Saturday, February 5, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Message to Love by Liz Arnold

Message to Love
Liz Arnold

Page Count: 348
Release Date: 12 May, 2010
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review


Audra Wakely's father has been seized by Spanish authorities and imprisoned for sympathizing with Cuban rebels. Raising the money to bribe officials, if necessary, she sets off for Cuba to rescue her father. She doesn't bargain on the interference of any U.S. officials—that is, until she meets Rollins McBride.

Lt. Rollins McBride of the newly designated U.S. Naval Intelligence service is assigned to track Audra on her journey. He's to arrest Greg Wakely, a U.S. citizen, for treason and gun smuggling. His mission and his heart are taken by surprise by the feisty beauty who sets a stubborn path toward finding her father and proving he isn't a traitor—no matter what or who gets in the way.

SIZZLE, SPICE, AND INTRIGUE!

The Spanish-American War is set ablaze in
Message to Love.

What Stephanie Thought: I was really impressed by this book's complex plot. Brimming with accurate details from the late 19th century era, it is a romance full of both suspense and danger.

Audra's journey begins in her comfortable and rather privileged home in the United States. Fresh out of her preparatory school and innocent as can be, she meets Rollins, a dashing but overly confident lieutenant who claims to be on a "mission" to watch over her in her father's absence. 

Self-sufficient and inexorable, Audra doesn't want his assistance. But Rollins still insists, and before he or she know it, they fall in love. There are several extremely passionate scenes in Message to Love—Audra and Rollins's love is certainly intense, and certainly real.

Trouble brews when sleazy Jasen Angler (long-time property rival who's recently bought almost everything Audra has left to her name) follows her to her trip to Cuba. She's in search of her father, and she doesn't need him. Or Rollins for that matter. But they both come anyway. Turns out, Jasen and some other corrupt officers have been planning to take advantage of Audra—and her fortune.

Then she discovers that her life—her life as she knew it—is not what she thought it was. And that Rollins, the good guy, the lover, isn't who he says he is.

The ultimatum offered to Audra is that she is to choose either her father's life or her first love's—the type of decision neither you nor I would even consider to make. As a happily-ever-after romance, however, all ends well: the bad guys perish and the good guys (Greg and Rollins) survive. I thought it ended rather abruptly, but other than that, Message to Love is a  sweet, adventurous read. It's slightly slow-moving, but that's because of the exquisite detail Arnold offers. I definitely recommend it to all historical romance lovers—especially those who appreciate a little love-making.

Stephanie Loves: "'Death is no place to linger, my friends,' he offered. 'The fortunes of many men are lost in the wind because they live in the vicious grip of death's power. Exile, self-recrimination, revenge. It causes it all. It is a tragic fame to live in death.' He downed the last of his liquor. 'This, a soldier knows the best. Death is no place to stay.'"

Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