Ever since I learned that Philip Camden would be one of the main characters in the second book of Roseanna M. White’s Codebreakers series, I couldn’t wait for the book to come out. Readers first met Cam in The Number of Love as a friend of Drake Elton. He also became a co-worker of Margot DeWilde in Room 40, the codebreaking arm of the WWI British navy.
Camden is a pilot – or was – until his squadron crashed into the Channel in flames. Everyone blames Cam, the lone survivor, even Camden blames himself. The newspapers vilify him, calling him Black Heart since he seems to have no soul. Camden agrees with them, feels as if he’s already died and is only waiting for the firing squad to make it a physical reality.
In the meantime, he occupies his time in Room 40, decoding intercepts and pushing everyone away with his surly attitude. Everyone except Margot. And a nurse he spots as he walks by the hospital each day.
Arabelle Denler only wants to help people. Having felt abandoned by her adventurous father and the early death of her mother, she longs for a family of her own. Satisfied to work at the hospital while she waits for her friend, Brax, a diver with the Navy, to be ready to marry her. She doesn’t expect the man to love her as their marriage would be simply a mutual business arrangement. However, she does count on his fidelity.
When Cam is the bearer of devastating news regarding Brax, he takes on the role of Ara’s protector. Of course, close proximity breeds friendship as Ara’s goodness works itself under Cam’s gruff shell. But will their care for each other cost more than either is willing to give? Will their relationship end before it’s even taken root? Especially since Cam knows he’s destined for the firing squad.
There hasn’t been a book written by Roseanna M. White that I haven’t liked. I’ve loved every one of them. Roseanna isn’t afraid to go after deep emotion and messy situations in her story lines. Camden isn’t a rosy hero; he’s the exact opposite. And yet, he’s a fantastic character whose choices make complete sense. Ara is able to balance logic-defying kindness with a temper that gives her a backbone of steel. I enjoyed these characters so much, I was rooting for them from the very beginning.
In many war stories, the conflict takes place around the battlefields. But On Wings of Devotion is centered in London, on the home front. And there was plenty of trouble to be had with enemy planes dropping bombs, secret transmissions to be decoded, and the entire country wanting Camden to pay for the deaths of his men. If you’ve read other books written by Roseanna, you’ll spot cameos by many of the main characters we’ve seen in those other books.
I highly recommend reading On Wings of Devotion. As fun as it is to see previous characters appear in this book, you don’t need to read any of them to enjoy this story. Cam and Ara’s story is a definitely five-star read from me. I hope it will be for you, too.
I received this book free from the author and Bethany House Publishers in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”