She held up her hand in a nervous sort of wave and lowered it awkwardly. “It’s just me,” Phillippa said, her gaze never leaving his. The room held still, as if any movement would shatter the space.
Then Fieldstone cleared his throat and started forward with a smart bow. “Mrs. Benning, I’m please to see you looking so well. May I ask, er, how you got past the guards?”
Phillippa gave that effortless, elegant shrug of hers. “I’m Phillippa Benning,” she said plainly, without conceit.
Revealed by Kate Noble is the first book in her Blue Raven series. Catherine did an excellent review on the third book in the series, Follow My Lead, and I have heard so much about Ms. Noble’s books that I decided to start at the beginning of this series. This book is actually from 2009 so I am definitely behind here but I have an inability to start in the middle of a series like this.
Phillippa Benning is the talk of the Ton. She is the trend-setter, the one to make or break debutantes or bucks, the one everyone follows. And she is also a snob, spoiled, rotten, stuck up and a very unlikable character. For the majority of Revealed, she displays not a single redeeming character trait. The only time I felt like she was worth reading was when she was around Marcus Worth.
Marcus Worth, our hero, has supposedly been found out by Phillippa to be “The Blue Raven”. The Blue Raven was a war hero but since the war has ended he has gone into a form of retirement. Marcus has a hard time being retired though. He still sees intrigue and plots in every corner he looks. Unable to settle his suspicious mind he is close to becoming the man who cried wolf. So when a real plot comes up there is nobody around to believe him. Except Phillippa. Major social events are being targeted and Phillippa is the only one who can get Marcus access to these events so he can investigate and stop the plot. For her part, Phillippa wants in on the excitement and wants to be the one to reveal who The Blue Raven actually is, at the biggest ball of the year, The Benning Ball.
I consider it a masterful piece of writing that Ms. Noble managed to pull off in Revealed. Phillippa is seriously a brat bordering on what I would call bitch. There were times were I had to clench my teeth and make funny noises at some of the jerkish moves she pulled. In any normal situation I would have hated her. But Ms. Noble, somehow, someway, created a character that you couldn’t hate. Her interactions with Marcus turn her into a completely different person. The whole time she is “working” with Marcus she is also supposed to be pursuing another gentleman. The man is her equivalent in looks and status but as time goes on he starts to lose his shine and falls short of what Marcus is to her.
Marcus was never the debonair, handsome guy that would catch the eye. And that is what makes him so likable. He is solid and steady without being boring. He is the perfect match for someone like Phillippa. In a bit of a plot twist, Marcus’ brother is introduced and turns out to be the other half of The Blue Raven. Phillippa feels betrayed by the knowledge and turns back to her old ways of snobbery. Eventually Marcus and Phillippa work out their differences and the book ends with a very cute epilogue.
If I had one complaint with the book it would be the lack of sexual situations. There is plenty of sexual tension but for about 50% of the book, I was just on the edge of my seat. Their first kiss is almost blistering and I wanted more sooner than I got more. Overall, this was a very good book and I look forward to reading book 2 of the series. I am very happy I started my Kate Noble journey. Final grade- B+
“It’s just me.”