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Posted October 18, 2013
I was interested in this book because of its time period and location–a book about an American Revolutionary spy in England? Sign me up! Initially the story had a lot of promise–I really liked the characters of Emily and Ryan, and their early antagonistic banter was amusing. I especially enjoyed Emily’s refusal to call Ryan by the correct name–I may actually have snorted iced tea out my nose when she referred to him as “Mr. Button”. Is that TMI?
I enjoyed many of the secondary characters as well, especially Emily’s younger sister Lucy and her eventual paramour, Lord Jonah Devaux. Ryan’s cousins and uncle, Emily’s faithful servants, and the French smuggler too were all sympathetic characters. The first third or so of the novel had me hooked, eagerly turning the pages.
Somewhere after that point, though, things started to get a bit dicey. Quite a few extra plot lines were thrown in there–an angry jilted ex-lover/source of information of Ryan’s, for example, vows revenge. Not one, but two nefarious personages have designs on Emily’s fortune and person. A member of Parliament finds out at a very public venue that his mistress has been less than faithful, and tragedy ensues. Spies on both sides are wounded left and right, with many suffering mortal wounds. At times it became tricky keeping track of all the different threads, and more than once I had to use the “find” feature on my ereader to remind myself of who that person was and why they were doing what they were doing. Unfortunately, in the end, it also didn’t feel like all of these separate plot lines were completely resolved.
The villains of the novel–yes, there’s more than one–show no real redeeming qualities in the end and as a result feel one-dimensional. They’re definitely not as fleshed out as the more protagonistic characters. It's not the worst complaint to have about a book, but it did make the reading feel uneven.
I also ran a bit hot and cold with Emmy and Ryan’s relationship–mainly because they were constantly doing the same thing. In the beginning their antagonism made sense–they both had secrets that could hurt themselves and others, and no real reason to trust the other person with them–but then they’d do something that screamed relationship and the next minute Emily was pushing Ryan away and thinking about how she was still afraid of him. It got to be old after a while…but then you’d have a really sweet moment, like this one:
This was a token of all Emily held dear—of Oak Hill, her family, of who she was. And now, of Ryan, too. She held it to her heart. She’d thought it was the land that she loved. Her mother and sister who needed her. That it was her duty, her obligation, to preserve those things and keep them safe, no matter the cost. But her mother was gone, and Lucy would have Devaux. All the things she’d held to so tightly suddenly had no meaning. Only this small remembrance and the man who’d redeemed it. All she’d ever need of the past she now held in the palm of her hand.
Climax and falling action of the novel has drama galore and all kinds of action–real page-turning reading–but the resolution itself is amazingly abrupt. Again, there’s unresolved issues there, especially concerning what will happen with most of the things that Emily just mused about holding dear in the passage above, less than a dozen pages earlier in the book.
Overall I did enjoy the basic story here, and liked the main characters. It’s from a new-to-me author, and though I didn’t love everything about the book I’d probably pick up another by her in the future. C+ rating.
I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted September 25, 2013
I will start by saying I freaking loved this book. I didn't have high expectations going into it to be honest mainly because I wondered
how the autho could pull it off-a historical romance set in England, about English, against the backdrop (and intrigue/spying) of the
American Revolution. I didn't think I'd be able to like the characters, since well, being from the US I kinda have a side, ya know?
But this book was nothing like that. This book instead showed two characters, conflicted by their duties to their families and countries,
because of the love they felt for each other.
The multiple plots that were woven through the story were done well and no threads were left untied. Everything got resolved, or well,
as resolved as good as it could! I loved the characters of Ryan and Emily and how hard they fell for each other. But most important, for
me, was Emily's sacrifice for Ryan. What she was willing to do for him, well that just blew me away. She was written well and as a very
strong, independent, loving woman who would do anything, even sacrifice herself, for those she cared for. It was nice to see that
balance of strength, courage, love and vulnerability all together in one character.
The end was both awesome and bittersweet. I knew that things couldn't stay the way they were-given who Lucy was going to marry
and what Ryan was involved in. And so I knew Emily would have to make a choice. And it was hard but I think she made the right one.
*I received an ARC Of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Posted September 25, 2013
Intriguing and definitely sucks you in! Very well written and the flow of the story has great rhythm with all the unseen twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down because I just had to know what would happen next. The characters grab you and you feel like you have known them for years.
The story itself reminds you that war has two sides to it. The author did a wonderful job of not pushing one side over another. You can feel for the character’s cause and she leaves you wondering the whole book how they can end up together when on opposite sides! Secrets and bad guys are hiding everywhere. This is a very action packed, well written story that I highly recommend!
Posted September 24, 2013
I absolutely love this book! Ryan and Emily's characters were well thought out and their interaction don't make me want to cringe unlike other historical romances I have read. I didn't feel the story was lacking at all and can't wait to read more from Gail Ranstrom. I would love to read more about some of the other characters, Emily's sister in particular.
I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted September 23, 2013
This book is a great read. There is danger and adventure from beginning until the very last page. I love that the heroin saves the day and rescues the hero.
The build up of the relationship of Emily and Ryan allows you to truly get to know them and fall in love with them. They build their trust and passion with each other before they finally get together.
Although both Emily and Ryan have a great deal of stress and secrets to deal with, neither one complains excessively. They do what they have to do to keep the people the love safe.
Posted September 23, 2013
In Sweet Treason by Gail Ranstrom, the year is 1779, the American Revolutionary War is going on, and Emily is at the family estate in Oak Hills, England, struggling to keep it going and find the money to do so. If she can make it a few more months she will inherit free and clear, and she will resort to almost anything to make sure she doesn't lose the estate.
When an American 'spy' (Ryan) shows up in her home and Emily doesn't out him to the soldiers who come knocking, Ryan convinces her that if she says anything now, she will be implicated as a co conspirator. Even with a heat and attraction to him that is fully unexpected, Emily is glad to see the back of him. She has her own secrets to protect, she does not want to risk being assocaited with a traitor!
Forced to go to London by the trustee of the family estate, who Emily does not trust one bit but she is determined to figure out his ulterior motive, Emily starts running into Ryan more and more. Coincidence or something more? Emily does not want to trust the spy, but the desire they feel for each other can't be denied. Emily knows Ryan won't be staying around, but she can no longer resist him or how he makes her feel. She takes big chances to be with him. Not only could her heart be broken when he leaves, but the secrets they both harbor could end up harming them. With the war going on, clandesine meetings, unexpected and frightening happenings, Ryan and Emily are going to have to trust someone. Can they trust each other? Are they really that different? And what could possibly become of them?
I have to admit I don't read a lot of historical romance books, but I am so glad I read Sweet Treason! I loved it!!! Emily was such a strong woman, especially for the era Sweet Treason took place in. She was not going to sit quietly for anything or anyone and I loved that about her. She is so busy taking care of everyone else though, who will take care of Emily? I really enjoyed the relationship between her and Ryan, and seeing it evolve. Ryan played tough, but when it came to Emily he definitely has a soft spot! He is standing up for what he believes in...and they might not be as different as they think.
Gail's descriptives are so well written that I could feel the cool air and smell the salt water...see the busy streets, and be at the parties. All of the characters were well written and came together nicely to pull you into the story. I loved it too because even though it was hundreds of years ago, feelings are the same no matter what century and those are what makes you relate to the characters, especially Emily
I am so glad I read Sweet Treason and recommend it to any romance reader, especially if you like historical romance, intrigue, and heat!