The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution by Donna Thorland

BLURB:

They are lovers on opposite sides of a brutal war, with everything at stake and no possibility of retreat. They can trust no one—especially not each other.

Major Lord Peter Tremayne is the last man rebel bluestocking Kate Grey should fall in love with, but when the handsome British viscount commandeers her home, Kate throws caution to the wind and responds to his seduction. She is on the verge of surrender when a spy in her own household seizes the opportunity to steal the military dispatches Tremayne carries, ensuring his disgrace—and implicating Kate in high treason. Painfully awakened to the risks of war, Kate determines to put duty ahead of desire, and offers General Washington her services as an undercover agent in the City of Brotherly Love.

Months later, having narrowly escaped court martial and hanging, Tremayne returns to decadent, British-occupied Philadelphia with no stomach for his current assignment—to capture the woman he believes betrayed him. Nor does he relish the glittering entertainments being held for General Howe’s idle officers. Worse, the glamorous woman in the midst of this social whirl, the fiancée of his own dissolute cousin, is none other than Kate Grey herself. And so begins their dangerous dance, between passion and patriotism, between certain death and the promise of a brave new future together.

RHL Classifications:

American Revolution

Steam: 2

Reviewer rating: 4 Stars (DEBUT)

REVIEW BY JILL

In 1777 General Howe has just landed at Head of Elk ready to march on Philadelphia and take the capital. The plans and details for this attack are being dispatched from Howe to General Clinton in New York. If these dispatches can be stolen and brought to Washington, a blow will be dealt to the British.

Kate Grey is not quite the dull Quaker she appears. Living on Grey Farm near Philadelphia, her father was a convert and has raised his daughter to be educated, free-thinking and independent. Major Peter Tremayne, Viscount Sancreed is in charge of the troops carrying the dispatches. He commandeers Kate’s farm as he and his men make their way to General Clinton. But unknown to Kate, there is a spy in her household who steals the dispatches, embroiling Kate in the war.

At first Tremayne doesn’t even notice Kate when he arrives at Grey Farm. But later her educated and bold views intrigue him. Some months later, with Kate now working for General Washington as a spy in Philadelphia society, she once again meets up with Tremayne, who has escaped court martial and hanging for allowing the dispatches to fall into enemy hands.

Although author Donna Thorland does depict Kate as an atypical Quaker with her independence, education and passionate nature, Kate does come across at times as an unbelievable lightskirt far too willing to quickly toss aside her values, virtue and virginity for the Rebel cause. Turning her into a bewitching spy was also stretching it a bit as well.

However, the historical setting in this part of the Revolutionary War is detailed and descriptive using historical figures and events. The Turncoat is really entertaining with a courageous and likable heroine and a great combination of history, adventure, intrigue and romance.

The author provides some interesting notes and also a fascinating interview at the end of the book. The Turncoat is romantic historical fiction. As such it will suit readers of historical romance who enjoy more historical details in their HR. And readers of historical fiction who like some romance in their stories.

An entertaining and enjoyable debut, well worth reading.

ARC courtesy of NAL via Edelweiss

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