STARRED REVIEW
April 25, 2017

A brainy, sexy adventure

By Susan Mann
Review by

Susan Mann’s debut contemporary romance is packed with jet-setting adventure and sweet, nerdy chemistry as a knowledgeable librarian gets wrapped up with a charming spy.

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Susan Mann’s debut contemporary romance is packed with jet-setting adventure and sweet, nerdy chemistry as a knowledgeable librarian gets wrapped up with a charming spy.

Reference librarian Quinn Ellington tends to live her life vicariously through her favorite spy novels. Tight on cash and living in Southern California, she works herself to the bone trying to make ends meet. Any sort of globetrotting is strictly done in her imagination with her nose tucked in a book. But James Lockwood is about to change all of that.

The moment Lockwood steps through the doors of the library, Quinn appreciates his adorable taste in ties and his smooth British accent. He needs help establishing the history of a brooch for his “insurance job,” a cover for his real occupation—a spy. Though he hopes to use Quinn’s research skills temporarily, he quickly takes a liking to the brainy librarian and appeals to the library’s director in order to keep her on retainer.

But with spies come danger and soon, Quinn is caught in the whirlwind lifestyle James leads as a secret agent. James’ employer recognizes Quinn’s benefit to joining the team and her beloved spy novels become unbelievably real.

The Librarian and the Spy is incredibly fun wish fulfillment with books, swoony British blokes and travel across the pond. The danger is never dark or deadly, which makes it perfect for readers who prefer romance drama on the lighter side, and its rags-to-riches plot gives the book a fairy tale feel.

Quinn is smart and capable, spouting out obscure research facts at the drop of a hat. The baby of her family with five older brothers, she shares a love of spy thrillers with her grandfather and it’s quite delightful to see the entire Ellington clan together for an intense game of paintball. She’s also cool under pressure and adapts to the spy life with enthusiasm.

An air of uncertainty is almost required for a spy and, while dashing and just a bit dorky, James’ is more tight-lipped about Quinn regarding his origins. He plays the man of mystery well, though he isn’t ashamed to confess to Quinn how attracted he is to her intelligence. They’re an adorable couple—especially when pouring over old books, quoting Shakespeare or referencing Harry Potter.

The Librarian and the Spy is perfect for readers who prefer their romances light on melodrama and heavy on fast-paced adventure. You can just forget James Bond when Quinn Ellington is around! Mann’s follow-up novel, A Covert Affair, will continue the escapades of Quinn and James for those who can’t get enough.

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The Librarian and the Spy

The Librarian and the Spy

By Susan Mann
Zebra Shout
ISBN 9781420143331

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