Showing posts with label Christian fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian fiction. Show all posts

Friday, July 9, 2021

A Better Country Book Series by Kristina Hall Reviewed

A Better Country Book Series
When I received a request to review "To the Uttermost", which is book 2 of A Better Country series by Kristina Hall, I quickly agreed to read it.  However, I wanted to start with book 1, "Strangers and Pilgrims" and I'm really glad I did.  

Reading Strangers and Pilgrims first allowed me the opportunity to get to know the main characters in the series.  Understanding their background and the struggles this created family survived, helped me appreciate and understand them.  I doubt I would have grasped the depth and reason for their close relationships without the revelations of book one.

Both books caused me to really stop and think about several things. When reading books, hearing stories, or visiting battleground sites of the American Civil War, I often consider how families were forever changed.  Reading a book, even a fiction book, about a soldier who returned home to find his parents dead and his home town overrun by the enemy, is not a scenario I previously considered. However, I have no doubt it is a plausible plot and was, most likely, a reality for far too many at that time in history.

As long as the reader keeps in mind that there are evil people in every region of every country and doesn't get locked up on Civil War sides, I believe "Strangers and Pilgrims" offers an excellent message for all.

It is unlikely anyone would struggle with the content in "To the Uttermost", but you will want the background provided in "Strangers and Pilgrims". 

 

Strangers and Pilgrims Synopsis

In book 1 of A Better Country series, Harry Reiner has just returned to his home town in Texas and to a very unwelcome reception.  He is easily identifiable as a Confederate soldier in this town overrun by Yankees, and they are intolerant of his presence.  He is shot and left for dead in the middle of the street. Only one woman has the courage to come to his aid.  

Rose Kendrick previously stood up against the self-appointed leader of the town, Edwin Burton, and is almost an outcast herself. She survives by taking in laundry, but once she takes in Harry, her business completely dries up. She finds herself, her home, and her loved ones under physical attack. 

Sally Guilford is an orphan who was previously taken in by Rose.  She is Rose's helper, adopted daughter, and biggest defender. Sally is also Rose's greatest area of weakness and evil people are not beyond threatening or even harming a child.

Doyle is an adult man who is Rose's only friend in town. Every time Rose is under attack, Doyle comes to her defense, which puts him in great danger.  Because he has previously taken a bullet while defending Rose, his physical strength is limited.

These four individuals don't stand much of a chance against a lawless town full of enemies lead by a vengeful and spiteful leader.

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Throughout this book, Christians are reminded that they are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth".  (Hebrews 11:13)

 

To The Uttermost Synopsis

Book 2 of the series picks up a few years later where Harry Reiner and his family are living on his parents horse farm, but the book begins in the wilderness of Colorado with Owen Lockart and his 3 brothers escorting a captured outlaw to jail. 

The outlaw is a member of Vic Guilford's gang. When the 4 brothers are ambushed by the gang, only Owen survives.  He vows revenge for his brother's murders. 

Owen heads to a farm in Texas (Harry Reiner's farm) where Guilford's sister lives. He believes the brother will visit his sister there and give him opportunity to exact revenge.  Since Harry is familiar with the Lockart farm and their excellent horses, he doesn't hesitate to hire Owen.  Of course, Harry has no knowledge of Owen's true intentions.

When the area farms are hit by rustlers, Harry and his workers establish around the clock watches. When the rustlers attack his farm, they kill one of his men and shoot Harry.  All of the remaining workers, except Owen, quit. They don't believe defending Reiner and his farm are worth their lives. 

Once again, Harry finds himself wounded and fighting a battle with little help.  Unfortunately, his one remaining healthy worker has ulterior motives and Vic Guilford is back in town.  Owen will go to great extremes to take down Guilford, but when another's life is threatened, will he go to the uttermost?

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The message of this book is clear as we watch how a desire for revenge will eat away at someone's character and overshadow all else.  

 

My Recommendation

Both of these books deal with the insidious nature of anger, hate, & revenge.  Conversely, they also include kindness, love, & forgiveness.  

