Book Review: Traitor in Her Arms by Shana Galen

Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Sold by: Random House LLC


Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

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.


Gabrielle McCullough has found herself in a rather disturbing and dangerous situation. The thing is she’s not sure which situation is the most dangerous and disturbing. The one she’s already in, or the one she’s about to be in in order to get out of the one she’s already in.

Let me explain.

Her husband may have been nice to her, but he didn’t leave her in a nice…well, situation. He was a gambler who died owing a lot of people money and his death did nothing to deter them from collecting. As a result, Gabrielle has turned to thievery. It’s not good; but it’s better, and easier for her to come to terms with, than prostitution. At least she can still be a little honorable. As long as she’s not caught, that is.

Ramsey has a secret. A big one that can cause him a lot of harm…bodily and freedom wise. His blackmailer is about as understanding as Gabrielle’s debtors. In order to keep his secret just that, he must find out the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

What does one thing have to do with the other?

Gabrielle has been recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel to help him free the wife and child of an escaped Aristocrat. In return, he’ll make sure she has enough funds to pay all her (and her husband’s) debts. Since the unscrupulous collectors have commenced to threaten her with bodily harm, she had to seriously consider accepting the offer.

Did I mention this is during the French Revolution? You may have figured that out at the mention of the Scarlet Pimpernel, but I still thought it worth mentioning.

I’m no history buff, but I do recall a few things about this era, and if I tell you Galen did a great (and often bloody and disheartening) job with the historical details and bringing that time back to life, then believe, you, me she did. There’s action, mystery, and intrigue. Oh and flirting and sex. Can’t forget those. In other words, pretty much a little bit of everything.
The descriptions are so vivid and complete, I felt like I was there. I felt breathless after certain scenes, and I almost found myself whispering when I had something to say. It’s like I forgot I wasn’t in danger. Kudos to Galen.

Now I wished for a little bit more with the romance. I liked the two of them together, but their history was a little thin, so at first I had trouble getting with them as a couple. They eventually grew on me though.

I loved the infusion of the Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s a testament to Galen’s skills.

This is a truly memorable story.

Rating system: Cups of Coffee (the less the better)

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 1 cup of coffee

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