Category Archives: 19th century

Trouble In Store by Carol Cox

Wild West Rogues In Disguise

Trouble In Store by Carol Cox
Christian Historical Fiction
Bethany House, June 1 2013
Review copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:3 stars

Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands. The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.
But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

Trouble In Store is a story of a young woman forced to make her own future when she finds herself without an income and without friends. The last place she had any family was many miles away, yet she decides to take her chances and seek them out as a last resort. Her welcome to Arizona is not as expected, but since she has nowhere else to go she is determined to make the best of her situation. Melanie decides to help Caleb run a mercantile store and strange events occurring around them spell danger for them both.

This novel was a quick read and based on other reviews I was expecting a little more power behind the story   but instead it seemed to be a bit too cookie cutter for me. The faith feature that I expect from this publisher also seemed to be toned down; there were no characters that were struggling with their faith and I didn’t grasp an underlying Christian theme other than an occasional meeting with the preacher in public.

One of the main difficulties I had with trying to immerse myself in the story were the characters themselves. The author forgot to describe these two main protagonists and so we only got to learn about them through their conversations and mannerisms. If the author portrayed Caleb as a handsome merchant using her eloquent and descriptive prose, perhaps I would have cared a little more instead of imagining the blank faces of Melanie and Caleb. Instead, it was 66% of the way through that I finally learned that Caleb had ‘soft, sand-colored waves’ of hair. And that’s it.

Otherwise, the plot read well: dilemma, quaint romance, mystery, murder, lynch mobs and then a happy romance in the middle of a small western town in 1885. Dusty, wide open spaces and simple living was an easy setting to portray for the author which she did well. Running the mercantile store was a theme to the story and a helpful tool for the author to introduce several interesting characters along with details of the items for sale from days gone by. I have to mention that there were a few instances where I was guilty of  ‘smack of my head’ moments due to the implausible actions of our protagonists which didn’t help endear me to the story, but since this was a fairly standard Christian historical, if you imagine a young Brad Pitt going in perhaps you’ll love this one as much as some of the other reviewers did.

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Filed under 19th century, 2013 Releases, 2013 Review, Bethany House, Christian Fiction

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

 Aristocrat finds himself in love with a widowed farmer..

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Bethany House, April 2013
Review copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:4.5 stars
Read my review of Jody’s previous novel, Unending Devotion

Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

This was another enjoyable story from Jody Hedlund that is perfect for Christian historical romance fans. It tells the story of Annalisa and her toils with her land, and on the flip side we are treated to Carl von Reichart, a German nobleman on the run who finds himself in rural Michigan. Annalisa’s extended German family take him in so that he can help Annalisa run the farm, but they really have no idea who he is. He is known as Carl Richards to them, and they all begin to appreciate him even though it is apparent he didn’t grow up farming!

Annalisa was a wonderful character who was easy to root for after she had gone through so much. She was not a timid person, but she was forced to let the men make her choices because that’s just the way things were with her German family. It was a way of life, and a bit of stark reality – until Carl Richards slowly begins to display traits that make Annalisa wonder if it would be possible to actually have a loving marriage full of mutual attraction. And could Carl be that man?

Carl has other places to be.. and there is another groom on the way for Annalisa! What odds does this pair have, especially being so many worlds apart? With a pleasantly evocative (and sometimes suspenseful) story line we watch their love story unfold through the author’s swiftly paced story telling. The history of the German immigrants was an intriguing theme along with the harsh differences between the noble and the working classes set in Michigan during the 1880’s. I loved how so much historical information, faith values and drama came together so easily in this story as Jody Hedlund is definitely proving to be a formidable name in her market. This was one of those reads that I had to force myself to put down in order to go to sleep at midnight!

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Filed under 19th century, 2013 Releases, 2013 Review, Bethany House, Christian Fiction, Historical Romance, Jody Hedlund, Uncategorized

(Giveaway!) No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom #1) by Elizabeth Ludwig

Naive Irish lass goes to New York and lands right in the middle of Irish political fanatics!

No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom #1) by Elizabeth Ludwig
Bethany House, October 2012
Paperback 352 pages
Review copy provided for Free from LitFuse, in exchange for this review
Burton Book Review Rating:

The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America
Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she’d thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend–Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother’s warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara’s desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke’s true intentions come to light.