Too often, books can make forgiveness look easy and don't really explore the depths of emotions.  I don't believe that is the case with either of these books.  I think the author did an excellent job of walking us through the events, as well as the hearts and thoughts of those involved.  She didn't try to make it all look simple or effortless, and everything isn't tied up neatly with the bow of Christianity.  

We all struggle with being humans.  I highly recommend this series to believers who recognize we are strangers on this earth seeking Him to the uttermost.





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Friday, May 14, 2021

Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall Reviewed

The book, Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall, took me by surprise! 

I have read several books by Tyndall and always loved them.  She is one of my favorite authors because I know I can depend on her for a great story with clean content. However, Timeless Treasure is more than a great story.  It is an exceptional historical fiction that I would highly recommend.

When I read historical fiction, I want historical accuracy.  Tyndall certainly did her "homework" for Timeless Treasure.  The story is based on a real pirate, Stede Bonnet, who was executed in 1718.  The author built a romantic story around Bonnet's real life with a fictitious tale of why he turned to pirating even though he was a well educated, wealthy landowner, married and with children. 

So many things in Bonnet's real life story seem unexpected, contradictory, perhaps even unbelievable, but they were true.  He was factually known as "The Gentleman Pirate" because of his own behavior, yet his association with Blackbeard, who was certainly no gentleman, is well documented. It should also be noted that he knew nothing about sailing prior to becoming a pirate.

The fictional suggestion that he was in love with someone other than his wife and wished to secure a separate fortune to support their life together, would be a plausible explanation for why a wealthy gentleman would turn pirate. Thus the reason this book is exceptional! 

 

Timeless Treasure Synopsis

 Chapter One takes place present day and introduces us to a decedent of Stede Bonnet.  Lexie Cain has just returned from her mother's funeral to a home where she is no longer welcome since it belongs to her step-father.  She is there only to retrieve an ancestral chest containing photos, school papers, a scrapbook, and some old letters. Flipping through the letters she discovers they were written by Bonnet. Those letters change the course of her life.

The opening paragraphs of chapter two introduce us to Stede Bonnet and the woman he loves, Melody, at the burial site of his firstborn son. We discover just how bereaved, miserable and unhappy Stede is with his life.  When Melody informs him that her father is moving her family away from Barbados to Charles Town, a city in the colony of Carolina, Stede's desperation intensifies. He must do something to change the course of his life.

Current day Lexie Cain moves to Charleston in the hopes of finding buried pirate treasure.  She gets a job in the local museum, takes the first "Bonnet" letter to a college history professor for authentication, and then finds herself the target of criminals.

As Lexie reads through the letters with the professor, Barret Johnson, we are all hearing Bonnet's tales of piracy, his longing for a life with Melody, and his plans for a happy future together.  In spite of the fact that we know from the beginning that Bonnet is hung, we hold on to the hope that it was somehow not him that was executed. That he somehow managed to find the happiness he so desperately sought.

_______________________

 

There is no way I will tell you more of the story, yet there is so much more than this brief introduction of the book, including the romance that develops between Lexie & Barrett.  

I would never wish to ruin this marvelous book for anyone else.  You deserve to be able to "walk" through this adventure for yourself.  It would be dastardly indeed for me to rob you of this experience and I refuse to do that.  After all, I am no pirate!


Books by MaryLu Tyndall Previously Reviewed

The Liberty Bride


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Friday, March 12, 2021

The Governess of Penwythe Hall (The Cornwall Novels - Book 1) Reviewed

Cornwall Novels
I recently started reading the Cornwall Novels by Sarah E Ladd and thus far, I have really enjoyed all of them.  The stories begin in Cornwall, England, 1811, which is a fabulous setting for historical fiction.
 
The first book, "The Governess of Penwythe", is an excellent foundation for the series. Delia Greythorne is the governess of five children, but she is more than just a governess.  She is the one constant in the children's lives.  When both of their parents die, they must leave their home and everything they are familiar with, to live with their uncle who they hardly know and do not trust. Unfortunately, returning to Cornwall is the one thing Delia never wanted. Her very life hangs in the balance. 
 
