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The Turncoat (Renegades of the American Revolution)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,130 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
They are lovers on opposite sides of a brutal war, with everything at stake and no possibility of retreat. They can trust no one—especially not each other.

Major Lord Peter Tremayne is the last man rebel bluestocking Kate Grey should fall in love with, but when the handsome British viscount commandeers her home, Kate throws caution to the wind and responds to his seduction
Paperback, 395 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by New American Library (first published March 1st 2013)
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Seduction by M.J. RoseThe Aviator's Wife by Melanie BenjaminThe Firebird by Susanna KearsleyThe Midwife's Tale by Sam   ThomasThe White Princess by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction 2013
8th out of 372 books — 2,431 voters
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American Revolutionary War Fiction
3rd out of 101 books — 157 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 21, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it

3.5 stars

In 1777 General Howe has just landed at Head of Elk ready to march on Philadelphia and take the capital. The plans and details for this attack are being dispatched from Howe to General Clinton in New York. If these dispatches can be stolen and brought to Washington, a blow will be dealt to the British.

Kate Grey is not quite the dull Quaker she appears. Living on Grey Farm near Philadelphia, her father was a convert and has raised his daughter to be educated, free-thinking and independen
Ahnika White
Jun 06, 2013 Ahnika White rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this novel--I really enjoy historical fiction and the novel mentioned many historically accurate battles and figures, but the author threw all this away by making the centered female character a hussy for a handsome british soldier and his equally attractive cousin slash half brother (spoiler alert, but not really because it's completely obvious from very early on but the author still tries to make it some jaw-dropping revelation and it all ends up being super anti-climactic ...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Colonial America

After witnessing the rape of her pregnant best friend by marauding British Soldiers, Kate Grey abandons her pacifist Quaker ways to become an operative reporting to "The Merry Widow," George Washington's most notorious spymaster. Under the Widow's tutelage, country mouse Kate becomes a femme fatale whose wholesome beauty and razor sharp intelligence ensnare two British officers, the disgraced Peter Tremayne and his cousin the jealous and sadistic Bayard Caird. When Kate'
Donna Thorland
Aug 21, 2014 Donna Thorland added it  ·  (Review from the author)
"cool & sexy" –New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot

"awesome" –Corey May, Assassin's Creed 3

“A stay-up-all-night, swashbuckling, breath-holding adventure of a novel…An extraordinary book about an extraordinary heroine.”—Lauren Willig, National Bestselling Author of the Pink Carnation series

“Fabulous…A world of spies, suspense, skullduggery, and sex. You won’t want to stop reading.”— New York Times Bestselling Author William Martin

“Very entertaining.”—New York Times bestselling author M
Rosina Lippi
May 12, 2015 Rosina Lippi rated it it was amazing
I have a tbr pile that I worry about. First, because if it falls over it will crush one of my dogs and second, because I make so little progress. There are novels I have been trying to read for months. My lack of success has nothing to do with the novels themselves -- hiding in the stack may be the best novel I'll ever come across. It's just life. And I will not bore you with the details.

The way I came to read The Turncoat is: it fell in my lap. Somebody handed it to me and said, read the first
May 02, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This review originally appeared on the Historical Novel Society's website. Review copy provided by publisher.

The Turncoat is a strong debut set mostly in British-occupied Philadelphia during the Revolutionary years 1777 to 1780. Kate Grey, the Quaker daughter of a farmer turned revolutionary, is drawn into the world of espionage by a glamorous Rebel spy known as the Widow, but not before she has inadvertently given away her father’s secret to British officer Peter Tremayne. Tremayne does not bet
Jennifer McQuiston
Mar 12, 2013 Jennifer McQuiston rated it it was amazing
I am going to start this review off by saying this isn't a Romance, even though it is being reviewed on several Romance sites. I am usually a reader of historical romance, because straight historical fiction tends to bore me to tears. Nothing about this book even approximates boring. It held me riveted... I mean, "take a long lunch break" kind of riveted, because I couldn't bear to put it down and return to my desk.

Thorland masterfully crafts Kate Grey as a Quaker woman turned Rebel spy, who rem
Ashlyn Macnamara
Mar 20, 2013 Ashlyn Macnamara rated it it was amazing
I love the American Revolution as the setting for a romance. Unfortunately for the past 15 years or so, New York publishers have decided this era and setting doesn’t sell, resulting in a dearth of these stories.

I’m happy to say I’ve almost found that in The Turncoat, a mix of romance, historical novel and spy thriller. The leads share a great sexual tension and a seriously hot love scene, but it also contains a few elements that keep it out of the pure romance category. The foremost of these is
1777. Kate Grey, a modest Quaker girl, meets English officer Peter Tremayne when he and his men commandeer her home. Despite her rebel sympathies, Kate is drawn to Tremayne but unwittingly plays a part in a deception that ensures his disgrace. Kate flees her home and her old life to start a new life in the midst of British-occupied Philadelphia. She rediscovers Tremayne, the only man who knows her true sympathies, but also the man charged with bringing her to justice.

