On the windswept shores of Ireland, a British Agent must leave behind duty to country for the sake of his honor. Anne Doyle lost her father to a foolish war and her mother to madness. Left with debt and an ancient family home, she struggles to keep the rest of her family together even as an enemy attempts to take them away. After witnessing a brutal murder, Anne must enlist aid from the only family she has left if she is to save those she loves. Devon Clayton had no intentions of leaving behind his life of adventure and danger, but when he is charged with protecting a witness and her family, he must choose between duty to the country he serves and a woman who tests his honor and willingness to change. Together they will discover that nothing is what it seems and that without honor, love and life are for nothing.
Clayton’s Honor is the third book in the British Agent series and one I have quite been looking forward too. Of the core group, Tristan, Charles and, Devon, Devon has been the most mysterious, the darkest and, the one most willing to take calculated risks and chances. To help his friends, Devon has gone to great lengths to protect them and would willingly die to save one of them or their spouses. Devon’s loyalty to his chosen family, his real family and crown and country is undeniable. His strength lies in his resolve and until Anne Doyle, nothing has ever shaken that resolve.
Anne Doyle is up to her ass in problems. Her father left her their ancestral home, Ballinrock Castle but it is nearly in ruins. Restoring the castle to its former glory is out of the question given the mountain of debt her father also left her. Adding to Anne’s daily stress are the families and employees attached to the castle, her mother who is slowly losing her mind and, a younger sister whose mind will never mature beyond that of a child. Oh, and there’s the murder she witnessed. With no choice left to her, Anne contacts her cousin Charles for help.
It doesn’t long for Charles to enlist the aid of Devon and his brothers to help sort out the mess at Ballinrock Castle. The men figure out very quickly there is much, much more to the matter than just the murder of a farm hand. Not only is Anne in mortal danger but her mother and sister are as well. With just the barest scratching of the surface, the group also discovers connections to a thirty year old death and an operation to forge currency. In no time flat, Anne’s situation has become a state matter as well as an intensely personal matter. The memory of her father is being tarnished the deeper the plot goes, her mother’s actions over the course of decades is being thrown into question and, Anne is developing serious feelings for Devon, a man who will likely never leave his life of danger and intrigue.
With each passing day and with each new bit of information, Devon sees a strength and determination in Anne that he can’t help but admire. Her loyalty to her family rivals Devon’s own and her ability to think and process information like a spy is as scary as it is attractive. Though Anne is frightened by the situation she finds herself in, she is also determined to be a part of the solution and Devon understands early on there is no use fighting her. Fighting Anne means distance from Anne and that is certainly something Devon does not want. Being near Anne is as exciting as any case he has ever worked and for the first time in his adult life, Devon can see himself leaving the Agency for good. He just has to keep Anne alive long enough to make her his own.
The Bottom Line: To date, I have really enjoyed this series but Clayton’s Honor fell flat for me. Devon has been such an interesting and somewhat mysterious character in the first two reads that I expected his story to be far more explosive, exciting and, sensual than it is. Devon is, by far the most dangerous man of the group and I expected and wanted so much more for him including more about his past. There is a lot of action and mystery in this read but it doesn’t feel as cohesive as the other two reads. So much unfolds toward the end of the read that it all feels rushed and awkward. Additionally, there are several wonky plot twists that feel like unnecessary afterthoughts. With that glowing recommendation how am I at three stars? Easy, even though I felt let down by Devon’s story, I still got Devon!! I also got more Tristan and Charles, Rhona and Alaina and, a bit more about Devon’s two brothers. I have no complaints as far as writing, editing, etc. go and, if I am completely honest, there is generally one book in every series that doesn’t quite reach the same height as the others. I am certainly not done with this series but do sincerely hope the next installment meets the stands of the first two books and not the standard set in Clayton’s Honor.
MK McClintock spins tales of romance, mystery, and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.
*2014 RONE Award-Nominee for Alaina Claiborne -2014 Crowned Heart for Excellence from InD’Tale Magazine for Blackwood Crossing and The Montana Gallagher Collection
*2015 Crowned Heart for Excellence from InD’Tale Magazine for A Home for Christmas
Genres: historical romantic westerns, historical romantic mysteries, western short stories. MK is published with Trappers Peak Publishing LLC. www.trapperspeakpublishing.com