 

The Governess of Penwythe Hall Book 1 Synopsis

 
 The Governess of Penwythe Hall
(The Cornwall Novels)
The opening scenes in this book are in Cornwall (1808) and Cordelia (Delia) Greythorne is leaving her home. Recently widowed, her husband's family not only blames her for his death, but believes she knows more than she is telling. Her mother-in-law follows her to the carriage and hurls final insults at Delia.  The Greythorne family has many secrets, all of which Delia knows, and that makes her a threat to them. They want her gone and perhaps would kill her if she didn't have valuable information they needed.  
 
Delia starts a new life as governess to the Twethewey family in Easten Park, Yorkshire which is just far enough away from Cornwall for Delia to feel safe.
 
Randall Twethewey is a wealthy widower with 5 children.  When he is seriously injured in a horseback riding accident, he has a new will written.  Originally, his children were supposed to go live with his sister-in-law, Beatrice, but he worried that her husband would run through the children's inheritance.  With death pending, he decided to make his estranged brother, Jac, the children's guardian.  He also met with the children's tutor, Hugh Simon, and governess to pay them to stay with his children so they would have the two adults they depended upon and trusted so much with them throughout the transition into a new home with an almost unknown guardian.
 
While not as wealthy as his brother, Jac Twethewey owns Penwythe Hall, which was actually the reason for the breach between brothers.  As the oldest brother, Randall expected to inherent Penwythe Hall, but their benefactor left it to Jac instead.  Randall believed Jac had cheated him out of his proper inheritance.  Once you get to know Jac, you know he didn't cheat anyone out of anything.  Their Uncle Angrove simply believed Jac would be a better overseer of Penwythe Hall and left it to him.

Life as they knew it was about to change for everyone. None of them would remain untouched by the necessary move, including their unsuspecting Uncle Jac who had no way of knowing of his brother's death prior to the children's arrival at Penwythe Hall.

However, in Cornwall, their governess was most at risk.

 



Once You Have Read the First Book in this Series, You Will Want More!



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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Her Silent Knight (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair Book 1) Reviewed

Her Silent Knight Book
Did you know that it is recorded that the Thames River has frozen over 24 times?  Seven of those times, the ice was solid enough that they held a Frost Fair in London.  

The celebrated Frost Fair of 1683-84 featured multiple activities including horse races, football, bowling, ice skating, sledding and more. Vendor booths were set up to sell souvenirs, food and refreshments. Londoner's clearly knew how to quickly make a rare occurrence into a fun festival for all.  

In 1814 (the last Frost Fair), an elephant was led across the ice. Reminiscent of previous frost fairs, there was dancing, ice skating and of course, vendors.  It lasted only 4 days before the ice broke up and several people drowned.

The very real historical Frost Fair of 1814 is the setting of the entire "Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair" series.  This series provides a wonderful look back into history, as well as some really awesome romantic stories. 

First in the series is "Her Silent Knight". It was such a captivating book, that I read it in one night.  Yes, it was nearly 4 am before I went to sleep, but it was worth it!  I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet story.


Her Silent Knight Synopsis

 Her Silent Knight: A Christmas Regency Romance (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair Book 1)Check PriceSelina Ellis becomes secretly engaged to Noah Skinner, a solicitor who is below her social status. Mr. Skinner would never be considered an acceptable suitor for Selina, especially by her own mother.  But, Selina doesn't care!  She believes she is in love with Mr. Skinner and when he proposes marriage at the Frost Fair, Selina agrees to marry him, even if it means they would be required to elope.  

The couples embrace is witnessed by a childhood friend that Selina hasn't seen in years. When Sir Edmund Sharp recognizes the two people hugging each other, he knows he must find a way to save Selina from the man with a scandalous reputation.  She is young, naive, and clearly unaware of Mr. Skinner's "manipulations". What Sir Edmund cannot immediately figure out is why Mr. Skinner would pursue a lady with no inheritance. Upon her father's death, their home and money was entailed to a distant relative since Mr. Ellis has no sons.  That left Selina and her mother living on a meager stipend.

