Friday, March 1, 2013
Ring of Secrets - by Roseanna M. White
From the perspective of late 18th-century society, Winter Reeves is living a lovely, albeit shallow, life. She lives in opulence during a time that many are struggling through the war, and her grandparents appear to have been gracious in taking her into their home after the loss of her parents. In reality, she is little more than a slave to them, loved less than even that, and has had to cover her true personality and wit with an empty socialite shell. The doors open to her socially, however, lend themselves perfectly to an undercover life as a spy. Since none believe her to be intelligent enough to follow a conversation, there are many willing to speak openly in her presence of military secrets that she can then relay to the Culper Ring to enable the Patriot army to act defensively. When a man comes along, however, who sees that there is more to Winter than any others have been willing or able to see, can she drop the masks to find love? Or, as a spy, is she doomed to pair herself for life with a man she can use as a source?
While I am not usually drawn to historical novels, there isn't much that can draw me into a story faster than a highly intelligent heroine. Add in a man determined to discover the reasons she hides her wit and humor behind an empty mask, throw in some spy danger, and the book quickly becomes hard to put down. Although there were sections of the book that did feel a bit drawn out, Winter's dual life and complete trust in God throughout such difficult circumstances were engaging. In addition, the characters that filled out the story were deeply drawn enough to give life to the story on their own merit. I loved that the men pursuing her were so honest and complex that they were able to form a true friendship, even while essentially battling for Winter's affections. Their lives and their friendship added a richness to the story that took it from being a traditional romance, or even historical spy novel, to a story of relationships and faith that would transcend its setting and touch any reader. As Ben was led to question his perception of God that had always been more scientific than relational, the reader can see how God has worked subtly, yet surely, to bring Ben to the very place he finds the God he seeks.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'm always a little hesitant to pick up historical novels, but delightfully surprised to find one with engaging characters. This is book #1 in a series, and I will be interested to see where it goes from here. I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded to 4.
You can find Ring of Secrets HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.