Read an Excerpt
Purchase the book

The setting of an Irish girl leaving for New York in l896 is full of promise and adventure in this historical romantic suspense, and did not disappoint. The political maneuverings of Ireland was always behind the scenes as Cara was trying to discover the fate of her twin brother, Eoghan. One thing that struck me as ‘convenient’ was how each and every person that Cara bumped into during her first trip in New York were all somehow related to the disappearance of her brother or those seeking revenge, but pushing that nagging thought aside I really did enjoy this story.

Cara meets Rourke, who is the sexy heroic love interest, but he turns out to be on the bad guys’ side. Rourke and Cara do not trust each other, yet of course they still fall in love, so the romance comes in as they discover each other and develop their trust in each other; and the suspense comes in as we try to figure our where Cara’s brother is and when is he going to be able to come out of hiding. There is a fabulous climatic scene as it all comes to a head, and I was perched on the edge of my seat throughout.

The setting is of a boardinghouse with a few intriguing women, and one in particular turns out to be another bad guy (Cara has really bad luck in NYC!) and things get dicey when it hits the fan. All in all, a well done story of intrigue that has me wondering what’s next in the Edge of Freedom series. Although the book is from a Christian fiction publisher, the Christian theme is very light in the main scheme of things, allowing No Safe Harbor to be easily recommended to those who would enjoy an entertaining romance infused with intrigue.

And, I am super thrilled to read about what’s next for Elizabeth Ludwig’s Edge of Freedom series, coming August 2013, Dark Road Home by Elizabeth Ludwig:

August 2013Ana Kavanagh’s only memories of home are of fire and pain. As a girl she was the only survivor of a terrible blaze, and years later she still struggles with her anger at God for letting it happen.
At a nearby parish she meets and finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who is struggling with his own anger–his sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with one of his enemies. Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan longs to rejoin the Fenians, a shadowy organization pushing for change back in Ireland. But gaining their trust requires doing some favors–all of which seem to lead back to Ana. Who is she and who is searching for her? As dark secrets from Ana’s past begin to come to light, Eoghan must choose which road to follow–and where to finally place his trust.

I scored an extra copy of NO SAFE HARBOR somehow.. so who wants it?
I warned you in October I’d have a subscriber-only giveaway so here it is!!
A quickie giveaway open to my MailChimp Subscribers in the USA, and I’ll choose a random winner from the most awesome comments you leave me.. must be a follower, and an email subscriber and you must leave me your Email Address. And I’d probably give preferential treatment to those who brag about this awesome review on Facebook, twitter etc. =) Thanks!!

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Filed under #histnov, 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Bethany House, Christian Fiction, Elizabeth Ludwig, New York

A Lady in The Making by Susan Page Davis



A Lady in the Making
Another entertaining historical romance from Susan Page Davis

A Lady in The Making (Prairie Dreams #3) by Susan Page Davis
Barbour Books October 1, 2012
Paperback 320 pages
Review copy via NetGalley, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:4 stars

Millie Evans has changed, choosing to leave rather than join an outlaw gang with her brother. Hoping for a new future, she boards a stagecoach but runs into her past and David Stone—a man she and her brother once tried to swindle. As she tries to convince David she’s changed, her brother’s gang holds up the stagecoach. Fighting beside David goes a long way to softening his heart, but he’s still not convinced. Millie must trust God to show David the truth, but will he see before it’s too late?

This is the second novel I’ve read from this author, and I love her quick pace and realistic storytelling. This is book #3 in the Prairie Dreams series and follows along with the characters that were previously introduced to us in the prior book, Lady Anne’s Quest, which I reviewed here on Burton Book Review. This is a series that I would recommend reading in sequential order, even though I had not read book one I felt I missed out on something while reading book 2.

Lady Anne’s Quest followed the storyline of Anne in pursuit of her Uncle David in America, and now A Lady in the Making features David making his way back to England to claim his estate as Earl of Stoneford. Millie Evans is back, but better than ever as a reformed woman making her way back to Pennsylvania to make a new start for herself. Coincidence puts both David and Millie on the same stagecoach, and when an accident occurs it falls to Millie to take care of David.

Millie is still in love with David, but David wants nothing to do with her as she was the woman who almost brought him to his death in book two. The story follows the two as they are forced to deal with each other during their travels though they hold each other at arm’s length. Behind the scenes, a greedy cousin wants David to not make it to his destination in England, and it is only a matter of time before a showdown occurs. Millie and David are brought together as a tentative alliance, and only time will tell if they can overcome their past and look towards the future. A romance between a common woman and a potential earl would certainly raise a few eyebrows back in England, and David may have to choose between love and the status quo if he can open his eyes to Millie’s redeeming qualities.

