The Black Hawk
By Joanna Bourne
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Ever since Adrian appeared in The Spymaster's Lady, I have been dying for him to have his own book---me and every other Joanna Bourne fan. Well, that day has finally come, and it is more than worth the wait!
Adrian Hawkhurst, aka Hawker, has come a long way since his boyhood days as an expert pickpocket from the rookeries of St. Giles. Now Head of the British Intelligence Service---and a Knight Companion of The Order of the Bath, to boot---Adrian is, by all appearances, a gentleman of the first order. But looks can be deceiving, because under all that polish, lives the boy of unknown origins and the dangerous spy he grew to be, and his past shows up on his doorstep one night, bloodied and near death. Justine DeCabrillac, his past enemy and lover, the woman he has loved since they were on the cusp of adulthood. His "Owl" had returned.
He was not tall or massive. Not a walking mountain of threat like William Doyle. Hawker was the menace of a thin, sharp blade. He was strong in the deep fibers of his body. Tough as steel in the sinew and bone and straps of lean muscle.
Justine DeCabrillac was just thirteen years old the first time she met Hawker, but she was already in the employ of the Police Secrete in Paris. Though they were enemies, there was an irresistible pull between them, one they gave into a few years later, and continued for many years after. Enemies they have been, but their hearts told a different story. Justine now has critical information she must give Adrian, but someone else will stop at nothing to keep her from delivering it. Stabbed by an unseen assassin, Justine makes her way through the rainy London streets to find the only man she knows who might save her. The one she has never stopped loving. Adrian and Justine must overcome their distrust for one another and the pain of their past if they are to triumph over the unknown enemy who is pursuing them.
When Joanna Bourne first showed Adrian and Justine together as teenagers in The Forbidden Rose, I knew that these two would make for an incredible story, a page turner par excellence. I was right. Learning about their pasts, their trials and tribulations that shaped who they are, made their relationship so much deeper, richer. If ever a hero and heroine deserved a happy ending, it is Adrian and Justine. I'm continually amazed and delighted by the richness of Ms. Bourne's prose. It is lush and decadent, yet at the same time comforting, like a cashmere blanket you want to wrap around you, surrounding yourself in it's warmth. I find myself re-reading passages just to immerse myself in their vivid perfection.
She wore his crimson robe de banyan. Nothing else at all. To clasp his robe upon her was to feel surrounded by masculine arms. The color warmed her like the sun. Red silk for grand gestures, for luxurious desires and recklessness.
"Truth, then. You want to hear truth." He couldn't touch Owl, except with his eyes, so he let his imagination slide across her, planning where he'd kiss her later tonight. He liked kissing beauty and he'd done a certain amount of that over the years. With Owl, he'd start with beauty and go on to kissing ruthlessness and ideals in the lines at the corners of her eyes. Passion and practicality sitting around her mouth. Not a comfortable woman, his Owl. Not ordinary.
Reading a Joanna Bourne novel is a feast for the senses: the decadence of a rich chocolate torte, the crisp, bubbly effervescence of a glass of champagne. Light and dark, sweet and spicy. Everything you could ever want and more. The Black Hawk has on-the-edge-of-your-seat intrigue, heart-wrenching drama, sizzling romance, and soul-stirring love. It is going to have a place of honor on my keeper shelves....as soon as I read it again...and again.
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