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A Raven's Heart
     

A Raven's Heart

4.5 12
by K. C. Bateman
 
When a bookish codebreaker and a dashing spy are reunited in this steamy historical romance from the author of To Steal a Heart, their lives depend on their ability to resist temptation. But fate is a mistress who cannot be denied. . . .
 
In the war against France, Heloise Hampden is a high-value asset to the Crown. She’s

Overview

When a bookish codebreaker and a dashing spy are reunited in this steamy historical romance from the author of To Steal a Heart, their lives depend on their ability to resist temptation. But fate is a mistress who cannot be denied. . . .
 
In the war against France, Heloise Hampden is a high-value asset to the Crown. She’s cracked the enemy’s most recent communication, and for that, someone is trying to kill her. However, it’s the agent assigned to protect Heloise who poses the greatest threat to her heart: William de l’Isle, Viscount Ravenwood. Heloise has quarreled with the man they call Raven since childhood, yet always maintained a chaste distance. She’s sure nothing will change, thanks to the disfiguring scar on her face. So why is she so enchanted by the sight of Raven’s jet-black hair, rakish smile, and wicked green eyes?
 
Nothing has changed. Raven still wonders how Hell-cat Hampden’s lithe body would feel pressed against his, but for the mission he must remind himself that the woman takes more pleasure in ancient languages than she does in seduction. His imprisonment six years ago broke him in a way that makes the prospect of love impossible. Still, his heart beats like mad whenever he’s within ten paces of Heloise, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even if that means taking her to Spain as an unwilling hostage. Protecting her from danger will be a challenge; protecting her from desire will be pure agony.
 
Praise for K. C. Bateman’s To Steal a Heart
 
“[To Steal a Heart] is rich with espionage and suspense. Multidimensional believable characters and fast-paced plotting propel the story forward to its moving conclusion.”Publishers Weekly
 
“The writing and characterization are superb, the romance is hot, snarky and tender and the hero is delicious. I couldn’t ask for much more in an historical romance and I’m eagerly awaiting whatever Ms. Bateman comes up with next.”—All About Romance
 
“The sexual chemistry between the two built so steadily that I thought I would go up in flames if they didn’t stop battling each other and give in to their needs.”—Kilts and Swords
 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804181518
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/18/2016
Series:
K. C. Bateman's Secrets and Spies Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
266
Sales rank:
161
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

K. C. Bateman is the co-founder and director of Bateman’s Auctioneers, a fine art and antiques auction house in the United Kingdom. She currently lives in Illinois with her husband and children, but returns to England regularly to appear as an antiques expert on several popular BBC television shows, each of which reaches up to 2.5 million viewers.