I loved the atmospheric western tone of traveling through America in the 1850’s with fear of outlaws, and this was another entertaining and quick read from Susan Page Davis. Those who fear a preachy tone from a Christian or inspirational genre should not be wary of this novel, as it is something that is lightly laced throughout the novel but not a major plot point. The series is a fun western historical romance with a touch of British class that I would highly recommend.

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Filed under #histnov, 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Barbour Publishing, Susan Page Davis

Sixty Acres and A Bride by Regina Jennings

Fabulous debut novel with stunning cover to match!

Sixty Acres and A Bride by Regina Jennings
Bethany House February 1 2012
Paperback 371 pages
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, August 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:4.5 Shiny Texas Lone Stars

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa can’t keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can’t help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future?

This vibrant debut novel blends two cultures of the 1870’s as two widowers go back to family in Texas after tragedy befalls them in Mexico. The young and beautiful Rosa Garner accompanies her mother-in-law, both needing a fresh start, only to find that the old home has accumulated a huge sum of property taxes. Touching on biblical references, the family welcomes the two widowers with open arms and helps them achieve security.
Weston Garner is intrigued by his new cousin Rosa, but he is not willing to let go of his guilt over his wife’s death and believes he wouldn’t deserve to love again. Rosa and Weston strike up an unorthodox agreement even as they each battle their own fears and wariness, yet the entire community support them in spite of their own resistance. The entertaining characters were fleshed out and convincing while the plot explores many themes such as heritage, honor, customs, abuse and insecurity. Rosa’s intelligent and witty character was easy to root for, as she was a stranger among friends and refused to take anything for granted. A journey of faith, friendship and love, this historical romance will please lovers of the Western themed novel.
*I cannot wait to see what’s up next for author Regina Jennings! And this cover was absolutely perfect for the main protagonist, Rosa. The author says the sequel is with the editors! (HAPPY DANCE!) Bethany House Publishers have not failed me yet with their supply of fresh voices in Christian historical fiction.

Buy at Barnes & Noble
Buy at Christianbook.com
Buy at Amazon

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Bethany House, Christian Fiction, Historical Romance

Westward Hearts by Melody A. Carlson

Oregon or BUST!

Westward Hearts (Homeward on the Oregon Trail #1) by Melody A. Carlson
Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0736948715
Review copy downloaded from NetGalley
Burton Book Review Rating:Intriguing story

Bestselling author Melody Carlson begins an inspiring new series of adventure and romance on the Oregon Trail.
Kentucky, 1854—Elizabeth Martin has mourned her husband’s death for three years, but now she feels ready to fulfill the dream they had shared—to take their two children west. The dream becomes reality when her middle-aged parents and bachelor brother surprise her with the news that they want to go as well.
After converting three of their best wagons to prairie schooners and thoroughly outfitting them, the little party travels from Kentucky to Kansas City, where they join a substantial wagon train. Elizabeth soon finds herself being drawn to the group’s handsome guide, Eli Kincade.
The long journey and deepening relationships challenge the travelers to their core, and Eli’s mysterious past leaves Elizabeth with more questions than answers. She knows there’s no turning back, but she wonders, What have I gotten myself into?

About This Series: The Homeward on the Oregon Trail series brings to life the challenges a young widow faces as she journeys west, settles her family in the Pacific Northwest, and helps create a new community among strong-willed and diverse pioneers.

The first half of the story is given away in the synopsis, as the plot line progresses around Elizabeth and her life as a widow and a mother. It isn’t until nearly halfway through the book that the family embark on the adventure towards Oregon, and it is then that we meet the others who along on the wagon trail with Elizabeth’s family.

Elizabeth Martin and her parents the Dawsons are good Christians who help others on the trail, even those of “ill repute” along the trail with them. Elizabeth ignores the gossipy and self-righteous woman Gertrude and both befriends and defends the riders who seem to have a seedy past. There are an interesting mix of characters on the trail, some missionaries who are all hellfire and brimstone, and Bostonians ill-prepared for the rugged trip. And of course there are a few handsome men to make things interesting for Elizabeth, who has finally after four years stowed away her widow’s weeds.