Sir Edmund agrees to keep Selina's secret if she will make sure he is invited to spend the Christmastide (the 12 days of Christmas) in her home. The request makes sense because his grandmother recently died and he has no other family in London. Selina's mother had always adored Edmund, plus she saw him as the perfect suitor for Selina. Therefore, securing an invitation for Christmastide was not difficult at all.

Now, Sir Edmund only has to figure out how to separate Selina from Mr. Skinner.  That won't be as easy as Sir Edmund had originally thought since Mr. Skinner has possession of Edmund's grandmothers will. Skinner is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep Sir Edmund from interfering in his relationship with Selina.




 

"Her Silent Knight" is a sweet story of love, chivalry, and childhood loyalties embedded in an enchanting historical fiction, set in the fantastic short-lived Frost Fair on the Thames River in London.  It is the first book in the Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair series shown below.

All but one of these authors are new to me.  I love that when it happens in a co-op series!

 

 Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair (5 Book Series)Check Price



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Friday, November 13, 2020

The Lady and the Mountain Man (The Mountain Series Book 1) Reviewed

The Lady and the Mountain Man
This book took me by surprise! 

Because of the title, I was concerned that "The Lady and the Mountain Man" would be too juvenile to hold my attention.  However, since Misty M. Beller is a best selling author, and I liked the Montana setting, I thought I would at least start reading it.  After all, I could set the book aside if it didn't appeal to me.  As it turns out, the opening first few paragraphs caught my attention quickly and the story line kept me interested.

This book reminded me not to judge a book by it's title.  There have been times when a title grabbed my attention, only for the book to be a disappointment.  Even though I love the cover, this book's title didn't appeal to me, but I really enjoyed the story and would highly recommend it as a clean and wholesome romance for anyone.


The Lady and the Mountain Man
(The Mountain Series Book 1- 1874)

 The Lady and the Mountain Man
(The Mountain Series Book 1)
Before his death, Leah's father had entered into an arranged marriage contract with Simon Talbert on behalf of his only daughter.  The wedding was to take place in only 6 days.  As an only heir, Leah would become a very wealthy woman when she obtained the age of 23, in less than a year. 

When Leah Townsend overhears her fiance admit to killing his first wife and prepared to do the same to her to gain her inheritance, she knows she must flee Richmond, Virginia.  Unfortunately, she had no idea where she could go and be safe. 

Leah's friend, companion and former governess, Emily, hatched what seemed like the perfect plan for Leah.  She would go to St. Louis, Missouri, and stay with a family that Emily knew there.  It seemed like an ideal plan until Leah happened to discover that she was followed to St. Louis by Simon's brother.  She had to come up with a new plan, and fast!

Leah decided to answer a newspaper ad from a gentleman in Montana who was seeking a wife.  It was a long way away, and something no one in Richmond would expect.  Plus, she would not be easy to follow.  She immediately sent a telegram to the wife-seeking man in Montana, secured passage on a boat, and left St. Louis.  

Leah was not prepared for the wilds of Montana or the subsequent events that placed her in some very difficult circumstances causing her to depend solely on God's provision.  


My Conclusion

"The Lady and the Mountain Man" was an easy read and one that I really enjoyed.  I read it rather quickly and hated for it to end.  Fortunately for me, when I checked the following morning, I found the Mountain series has 12 books.  I immediately downloaded the 2nd book to my Kindle.

If you enjoy romantic historical Christian fiction too, I know you will enjoy this wonderful book.





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Friday, October 23, 2020

Forever By Your Side by Tracie Peterson Book Review

Forever by Your Side
As soon as I saw this book available, I requested a copy.  Tracie Peterson is one of my all-time favorite Christian fiction authors.  I always love her books.  

I didn't realize this was the third book in the series, Willamette Brides, but that was not a problem.  I had already read the first two books, so I was familiar with the characters and the background story for the book.

A reader would probably enjoy this book without reading the first two in the series, but I'm not sure it would mean as much to them.  Knowing the complete backstory, what brought us to this point in time on the Indian reservation, fills in what might otherwise be blanks in the book.  I do recommend reading the first two books first, but you will definitely want to read the resolutions in "Forever By Your Side". 