Customer Reviews

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A Raven's Heart 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
BuckeyeAngel 4 months ago
Heloise is William’s /Raven best friends little sister. Raven grew up with Heloise’s brothers Richard and Nicolas and they were still friends and all spies. Heloise has always loved Raven and had told him when she was sixteen but he rejected her. Heloise has a scar on her face from a accident and feels unattractive because of it. Raven is a spy and has to kill on occasion and doesn't feel he is good enough for Heloise. William had changed when he had been kidnapped at nineteen - six years earlier. Raven had been kidnapped to try to blackmail his grandfather the Duke had refused to pay for his grandson to be freed. Eventually raven freed himself but he has nothing to do with his grandfather since he had freed himself. Raven makes a good spy as he is ruthless, cunning and fearless. Since he had faced death daily before he freed himself. He accepts he is now different then he was before the kidnapping and his grandfather not helping him. Heloise has a talent for code breaking and she is being used for her talent. As a result she is in danger now. Raven has now been assigned to protect Heloise. Heloise and Raven are attracted to each other. Then Raven’s friend Kit has been missing for two years and Heloise decoded a message and Kit is still alive and being held by the French. Raven feels he must try to rescue his friend Kit but he also has to protect Heloise so she has to go with him when he goes to try to rescue Kit. raven is known as a smuggler, an agent who rescues hostages and prisoners of war. French agents are going after all English code breakers to kill them which includes heloise and why Raven was ordered to take care of her. I loved this story. It held my attention right away and kept it all through this story. I was glad when Raven got over feeling not good enough and opened himself to Heloise. I loved that Raven was determined to free Kit even when he had to take Heloise with him. But it was brought up to often how Raven felt he wasn’t good enough for Heloise we got that. I liked the plot of this story and also felt it was well written. It made me mad for Raven that his grandfather left him to suffer with the kidnappers and was glad he cut all ties with his grandfather obviously he didn’t really care about Raven. I loved this story and enjoyed reading it. I liked Heloise and was sad she thought less of herself because of a facial scar. I felt she was brave and trying to help even though it endangered her life but still being a code breaker. I loved the characters in this story and the ins and outs and I highly recommend.
def618 More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author but will not be my last. I enjoyed the banter between Ravenwood and Heloise as well as the plot. Ravenwood lives next to the Hampdens and her brothers are his best friends. They currently are spies working for Lord Castlereagh. Heloise has always been in love with Ravenwood but feels her facial scar makes her unattractive. She also works for the government as a code breaker. When she breaks a code saying a British operative is still alive but being held, Ravenwood sets out to find him. Since another code breaker in London has been murdered, Ravenwood takes her with him to keep her safe. Arriving in Spain the plot thickens. They are to meet the French to "swap" spies. On the way they travel with gypsies, avoid capture and rescue their friend. But that's only a small amount of what happens. This is a very good book and it does have a HEA but you need to read it to discover all of the plot lines I abbreviated so not to spoil anything. I think you'll enjoy this book very much.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
This is a story of two people who trouble seeing what is in front of them. Raven's protectiveness of Heloise was endearing, topped with his acceptance of Heloise's smarts. The little games they played between themselves was fun. There is grit to this story as well as two people who realize they already love each other. I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley but this review is entirely my opinion.
sportochick More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing fast paced love story with strategic push and pull interactions between the hero and heroine. The book is action packed and kept me on my toes figuring out what the next move would be. I loved all the scenic descriptions and the backstories that drove both Raven and Heloise in the present day. The author incorporates intrigue with Heloise's code breaking and her discovery that Kit, a friend of her brothers as well as Raven, may still be alive. While this put's her at risk it causes her to have to interact with Raven, Heloise's long time hidden love, adding sexual tension to the story keeping it interesting at all times. Raven's character fights to not get involved with Heloise and it is fun to watch him continually deny his attraction and feelings for her throughout the book. One can only imagine what it is like to be best friends with her brothers and trying to stay away from her but the author displays this beautifully in her writing. Though this story moves quickly the reader will never feel lost and like me they will want to read the book in one sitting. It's hard to put down a book that is this good. Secondary characters are a big part of this story and they build up to future storylines drawing the reader into the desire to read more to this series or other books by this author. I plan to read more. I hope you give this book a chance. This book is about finding peace with past fears and hurts, forgiveness, and letting love bloom. I give it 4 STARS. Voluntary review of Advance Reader Copy via Netgalley
KimP65 More than 1 year ago
Yes, Yes and More Yes!!!! I absolutely loved this second installment in the Secrets and Spies series. I wasn't thrilled with the first one but saw where the potential was there for greatness and I was not disappointed at all. This book is fantastic! It's host to some of the best characters in historicals that I've come across in a while. I love the angst of the two characters being in love but denying it to each other and to themselves. And seriously, how fun was it to have the gypsy's in the story!! I just can't say enough good things about this book. Just be prepared for a long sitting because it's really hard to put this one down!
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
