Happy New Year! Welcome to the 20’s! To celebrate this new decade, I would like to introduce you to my first read of the year, Book 2 in the Codebreaker series, On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna White. You can read my review for the previous book, The Number of Love, here. Stay tuned at the end of this post for information on an awesome giveaway!
All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.
As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.
With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the crosshairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.
Arabelle and Camden were a different pairing than I expected. Both of them are varying degrees of jaded. Both of them have been hurt. Arabelle comes from an affectionate family, but one who has kept her at arm’s length her whole life. She has been hurt by the choices of her family and wrestles with her own bitterness because of it. However, she fights that bitterness throughout the entire book and refuses to let it conquer her. She makes a conscious decision every time she is hurt to love people, no matter who they are or what they have done. I appreciate the way the author portrayed this as a strength rather than a weakness. Arabelle is no pushover. She stands her ground on the things that are important and champions the cause of others.
Camden comes from a loving family that has always been there for him. While Arabelle fights her bitterness, Camden has been swallowed by it. He carries so much guilt and anger over past decisions that resulted in the death of his comrades. The world has painted him a villain and he embraces that persona as a mask because he cannot forgive himself. In spite of the darkness that he lives under, I love how he still comes out to champion those he cares about. Reading his transformation, the slow cracking of his shell, and the way he slowly started to open up to those around him was a beautiful thing.
I loved Ara and Camden’s witty banter, their solid friendship that slowly morphed into love, and the way they chose each other when others wouldn’t.
Another thing Roseanna White does well in all of her books is incorporating historical details beyond just the setting of the book and bringing the reader back in time with the characters. I really enjoyed the author’s note at the end of the book and finding out how much of the story was based on actual people and events. It makes the story even more real. She does her research well and weaves a great story with what history has given her.
Whether you are looking for a great historical read with fantastic character development, or, like Ara and Camden, are struggling to choose love when the hurt is so prevalent, I highly recommend this book.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
The book page for On Wings of Devotion can be found on my website HERE.
To celebrate the release of On Wings of Devotion, the author is hosting a giveaway for the first two books in The Codebreaker series as well as some other awesome goodies! Check out her blog post here for information on how to enter!