Review

Notorious

by Katherine Sutcliffe

"He fully intends
to assassinate your father, along with the Sahib, with the nod from
Parliament, of course."

And therein lies the crux of Katherine Sutcliffe's latest
historical suspense romance, NOTORIOUS. The deadly assassin Cobra,
under forced assignment from the British government, has a new
target: his friend, Lord Fontaine, suspected of turning traitor and
working with rebels in East India. Determined to find out the truth
behind the accusation, Cobra seeks out Lady Destiny Fontaine
Chesterfield, Lord Fontaine's daughter. Concealing his identity,
Cobra, real name Lord Jason Batson, soon discovers Lady Destiny
doesn't have the information he needs but may have something he
needs more: a fierce, courageous heart.  

Forced to reveal his identity and his mission, he loses Lady
Destiny and figures it's all for the best. There's no place in his
world for someone like her. Thinking Jason is too personally
involved with the target, the British government gives the mission
to another assassin, one who won't hesitate to bring Destiny to
India as bait. Nor will he hesitate to kill Lord Fontaine or his
daughter. Jason can't allow it and so lures Destiny to his ship.
Together, they'll go to India to find out the truth.

Knowing Destiny doesn't trust him, Jason dons a disguise; a hideous
mask. During the journey, Destiny comes to care for the Captain, no
matter his appearance. But just as she's beginning to trust him,
she finds out the Captain, the Cobra, and Jason are one in the
same. And just as she's learning to trust Jason, the second
assassin abducts her and continues with the government's original
plan.  

Thrown into the middle of the Sepoy Rebellion, Destiny fights for
her life and her father's, as English residents of India are
slaughtered around them. When Jason rescues them, he's torn: stay
with her or fight one last war? A true military hero, he returns to
the battle. This time, the Cobra has Destiny to return to --- which
can see him through or bring about his demise.

Hiding behind masks and the danger when removing them, and the
rewards awaiting those who have enough compassion to see beyond
them, are recurrent themes in this novel. Too often people are
judged by outside appearances with no effort to know the person
inside. Katherine Sutcliffe artfully demonstrates this modern
problem --- and the rewards of solving it --- in the context of a
historical setting.  

Vivid descriptions, real life characters, and an action-packed plot
make NOTORIOUS an intense, page-turning read. Sutcliffe skillfully
builds a dark hero you care about, and an equally determined and
courageous heroine to match. Jason's compatriots are a believable
rogues' gallery and give strong secondary character support that
enhance the story and keep it moving. You never forget the life and
death mission forcing Jason and Destiny together; the action and
suspense and are blended flawlessly with the growing relationship
between hero and heroine. Passion and danger resound in this
gripping historical novel. If you pick one historical romance to
read this season, NOTORIOUS should be it.

Reviewed by Jamie Engle on January 22, 2011

Notorious
by Katherine Sutcliffe

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2000
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jove
  • ISBN-10: 0515129488
  • ISBN-13: 9780515129489