I just adored To Steal a Heart and couldn't wait to read this book. A Raven's Heart is William de l'Isle, Viscount Ravenwood's story, or "Raven" to his friends. Raven has been attracted to Heloise Hampden for most of his life. She is his best friends' little sister....so it's totally hands-off! Little does he know that Heloise has always been attracted to him too! After 6 years of imprisonment, Raven had a very bleak look on life and risked his life every day as a spy. It's England, 1816 and Raven has been summoned by his boss to protect Heloise since both of her brothers are out of town working on other things. Heloise uses her brains to decipher the secret codes of the French armies for the English and word has it that she may be a target of the French. Raven is not happy with this new assignment because he is not sure he will be able to keep his hands off of her for long. The two of them have sort of a love/hate relationship. Heloise tends to be sassy and speaks her mind, earning her the nickname, Hell-cat. Raven tends to be brash and constantly try to throw Heloise off her game. Together these two are explosive. So much chemistry and passion exists whenever these two are around each other. When Raven has to travel to Spain, he decides to "take" Heloise with him to keep her safe. I just adored this adventure they went on. The two of them brought out better qualities in each other. I love how stubborn Heloise could be and how Raven handled it. It just made their chemistry that much greater! The sexual tension between these two was awesome! Heloise wanted nothing more than be with Raven. Raven because of things from his past felt he wasn't worthy of someone as sweet and pure as Heloise. The ride these two went on was perfect. It was great seeing this sweet, sassy tart tame this fearless spy. I just loved their happy ending. It was perfect for these two.
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
I sure did enjoy this exciting historical romance! It had plenty of angst (heroine Heloise expected by parents to marry a title but loving from afar our hero Ravenwood who has refused a title due to a poor relationship with his Ducal father), plenty of intrigue (Raven serving the Crown during dangerous missions and Heloise working for the Crown as a code breaker) and plenty of scorching romance between Raven and Heloise as they fought their attraction for each other. This was the first story by K.C. Bateman that I’ve read, but I plan on reading much more of her writing.
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
A really good historical read. Lots of suspense and drama in this historical read. Heloise is a codebreaker and the French want her dead. Raven is a spy and believes himself unworthy to be loved. They have known each other since children and both have a lot of baggage to deal with, however the chemistry they share is undeniable. This is a really entertaining historical read. I liked the characters as well as the story. It has a humor, drama and suspense and plenty of steam. I really liked it.
Sissymae1 More than 1 year ago
'A Raven's Heart' by K.C. Bateman is book two in the "Secrets and Spies" series. I have read the previous book but this book is a standalone book for sure. This is the story of Heloise Hampden and William de l’Isle, Viscount Ravenwood. Ravenwood is a spy along with Heloise's brothers. Ravenwood and Heloise's brothers are like family but there has always been something between Heloise and him. But when Ravenwood was about 18 years he turned down Heloise feelings when she tried to move forward with her feelings. This started them no longer being real friends. Then life got in there way... Heloise had a physical change that made her more bookish then before..having her staying to herself more. Ravenwood also went through something that he felt changed him and his trust of people. So a few years later in the present day of the book we find that Ravenwood is being asked to guard Heloise since her life is endangered because of her decoding work she does to help her brothers and fellow spies. This along with something else throws Ravenwood and Heloise into adventure that forces them to acknowledge there attraction/feelings. I really enjoyed this book and the previous one "To Steal a Heart". The only thing is these books once you start reading them you do not want to put it down. I just can't wait for the next new book to come out by Ms. Bateman!! I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
In the war against France, Heloise Hampden is an asset to the Crown. She’s a codebreaker who is being hunted by an assassin. However, it’s the agent assigned to protect Heloise who poses the greatest threat to her heart: her brother’s friend, Raven, aka Viscount Ravenwood. Heloise has known him since childhood, yet always maintained a chaste distance. She believes nothing will change due to her disfiguring scar. So why is she so enchanted by the sight of Raven? Raven believes that he can never love Heloise the way she deserves. His imprisonment six years ago broke him in a way that makes the prospect of love impossible. Still, his heart beats like mad whenever she’s around. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if that means taking her to Spain as an unwilling hostage. Can Raven keep Heloise safe without giving in to the desires of his broken heart? This historical romance is beautifully written, and everything I love about the genre. Both main characters are strong-willed, yet have been damaged by different circumstances. They have to get through their inner hauntings to see the love in each other’s eyes. I liked how the author used the war and violence to showcase what happens to a person’s soul afterwards. It gives me even more respect of our nation’s servicemen. The plot is full of suspense and mystery and adds an appetizing layer to a delicious romance. An Advanced Reading Copy was received in exchange for an honest review.
JuliaAD More than 1 year ago
Heloise is unconventional. She isn't like all of the society misses. She is a big asset to her country, she is a code breaker and now someone is trying to kill her. Heloise has known Raven since they were children and she has always loved him. He doesn't seem to return that love. Now Raven has to protect her. He doesn't know if he can keep his hands off of her while trying to protect her. Heloise has always wanted adventure, now she is getting it. They have traveled to Spain, met with some gypsies and explored cave paintings. She has also been shot at, almost drowned and there was an attempted kidnapping. Much more than she bargained for. Through it all, Raven has been there protecting her. Will she be able to keep him always?