A fast-paced historical adve
Apr 01, 2013 Marilyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle, dnf
I got about four-five chapters read and gave up. The history part is okay; it was the interaction among the characters and some of the scenes, i.e., an American undercover spy woman galloping away from the "bad guys" while simultaneously turning around in her saddle to fire away at them with her pistol -- a pistol which in those days was only good for one or two shots. C'mon! Only in Hollywood would such a thing be tried and then only in the "old days" of film. And then another main character, a ...more
Entertaining with a few quibbles - here is my review:

Here is the book trailer, which is very well done by the author:
My Book Addiction and More MBA
THE TURNCOAT by Donna Thorland is an exciting historical fiction set in 1777 The Jerseys and Philadelphia. #1 in "Renegades of the Revolution". Fast paced,filled with danger and passion. It has sensual tension,spies,suspense,betrayal,sacrifice,treason,the tension of war,and a blossoming love filled with dread and danger. "The Turncoat" is a captivating story of a turbulent time in our history, for both the America Colonies and the British,and the extraordinary men and women of that time. Meet,Ka ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Marg rated it really liked it
When I signed up for the War Through the Generations challenge for this year, I knew that I was going to struggle to find books set in the American Revolution, but that's okay. It just means that you have to work a bit harder to complete the challenge. That doesn't mean to say that if a book that fits the criteria lands in your lap you don't say yes, so when I heard about this book I knew I was going to read it if only because of that. Fortunately, it sounded like a fascinating read too.

Kate Gre
Alan White
Apr 25, 2013 Alan White rated it it was amazing
Set in 1777 The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution, is a swashbuckling, novel full of intrigue, romance, tempers like black powder and tongues sharp as blades. The main character Kate Grey is a simple farm woman, who is anything but simple. Educated and self reliant Kate is capable, used to hard work rather than the trappings citied society, and enjoy's spirited debate with worthy opponents. She finds such a rival in Major Peter Tremayn. The witty rivalry quickly leads to heated passions that ...more
Abby Letner
Mar 17, 2013 Abby Letner rated it it was amazing
This book was a lot of fun to read. I'm into this time period so it was fun to run into the different characters from the Revolution that I've read about in history books. And also to learn about the female spies during that time. It was a very thoroughly researched novel and then the romantic plot line was also awesome. Lots of action and adventure. It was non-stop and I couldn't put it down.

Full review here:
Mar 27, 2016 Julie rated it did not like it
There wasn't a lot about the book that I enjoyed. While the actual historical fiction aspect throughout the book were well done and interesting enough, I found that even those were lost in the "romance" of the book. The book was suppose to be a historical fiction, but what I got was poorly executed "romance" between the characters. The romance wasn't believable and I found it to be forced, it took over the entire story, rather than compliment it. I also found that the character interactions duri ...more
Miss Clara
May 18, 2013 Miss Clara rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 18, 2014 Suze rated it really liked it
I live near Valley Forge and many of the forts and battlefields mentioned in this engaging historical novel. That being said, I could easily imagine the hordes of soldiers galloping over the hills to battle the enemy as described in this book. I often drive by battlefield markers and will now pay close attention to what is inscribed on them.

The rebels suffered for the right to be free of the yoke of the English, but they never gave up. They lost their homes, everything they owned, and often thei
Mar 28, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing
As a big fan of historical fiction, I was excited to get my hands on THE TURNCOAT, by newcomer Donna Thorland. The story of a Massachusetts farm girl who becomes embroiled in a dangerous web of espionage during the American Revolution, THE TURNCOAT takes you from ballrooms to battle grounds and everything in between.

Thorland's vivid writing brings the Revolution Era to life - you can practically smell the sweet rum punch wafting through the air - and deftly weaves her fictional characters in wi
They must go together, he realized, or not at all.

The Turncoat was BRILLIANT.

The prose was clean, clever, and enchanting. The plot was, again, clever, and fascinating. I'm a hardcore history junkie, particularly for the American Revolution. The author seamlessly wove fiction with fact, leaving me stunned, thrilled, and, honestly, sad that so much of this time and people will always be unknown.

The Turncoat isn't exactly a romance, though it does have a strong romantic story within. There is even
Miranda the Gayvenger
I liked Kate and the Widow's characters, but Peggy Shippen's portrayal was dreadful and disappointing. She was a much smarter woman than portrayed here; briefly I'd hoped the author was setting up her personality to be a front to hide her intelligence and spying, but alas.

The plot did keep me guessing, however, and I did like that the characters were often in very real danger with no easy answers out.

And, shamefully, I was more interested in Bayard and Kate's relationship than I was Kate and Pe
Simone James
May 29, 2013 Simone James rated it it was amazing
I gave a quote for this one! It's fantastic. Recommended!
Amalia Carosella
I can't emphasize enough how disinteresting I find the American Revolution as an historical period. No. Really. I really don't enjoy it or even care about it in the slightest passing way. It just isn't my thing. But this book, my friends, this book did not just overcome my prejudice, it blew it out of the water.

