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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Angel In My Arms by Victoria Gray

Angel In My Arms by Victoria Gray
Publishing: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (289 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Canterbury Bell

Amanda Emerson must break her cousin, a notorious double agent, out of a Confederate prison before his imminent execution. She’s a skilled Union operative, but for this mission, she needs a man. Even a man who looks and acts like a Viking warrior.

Caught with Rebel battle plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham isn’t about to refuse the assistance of the sable-haired beauty who shows up at the jail and slips him the keys to his cell. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides saving his neck - he’s the key to her plan.

He may be trading one noose for another, but he won’t forsake her. The spoils of his victory will be her surrender. And the terms of surrender will be sweet.

The American Civil Wars has been the background of a multitude of stories, but this one is quite different from any I've seen before. Angel in My Arms tells the story of a young widow and her involvement in the espionage world of the war between the states.

Beautiful women, confederate spies, union spies, double agents, and touches of real history make this an interesting and entertaining novel.

Amanda Emerson is a young widow who, along with an aunt and a cousin, convince a notorious Union spy, Steven Dunham to help her break her cousin Ethan, a double agent, out of jail. Dunham, who is in jail himself, escapes with the help of Amanda and her cohorts. This is only the first of many clever machinations that occur in the attempt to bring justice to Ethan and clear his name. Being followed and questions constantly by a Union Captain as well as other nefarious characters make the attraction between Amanda and Steve difficult to conceal.

The attraction between Amanda and Steve is obvious and is the heart of the story. Her memories of her marriage are filled with fondness and loyalty but not the passion she experiences with Steve. He opens not only her heart but her eyes to the tragedy and deception of the trusted people around her. Their journey involves many twists and turns, conspiracies, aunts, cousins, counter spies, double crosses, pies and cookies, devilishly handsome villains and most importantly handsome, brave and besotted heroes. To write a fictional story and weave it into actual historical events is tricky. Victoria Gray does it with ease, flawlessness, emotion and intrigue.

I am fascinated when fictional characters meet actual historical figures; in this case it is tea at the home of Jefferson Davis and talk of contributions to the Widows and Orphans charity. The final realization of a hero's very strong feeling for the heroine are what you wait for in a romance and this happens half way through the book. I love when the mighty fall and when they fall quickly it is even better. This is a wonderful romance set against a backdrop of difficult times and circumstances but it eventually has its happily ever after.