Review: The Turncoat – Renegades of the Revolution

Title: The Turncoat – Renegades of the Revolution Image

Author: Donna Thorland

Rating: ★

Provided Synopsis: 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.

Review: Quakers are meant to be pacifists, but Kate Grey can no longer abide by those rules once her father leaves home to join General Washington and the woman he left behind to watch after her is revealed to be a spy for the Americans. Using Kate for her own purposes, The Widow allows a British officer to get close to the young Quaker so that the dispatches he has on his person may be stolen. The result of the plot is Peter Tremayne’s court-martial and Kate’s inclusion into the war effort. The Widow trains her to be a spy, and the two set off to immerse Kate within Philadelphia society (which is currently held by the British) so that Kate may seek information to send to Washington’s troops. All might have gone according to plan if Peter Tremayne had not appeared again.

Altogether I found this book to be a disappointment. As a history buff I was intrigued by the idea of reading a story about spies during the American Revolution. The problem was the execution of this story. The characters lacked any development that I could see; it was as if they only did things to fit the way the author needed the plot to go, rather than doing things because they were developing and evolving.

Also, I found the entire thing to be unbelievable. How was it that Kate was able to go from being a Quaker to a spy in a month? More than that, how was she able to be so good and superior that she was able to secure the hearts of two highly placed British men, whom quite frankly should have been much smarter than to allow a woman to dictate their every move. The story turned into more of a bodice-ripper, as Peter determined that he loved Kate after hours of knowing her, and that “love” was enough for him to do the things he did. Give me a break. I won’t even dive into the other characters that lacked motivation, substance, or sense.

Skip this one, folks.


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