t well developed at all and it seemed a much darker story. Amelia was not very likable but very headstrong and going against all the norms of that time period. Besides being willful and uncontrollable and taking on the world no matter w My review originally posted on Romancing-the-Book.com is below: This was book 2 in Joyce’s Spymaster’s Men series although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Seduction, book 1. It is a regency romance that involves many of the characters we met previously but they weren’t well developed at all and it seemed a much darker story. Amelia was not very likable but very headstrong and going against all the norms of that time period. Besides being willful and uncontrollable and taking on the world no matter who told her no – whether family or friends – she did it in the most annoying ways. She also acted like the mistress of the house when in reality she was Simon’s housekeeper, even thought they shared a past. Simon, although a dual spy, had no backbone when it came to Amelia and didn’t seem plausible during most of the story. He also doubted everything he did and even said at times. There was laughter, tears, angst, family and friends, and sex more than romance but all had the war overpowering these emotions. There were a few happily ever afters that were unexpected and helped the storyline. I didn’t predict the outcome of the story and it was better than I expected and there was closure. If there is a book 3 and beyond I would hope the characters and storyline would be more like Seduction or Joyce’s Deadly series. Favorite Quote:…”We are being very careful not to let the past affect the present. We are trying very hard to maintain the roles we have taken as housekeeper and employer.” His gaze narrowed. “Does that mean you have discussed your past affair?” She did not want to lie. “Of course we have. I never said that this situation isn’t somewhat awkward. But his children come first – we agreed upon that.”…

  15. 5 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Reviewed by JoAnne Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book This was book 2 in Joyce’s Spymaster’s Men series although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Seduction, book 1. It is a regency romance that involves many of the characters we met previously but they weren’t well developed at all and it seemed a much darker story. Amelia was not very likable but very headstrong and going against all the norms of that time period. Besides being willful and uncontrollab Reviewed by JoAnne Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book This was book 2 in Joyce’s Spymaster’s Men series although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Seduction, book 1. It is a regency romance that involves many of the characters we met previously but they weren’t well developed at all and it seemed a much darker story. Amelia was not very likable but very headstrong and going against all the norms of that time period. Besides being willful and uncontrollable and taking on the world no matter who told her no – whether family or friends – she did it in the most annoying ways. She also acted like the mistress of the house when in reality she was Simon’s housekeeper, even thought they shared a past. Simon, although a dual spy, had no backbone when it came to Amelia and didn’t seem plausible during most of the story. He also doubted everything he did and even said at times. There was laughter, tears, angst, family and friends, and sex more than romance but all had the war overpowering these emotions. There were a few happily ever afters that were unexpected and helped the storyline. I didn’t predict the outcome of the story and it was better than I expected and there was closure. If there is a book 3 and beyond I would hope the characters and storyline would be more like Seduction or Joyce’s Deadly series. Favorite Quote:…”We are being very careful not to let the past affect the present. We are trying very hard to maintain the roles we have taken as housekeeper and employer.” His gaze narrowed. “Does that mean you have discussed your past affair?” She did not want to lie. “Of course we have. I never said that this situation isn’t somewhat awkward. But his children come first – we agreed upon that.”…

  16. 4 out of 5

    LINCCReviews

    I loved Brenda Joyce in the past.. lately her books have been kind of dull and boring. I ended up skimming about 3/4 the way through because I just hated Amelia. She "cries" everything she says. All her sentences end in exclamation marks. It was quite annoying. She's the most meddlesome woman. She asks a million questions. Had I been Simon I'd have kicked her out because of how nosy and meddlesome she was. I ended up unable to stand her throughout the book and hoping Simon would finally tell her I loved Brenda Joyce in the past.. lately her books have been kind of dull and boring. I ended up skimming about 3/4 the way through because I just hated Amelia. She "cries" everything she says. All her sentences end in exclamation marks. It was quite annoying. She's the most meddlesome woman. She asks a million questions. Had I been Simon I'd have kicked her out because of how nosy and meddlesome she was. I ended up unable to stand her throughout the book and hoping Simon would finally tell her off for being such a annoying woman. She's repeatedly told by everyone (Simon, all her brothers and sister, her uncle, etc) to leave him alone and stop digging into Simons every action and she never listens to anyone. She does exactly the opposite by spying on him and ease dropping on all his conversations. That's the heroine in the story? Geeze... Then when she finds out he's a spy and is asked to promise not to tell anyone because it could end with Simon getting killed? What's the first thing she does? Runs off to tell everyone she can find everything. Yeah I hated the main character which ruined the book for me. I didn't even read past when Simon came home from being tried for treason I was just like.. alright.. FINALLY I'm done with this piece of trash book. Truly, I love Brenda Joyce, but where is the passion she use to have in her books? Where you were DYING to see what happened next and you could FEEL the tension? These last few books are awful! I've read the first in this series and that one had me disliking the heroine too. I'll TRY the third in the series but if the heroine ends up being as meddlesome, back stabby and cries everything she says I swear I'll be off Brenda for good. (Faiyth)

