After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.
Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Traitor in Her Arms: A Scarlet Chronicles Novel (The Scarlet Chronicles)
Shortly after Gabrielle first made her debut into society, she knew that George McCullough was about to propose. However, she felt a strong attraction to his best friend, Ramsey, Lord Sedgwick, and had an inkling that he felt the same. Gabrielle managed to find Ramsey alone, and they shared a kiss, but he made it clear that no proposal would be forthcoming from him. With no chance of marrying the man she really wants, Gabrielle accepts George’s proposal. Though George loved Gabrielle, he also loved gambling. He was killed in a duel, leaving Gabrielle with nothing but debts and a long line of creditors.
The path Gabrielle chooses is to become a thief, stealing the odd piece of jewelry from homes where she attends balls, then paying down her late husband’s debts. She has become quite adept, but on one particular occasion, she is caught by Ramsey, who manages to steal the prize she wanted right from under her nose. It seems that Ramsey has resorted to thievery, too, only his goal is to pay off his blackmailer, Madame Fouchet, who knows a secret that could cost Ramsey his title, possibly even his life.
There is someone else who is aware of Gabrielle’s abilities. The legendary savior of many French aristocrats, the Scarlet Pimpernel, himself, has decided that he wants to use Gabrielle’s talents in a risky plan to rescue a doomed countess and her young daughter. Gabrielle accepts the assignment and arranges to travel to Paris, where she encounters Ramsey, who is boarding the same ship. It seems that Madame Fouchet is tightening the screws. If Ramsey will find out the secret identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and provide that information to Madame Fouchet, she will finally release him from her web of blackmail.
Though Gabrielle and Ramsey never took their attraction any further once she married George, they still felt it, but buried it under snarky conversation and a mild antagonism. Now, not knowing each other’s true mission in Paris, and not trusting each other, they decide it’s in their best interest to pretend to be a couple as they enter the dangerous world of the French revolution.
Author Shana Galen’s vivid descriptions and brilliant writing seemed to take me back to that dark part of history. I could feel the danger and the bloodlust coming from the French citizens, as they became part of the madness that destroyed so many lives and families. The sheer despair of those in prison and the terror of those riding in the tumbrels to the guillotine was so realistic that I felt my heart pounding. While Gabrielle and Ramsey struggle just to stay alive in this mad world, they also have to confront their passionate feelings for each other. I admit that thievery and deceit are two of the things I hate most, yet that’s exactly what the hero and heroine have done. Still, their heroic and unselfish actions while in Paris, redeemed them in my eyes, and had me longing for some way for them to survive, then find a way to be together. TRAITOR IN HER ARMS is intense, exciting, passionate and satisfying. I did feel very emotionally impacted by this story, and can highly recommend it for readers who love swashbuckling adventure in their historical romance.