Let's talk about our heroes. Tremayne and Kate. First of all, they are awesome. Both a little mixed up, but principled, in their own ways, to a fault. They're not perfect. The make quest
Wisteria Leigh
If you were asked to name a memorable historical romance novel set in the American Revolutionary War, most would find it difficult to name one or two. THE TURNCOAT, Book #1 in the Renegades of the Revolution series will without a doubt fill that void.

The year is 1777 and Kate Grey, a Quaker and other women of her church are packing up supplies for the Continental Army. Her father is Arthur Grey, a successful military man who recently departed Grey Farm with secret information to deliver. Among t
May 23, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Eh, I was a bit disappointed in this book. I was expecting it to be more historical fiction and less romance novel-y. The romance itself did not grab me much as it was too insta-love in the 1770s.

There was a lot of historical stuff about the war smushed in around the lame romance, but it was confusing and kind of boring.

The characters are what killed this for me. I never really felt like we got to know them well, because they were all kind of one dimensional.

Kate Grey was a Mary Sue. Sorry. Sh
Kathy Davie
May 08, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, fiction
I'm guessing it's the first in the Renegades of the Revolution historical fiction series revolving around a female spy and a noble British major. (Thorland appears to be promoting this as if it were part of a series, but I can't find any other information about it...)

My Take
This was just excellent. And interesting to read right after C.C. Humphreys' Jack Absolute (Jack Absolute, 1) revolving around the exact same time period, place, and those characters who were not fictional! Do read Jack Abs
Barb in Maryland
3 1/2 star from me.
I would have rated it higher except for the eye-rolling moments, especially the incredible horseback riding/shooting scene near the beginning. Sheesh! shades of Annie Oakley in 1777.
Secondly, while I was really excited to read a book set during the American Revolution, I was disappointed that the first book in this proposed series uses one of the most-used scenarios.
Yes, we are once again transported to British occupied Philadelphia. Sigh.
(John Andre's big extravaganza, the M
May 28, 2013 Cameran rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013-reads
Quakers are meant to be pacifists, but Kate Grey can no longer abide by those rules once her father leaves home to join General Washington and the woman he left behind to watch after her is revealed to be a spy for the Americans. Using Kate for her own purposes, The Widow allows a British officer to get close to the young Quaker so that the dispatches he has on his person may be stolen. The result of the plot is Peter Tremayne’s court-martial and Kate’s inclusion into the war effort. The Widow t ...more
Jul 09, 2014 Juhi rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect balance of tense and tender. I was skeptical at first- how are we supposed to believe everything Tremayne does for a farm girl he shared fleeting minutes with?

But we do. The bond they share is unquestionable, unshakable and only strengthens throughout the course of the story. Not only is the writing simply spellbinding, but the twists of this tale kept me from looking up until I finished it entirely!

Kate, or Lydia as she's later known as, is bold and cunning and poignantly h
Dec 18, 2013 Shirli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A historical fiction novel set against the backdrop of the American Revolution wouldn't be a typical book for me, however, I do like the genre—it's just the aforementioned war doesn't hold much appeal UNTIL NOW. The author has incredible writing skills; her characters are well drawn—even the bad ones and I literally had trouble putting this thing down. My intensions were to savor it as I was drawn into the story immediately, unfortunately, and because I couldn’t put it down I ended up devouring ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 09, 2015 10:59AM  
  • The Tory Widow
  • Paper Woman (A Mystery of the American Revolution, #1)
  • The Forgotten Queen
  • The Spirit Keeper
  • A Catch of Consequence
  • Shadow on the Crown
  • Dawn's Early Light (Williamsburg, #1)
  • Celia Garth
  • Roses Have Thorns (Ladies in Waiting #3)
  • Mistress of My Fate (The Confessions of Henrietta Lightfoot, #1)
  • The Sergeant's Lady (The Arringtons and Wright-Gordons, #2)
  • The Gilded Lily
  • In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)
  • Queen of Bedlam
  • Jack Absolute  (Jack Absolute, #1)
  • The Shogun's Daughter (Sano Ichiro, #17)
  • The Duchess of Drury Lane
  • Darius: Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords, #1)
Currently a writer on the WGN historical drama, SALEM, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History and managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem for several years. She earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has been a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow and a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and has wr ...more
More about Donna Thorland...

Other Books in the Series

Renegades of the American Revolution (4 books)
  • The Rebel Pirate (Renegades of the Revolution)
  • Mistress Firebrand (Renegades of the American Revolution)
  • The Dutch Girl (Renegades of the American Revolution)

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“I advise you against following my example. Don’t take up with a man who will die for you. Find one who will kill for you instead.” 18 likes
“...she forced herself to relax her shoulders and affect a tone of bored insouciance that the Widow would have approved, and said, "I shall need a map. And a pistol.” 6 likes
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