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Please join Christine Blevins, author of The Turning of Anne Merrick, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Reviewed by Colleen Turner

In 1777 America is embroiled in the Revolutionary War, seeking its independence from Britain. General Washington, Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army, employs a network of rebels and spies to combat the Loyalists and to gather the intelligence needed to outwit this enormous, powerful foe. As part of this brave network, Anne Merrick and her friend Sally infiltrate the British Army on its campaign down the Hudson and work to pass information they acquire in the Loyalist camp to Anne’s beloved Jack Hampton and his brothers in arms.

While Anne is solid in her beliefs that she and her friends are fighting for the right cause she cannot help feeling guilt and confusion at using these people for her own gains; some of these people are kind and could easily be her friends if only they fought on the same side. The threat of being discovered and the chance of being shot or hung as a traitor always looms close by. On top of all this, the isolation from those she loves, especially Jack, weighs heavy on her heart and causes her determination to waver if never falter. She sets her sights on a safe and happy future with Jack and does her best to ensure that future can come to fruition as soon as possible.

As Anne and Jack come together and drift apart on their various assignments for the Patriot cause, their love for each other, their close circle of friends and their belief in their right to freedom keeps them strong. But just as they catch a glimpse of what their life can be when the war finally ends, an unwelcome and dangerous person from their past emerges to put a kink in their envisioned happy ending and to put their lives in jeopardy.

The Turning of Anne Merrick is action packed. From the first page to the last the reader has a behind the scenes view of the inner workings of both sides of the Revolutionary War as Anne, Jack, Sally and many more fight for independence while enmeshing themselves into the very bowels of the enemy. We see the inhumanity and desperation of war while also seeing how much these freedom fighters had to sacrifice for the greater good of the cause.

While Jack and Anne didn’t spend enough time together for me to really become invested in their relationship, I enjoyed following both of these characters and watching their relationships with their comrades deepen. The heavy topics of war, slavery, treachery and death are punctuated with moments of humor and happiness, giving a well rounded picture of these characters’ difficult yet ultimately fulfilling lives.

Beginning this book I was not aware that The Turning of Anne Merrick is the second book in a series, with The Tory Widow actually introducing us to this exciting cast of characters. This book definitely picks up in the middle of their story and while the author does a good job of recapping important aspects of the first book, I would suggest reading The Tory Widow first to get a better feel for the characters. The Turning of Anne Merrick also ends in an open manner that suggests more books following this group are to come. I will definitely be reading the first book in the series and will keep a look out for the next chapter to come.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Berkley Trade and Christine Blevins. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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