Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Traitorous Heart by Tammy Jo Burns

She thought she had lost everyone during an early attack by Napoleon’s forces. Then upon returning to England she loses even more… 

He lost his new wife in a brutal attack six months ago during one of the first battle surges by Le Grande Armée. Left with an injury to remind him of that time he reluctantly takes up his mantle as a Peer of the Realm and uses his skills with numbers and letters to help the War Office as a code specialist. 

Nothing could surprise him more than walking into a government safe house to question a suspected traitor and find his supposedly dead wife lying injured with no memory of their time together. Is she a traitor? Where has she been all this time? And is their love strong enough to survive or will the truth tear them apart forever? 

A Regency historical romance full of spies, intrigue and romance. 

Publisher and Release Date:  Self-published, November 13, 2013

3.5 Gold Crowns

Review by Vikki

This story starts out in the middle of a battle with Tessa running for her life, trying to evade the explosions going off all around her, when her father slams her to the ground, and they roll into a ditch. As she lies beneath him, he whispers in her ear to remain still, and then he speaks his final words telling her that he loves her and breathes his last breath, trapping Tessa under him. She obeys his warning as the battle continues to rage around her. Slowly, the noise around her disappears and silence surrounds her. When she tries to push her dead father’s body off her, she lets loose a blood curdling scream.

The book then fast forwards into another action-packed scene ten months later, ending with Tessa falling and hitting her head, then passing out from the blow. She awakens to find herself locked in what could only be a cell with the voice of her beloved telling her to open her eyes. Since she witnessed his death from one of the explosions, she thinks she is in heaven, yet feels like she’s in hell as pain slams through her and blessed oblivion carries her away.

Derek, the newly cloaked Earl of Blackburn, cannot believe his eyes, the woman his friend, the Duke of Hawkscliffe, believes is a traitor is none other than the wife he presumed had died in the battle that had left him with a severely injured leg. When he declares her no traitor and that she is his wife, the duke presents him with overwhelming evidence, pointing to Tessa as the spy. When she again awakens, her memory is gone, only recalling her name. Now, Derek faced with a dilemma…does he believe the proof, or deny it, sticking to his conviction that she could never have done anything that would have killed so many innocent people. When Tessa’s memory returns, will it tear them apart, or proof her innocent of all charges. Will there love be enough to overcome their circumstances?

I enjoyed this story for the most part and I’m glad I had the chance to read it. The plot is intriguing and the characters engaging. Tammy Jo Burns does a great job of setting up her scenes. Her ability to describe the action drops the reader right into the middle of it. I also thoroughly loved how she wrote her love scenes. While they were not graphic at all, she filled them with deep emotion and plenty of passion. She also does an excellent job of giving the book a strong sense of the historical period. It’s clear she did her research. The couple is uncomfortable with Derek’s title and the author clearly explains why.
Now, for what did not work for me. The momentum in the beginning of this book had me enthralled and wanting to read more. However, that momentum did not continue. The story is very interesting, but it became a bit bogged down with an unexplained issue. I never truly understood how he ended up with the title. It came to him from his great-uncle, but bypassed his father. One quick sentence referred to it being bestowed on him by the king, but no further details, and that was well into the book, leaving me to wonder how he got it and not his father. This situation took me out of the story and made me question the credence.

Another issue involves point of view changes. At times, I would have to read a sentence a second time because the author had switched from one character’s POV to another with no break in the scene. That can be quite disconcerting for me, and I’m sure other readers may have the same problem. Ms. Burns also gives quite a few characters POV, and that kept me from feeling a deep connection to the main characters.

Over all, an enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a book with an intricate plot and emotional love scenes, then this is a book you will not want to miss. Happy reading!

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