The Smuggler Wore Silk

( 8 )


A thrilling, seductive adventure from award-winning author Alyssa Alexander…

After he is betrayed by one of his own, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, refuses to retire without a fight, vowing to find the traitor. But when the trail leads to his childhood home, Julian is forced to return to a place he swore he’d never see again, and meet a woman who may be his quarry—in more ways than one.

Though she may appear a poor young woman ...

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A thrilling, seductive adventure from award-winning author Alyssa Alexander…

After he is betrayed by one of his own, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, refuses to retire without a fight, vowing to find the traitor. But when the trail leads to his childhood home, Julian is forced to return to a place he swore he’d never see again, and meet a woman who may be his quarry—in more ways than one.

Though she may appear a poor young woman dependant on charity, Grace Hannah’s private life is far more interesting. By night, she finds friendship and freedom as a member of a smuggling ring. But when the handsome Julian arrives, she finds her façade slipping, and she is soon compromised, as well as intrigued.

As she and Julian continue the hunt, Grace finds herself falling in love with the man behind the spy. Yet Julian’s past holds a dark secret. And when he must make a choice between love and espionage, that secret may tear them apart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1813, after years abroad, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, is dispatched to his home seat of Devon in order to hunt for a traitor. The trail leads him to impoverished gentrywoman Miss Grace Hannah, who secretly finds a sense of self and adventure through smuggling. When Julian seduces Grace for her secrets, the last thing he expects is to find himself becoming enthralled by the possible traitor, but when they’re caught in a compromising position, he sincerely offers to marry her. When Grace finally discovers Julian’s true motives, she believes their marriage is a lie, but she’s still driven to help him find the real culprit and save her smuggler friends. Well-drawn characters, superb dialogue, and a decent plot will keep pages turning. Agent: Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425269527
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Series: A Spy in the Ton Novel Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 472,286
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white, sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet and a small boy who wears a knight-in-shining-armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2014

    Great Story The Smuggler Wore Silk is a great story of spy and s

    Great Story
    The Smuggler Wore Silk is a great story of spy and smuggler. Julian the Earl of Langford known as the wandering Earl is a charming and flirt hero with the secret in his childhood.Grace Hanna is a courageous, quick witted and compassionate heroine whom is living with her mean uncle as a servant. When Julian cover as a spy revealed, he suspect that Grace is the traitor and he is forced to return to his childhood home to hunt the traitor. Mrs. Alyssa Alexander Debut is great story with danger, romance, secret and mystery. I am looking forward to read her next book in this amazing series. Thank you Mrs. Alyssa Alexander

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    Julian Travers could care less about his title or his duty as th

    Julian Travers could care less about his title or his duty as the Earl of Langford. He’s a spy on a supposedly last mission that takes him reluctantly home to Devon to flush out a traitor. He has been gone twenty-three years after a painful event made him flee and never want to return. Known as “the Wandering Earl," he vows to be nothing like the unfaithful men in his family, especially his philandering father, even though he feels he must resort to seducing information out of his quarry, Grace Hannah, in the name of the Crown.
    Julian is a wonderful hero, one of the best I’ve ever read. He does not hesitate to do the honorable thing when he finds himself in a compromising liaison with Grace. He grows to admire and love her, even though she is sharp-tongued, smart, and knowledgeable, an unusual combination for a woman in her day. His beautiful and heartfelt wedding gift to her only makes him even more attractive and his defense of her honor throughout the book is memorable.
    Grace Hannah is sensible, efficient, and self-sufficient. A ward of her abusive uncle, she’s also the village apothecary and physician. She was jilted by her fiancé, Michael, who decided to marry someone else. Because of this, she is considered ruined in the eyes of village society.  She feels most comfortable keeping to herself and doing her own thing, herbalism and smuggling. There are some lovely descriptions of landscape, plants, and herbs throughout the book, especially in Grace’s domain, the stillroom.
    This independence and resourcefulness both fascinates and frustrates Julian and captures his interest beyond his carefully laid plans. She reminds me of Anne Elliot, the heroine from Jane Austen’s Persuasion, with her practicality and her consistent and unwavering kindness to others. Then again, she doesn’t exactly act like a lady because she doesn’t consider herself one. She rides astride a gorgeous black stallion named Demon, wears breeches, and is in close contact with smugglers in the village when she comes across suspicious papers in a delivery.
    The compromise scene is one of the best scenes in the book and really drives home the terrible and precarious situation of women. In our twenty-first century era, we have NO idea what it was like. A vulnerable young woman was open to any unscrupulous man to take advantage, merely by being alone with her. “Would she have to leave Devon? Would she be required to live in London? On the Continent? In the end, she would be at the mercy of a man she knew nothing about." (p100)
    From the very beginning, there is an exciting and sizzling attraction between Grace and Julian. He is handsome, kind, and honorable and she can’t help but be drawn to him. After they’re forced to marry, his love and affection are unwavering, something that amazes her since she feels free to finally be herself instead of what others expect her to be, and Julian likes her this way. And yet she doesn’t fully trust him—she doesn’t completely trust anybody—as his mysterious reputation precedes him and she, too, has secrets to hide.
    Julian’s protectiveness of Grace is a joy to read; he feels her loneliness and it angers him when he discovers how cruelly her uncle treats her and how society shuns her for her broken engagement. This disturbs him as he’s supposed to be investigating her, not falling in love with her.
    Secondary characters are strongly portrayed, especially Jack Blackbourn, a former smuggler accused of treason based on an actual person; Mrs. Wargell, Michael’s spiteful wife—she reminded me of Augusta Elton from Jane Austen’s Emma; Grace’s bully of an uncle, the kind of relative who takes in a poor relation and then never lets her forget it; and Grace’s sad and disillusioned friend, Marie, Lady Elliott.
    This solid debut is filled with several memorable and poignant scenes: Grace’s palpable fears upon arrival at the church; the compromise scene in which Julian is ever the gentleman; the intrigues of the wedding breakfast; and Julian’s banishment and exorcism of his past in his father’s bed chamber.
     Memorable moments:
    “'I'm going to be a dreadful countess,' she said. 'You'll be marrying a smuggler.' 'And you'll be marrying a spy. I'd say we're a perfect match.'” (p132)
    “It wasn’t lies driving a wedge between them. It was half-truths and omissions and secrets.” (p190)
    “‘The circumstances of a person’s birth are an accident. Only character can be chosen.’” (p202)
    A wonderful and exciting story filled with tender emotion, suspense, action, and a vivid sense of time and place in history. I very much look forward to reading more from this author.

