Author: Carol K. Carr
Date of Publication: January 4, 2011
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.
Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator.
After reading the first sentence of this novel I knew that I was going to like it. Full of action and adventure, as well as some colorful characters, this novel had all the elements of a great first novel. Though it wasn't perfect India Black would make for a good filler read, especially because it's so short (not even 300 pages) and the action keeps it moving along.
India was one of the most interesting characters I've read about in a long time. Right off the bat I liked her attitude and sassy commentary. It was interesting to read from the perspective of a character who enjoyed running a brothel and everything that went along with it. Most books I read that take place in a similar setting have characters who are stuck there or need the money, but India actually enjoys it. I also enjoyed reading about all of the secondary characters, Vincent was an interesting ally and I loved the slight sexual tension between India and French.
Even though the political details were a little on the dry side I really enjoyed the action that came along with them. Because of India's unique position as a madam of a brothel there were plenty of unusual situations for her to find herself in and her sassy personality made it all the better. I've never read a book quite like this one in regards to India's occupation, and I was intrigued by the day to day operations of the brothel she managed. However, she spends relatively little time there, except for in the beginning, so I'm hoping future books in the series will take place there a little bit more.
The one thing that frustrated me the most about this novel is that India and French were always finding themselves outsmarted by their opponents. For two fairly intelligent characters I found it hard to believe that when it came to trying to defeat their enemies they were so stupid. Even though their blunders made for plenty of action I felt like after awhile the author was using it to drag the novel rather than for important plot development. Though I will say that the ending was just that much more satisfying after having to go through so much to get there.
Even though India Black wasn't my absolute favorite read it was a entertaining read and a good filler book to read when there isn't really anything else. I'm intrigued by the ties between her and French and I'm interested to see where India finds herself in the future. Next time I need a book to pass the time the second book in this series is definitely on my list!