Synopsis of Forever By Your Side

 Forever by Your Side
(Willamette Brides)
Constance Browning is thrilled when she is hired to catalogue the history of the American Indians on the Oregon reservation, her own childhood home.  Constance's parents are still missionaries there and she is excited to return after years away at school.  

Tom Lowell, Connie's best friend, is the second half of the team hired to record the historical facts.  Together, they travel from the East Coast to the Oregon reservation.  Once there, they are welcomed to stay with Connie's parents instead of other government accommodations.  This is an optimum arrangement for Connie & Tom since they also hope to find out who is supplying the Indians with whiskey and guns.  It has been rumored that her parents are behind the shipments and are organizing an upraising.  

Connie is certain her parents are not involved in anything that would put the Indians in danger.  She knows their hearts and their mission to help the people they love.  Unfortunately, her opinion doesn't matter when there is evidence that her father is part of the operation.  

Since Connie knows some of the Indians, she & Tom plan to use their research as a cover for inquiring about a potential upraising.  They are stunned by some old friends who now consider Connie's family the enemy.  

Connie is equally surprised by the government agent, Clint Singleton, on the reservation who now expresses a romantic interest in her.  She had a childhood crush on him years before and he had totally dismissed her then.  She has to ask herself, is she still in love with Clint?

All the changes are confusing, but Connie is determined to prove her parents are innocent.  With the evidence against her father, that won't be easy to do.


My Recommendation

As I stated in my introduction, while this could be a stand-alone book, I believe the entire series should be read in order.  Connie's cousins, their marriages, and most especially one husband's murder, are important to understanding the entire Willamette Brides story plot and the resolutions in this book.  

Personally, I was glad to finally know the true identity of Mr. Smith and the reasons behind his actions.  

The previous books in the series, Secrets of My Heart and The Way of Love are wonderful books, full of love, mystery and an excellent story that carried through the series.  I highly recommend the Willamette Brides series by Tracie Peterson, especially now that we have Forever By Your Side that provides the answers and resolutions.


 

 

I received an advance copy of "Forever by Your Side" to review from NetGalley. I would like to express my appreciation to Netgalley, the author, Tracie Peterson, and the publisher, Bethany House, for this opportunity. 
 



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Friday, October 9, 2020

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter Reviewed

A Defense of Honor has a very unique plot. That fact alone drew me to this book. Plus, I had never read a book by Kristi Ann Hunter and I love finding new authors (new to me). 

Normally, I review books that I can highly recommend to anyone.  A Defense of Honor delves into some very unpleasant realistic attitudes, especially during the time period of the book's setting of London in 1816.  Therefore, I would only recommend this book to someone who doesn't mind examining the dirty underbelly of society, as well as their own hearts and minds. 

As I read the book, I found myself questioning several things, which is most unusual when reading a Christian fiction.


Synopsis of A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book1)

Kit FitzGilbert is "The Governess".  She is hated by London society, even though her true identity is concealed.  Her self-appointed job is to ensure that illegitimate children are financially supported by their wealthy fathers.  She and her friends also protect the mothers and allow them a way to re-enter society without the child or society being any the wiser.

 A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book #1)Kit, Daphne & Jess provide a home for the children which is supported by the funds that Kit extracts from their fathers.  

Haven Manor is a large secluded estate that is overseen by a local solicitor, Nash Banfield.  The owner has no desire to live there, so Nash allows the women and children to live in the manor.  This arrangement benefits all parties because the women take care of the upkeep of the manor, the children have a home away from public awareness or scorn, and the owner's property maintains it's value.

It all works quite well for twelve years.  Then, Kit meets Graham, the Viscount Wharton, who is heir to the earldom of Grableton, at a ball she was not invited to attend.  When they go their separate ways, he doesn't even know her full name, but he is haunted by the memory of the beautiful woman in the green gown.

When Graham accidentally finds Kit at Haven Manor while searching for a friend's sister, he is thrilled to once again have an opportunity to get to know her.  However, even though he now knows where she lives, he has no idea who she really is.  In fact, until recently, he had never even heard of The Governess.  

Their relationship is tested multiple times as he discovers more about her, the children, and the household.  It is highly unlikely that a friendship between the two can continue.