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The perfect combination of espionage, secrets, chemistry and act

    The perfect combination of espionage, secrets, chemistry and action! If you’re looking for a new author, then look no further because Alyssa Alexander’s debut novel has it all! As soon as I finished reading this one, I searched her page to find out when the next in the series is set to come out!

    When Julian Travers sets off to his estate in Beer, it certainly wasn’t with the intention of finding a wife. All Julian wanted to do was find the traitor who was forcing him into retirement so he could continue with the job he loved. But his only connection with this traitor is the beautiful, alluring, Miss Grace Hannah, and the more he gets to know her, the harder it is to focus on his assignment and finish this mission. Julian knows he’s not husband material. After all, he’s a Travers, but when he and Grace get caught in a compromising situation, he does the only thing he knows to do and offers for her hand. But Grace has secrets. She’s a smuggler. And she’s the ruined poor relation of a heartless uncle. Thrust into a marriage, Julian and Grace must learn to trust each other in order to catch the traitor and save their marriage. But how exactly does a smuggler and a spy for the British Army bridge the gap between two? And is Julian willing to let old secrets destroy the love his new wife has for him?

    If you’re looking for an amazing female character who has wit, courage, compassion and a strong backbone, then you’ve definitely found her in Grace Hannah! Even though life has handed her a large basket of lemons, she’s making lemonade. Grace helps out around her uncle’s house, tends to the locals medical needs, and is the leader of the local smuggling ring. This girl is awesome! Julian’s character is exceptionally written as well. He’s your typical spy– driven, protecting, loyal, and completely untrusting. These two make for a great love story. Toss in the smuggling and unknown traitor and you’re turning page after page trying to figure out who it is! The story line is awesome, the characters are well developed (even the supporting ones), and the setting is so well described you can picture yourself there! Well Done Alyssa Alexander! I can’t wait to read more!

    Rating: 4.5

    Heat Rating: Mild

    Reviewed by AprilP

    Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Alyssa Alexander's debut novel, The Smuggler Wore Silk is the fi

    Alyssa Alexander's debut novel, The Smuggler Wore Silk is the first book in the Spy in the Ton series. Readers are given a tale of action, adventure, mystery and intrigue, with a dose of romance to cap it off. Alexander has a way with dialogue that is exceptional. The witty banter she gives her hero was both entertaining and sexy. With a resourceful heroine, a few spies, a traitor and a smuggling ring led by a woman, what more could readers ask for in a historical romance?

    What I liked:

    First of all, one of the intriguing things about The Smuggler Wore Silk was the fact that it was a debut novel. It certainly didn't read like one. Often times the debut novel of most authors is not always their best work. If that's the case with this book, readers are in for one very good series. Alexander surprised me with her writing. She writes like a seasoned pro.

    Julian, the hero of the story is a wayward earl who doesn't take the responsibilities of his title very seriously. He has spent an inordinate amount of time working as a spy for the British court. Known as Shadow, Julian's work has successful kept him from home for a very long time, keeping his secrets and pain at bay. I thought Julian was an excellent brooding hero. He has issues and flaws, but that was part of what made him so interesting. I loved the way Alexander wrote the way he talked and interacted with Grace, the heroine. 

