Whispers from the Shadows, Culper Ring Series #2
Spiritual Warfare meets historical accuracy
I was unprepared to be blown away--swept away into a time and place apart from my normal historical romance escape. I confess, the characters, setting, plot, and writing as superb as they were, came secondary to the powerful theme and message. Faith overcoming fear. Trust trouncing suspicion. Mercy triumphing over judgment. And the all-staying hand of a sovereign Lord who does indeed take human affairs into His loving hand.
Gwyneth Fairchild witnesses the unthinkable, and must flee her home in London--straight into the arms of her political enemy. The War of 1812 has been raging, and treachery abounds in her circles with a father who serves as one of Britain's leading generals. Alone and filled with terrors that only come out in her paint and canvas, she must adapt to a new life with strangers, in America where her father has sent her. Can she trust her father's wisdom? Can she trust her new guardians, the Lanes, whose clandestine activities would make her and her family suspect them under ideal situations?
Thad Lane, a merchant and so much more than meets the eye, has sworn to protect his Baltimore and his America from British threats. When he receives this special care package from London in the form of the beguilingly beautiful Miss Fairchild, his mission takes on new dimensions. Can he reconcile his involvement with his parents' espionage ring while remaining true to his heart and to the leading of the spirit within? As his feelings for the lovely and mysterious young lady deepen, can he trust himself?
A page turning journey kept me in its grips these past weeks as Gwyn, Thad, and a host of fascinating characters reveal secrets, unfold the will of God, and yield surprises as told by only a master craftsman in plotting and pacing. This is my first Roseanna White novel, and though it was the second in the Culper Ring series, it read seamlessly. I am eager to go back and read the first, detailing the elder Lanes' romance and intrigue during the American Revolution. And I eagerly await the next story, set in the American Civil War amid the Knights of the Golden Circle.
This book's depiction of the historically accurate events surrounding the British invasion of Washington and attack on Baltimore showed in a beautiful way how the miraculous hand of the Divine preserved our young nation. At every level, powers unseen vie for the upper hand--at the national, local, and deeply personal . . . Comparable to the groundbreaking work of Frank Peretti for showing spiritual warfare in authentic ways, this book plays between the seen and unseen world with fine brushstrokes and vivid sensory depiction. A must read for lovers of history, spiritual truths, mystery, and romance.
November 10, 2013
Can't wait for the third book!
A great sequel to Ring of Secrets. Author Roseanna White did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life, painting a clear picture of their surroundings, and packed the story with mystery, trouble, and romance.
The first chapter had me tuning out the rest of the world. Captivated and shocked, I could not put the book down. Following Gwyneth from one continent to another while she is plagued by haunting dreams, finding she is being entrusted to a handsome fellow she did not even know, not to mention the fact these two continents were at war, created a fascinating and memorable story.
I believe the author wants us readers to take away the fact that we often place our trust in so many things--family, friends, government--that can ultimately let us down. Yet we should be placing our full trust in God, our creator, because we can be confident that He will never let us down.
***Thanks Harvest House Publishers for the free book in exchange for my honest review.***
November 5, 2013
A story full of heart and action
This is my new favorite of Roseanna White's books. Though I say that about every book of hers I read :)
While this had a lot of the Roseanna White characteristics I love - an intelligent heroine, the threat of war, and rich spiritual truths - there seemed to be extra heart to it. I loved Gwen, but found myself connecting more with Thad. He's a big-hearted protector yet also a fierce warrior. I also really enjoyed the historical context of the story, since it's a time period I have read much about.
Very well done, and I can't wait for Circle of Spies!
October 23, 2013
This exciting and adventurous romantic spy novel is the second book in a new series from Roseanna M. White. Whispers from the Shadows combines fascinating cloak-and-dagger secrets with a tale of love and intrigue during the War of 1812.
Treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild's world to crumble. The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship to America. Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland, having been told by her father she could implicitly trust Winter and Bennet Lane, even though their nations are once again at war. After meeting their son, Thad, she wonders how safe she truly is when she discovers that the Lanes trade in a dangerous commodity--espionage.
Not long after Gwyneth finds refuge in his city, Thad Lane experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty. With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyneth is uncertain. But at this moment, with the British advancing on Washington and Baltimore, they have only their shared faith in God as a shield about them.
Gwyneth and Thad were simply amazing characters. I know I've said I loathe perfect romances, but while their romance was beautiful, sweet, and tender, it very believable. I am a huge history lover, so the backdrop of a war won me over from the opening chapter. The settings and places were described by White in intricate detail, and I didn't get bored with any characters and their complex emotions and problems. Their faith was important and well portrayed, not at all overdone or dramatically flaunted.
While the romance was wonderful, my favorite element of this novel lay with the codes and encrypted letters. The aspect of espionage really just set the perfect backdrop, and I enjoyed the element of danger and vulnerability of such perilous endeavors. The historical accuracy was wonderful (I admit, reading this book got me researching!) and taught me a lot about the time period and what life could have been like. A recommended read to anybody who likes a combination of good spy novel and plenty of romantic suspense.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
September 29, 2013