 

My Opinion the Book "A Defense of Honor"

Even though this is a Christian fiction, it challenged me.  The reading was not difficult, but some of the judgemental attitudes of the characters were hard for me to embrace.  I don't really understand being able to totally write-off someone you love and dismiss them completely from your life.  

After reading certain chapters, I would stop and think about them.  Question if I knew someone who had done anything like that.  I wondered if the attitudes and actions were very "real-life".  As I delved into my own memories, I found that I have known individuals who, in fact, walk away from family members and friends.  They seemingly never look back, yet leave broken hearts and pain that can take years to overcome, if ever.

There was another point of opinion I found difficult.  The main character, Kit, was judged harshly for the means she used to ensure illegitimate children were financially supported by their biological fathers.  I'm not sure I see the great "sin" in her methods, even though I certainly see the danger.

Plus, the ending bothered me. I can't go into detail about that without ruining the book for you, but I would love to know how others feel about the plot's resolve.  If you read the book, please come back and tell me what you thought.


 

 




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Friday, April 17, 2020

The Rebel Bride Book Review

Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 10 in the Series 

The Rebel Bride Book Reviewed
When I started this historical fiction series, I knew it included a book that took place during the American Civil War.  After all, it would be very difficult to write a series that includes major historical events and omit the civil war.  Nevertheless, this was the one book I did not look forward to reading.  I put it off for several weeks after I finished reading the 9th book in the series.  Only because it has been such a wonderful and well-written series, did I decide to go ahead and chance it.

I get so tired of reading books filled with opinions or propaganda about the American Civil War.  Frankly, it is one subject that will cause me to stop in the middle a book, put it down, and never finish reading if the author deems it necessary to spout vitriol. We all know wars are fought for many reasons and that evil criminal acts are overlooked in wartime.  Often the real reason one takes up arms against their brother is lost long before the first bloody battle.  Justification for invasion and brutality becomes the mantra of the day that reverberates for many generations that follow.

It turns out, I had nothing to fear about reading The Rebel Bride.  The author did not denigrate the soldiers. She simply set up a wartime situation where individuals are challenged to be honorable instead of depraved.

Ironically, this book turned out to be one of my favorites in the series.  I would like to believe that even in the midst of war, basic human decency and kindness still exist.


Plot of The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear
1863 Tennessee - American Civil War - April 1961 - April 1965


 Rebel Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower)The war had already taken so much from Pearl MacFarlane.  Her 3 oldest brothers are casualties of war, lost in the battles of Shiloh, Fishing Creek, and Chickamauga. Her father is mentally broken, with only occasional moments of clarity.  Her mother, previously deceased.  Her youngest brother, and only remaining sibling, drifts away to places unknown, presumably hunting, as soon as he rises each morning.  The work of the farm is left almost completely to Pearl and there is only so much she can do. 

When her cousin, a sergeant for the Confederacy, arrives with wounded prisoners of war, Pearl is not at all prepared to be conscripted to duty.  She doesn't have food, beds, or even training as a nurse, yet she is required to care for these men.  The physical and emotional toll on Pearl is tremendous.  

Because her cousin has a soft spot for Pearl, he sends a man to help her tend the prisoners.  Fortunately, Portius does know how to treat and bandage the wounds and amputations.  He also has the physical strength to help the wounded soldiers move when necessary.

At first, it is difficult for Pearl to aid the very men who could have killed her brothers.  At the very least, they represent the army responsible for their deaths.  However, as she nurses them, learns their names, their birthplaces, and hears stories about their lives, she sees the individuals as living human beings who need help.  In turn, there are a few who try to help her, if in no other way, by being respectful of her father.  Unfortunately, as with any group, there are some who would prey on the isolation and her vulnerability. 

Not only is Pearl faced with providing food, shelter and medical attention to the enemy, she is further challenged by her romantic feelings for one of the prisoners.  In the midst of the American Civil War, a Confederate and a Yankee do not make an ideal couple.


More Factual Background


The story of The Rebel Bride takes place in Tennessee.  Every county of Tennessee endured battles.  Homes and farmland were destroyed along the way, many were intentionally destroyed as threatened in the book.  

