Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesch (Review + Giveaway)

Love Saves the World is pleased to be part of Jeannie Ruesch's blog tour for her book, Cloaked in Danger. Jeannie is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for a $20.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. (Join via Rafflecopter below.)

To visit Jeannie's other stops, click here.

* * *

About the book:

Aria Whitney has little in common with the delicate ladies of London society. Her famous father made his fortune hunting archaeological treasures, and her rustic upbringing has left her ill-prepared for a life of parties and frippery. But when Gideon Whitney goes missing, Aria must embrace the unknown -- armed with only the short list of highborn men who’d backed her father’s venture, she poses as a woman looking for a husband. She doesn’t intend to find one.

Adam Willoughby, Earl of Merewood, finds London’s strangest new debutante fascinating, but when he catches her investigating his family’s secrets, he threatens to ruin her reputation. He doesn’t intend to enjoy it so much.

When their lustful indiscretion is discovered, Adam finds that he regrets nothing. But now, as her father’s enemy draws near, Adam must convince his betrothed that she can trust him with her own secrets ... before it’s too late.

Cloaked in Danger is perfect for those who love a good mystery in their romance.” -- Eye on Romance

“In ‘Cloaked in Danger’ Jeannie Ruesch has crafted a taut, emotional thrill-ride through the streets of Regency London. Archaeological adventure and drawing room intrigue are combined in a story that will keep you reading late into the night. Jeannie Ruesch is an author to watch.” -- RITA Award Nominated Author Elizabeth Essex

Cloaked in Danger has all the elements readers crave— larger-than-life characters, a vivid and believable setting, heart-pounding romance and just the right amount of mystery. Don’t miss it! It kept me reading deep into the night.”
 -- New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

Buy Links



* * *

My Review:

I decided to read this book for three reasons:
1. I was curious about Aria's father's disappearance.
2. I wondered how Aria would handle the investigation into her father's disappearance.
3. I wanted to see how Ruesch would tackle the love story between Aria and Adam: he was on her list of suspects and he thought she was after his secrets.

Jeannie Ruesch does a good job of setting up the mystery of Gideon Whitney's disappearance: a seasoned traveler and adventurer, he suddenly vanishes during an ambush in their camp, after uncovering the find of a lifetime. There was no ransom note, no body, and very few clues. All Aria had was a hazy accounting from her father's friend, her Uncle John, who was badly injured during the ambush in their camp and list of names, all investors in her father's latest expedition.

While the story loses momentum and focus in the middle, when the author was developing the relationship between Aria and Adam, I kept reading on because I really, really wanted to find out what had happened to Gideon Whitney: was he still alive? Would he ever come back?

I appreciated the perspective that Ruesch offers I this story. Often we read about the hero or heroine's adventure and think about how exciting it must be, but we never think about the family left behind to wait, wonder and worry. This is that story: Aria and her pregnant stepmother are desperate for answers, but they don't know what questions to ask, who to ask and where to start looking. In truth, they are as lost as Gideon Whitney ... and left with the choice of waiting/hoping or waiting/despairing.

...She was furious at her father, and how stupid was that? Furious that he'd taken another adventure without her. Furious that he'd left her in such a foreign place, with impossible standards and no room to breathe. Furious that he hadn't come home. And now her life had become unrecognisable, something she couldn't grasp tight enough to rein back a measure of control. The future ahead made her feel inadequate and unprepared.
- loc 1882

Aria refuses to despair. She is out there, among the ton, sacrificing her reputation and her name as she pretends to be title-hunting to get close to the men on her father's list, hoping one of them could give her the answers.

I wasn't sure how I felt about Aria: she was a bit impetuous and impulsive. She doesn't seem to care how her actions would affect others around her. I admired her tenacity and her refusal to accept that her father might be dead. She kept pushing, and pushing -- at the cost of her own safety. Even when she already had Adam's help, she seemed incapable of sharing her burden or allowing him into her heart and mind. She struck me as a bit inflexible, expecting the world to bend to her whims and impulses. Most times, Adam had to chase after her to pick up all the strewn pieces of herself that she had left behind.

