Book Review: House of Espionage

The year is 2040. World War III has been over for approximately seven months and all major nations are still on edge. It seems the only thing humanity can agree on… is fashion.

And thus starts my new favorite book of the summer, Kasey O’Cassey’s new release The House of EspionageIt’s spy thriller meets romantic comedy meets high fashion style guide and I can honestly not get enough. Set in the not so distant future, O’Cassey introduces the reader to a world where the lead fashion line is a mysterious and enigmatic brand called Espionage known for it’s unique and sexy ‘spy-themed’ clothing. Men and women of all major cities now prefer tight black leather, knee high boots, and thick utility belts to all other forms of clothing.

The heroine is stunning Renée de Beau, the face of Espionage. Though she is only 25, she is one of the most recognizable figures in history- and (as the whole world would agree) no one looks better in spy fashion than she does. Little does everyone know…

Renée is the top spy of the most elite branch of the CIA and Espionage was created solely for the purpose of allowing Renée to blend in when in uniform.

The storyline gives me chills when I think about it- it’s such a fun and unique idea and really puts a twist on the spy world that books and movies usually come up with. I am literally obsessed with how good O’Cassey is at describing clothing, it makes me 100% want to wear some of the Espionage line!!! Here’s an excerpt:

Renée walked into her closet and let her hand glide along the smooth, black leather pieces that hung neatly in rows. She pulled out a pair of supple booty shorts and pondered which of her work shirts would look the best with them, deciding finally on a long sleeved top with a fur hood and an oversized silver zipper that barely fit over her curvaceous chest. Though it was tight it was easy to maneuver in and perfect for blending into all situations.

“Now just shoes and a utility belt,” Renée mused out loud as she turned to her ten foot high rack of boots.

I can totally imagine O’Cassey having a really fun time coming up with spy clothing that is sexy but practical. I really wish a couple of the pieces existed in real life because I could totally see myself wearing some of those leather boots with weapons inside the heel!

Now I bet you’re all wondering… where is the romance? Well that’s coming! You see in The House of Espionage, Renée is sent on the biggest mission of her life: to take down the Russian super spy, codename The Dracula. Though she has only ever heard stories of his fearsome, violent demeanor and ruthless proclivity towards murder, she takes on the mission without fear.

It’s only when they meet that everything changes. I’ll give you a little taste:

Renée ducked behind the car, panting heavily as the sound of the shot fired still rang in her ears. She knew The Dracula was hiding somewhere in the warehouse and she was going to hunt him down. Putting the blade between her teeth, Renée gracefully launched herself to the beam above her head and shimmied along it towards the balcony of the second story. Once there she dropped down softly into a crouch, letting her sharp eyes scan for any movement. She began to stalk forward slowly, edging along the darkness and shadows.

Out of nowhere a cold barrel of a gun pressed itself to her temple. She stopped, feeling the blood drain from her face. 

“Nice try, kitty cat,” came a deep and husky voice, thick with a Russian accent. Renée turned slowly a smile spreading across her face as a realization dawned on her.

“Too bad you’re out of bullets, The Dracu-” but the words were lost as soon as she caught sight of what stood before her. The Dracula was not a monster as she had expected, he was young- maybe a year or two older than her- with strikingly dark features, a chiseled jaw and long, lean muscles. Her breath caught in her throat and her heart skipped a beat. The Dracula studied her face, opening and closing his mouth. 

“No one warned me you would be so beautiful,” he whispered, as he let the gun drop to his side.

Love love love this book!! I hope you all read it until the end because I would hate for anyone to miss out on all the twists and turns!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    August 17, 2016 at 10:53 am

    You always have the best book recommendations! I love books about fashion so I can’t wait to try this. Ordering on Amazon now 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly Cerrito
    August 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I don’t usually read spy novels because I don’t like the suspense, but I will give this a try. Thanks!
    Holly C

  • Reply
    James Genou
    August 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I have never heard of this author before and she is very hard to find online? Is she self published?

  • Reply
    Opal
    August 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I literally just bought this book because it sounded so good. I’m glad I have the same taste as you, Phyllis

  • Reply
    Tayrn L.
    August 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I heard an interview with the author on NPR and she talked about her influences behind the book being the story of Hugo Boss designing the uniforms for the Nazis during WWII and the love story between Romeo and Juliette. It was really interesting and made me want to read the book! I hope to find it in a local independent bookstore soon since they’re out of stock on indiebound.org.

  • Reply
    Maggie Elsworth
    August 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    This sounds like a good book but I don’t like to read so I hope they turn it into a movie!! Would love to see the spy fashion!!!!

  • Reply
    Mildo
    August 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I read this book a few weeks ago and wow, that Dracula guy… I’m in Draculove. He could put his Russian fangs on me any time, if you know what I mean. If you liked this one you HAVE to check out “Foxxy PI” – it’s a similar premise but the main character (Foxxy) is an amateur clown on weekends and has a wonderful closet full of colorful wigs and the most incredible makeup selection. But by day she’s the best PI the SF Bay, currently trying to solve the mystery of who killed Bingo Johnston, a Silicon Valley billionaire (and secret illuminati member).

    • Reply
      RedNosesAndRainbows
      August 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I’m a budding clown enthusiast and haven’t heard of Foxxy PI. Thank you Mildo for the recommendation. I will have to read it right away to learn more about clown make up artistry and how to balance a clown career with a day job. House of Espionage doesn’t have enough clowns in it so I don’t think I’ll read it. #LifeIsACircus

    • Reply
      Phyllis
      August 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Glad you liked The Dracula- Primrose and I found him so hunky! Do you know who wrote Foxxy PI? I would love to read it, it sounds so riveting!
      Xo,
      Phyllis

      • Reply
        Mildo
        August 20, 2016 at 1:39 am

        Hi Phyllis! I’m pretty sure the book was anonymously published on xanga a few years back, so there’s no known author (some have tried to guess who wrote it based on clues in the style and text, but to no avail). One thing I really love about both books is the strong female lead character, who is able to balance her love life with her work life (and in the case of Foxxy PI, her clown life). Cheers to reading!

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