1865—Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy, but the family legacy of espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on. Unknown to her, the Knights of the Golden Circle—a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union her brother died for—has been meeting in a hidden lair beneath her home. Faced with the secrets of her late husband and his brother, whom she thought she could trust with anything, Marietta’s world tilts out of control. Can she right it by protecting a Union agent infiltrating the KGC?
Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to end the conflict between the North and the South. When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn’t just their inner workings that baffle him—it’s the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet…so much more.
Do they dare trust each other in this circle of intrigue? Will their shared faith sustain them? And can Mari and Slade stymie the enemy long enough to see their beloved country reunited?
I have read all of Roseanna M. White’s books. Her first two novels (Jewel of Persia & A Stray Drop of Blood) are the epitome of drama. However, I noticed that after those two, she dialed things back for a while. Oh, but this one brings some of that ole drama back and I loved every minute of it. From the first page I was thoroughly engrossed in this novel and probably gasping for the first half of the book. You will be on the edge of your seat figuring things out. So:
What I liked about it:
The drama (obviously). It’s good drama. The kind that surprises you without making you queasy as you wonder how everything will work out.
Marietta. Boy is this girl something. She’s kind of like a reformed Scarlett O’Hara, the best part being that she is reformed. She’s got a special talent that is so unique and original and makes incredible sense for a spy.
I love how she also takes the theme of the Alpha male (which is so popular in secular romance novels) and flips it on its head.
I really liked the complexity of the villain. He had moments of goodness and moments of pure evil. He was in no way one note.
The Lane family. They were very well incorporated in the story without making it feel crowded.
Spiritually, there is a beautiful theme of grace and forgiveness balanced with the concept that just because you’re forgiven doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences.
What I didn’t like:
Okay, I liked Slade and I liked his back story, BUT, somehow the other guys (yes there’s two others) managed to have more charisma and somehow managed to stand out in my mind more. Or maybe someone else who is not supposed to be a contender managed to slip in there and be one. I think it has to do with the fact that they had such terrific back stories that connected with Marietta that it almost felt like who is this new guy. Then again, Marietta needed a new guy on the scene. All I do know is Slade didn’t connect to Marietta as well as I would have liked.
Overall, I had so much fun with this book. To be honest, this one didn’t seem as interesting to me as the others in the series at first, but I think it may have been my favorite in the series.
Romantic Scale: 8
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**