Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fourth of July is almost upon us - and what better time to check out some great historical-romance reads set during the early years of the United States? Below are my reviews of The Messenger by Siri Mitchell, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White, and The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz. If you haven't yet read these books, I highly recommend them!

Amber's Review of The Messenger

"Thought-provoking. Intriguing. Riveting. Siri Mitchell has done it again!

Mitchell does first-person POV brilliantly (as also exemplified in Chateau of Echoes and She Walks in Beauty). But The Messenger has a unique twist - first-person POV for both the hero and the heroine. And it works beautifully!

The American Revolution shakes Hannah Sunderland to the core. A British officer takes over her childhood home. Her new life with extended family - rich, Loyalist slave-owners - challenges her simple way of life as a Quaker. And her twin brother, who had his own reasons for laying aside his pacifist upbringing to fight for the revolutionaries, is suffering in jail.

Enter Jeremiah Jones - a wounded soul with a missing hand who has troubles of his own. And Hannah seems to be the only one who can help him.

Hannah and Jeremiah are wonderful characters to befriend and to watch develop in their understanding and maturity, and their interactions with the complex secondary characters (and each other) provide poignant opportunities for such growth. The setting, centered around the jail, offers a harsh, authentic backdrop to the drama as both of these characters deal with issues of identity, beliefs, and love. The Messenger is a well-told story of a tumultuous time in American history, while still dealing with important, timeless topics.

Mitchell's latest historical romance is deeply satisfying - not to be missed!

*With thanks to Bethany House through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*"

Amber's Review of Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland

"Lark is a young woman living in the newly independent United States who is tired of being stifled and ignored. So when the man she's long planned on marrying is found in a compromising situation, Lark finally flies away to test her own wings and find her own voice. When her fiancee eventually finds her again, will he see the treasure he took for granted and be given a second chance at loving Lark for who she really is?

As lovely and sophisticated as the cover, this story is a treat for lovers of historical romance! The pace is mostly gentle, and while not overly emotional, the plot is intellectually stimulating and quite sweet. The tension between Lark and Emerson make for some really engaging scenes as the story unfolds. The characters are charming, and White does a great job of taking a rather irritating man and making him into a sympathetic hero to cheer on in his daunting task of reclaiming his bride-to-be. And Wiley is just wonderful - all that a girl could ask for in an older brother. He has great hero potential for his own story!

Misunderstandings and a yearning for independence mark this well-constructed book, making Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland a meaningful and enjoyable read.

*With thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*"

 Amber's Review of The Colonel's Lady

"The Colonel's Lady is another wonderful showcase of Laura's exquisite and exceptional writing. The story is draped in all shades of blue - from the deep and sorrowful blue of winter to the brilliant blue of the hero's and heroine's eyes, and even to the gorgeous dress on the front cover. Powerful and poignant emotions are explored within these pages, and conflict is found at every turn.

From the moment Roxanna meets Colonel McLinn, secrets become inevitable. The Colonel is guilt-ridden and at war with his own sense of duty. Roxanna is falling in love, but the Colonel embodies everything she cannot hope for, nor understand. And they're not the only ones with secrets in the prison that is Fort Endeavor...

With grand imagery, a well-crafted plot, and an endearing example of the lengths to which true love will go, The Colonel's Lady does not disappoint. Although long-time fans of Laura's work might still be smitten with a certain hero of Courting Morrow Little fame, Colonel McLinn is a charming, handsome hero in his own right and his (and Roxanna's) story is an engaging one full of romance and spiritual growth. A delightful historical romance not to be missed!

*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*"

Can you think of any books you would add to this list?


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