Title: Traitor in Her Arms
Author: Shana Galen
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Date of publication: August 22nd, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Number of pages: Unknown
POV: 3rd person
Series: The Scarlet Chronicles
Traitor in Her Arms – Book 1
Where you can find Traitor in Her Arms: Amazon
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.
After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.
Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.
Traitor in Her Arms is one of those books that is going to stay with you for a long while after reading it. Set during the French Revolution, I was sent on a hair-raising and harrowing adventure through England and France. I was literally on the edge of my seat for more than half the book and I think during the more harrowing parts of the book, I couldn’t take a breath, that is how much this book got to me. And believe me, for me to get so emotionally invested in a book is a good thing.
I had mentioned in another review that the French Revolution, while used as a backdrop in historical romance novels, really isn’t a place that authors visit in their novels. It was too violent and not at all romantic. But, I like what the author did to make Paris a perfect spot for Ramsey and Gabrielle’s romance. She made them go to France for two different reasons. Gabrielle, an accomplished thief, was to steal a bracelet and then secure the freedom of a Comtesse and her child. Ramsey, well he was to find out who was the Scarlet Pimpernel and tell his blackmailer his identity.
I couldn’t understand why Gabrielle was such an accomplished thief until it was explained a few chapters into the book. I couldn’t imagine my husband dying and leaving me to deal with his creditors. She was desperate and the unsavory people who her husband was dealing with were becoming more and more impatient. So she learned to pick locks and used those skills to steal jewels and whatnot from the fellow members of the ton. When she was approached by the Scarlet Pimpernel and told that she was going to France to save the Comtesse and her child, she didn’t hesitate…even though France was in a state of civil unrest.
Ramsey was an enigma to me, at first and I couldn’t understand why he was stealing Cleopatra’s jewels. But the more into Ramsey’s story I got into, the more something didn’t add up. I really didn’t understand why Madam seemed to have him by the balls and kept threatening to show his secret. But the more into the book I got, the more the author gradually peeled back Ramsey’s layers. When his secret was finally revealed and the reasons behind it, I actually felt bad for him. What a burden to be carrying around!!
The book really picked up once Ramsey and Gabrielle were undercover in France. I will give you all a warning and say that this part of the book is not for those who do not like violence. Because there were some pretty violent and descriptive scenes. I was literally chilled when Ramsey and Gabrielle saw the aristocrat who was literally dismembered before their eyes. Also, what chilled me was when they went to witness the people being guileteened. I couldn’t get the descriptions of the square soaked in blood, the people being executed or the people watching out of my mind. I knew that was a bloody period in France’s history but I guess I didn’t know how bloody until I read this book.
The end of the book was pretty anticlimactic after reading Ramsey and Gabrielle’s times in France. But it did end as a happy ending for both Ramsey and Gabrielle.
How many stars will I give Traitor in Her Arms: 5
Why: I loved this book. It was a beautifully written book that had plotlines that definitely kept my attention and a romance that defied Revolutionary France.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex and violence. Like I said above, when Gabrielle and Ramsey were in France, it was very bloody and some people could be put off by it.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**