As Aria's father often lamented, forethought was not one of her strengths.
- loc 85

* * *

Oh God, why hadn't this sick understanding that she needed to learn to keep her mouth shut come a few seconds earlier?
- loc 4163

Adam was on her list, and this leads to a big misunderstanding between the two. Adam thought she was after his other secrets: the dark one that involves his sister and her late husband. The setup for this particular Big Mis was a bit obvious (Chapter 8), but I understand why Ruesch had done so -- it is a reminder that everyone has secrets; that we all bear some burden and guilt over our past actions. The attraction between Adam and Aria is clear and I would have loved to see how they would work out a relationship, considering all that stood between them.

It didn't matter if she was merely hunting him for marriage or hunting his family for some sort of revenge. She was unpredictable and dangerous. The fact that he battled the desire to turn around and kiss her senseless only added to his resolve.
- loc 1217

However, Ruesch takes the convenient road for her hero and heroine -- suddenly, they are engaged and in love. But even with the change in their relationship status, I couldn't help but think Aria still thought of herself as an island and refused to open up to Adam. I kept thinking that the worry over her father and the impending loss of her beloved Uncle John were too much for Aria and she really was just so trapped in her grief.

As the names on the list were slowly crossed off, I kept wondering about the villain in the story. Ruesch throws a lot of red herrings in the story: Adam, Viscount Turleton, etc -- it served its purpose and kept the readers guessing, but I couldn't help but feel wary when the author presented another possible suspect.

* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *
* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *
* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *
* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *
* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *
* * * Slight spoiler alert * * *

(Honestly, when the villain finally shows his hand, I actually didn't make a connection because his intentions seemed focused on Aria rather than on the artefacts that Aria's father found. I got a bit confused about the motivations behind Gideon Whitney's disappearance and the villain's final act against Aria's family.)

* * * End of spoiler * * *

The story also doesn't follow a traditional narrative arc (bell curve) and, instead, waxes and wanes like a wave -- the main plot is resolved in Chapter 32, but Aria's journey still isn't complete -- the remaining six chapters are devoted to her figuring herself out and figuring out her place in society. This is another aspect of the novel that The uncertainty about Aria that I posed in the early part of this review is addressed in these last few chapters -- and I appreciate how Adam calls her out on her attitude and personality.

"Are you so self-absorbed then?" Adam shot back.

She drew her head back as if he'd physically punched her. "What?"

"The world revolves around Aria -- therefore it must all be your fault?" He stalked towards her. "You are not the sun, Miss Whitney. No matter how you have convinced yourself of how special you are because of it ..."

Her mouth fell open. "How dare you?"

"How dare I, what? Tell you what you need to hear?"
- loc 6119

Beyond the mystery, there is also a family drama that is unraveling: Adam has eschewed his own personal happiness to protect his mother and sisters -- to ensure their happiness and comfort -- but, Adam's efforts seemed futile -- and he desperately tries to prevent things from falling apart, making everyone unhappy in the process. I'm still left wondering about the Lily-Mr. Melrose-Cordelia dilemma and hope that Ruesch will handle more of this particular story in a future book.

Disclosure: I received this review copy as part of the tour. Thank you to Jeannie Ruesch, Carina Press, and Tasty Book Tours for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

* * *

About the author:

Jeannie Ruesch wrote her first story at the age of the six, prompting her to give up an illustrious, hours-long ambition of becoming a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and declare that writing was her destiny. That journey to destiny took a few detours along the way, including a career in marketing and design.

Her first novel, a fairy-tale like historical romance, was published in 2009, but the darker side of life had always captivated her. So after a dinner conversation with friends about the best way to hide a dead body, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate suspense into her writing. (The legal outlet for her fascination.) Today, she continues writing what she loves to read - stories of history, romance and suspense. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their son and an 80 pound lapdog lab named Cooper. She can be visited at or found regularly on Twitter or Facebook.

She is also the creator of the WIP Notebook, a writer's tool to help stay organized while you write, which you can find at her website.

Author Links

* * *

Jeannie is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for a $20.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. (Join via Rafflecopter below.)

To visit Jeannie's other stops, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hello Jeannie. I hope you've enjoyed your tour so far and that you get lots of new readers. Myself, I am biting my nails to get through a couple of other books I made promises to read and that I can begin reading your Cloaked in Danger. It sounds so adventuresome and romance plus danger = excitement for me. I'm so glad I met you on this tour.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...