During the Civil War, it is a fact that homeowners were required to take in wounded soldiers from both sides depending on which army occupied their area at any given time.  One renowned home, turned hospital, still stands and is located not very far from my own home.

Few people realize that Norwegian immigrants fought in the Civil War for the Union.  Shannon McNear includes a wounded Norwegian soldier in the group of prisoners tended by Pearl.

The only real fictional liberty that McNear might have carried too far in this book, is the marriage between a black woman and a white man (one of Pearl's older brothers).  Even McNear admits that it is highly unlikely that could have happened.

Surprisingly, I highly recommend this book.  



  

Previously Reviewed Book from the Daughters of the Mayflower Series

 
The Mayflower Bride Book ReviewThe Mayflower Bride Book 1 Reviewed

True American History woven into the fabric of fiction! An excellent historical romantic fiction about the Mayflower voyagers: Separatists & Strangers.



The Pirate Bride Book ReviewThe Pirate Bride Book Review

At the innocent age of 12, Maribel Cordoba's life changes forever. Her formative years & education are guided by nuns, but she never truly forgets the pirate who stole her heart.



The Captured Bride Book ReviewThe Captured Bride Book Review

An unlikely team is assigned a mission that is fraught with danger. It becomes necessary to trust a previously perceived enemy. I highly recommend this historical Christian fiction.



The Patriot Bride Book ReviewThe Patriot Bride Book Reviewed

After enduring several life tragedies, this wealthy young widow finds the strength & needed alliance to serve the patriots as a messenger. Highly recommended!



The Liberty Bride Book ReviewThe Liberty Bride Book Reviewed

In The Liberty Bride, Emeline Baratt is sailing home to America. Her allegiance to America is greatly tested when the unthinkable happens.









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Friday, February 7, 2020

The Liberty Bride Book Reviewed

Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 6 in the Series

The Liberty Bride Book Reviewed
I've never found a series of books that I enjoyed more than the Daughters of the Mayflower series. 

Every book is based on the life of one of the female descendants of a married couple from the Mayflower ship.  Each descendant plays a part in a pivotal moment in American history.  

Just as each book has a different main character, each book is written by a different author.  Together, these books make a magnificent historical fiction series.

In The Liberty Bride,  Emeline Baratt is sailing home to America after the death of her aunt in Brighton.  Unfortunately, that voyage is during the War of 1812, which is fought between America and the United Kingdom.  

Her allegiance to America is greatly tested when the unthinkable happens. 


The Liberty Bride

1814 Baltimore - The War of 1812    (Jun 18, 1812 – Feb 18, 1815)

 The Liberty Bride
Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 6
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In spite of the ongoing war between America and Britain, Emeline's father has sent his best ship, under the command of his most experienced captain, to bring his daughter safely home from the United Kingdom.  However, even a privateer ship is vulnerable to capture in wartime.  They are simply no competition to a heavily armed warship.

Emeline, the captain and his crew are taken captive when they are attacked by a Royal Navy frigate, the HMS Marauder.  Being a prisoner on a warship and being forced to work for the enemy is not something anyone would desire.  But, there is obviously an even greater danger for a female.  

Realizing her perilous plight, and with the encouragement of her companion, Emeline makes the decision to tell the Captain of the Marauder that she is in fact a British loyalist following her father's demands to return to America.  She convinces everyone, including the crew from the American ship, that her loyalties lie with Britain.  As such, she is given tremendous freedom onboard the Marauder.  She hopes to be able to gain military plans and information that she could somehow pass along to American commanders.  What she doesn't realize is that there is already an American spy onboard and she has just make an enemy of a much needed ally. 


More about The Daughters of the Mayflower Series


If you have read my previous reviews on books in this series, you already know these books are not only historical fiction, but they all have romance woven throughout the pages.  However, in the case of Emeline Baratt, she has no desire to marry, which is the basis of her conflict with her father.  She would prefer that men stop pursuing her and her dowry.  She wishes to be an artist, not a wife tied to a home and domestic chores.  I very much enjoyed the way the author, Mary Lu Tyndall, developed a romantic plot in The Liberty Bride.