  17. 4 out of 5

    ZaBeth Marsh

    Brenda Joyce’s second book in her Spymaster’s Men series, Persuasion, delivers everything you want in a historical romance: international intrigue, a brooding handsome hero, and a headstrong heroine. Set in the midst of the French revolution, Joyce has all the heroes of this series playing a dangerous spy game for the British spymaster Sebastian Warlock. Warlock’s only concern is winning the war for his country and he isn’t above using his niece Amelia Greystone to achieve his goals. Especially Brenda Joyce’s second book in her Spymaster’s Men series, Persuasion, delivers everything you want in a historical romance: international intrigue, a brooding handsome hero, and a headstrong heroine. Set in the midst of the French revolution, Joyce has all the heroes of this series playing a dangerous spy game for the British spymaster Sebastian Warlock. Warlock’s only concern is winning the war for his country and he isn’t above using his niece Amelia Greystone to achieve his goals. Especially when she starts working as housekeeper for the Earl of St. Just, who may be working as a double agent for France and Britain. Joyce is a master of creating emotionally charged romances and Persuasion is no different. What I liked about this second offering is that espionage does not require the reader to have any knowledge of French geography to understand the war battles – a fault I found with the initial book in the series. While I like all the men and women that Joyce has focused on in this series so far, part of me is hoping that the last book in this series will provide Warlock with his own romantic ties. It would be interesting to see the man who pulls all the political strings have his heart strings yanked by someone else. There will likely be many stories before this series is over as both Lucas and Jack need their own love stories. I wonder which one will be paired with Nadine? Jack seems awfully interested in her, but we’ve seen Lucas and Nadine together plotting on the side. Could brothers come to blows over a girl? One never can tell where Joyce will take her next love story but readers are always pleased on the final page.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    Amelia and Simon. What an odd couple they were. Their young love wasn't meant to be no matter how much Amelia expected a proposal. And the cad-ish way Simon cast her aside was weak-minded regardless of the circumstances involved. Fast forward ten years and they find themselves in an unbelievable situation with Amelia serving as his housekeeper and self-appointed stand-in mother to his children while Simon tries to continue his clandestine spy activities. What I did find refreshingly unique was S Amelia and Simon. What an odd couple they were. Their young love wasn't meant to be no matter how much Amelia expected a proposal. And the cad-ish way Simon cast her aside was weak-minded regardless of the circumstances involved. Fast forward ten years and they find themselves in an unbelievable situation with Amelia serving as his housekeeper and self-appointed stand-in mother to his children while Simon tries to continue his clandestine spy activities. What I did find refreshingly unique was Simon's role as double agent in the midst of the French Revolution, his imprisonment, and his quick descent into extreme anxiety. Anyone forced to witness the dark days of the revolution and live with the extreme and constant fear would certainly suffer PTSD. I really didn't care about their romance, as little as it was, but I was fascinated with Simon's escalating predicament. However, it wasn't until the last quarter of the story that the plot moved at a faster clip with the major players coming together to make things much more interesting. Generally, I do not enjoy spy stories, but I have to say that by the time Amelia and Simon finally did get their HEA, their love was a poignant, breathing life force. It just wasn't enough to make a so-so story into a great one. 3 stars. Oh, and did anyone else catch all those exclamation points? For the first half of the book, they were everywhere! So distracting! Hilarious!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    I just read the Persuasion by Brenda Joyce and it was an excellent read. This is the second book of the Spymaster Men which centers around the French Revolution. The characters are Simon, Grenville, the Earl of St. Just and Amelia Greystone who were neighbors. Ten years earlier, Amelia was deeply in love with Simon when she was sixteen years old And suddenly Simon ended his courtship and left his family home in Cornwall and never said goodbye to Amelia. She found out later that Simon married someo I just read the Persuasion by Brenda Joyce and it was an excellent read. This is the second book of the Spymaster Men which centers around the French Revolution. The characters are Simon, Grenville, the Earl of St. Just and Amelia Greystone who were neighbors. Ten years earlier, Amelia was deeply in love with Simon when she was sixteen years old And suddenly Simon ended his courtship and left his family home in Cornwall and never said goodbye to Amelia. She found out later that Simon married someone else to appease his family estates. When Amelia hears the news about the Countess of Grenville has died during childbirth, she is stunned. When Amelia attends the funeral of her neighbor, she can’t help being so sad for the children who are awaiting their father to come home to them. When Amelia finally sees Simon, she is overwhelmed with how bad he looks and sees the bleak despair reflected in his eyes. Simon must keep his secrets, in order to keep his sons safe. He is a British spy who is playing both sides in a time of war. And when he meets Amelia, he finds that his feelings for her has not changed and are even stronger. Can two people forget the past and start again? Will the war keep them apart? You will have to read to find out if true love will prevail.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gevera Bert