Elizabeth’s family are an admirable close-knit group whom I found myself rooting for along the way, through the myriads of problems from rivers, Indians, tornadoes and the other folks on the trail. The detail to life along the Oregon trail was impeccably displayed, with fun facts woven in such as needing to have beans soak overnight, only traveling half-days on the Sabbath day, and when and where to buy supplies for the trip. The trip itself was expected to take six months, however we don’t know what happens past Fort Laramie as the book abruptly ended. At a family celebration, Elizabeth is happily dancing with a dashing fellow and there the story ends. I was not prepared for that, and it turns out there is going to be another book that follows the Dawson and the Martin family and perhaps by the end of that book they will actually settle somewhere close to Oregon.

I found the writing to be smooth, and the intriguing mix of characters to be entertaining. I felt like I learned a lot of the history against the backdrop of mid 1850’s and the passion to go forth and follow in Lewis and Clark’s footsteps. I am definitely eager to read the next in the Homeward on the Oregon Trail series to see how the love interest develops for Elizabeth after the romantic dance.

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Oregon Trail

Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart

Heart pumping drama that keeps you reading these fun characters!
Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart
Revell, February 2012
Historical Romance/Christian Fiction
368 pages, paperback 9780800720452
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, May 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:4.5 Stars

Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father’s newspaper offices. She can’t imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for readers gets fierce.


When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune’s future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story–and the girl. Can he do both before it’s too late?

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold readers in its grip until the very last page. Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart once again delivers an enthralling and enduring tale for her loyal and ever-expanding fan base.

Adriane is a woman born ahead of her time, lacking the need for being socially acceptable in her prim and proper society. Instead, she finds herself intrigued by the unrest of the 1850’s and the political causes of the day. Adriane is at risk of being her father’s assistant at his newspaper for the rest of her days, and she wouldn’t mind that fate. Unfortunately, her father has other plans as she learns her future becomes the star of a shady business deal with the major political force of Louisville. Marrying Stan against her will and meeting the dashingly handsome Blake Garrett at the same time is a conundrum for Adriane, and she explores her faith in God while seeking answers to her dilemma.
As luck would have it, Blake is the editor for a rival newspaper and therefore her family’s arch enemy. The stars align when these two meet, and we can’t wait to see the fireworks when they admit their mutual attraction.
Adriane is a strong heroine and her inspiring story is complemented by great characters and the wicked suspense lurking in the background. The novel boasts a fiery plot rich with historical nuance that is indicative of Gabhart’s writing skill.

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Ann H. Gabhart, Christian Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational, Revell

The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry

Romance and suspense in Queen Victoria’s court

The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
William Morrow and Company July 31, 2012
Paperback 384 pages
Egalley provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:3.5 stars

The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert produced nine children—five of them princesses, all trained for the role of marriage to future monarchs. However, the fourth princess, Louise—later the duchess of Argyll—became known by the court as “the wild one.” She fought the constraints placed on her brothers and sisters. She broke with tradition by marrying outside of the elite circle of European royals at a time when no child of the English throne had wed a commoner in 300 years. Some said she married for love. Others whispered of scandal covered up by the Crown.

In fact, many years after Louise’s death, a civil lawsuit claimed that the teenage princess secretly gave birth to a baby boy out of wedlock. One Henry Locock sought to prove through DNA evidence that his grandfather was Louise’s child, delivered by Queen Victoria’s gynecologist then secretly adopted by the doctor’s young son and his wife, thereby avoiding scandal and preserving the line of succession to the throne. But the mysteries and drama involving Louise’s life don’t stop there…This is her story.

The fourth princess borne of Queen Victoria is Louise and is dubbed the wild one in her family because of her precocious ways. Apparently her free spirit is abhorred by her very own mother, and she is held at arms’ length. The author depicts a relationship between mother and daughter that no one would enjoy, and we have to feel sorry for Princess Louise. There seems to be only tolerance between the family members. So, Louise finds love elsewhere.

Of course, Louise’s gout-ridden mother doesn’t like her choice, and a mystery follows of what happens to Louise’s lover, so Louise hires her mom’s Secret Service guy Stephen Byrne to investigate, and of course Louise falls in love with him, too. Stephen Byrne, also known as The Raven, is also tasked to uncover the Irish plot to wreak havoc on the monarchy, which adds a touch of thrill to this romance.

Add to this little love triangle a husband for Princess Louise. And he is a gorgeous specimen of a man that Louise is excited to marry, until it comes time to consummate their marriage. At that point, all bets are off.