Pompie1999 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by K. C. Bateman, but it definitely won't be the last because I LOVED it!!! This is the second book in the Secrets and Spies series, but I haven't read the first book so I can truthfully tell you that this can be read as a stand-alone book. However, I enjoyed this one so much I'm going to read the first one and then look forward to the next one!!! The characters are complex, the banter is witty and the excitement is intense throughout the entire book. I'm not sure I really understand why the hero feels so totally unworthy -- he certainly hasn't done any more 'bad' stuff than his fellow friends (who are all spies). Lady Heloise Hampden is the sister of Nicholas who was the hero in the first book of the series - To Steal A Heart. Both of Heloise's brothers are spies for the crown during the Napoleonic wars and Heloise wanted to do her part as well. She's brilliant and gifted at breaking codes, so she becomes a code breaker for the crown. She's part of a very small, select group who receive the secret coded messages intercepted from French spies and try to break them. That group has been targeted by a French assassin and Heloise's friend and collaborator has been killed and an attempt has been made on Heloise's life. Heloise is very, very intelligent, stands up for herself, says what she thinks and is pretty much fearless (or naive in not recognizing danger). At any rate, she's a pampered princess who really doesn't need that pampering. She also lives on the estate neighboring our hero. William Ravenwood (known as Raven) is an heir to a dukedom and is a fearless spy for the English crown. He was kidnapped at nineteen and held for ransom. His grandfather, regrettably, let his pride get in the way and didn't pay the ransom. Instead, he hired his own Bow Street Runners to find his grandson. Unfortunately, the Runners didn't find him in time and the boy was tortured severely before he managed to kill his guard and escape. He's never forgiven his grandfather and now feels that anyone he loves and is supposed to love him will leave him. Heloise and Raven have loved each other since they were children, but Raven wouldn't acknowledge it -- because -- well -- you just don't pursue your best friend's sister. Then, after the kidnapping, he just didn't feel lovable and wouldn't acknowledge it. Heloise, on the other hand was, at one point, perfectly willing to acknowledge it and act on it. Raven is given the job of protecting Heloise from the assassins and he really, really doesn't want to be assigned that job -- but -- he doesn't want anybody else to have it either because he's sure he can/will protect her better than anyone. At the same time Heloise has broken a code and deciphered a message that she believes references one of Raven's best friends who has been missing (and assumed dead) for the last two years. When Heloise shares the contents of the message with Raven he wants to head to Spain right away to rescue his friend -- but -- he has to protect Heloise. So what does any macho male do in this situation? Well -- he takes her with him! Heloise and Raven take his boat to Spain and start a cross-country journey to rescue Raven's friend Kit. Heloise looks on it as a wonderful adventure and they draw closer and closer throughout the journey. There is LOTS of chemistry and the temperature between the two is pretty HOT, but you won't find but just a couple of more explicit sexual scenes. I
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Another code breaker is murdered, William de l’Isle, Viscount Ravenwood – Raven a spy for the Foreign Office – is told he is to protect Heloise Hampden, their best code breaker. Raven and Heloise are neighbours, but Raven has avoided Heloise for the past six years, even though she is the subject of his most erotic fantasies. Raven accepts his mission, he will do it, even if it kills him; he is the best at what he does. Heloise has been smitten with Raven for those six years, but she’s convinced he doesn’t want her, he told her as much, and that was even before she got that nasty scar. So both hide their feelings behind constant bickering and relentless teasing. Raven is hosting another one of his scandalous masquerade balls, and Heloise must see him to show him a translation she just finished. She’s never been invited to the yearly ball and she drinks in the sights. She is masked, of course, and so is Raven. She spots him immediately, he pretends not to recognise her for a while, and they flirt shamelessly. When they retreat from prying eyes, and Heloise shows Raven what she has deciphered, someone shoots at her. That’s when Raven decides to whisk Heloise off to Spain on his ship. Ms. Bateman is a wizard when it comes to descriptions, and Regency Spain came alive before my very eyes. Heloise is learned, she was always a hoyden as well, and she longs for an adventure and freedom. Raven is an intriguing character, and a dashing rogue for sure, however I could not grasp why he kept trying to antagonise Heloise so much, and at the same time behaving seductively, taunting her, while he knew he would not act upon it. It was either because he thought he was not good enough for her, he was “broken”, or because she was his best friend’s little sister. The former reason appeared to be the main one, but it was a tad hazy at times. Even though the relentless teasing banter between Heloise and Raven is very creative, and quite amusing at the beginning, I thought it became tiresome after a while, but for some reason Heloise and Raven seemed to find it highly stimulating. Also for some reason that remains unclear to me, Raven seemed to find highly entertaining to verbally arouse Heloise. On the other hand, the segments on code breaking are riveting, as are the historical facts that pepper the narrative and the dialogues. It’s a shame that Major George Scovell was a real historical personage, because he would have been perfectly suited to Heloise. A RAVEN’S HEART is a nice little story, beautifully written, and quite enlightening on several subjects, but in my opinion, it might have worked better as a novella. I somewhat got the impression that the author got carried away with her research, and I thought there were too many episodes that were unnecessary. I thought also a tad odd that Heloise’s scar – which didn’t seem that big a deal – was noticed by the ton, but nobody else really remarked upon it. I was also quite taken aback by Raven’s behaviour after “the deed” was done, and half a star fell here. A RAVEN’S HEART was not what I expected, but I’m sure many readers will enjoy it. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.