    This is the second book in a row of Brenda Joyce's that I have disliked. The main character of this one, Amelia, was a manipulative gossip and a liar. Time after time she gave her solemn promise not to tell anyone about something and the next page she's blabbing it someone. She was a completely unlikeable character. Her supposedly kindness in taking care of the children was only because she wanted the children (and their father) for herself. As soon as she moved in with him, her "addled" (dement This is the second book in a row of Brenda Joyce's that I have disliked. The main character of this one, Amelia, was a manipulative gossip and a liar. Time after time she gave her solemn promise not to tell anyone about something and the next page she's blabbing it someone. She was a completely unlikeable character. Her supposedly kindness in taking care of the children was only because she wanted the children (and their father) for herself. As soon as she moved in with him, her "addled" (dementia?) mother who was supposedly completely dependent on her, virtually vanished from the plot, foisted off onto a servant for care. Grenville wasn't much better; he hated his wife, regularly abandoned his children without leaving a way to be contacted, romanced and dumped a teenage girl without any remorse...not likeable at all. The writing wasn't bad, but the characters (and thus their story) were horrid.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    3.75 out of 5. Another entertaining book from a fine writer, but not as consistently "on target" as some of her other work. Second in a series, it has some highs and lows, and I wasn't really all that jazzed by the hero. Bit mess of a life, but he's not a man who has managed his life well, and now finds himself in a web of deceit and intrigue. The heroine was a plucky woman who appears to be something of a push-over, but I think she was a person who put aside her own dreams and plans for the sak 3.75 out of 5. Another entertaining book from a fine writer, but not as consistently "on target" as some of her other work. Second in a series, it has some highs and lows, and I wasn't really all that jazzed by the hero. Bit mess of a life, but he's not a man who has managed his life well, and now finds himself in a web of deceit and intrigue. The heroine was a plucky woman who appears to be something of a push-over, but I think she was a person who put aside her own dreams and plans for the sake of three children who are victims of a mother who was self-centered and a dad who has abandoned them emotionally and allowed his unhappiness to overshadow his loyalty to his sons. A good read, all in all, but not really Ms Joyce's best.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Hollowell

    I did enjoy parts of this book though I can't say it is my favorite. I have found myself dabbling in this genre more and more and this is definitely not one of my top reads. I didn't care for how helpless and carelessly in love the main character was. In many of the more historically based books I find woman to be adorned and found to be these amazingly beautiful creatures that are fragile and should be treated with every bit of manners as possible. However in this book I felt that the woman was I did enjoy parts of this book though I can't say it is my favorite. I have found myself dabbling in this genre more and more and this is definitely not one of my top reads. I didn't care for how helpless and carelessly in love the main character was. In many of the more historically based books I find woman to be adorned and found to be these amazingly beautiful creatures that are fragile and should be treated with every bit of manners as possible. However in this book I felt that the woman was pathetic almost the way she was constantly nearly begging for him to love her. I just had wished that maybe he had loved her more and it felt less like he was settling and more like he was in love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kem