    For me one of the best parts of this novel was the banter between Grace and Julian. He has a way with words that is very enjoyable. Not only does Alexander allow him to use a lot of humor, but she always gives Julian a sexiness that is unmistakable. It was a joy to read. Grace also has quite a bit of dialogue that is fun and keeps the reader guessing as to what she's really up to. Alexander's dialogue skills were excellent.

    I loved Grace, she was so fun to read about. She is basically a servant by day, smuggler by night and now she's being accused of being a traitor. Julian believes she is the person who has jeopardized his work as a spy and who is trading in secrets. I loved the fact that Alexander shows Grace as a very good hearted person who would help anyone she could. The fact that she resorts to smuggling for that reason did not seem like a stretch at all. She was resourceful character and her relationship with Julian was very complicated and very hot. 

    The chemistry between these two main characters was simply sizzling. It is obvious though they are leery of each other, something else is at work, their own longings for someone to care about them. I loved how they worked together to draw out the real traitor and how Alexander kept readers guessing with some well placed clues. 

    What I didn't like:

    The only thing I could mention here is that Grace allowed her Uncle to treat her in such a terrible manner. She is a strong woman, but even she takes a beating from the other women in her circle. I just thought she should have stood up for herself a little more. I mean she's a smuggler by night, why take the crap from the ton by daylight? Not a deal breaker, just a pet peeve.

    Bottom Line:

    This was an excellent debut novel. I look forward to seeing where Alexander will take this series next. She introduced several characters including, Angel, another spy who will probably be featured in the next book in the series. An a very choice for readers who like some extra pizazz to their historical romances.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Loved it

    I really enjoyed this book. Great characters, intrigue, and romance.

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  • Posted January 7, 2014

    Loved, loved, loved this story. I cannot believe it is a debut n

    Loved, loved, loved this story. I cannot believe it is a debut novel. I was engaged with the story from the beginning and could not put it down! The opening scene is fantastic, Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, also known as “The Wandering Earl” is a British spy, however, he has been discovered, more importantly betrayed. Because of this betrayal he can no longer work in the Continent as a spy and is of no use to the British court. Julian is not willing to “retire” just yet. Through very clever undercover work he is able to obtain the name of some that can help him find the traitor-Grace Hannah.

    Grace Hannah is a poor relative-servant- physician-smuggler. She is a fantastic character. She is strong and very in control of her surroundings. Grace lives with her uncle but is constantly looked down upon because she is “ruined.” She was left by her ex-fiancé at the altar. Her uncle takes her in but basically treats her like a servant.

    Grace is visiting Julian’s home instructing his servants on the proper combination of spices to make a perfect meal. When Grace meets Julian she is instantly leery of him. Although she has no idea he is a spy and that she is the purpose he is back from wandering the continent she is use to survival and knows that he will present a problem.

    Grace and Julian have great chemistry and even though they are fun and interesting characters the intrigue behind finding the traitor is the best part! The author masterfully crafts a story where there is intrigue, romance and adventure. Grace and Julian are perfectly matched even though at first they both understand that their lifestyles would never suit. I personally loved watching Grace and Julian trying to figure out who betrayed his identity. I was so surprised by who the real traitor was and never suspected of this character! Looking back the author left excellent clues.

    The author also introduces another spy, “Angel”. I cannot wait to read his story. He is just as interesting as Julian and it was very exciting to have him involved in this investigation. Ms. Alexander presents an excellent cast of characters, from the ex-fiancé to the reformed Smuggler-Jack, to the mean Uncle Thaddeus. I would recommend and re-read this story!

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  • Posted January 7, 2014

    The Smuggler Wore Silk is a great debut for new author Alyssa Al

    The Smuggler Wore Silk is a great debut for new author Alyssa Alexander. I liked her two characters Julian, a wounded hero & spy and Grace a brave intelligent woman. Being forced to retire, Julian, will have one last mission that will change his life for ever. But, he still has secrets and sad memories of his past that makes him a tortured man. He will meet Grace who will do everything in her power to help him.
    Amazing plot in a world of spies! It's a beautiful historical romance filled with love, suspense and action.
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Berkley/NAL Publishing.

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  • Posted December 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love a tortured hero with a mysterious path and wounded soul a

    I love a tortured hero with a mysterious path and wounded soul and superb spy Julian makes a perfect leading man. Grace is an intrepid, entertaining lady and a fabulous heroine. she is more than a perfect match for Julian, dare I say she is his savior. I love that she is not only brave but intelligent. The suspense and action were fabulously paced and the descriptions fantastic. This wounded man and the lovely smuggler are definitely a pair with a story worth reading. If you are looking for a romantic, suspenseful historical story with a great action-filled plot this is the one for you. As a debut novel I cannot wait to see what the follow up story is because this one was a definite winner. 

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