The Black Hawk (Berkley Sensation)

The Black Hawk - Joanna Bourne 30yo shopkeeper & former French spy gets stabbed. English spy Hero (who’s also her former lover) helps her rehabilitate & find the culprit. Memories of when they met, became lovers later, & events that caused their various separations are remembered. They gradually piece together clues that lead them to the persons involved in her stabbing.

I was frankly bored with this book. I actually read the whole thing &, boy, did it feel long! It was basically a historical portrayal of the tensions between France & Britain during Napoleon’s time. It centered around the spies of both parties. The romance seemed secondary to the history. It was woven in well but the details, from the characters’ conversations, food, location sites, historical events, and historical people of interest, overwhelmed the romance between Hero & heroine. It didn’t help that the emotional & sexual connection between them seemed muted. They talked about each other in a roundabout fashion & the sex scenes were generalized. They had a great friendship & shared backgrounds as child spies. And I think their love for each other was borne out of that. Their love sprung gradually and lacked the intensity that I like in my romances. I may have understood and connected more with their romance if Bourne spent more time on how Hero & heroine felt & thought about each other.

Limitedly recommended.