    Parts of this book is engaging, parts are not so much. The Hero is a pear of the realm, but somehow allows himself to be treated like nothing by people in government who are not titled. That does not ring of logical reality at all. I know that there were titled gentlemen involved in the war with France, but it was voluntary. They were treated with respect and gratitude for the danger they put themselves in. That is not the case in this book. Not good closure in this book either. I wanted to know Parts of this book is engaging, parts are not so much. The Hero is a pear of the realm, but somehow allows himself to be treated like nothing by people in government who are not titled. That does not ring of logical reality at all. I know that there were titled gentlemen involved in the war with France, but it was voluntary. They were treated with respect and gratitude for the danger they put themselves in. That is not the case in this book. Not good closure in this book either. I wanted to know that Tom was dead or arrested. I also don't care for the way Amelia was portrayed. For a level headed woman, she surely became a ridiculous shrew. So many things just doesn't ring true and dialogue is unrealistic.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Another day, another regency/historical romance down. Although this one wasn't perfect or unique, it was still enjoyable. Amelia is a bit of a different heroine, having already been in love with the hero, Simon, ten years before. It didn't work out then, but maybe they will be given a second chance if only Simon could get himself out of the bind he is in. This was a very fast read, and I think I'd like to track down more of the author's work. I'd like to know the story of some of the other charac Another day, another regency/historical romance down. Although this one wasn't perfect or unique, it was still enjoyable. Amelia is a bit of a different heroine, having already been in love with the hero, Simon, ten years before. It didn't work out then, but maybe they will be given a second chance if only Simon could get himself out of the bind he is in. This was a very fast read, and I think I'd like to track down more of the author's work. I'd like to know the story of some of the other characters mentioned, and I imagine at some point they will be written if they are not already. Looking for a regency romance? This one wasn't too bad.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    The story has a nice start, then gets slow, but then improves. I am glad I decided to read the whole book. There were some parts of the story that were predictable but there were also some very unpredictable portions. The latter is what kept it interesting and earned this book 5 stars overall. I cannot wait to read Jack's story. I hope there will be a 4th book at some point with Lucas' story. The story has a nice start, then gets slow, but then improves. I am glad I decided to read the whole book. There were some parts of the story that were predictable but there were also some very unpredictable portions. The latter is what kept it interesting and earned this book 5 stars overall. I cannot wait to read Jack's story. I hope there will be a 4th book at some point with Lucas' story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mskychick

    I hate Amelia Greystone. She's naive, foolish, gullible, thickheaded, and extremely annoying. She ruined this book for me. I wantes to slap her constantly. The storyline was fairly dark and gothic, and I did not enjoy it. I almost quit reading more times than I can count. Not sure why I was such an idiot to waste my time finishing this awful book I hate Amelia Greystone. She's naive, foolish, gullible, thickheaded, and extremely annoying. She ruined this book for me. I wantes to slap her constantly. The storyline was fairly dark and gothic, and I did not enjoy it. I almost quit reading more times than I can count. Not sure why I was such an idiot to waste my time finishing this awful book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sri

    I did not think this was one of Joyce's well written novels. The characters were two dimensional and the narration was very flat. It had potential but it unfortunately did not reach it's potential. Did not finish reading this book. I did not think this was one of Joyce's well written novels. The characters were two dimensional and the narration was very flat. It had potential but it unfortunately did not reach it's potential. Did not finish reading this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    This was... A very good story since shortly after starting the story I realized that I read it before. That didn't stop me from reading it again. I liked the characters and the story and couldn't wait to see what happened to them at the end of the story. This was... A very good story since shortly after starting the story I realized that I read it before. That didn't stop me from reading it again. I liked the characters and the story and couldn't wait to see what happened to them at the end of the story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Rated 3.5 Review courtesy of Romance Junkies: http://romancejunkiesreviews.com/artm... Rated 3.5 Review courtesy of Romance Junkies: http://romancejunkiesreviews.com/artm...

  30. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    I still do not know why I asked this book from NG, the first one I found so boring and this is even worse. THANK TO NETGALLEY AND HARLEQUIN FOR THE PREVIEW

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