Previously Reviewed Book from the Daughters of the Mayflower Series

 
The Mayflower Bride Book ReviewThe Mayflower Bride Book 1 Reviewed

True American History woven into the fabric of fiction! An excellent historical romantic fiction about the Mayflower voyagers: Separatists & Strangers.



The Pirate Bride Book ReviewThe Pirate Bride Book Review

At the innocent age of 12, Maribel Cordoba's life changes forever. Her formative years & education are guided by nuns, but she never truly forgets the pirate who stole her heart.



The Captured Bride Book ReviewThe Captured Bride Book Review

An unlikely team is assigned a mission that is fraught with danger. It becomes necessary to trust a previously perceived enemy. I highly recommend this historical Christian fiction.



The Patriot Bride Book ReviewThe Patriot Bride Book Reviewed

After enduring several life tragedies, this wealthy young widow finds the strength & needed alliance to serve the patriots as a messenger. Highly recommended!









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Friday, January 24, 2020

The Gregory Sisters: While Love Stirs - Book 2 Reviewed

The Gregory Sisters: While Love Stirs - Book 2 Reviewed
The Gregory sisters were all strong willed, independent thinkers, and activists who were ready to challenge the social norms of their day.  Even though they were not prepared to be financially independent, when their supporting parents died, by necessity, they faced that challenge head on with determination and action.

In my last article, I reviewed the first book in the series, When Love Calls, that focused on the oldest sister, Hannah.  In this review, I'll tell you about Charlotte, the middle sister and the second book in the series, While Love Stirs.

Each of these books is categorized as a historical romance.  While that is true, the stories are so much more than simple romance novels.  They are about women who must survive in a time that females were not expected, in many cases not even allowed, to work outside of the home.  They each must find a niche that will allow for an income and is acceptable in their society.


While Love Stirs Book Synopsis


 While Love Stirs
(The Gregory Sisters Book #2)
Although an independent thinker like her sisters, Charlotte Gregory's interests follow a more traditional role for a woman in the 1910's. She loves to cook!  Believing that the only job for her would be a chef, or chef's assistant, she heads to a renowned restaurant in a local hotel. After all, she is a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery.  Surely an esteemed hotel/restaurant establishment would recognize her value and give her a chance.  

After being directed to the side entrance of the hotel designated for unaccompanied women, she quickly discovers the head chef's "not a chance" attitude toward a woman being employed in the kitchen.

Then, when she visits her sister in the hospital, she is disgusted with the lack of concern for proper nutrition for the patients.  She tries to explain to the doctor how the right meals could help patients get well sooner, but she is once again met by the steel wall of male dominance and superior thinking.  Not to mention the hospital's very limited budget and inability to make changes.

Dejected, distressed, yet still determined to get a job cooking, Charlotte returns home to consider what other options might be available to her.  When she finds a newspaper article advertising a contest being hosted by the gas company promoting gas ranges, she believes she has found her answer.  If she can just win that contest, surely she would be recognized as a real chef with an education in nutrition and be able to find suitable employment.  But, there are other women who wish to win that contest too and will stoop to deceptive levels to accomplish their own personal goals.



And, that is the limit to how much of the plot I will divulge.  You will simply have to read the book to find out what happens!


My Thoughts & Opinion of "While Love Stirs"


I admit, it had not occurred to me that a woman would have trouble finding a job as a cook in the 1910's.  This book gave me a new appreciation for the plight of a single women who did not wish to be forced to marry just to survive.  I believe I have taken the vast opportunities for granted in my lifetime.  I've always had the right to vote, I've always been able to wear comfortable clothing, I've always been allowed to walk through the front doors of public places, I have always been able to get a job when needed, and I was most certainly allowed to make my own marriage decision.  

While this series has been entertaining to read, it has also been somewhat educational and thought provoking.  I knew the history of the suffrage movement, the history of fashion in America, and the history of etiquette.  But, I still found it enlightening to read how it could have affected individual lives.  I have no doubt the real life stories would be far worse since there is not always a happy resolution in reality.








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