Author: Donna Thorland
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The acclaimed author of Mistress Firebrand and The Turncoat continues “her own revolution in American historical romance”* with another smart, sexy, swashbuckling novel set during the American Revolution.
Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley, 1778. The British control Manhattan, the Rebels hold West Point, and the Dutch patroons reign in feudal splendor over their vast Hudson River Valley estates. But the roads are ruled by highwaymen. Gerrit Van Haren, the dispossessed heir of Harenwyck, is determined to reclaim his inheritance from his decadent brother, Andries, even if that means turning outlaw and joining forces with the invading British. Until, that is, he waylays the carriage of beautiful young finishing school teacher Anna Winters…
Anna is a committed Rebel with a secret past and a dangerous mission to secure the Hudson Highlands for the Americans. Years ago, she was Annatje, the daughter of a tenant farmer who led an uprising against the corrupt landlords and paid with his life. Since then, Anna has vowed to see the patroon system swept aside along with British rule. But at Harenwyck she discovers that politics and virtue do not always align as she expects…and she must choose between two men with a shared past and conflicting visions of the future.
My Review: Anna is content with her life as a schoolteacher. One day, she is forced to teach the Patroon of Harenwyck’s young nieces. This is so she can secure Harenwyck to the rebels. Anna is reluctant to go because of her dark past that is related to Harenwyck, yet she goes anyway. Along the way to Harenwyck, Anna runs into Gerrit, a boy whom she loved from her past. It turns out that Gerrit is on the opposite side of Anna’s because he is for the British. Can the two ever be together despite their different ideals, and will Anna ever be free from her past that still continually haunts her?
Anna is a strong protagonist. She is a very likable and sympathetic character. While Anna seems content with her present, we quickly learn that she is an emotionally distraught young woman who has a terrible past. She tries to give herself a new identity and a new start by being a schoolteacher. I really felt sorry for Anna, and I also admired her. She is very brave to risk her life to go back to Harenwyck. I also found Anna to be a very smart character. She is witty, and can hold up her own in front of very powerful and dangerous men. She can also fight and protect herself. Anna also has a very keen eye for details, and she is persistent to always find the truth.
Overall, this book is about a woman who is trying to come to terms with her past. It is also about a woman trying to find her identity and happiness. I found the characters to be fascinating and complex. This story is full of action, mystery, suspense and romance. This novel is beautifully-written, and I loved the slow-building romance. I also liked how it is set in the Dutch colony during the American revolution. My only complaint was that I wish this book was longer because the ending seemed a bit rushed. Nevertheless, this was a fun, light, and simple story. I look forward to reading other books in this series. I recommend this books to those interested in reading love stories set during the American Revolution.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars