Book Reviews

Book Review: A Life Redeemed

A Life Redeemed: Secrets of the Queens book 2

by Olivia Rae

Genre: historical, inspirational romance

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About the Book

An unwilling English spy, a broken Scottish Laird, and family secrets that threaten to destroy both of their lives.

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s order, Audrey Hayes travels to the borderlands of Scotland to learn where the fierce Laird Armstrong’s loyalties lie. Is he aligned with his mother’s English roots in support of the queen, or does he hold with the beliefs of his father, who wishes to see Mary of Scots on the English throne? The fate of Audrey’s family rests on her success in finding the answer.

After losing his lands in a wager and being betrayed by his kin, Gavin Armstrong entered a loveless marriage to obtain the funds to buy back his family home, Warring Tower. Now a widower, struggling against countless border wars, he is on the verge of losing his home and lands again. With few resources, he reluctantly makes another risky wager, one he cannot hope to win without trusting the secretive Audrey Hayes, a woman he suspects is an English spy.

As the two work together to save Warring Tower, their attraction to one another grows. But when Audrey finally gains the information she seeks for Queen Elizabeth, she realizes that the only way she can save her family is to betray the man she loves.

My thoughts

Thi The Secret of the Queens books are historical romances that weave intrigue, mystery and faith with action and romance. This one, I think had more action and intrigue, which I enjoyed. As well, it can absolutely be a stand alone novel because all previous characters have been absent for years, and the previous storyline is summed up nicely and neatly (near the end of this one).

I am always drawn into a story with a broken hero. Gavin held my heart in his hand with his constant internal torment, protective and loyal nature, and even in his tendency toward a hot temper. His motivations for his actions were strong and undeniable. I love how Audrey softened him and evoked a gradual change of heart throughout the story.

I wanted a little more believable faith arc from Gavin though. Like the romance between the two of them, it could’ve been more gradual. For Audrey, I wanted a little less physical awareness of Gavin. She comes off as a very conservative character in every other way, but her thoughts did not convey that to me.

I loved all the foreshadowing of secrets – the twists and turns and the family mysteries that went deeper than I could’ve imagined. I loved both the comical and serious antics of little Thomas. With an historically accurate backdrop, action and intrigue, romance and loads of family mystery, this was a fun read.

About the author

Olivia Rae is an award-winning, multi-genre author who spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses, and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town next to a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world. You can find out more about Olivia on her website

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