Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book Report: Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White

Romantic intrigue. 
Fascinating history. 
Intelligent themes of faith.
Intricate suspenseful plot.
Wit to rival Jane Austen. 

Five stars to Roseanna. This book has earned a spot on my never-give-away-shelf. Her mastery of the writing craft is impeccable. I took a red pen to it as I read, to study her amazing word smithery. I know I sound gushing by now. But this post is a day late because I wanted to take my time to soak up this enjoyable thought provoking read.

Romantic intrigue? you asked. I'll tell.
Set in 1779 in British occupied New York City (don't forget, the Brits didn't leave after 1776!), heroine Winter Reeves is an aristocratic American Patriot who hides her true identity among the city's British Loyalists. She lives with her wealthy Loyalist grandparents who resent her for her mother's betrayal when she married Winter's patriot father.  They selfishly want nothing more than to unload her to the first loyalist bachelor who will reflect well upon their definition of a good reputation. How will Winter stay true to her heart and still manage to keep a roof over her head? Her cover?--to appear so daft and unthinking, that no one dare imagine her capable of a plot to send secret information through the Culper Ring to aid to the patriot cause in hopes of saving her father.
Bennet Lane (love that name!) is a Yale professor of philosophy and chemistry who has returned to the city with one goal: to find General Washington's spy hidden among the ranks of the city's elite. His cover story? ---a search to find a wife. The problem is, he can hardly speak to women without getting completely tongue-tied--except when he finds himself drawn by Winter's too-intelligent eyes and her too-blank face. The good loyalist standing of Bennet's family name make him the target match Winter's grandparents set their eyes upon.

"Determined and committed to a separate cause, will God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?"

Fascinating history? 
Revolutionary War era history is worth a brush up if you haven't really thought about it since... say--third grade. The Brits didn't turn tail and run home across the pond after we signed the Declaration of Independence. They continued to occupy territory and fight the rebel patriots. Oh, and remember that guy named Benedict Arnold? Well, along with a better understanding of his story and the sociopolitical forces of loyalty vs. faith and conscience in this era, you'll get introduced to post revolutionary intelligence communication--just think invisible ink and coded communications.

Intelligent themes of faith? 
White touches on the paradox of the mere appearance of truth vs. hiding something in order to remain obedient to God. She layers in the value this era placed on appearance and social elevation vs. simplicity and honesty--a timeless theme. And deeper yet, she shows the struggle of conscience vs. convenient self preservation, pushing her readers to think past God's mere existence to His divine intervention and desire to remain intimately involved in our lives.

And wit abounds. 
Sometimes I had to re-read lines before it dawned on me. This either reflects my lack of wits--or that we've settled for reading and writing that lacks wits and we don't recognize it when we see it!  So, write on Mrs. White! I loved it!

Comments & Questions:
Join in for a chance to win a free copy. Give away limited to continental U.S. Don't forget to check back by April 5th to see if you won! Sometimes we actually have no winner because commenters never check back! Don't miss your opportunity!!
How is your Revolutionary War knowledge--dusty or sharp?

Do you prefer a witty read or light fluff that isn't "too deep"?

"Do you have a story from your life when all seemed confusion or coincidence at the time, but upon looking back you could discern God's hand?"(quoted from the discussion questions at the back of the book).


Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. Nurse Practitioner by day. Wife, mother, writer by night. Coffee drinker--any time.


  1. Yes, YES, YES!! This sounds like a must-read for me!! :)
    Probably all of my history - Revolutionary War and otherwise - isn't as sharp as it should be.

    Witty or light fluff - Can I say both? I truly love a good witty read, but there are also times where a light book is just right. :)

    Yes, and some times that looking back, I still don't understand and maybe never will.

    Thanks for sharing, Jaime. I can't wait to read this book! :)

    1. Hi Sheri, nice to meet you here. I'm glad to introduce you to Rosenna's work! Sounds like you would also like her book, Love Finds you in Annapolis, MD.

  2. This sounds like a great read! I love the wit of Jane Austen. Would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance and telling us about the book!

    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  3. This book sounds great! :) am adding it to my to read list! Loved the review! (Oh I can't win though because I am from Canada :) still enjoyed this post though! :) have a great day!

    1. I'll talk to Roseanna about Canadian participants! :)

    2. I think Canada is just fine. =)

  4. Sounds like a good book - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! So glad you enjoyed the book, Anne. =) And I hope everyone is having a blessed Easter weekend!

  6. You are so welcome Roseanna! :)

  7. Thank you for the review. I am very intrigued about this book, due to your opinion. thank you for offering a chance to win a copy. I haven't read anything by Roseanna White, so it would be nice to check out a new-to-me author.

  8. Yeah! Eeek. I love it when others get excited about a great read shared here. :)

  9. Oh my Revolutionary War knowledge is probably really bad. I have great Civil War knowledge! ;) I love witty and somewhat deep books - it has to stimulate!
    And yes, I have seen God's providential hand in many places of my life.
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi farmygirl! :) Sounds like you are matched for a book like this one!

  10. Love Roseanna White's books! I prefer books with lots of wit and depth, and Roseanna's books offer you just that!

  11. Oh, goodness--I saw the book trailer for this and it looked SO interesting. I'd LOVE to win! heatherdaygilbert (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for this opportunity!

    1. Yeah Heather!! I know, so cool right?!

  12. I loved, loved, loved this book! So good. And as for my Rev War knowledge, I consider it broadened considerably after reading Ring of Secrets. And btw, I love it when the heroine and hero are on impossibly opposite sides in a romance novel.

    1. Yes, exactly Naomi! Roseanna did an amazing job at opposing heroine/hero!


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