Although there are some historical nuances of the era, the main theme would be romance first, mystery/suspense next and historical last. It was a quick read, and interesting to contemplate the complete What-if-Louise-did-this.. but in doing so, it was a bit too much of an alternate history for this history lover. However, there were some intriguing details of the era, from the horse drawn carriages to the gowns, and the art school that Louise attended in the city.

For those wanting to learn more about Queen Victoria or her family, this is an interesting take on the possible family dynamic, but I would definitely refer to the authors bibliography for more detailed reads on the subject. But for a light-weight romantic read this is perfect for the summer, and it is a great look at the character behind Louise herself. The author is working on book two which focuses on younger princess Beatrice who doesn’t want to be a virgin forever, so I think this will be a sort of romance series for her. She definitely has some fabulous writing skill, even though I didn’t love the creative take on the novel, it really read well.

Read an excerpt from The Wild Princess on Mary Hart Perry’s website

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Queen Victoria

Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

A stubborn character, will she ever see the light?

Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

Revell, January 1, 2012
 336 pages paperback 
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, May 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:3.5 Stars

The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg– as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family’s mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns to town, Faith allows herself to hope that her dreams might come true. Does he truly love her? Or could another man claim her heart? Will she find that following her dreams may not mean leaving home after all?

The characters in Where Wildflowers Bloom jump off the page and into the reader’s heart. Author Ann Shorey infuses her characters with the virtues and quirks that bring them fully alive as they search for contentment and love.

Faith has little faith in herself, and her aging grandfather. They are both struggling to overcome the losses of the War Between the States, and Faith dreams of the wildflowers of Oregon. Even though Grandpa has the same painful memories of family long gone, he wants to stay in Missouri and have Faith run his mercantile store even though a woman running a business is frowned upon.

The story unfolds as Faith tries to force her wayward dream into reality, but we hope that love blooms between Curt and Faith which would hold Faith in Missouri where she belongs. However, Royal Baxter, a childhood fancy of Faith’s, returns from the war and offers Faith her childish dreams. The author meanders through this love triangle with some mystery and plenty of historical ambiances, along with Faith’s eye rolling moments. Where Faith’s character is stubborn, willful and determined, she is foolish in many of her decisions. Faith’s friend Rosemary is the wise and rational counterpart to Faith, and is shunned for being a nurse during the war. Reading of these two ladies and their struggles was engaging, and I do hope to see these characters in the next installment of the Sisters At Heart series, even if it’s just to see if Faith had matured some!

Edit to add that I just learned the next novel in the series, tentatively titled When the Heart Heals, features Faith’s friend Rosemary Saxon. Ann Shorey’s fiction debut was in 2009 with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series.

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Post Civil War, Revell

Heart’s Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes

The best nautical adventure you can find for Christian Fiction!

Heart’s Safe Passage, The Midwives Series #2 by Laurie Alice Eakes
Revell, February 2012
400 pages, Paperback
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, May 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:4 Stars

It’s 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped. Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda’s whining and Phoebe’s hostility, Rafe can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

Seeking God’s guidance is a strong theme in this second installment of The Midwives series, and sailing through dangerous waters during the War of 1812 is another. Throughout the stand-alone novel, Phoebe is sailing with Captain Rafe Docherty, her captor, who is hell bent on seeking revenge against James Brock. Captain Rafe’s wife was murdered by James Brock, and is using Phoebe and her family to find him. As Phoebe learns more about the captain, her common sense tells her to run from him, but her heart pulls her straight into Captain Rafe’s arms. Amongst the plot twists, our heroine Phoebe is determined to share her faith in God just as much as she tries to stop Captain Rafe’s quest for revenge.

Supporting characters are well drawn out, details of life on a brig are abundant, and the action and suspense are well plotted. The voyage across the Atlantic is complete with a scampering dog, an endearing child, expecting mother and swashbuckling pirates, offering a clever love story with a charming Scottish accent. I enjoyed this novel a great deal, and already bought Eakes’ first book in the series.

And just for kicks, I found this quick summary regarding the War of 1812 here. Americans and Britain were at odds again, and the site points out it was pretty much a stalemate although it was a sort of confirmation that the USA was to be treated as an independent country. We fought Canadians and the native nations in the War of 1812, which ultimately resulted in the Treaty of Ghent. We are near the two hundredth anniversary: on June 18, 1812, the war began.

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Filed under 19th century, 2012 Releases, 2012 Review, Christian Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational, Laurie Alice Eakes, Revell, War of 1812