The Lacemaker, by Laura Frantz

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

It is the eve of a new age of freedom in the colonies.
But can a proper English lady dare hope for her own independence?

Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson has nearly everything a lady of her position could want. Daughter of the British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a darling of fine society in a rugged land, she is anticipating an advantageous marriage. That her betrothed is a rake and love is lacking is of little consequence–or so she tells herself.

Though her own life seems in order, colonial Williamsburg is a powder keg on the verge of exploding, and her fiancé’s cousin Noble Rynallt carries the flame of revolution in his heart. Those with connections to the British nobility are suspected as spies, and Liberty soon finds herself left with a terrible choice. Will she stay true to her English roots? Or side with Noble and the radical revolutionaries?

First Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed the previous historical novels by Laura Frantz that I’ve read. Williamsburg is on my Bucket List of places to visit.

My Take:

It’s 1775 and, despite the unrest in the colonies, Elisabeth Lawson has almost everything she could want. Now she waits for her rebel-leaning mother to return from England in time for her wedding. But overnight, her life changes when the British governor of Virginia evacuates Williamsburg, along with her father and other loyalists and she’s left behind. Now, she’s reliant on the kindness of the patriots who’ve taken over the town, including Noble Rynallt who proves to be a better man than his cousin.

The Lacemaker is a story of rags to riches in reverse. There’s tension and romance, happiness and heartbreak. There are scenes of gaiety at loyalist balls, and scenes of horror aboard the British prison ships. You’ll definitely form an opinion on at least a couple of characters: I know I did with regard to Elisabeth’s father and maid! There are cameos by some of the Founding Fathers, and those who don’t appear at least get a mention with more than a passing familiarity. Above all, this is a tale of two people of faith and prayer coming together in an uncertain period of American history.

This was a novel I really enjoyed reading. In fact, I’d have loved this to be a series so I could watch these two grow as the Revolution progressed. What might have happened to Elisabeth and Noble, and those they knew, once Independence was declared? Instead, I must be content with this snapshot in time.

Thank you to Revell Books for my complimentary copy of The Lacemaker, which I received for my honest review.

Have you read The Lacemaker? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 02 January 2018

Page Count: 416

Read more on:   Revell’s Website   Laura Frantz’s Website   Colonial Williamsburg

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

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My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley, by Andrea Boeshaar

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Very Little Left of the Family Farm, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more.

When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

Journey into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman’s dreams and future happiness are on the line.

First Thoughts:

I’m currently reading Andrea Boeshaar’s Civil War series which is also set in the Shenandoah Valley. It’ll be interesting to read something by her set in the same place but over 30 years earlier.

My Take:

If you’re looking for a light-ish historical romance, please allow me recommend the My Heart Belongs series from Barbour. New books in the series are released every other month, and each is set in a different state. The latest offering takes place in Virginia, shortly after the end of the War of 1812. Mac is a veteran of the war and probably has what we would now call PTSD. When he meets Lily’s younger brothers who have romanticized the idea of seafaring, Mac must temper their dreams while facing his nightmares. Lily, meanwhile, is faced with the reality that the land she’s been tending has been sold out from under her feet and that she could also become homeless if she doesn’t acquiesce to the wishes of a local businessman.

The initial plot point regarding the land ownership is resolved early on and from there the plot focuses mainly on Lily and Mac trying not to be attracted to each other. They are joined on the pages by Lily’s brothers and spinster aunt, and Mac’s former shipmate who’s still trying to find his land legs. There’s a villain in the form of the businessman and class-conscious family members. There is some darkness within, with discussions about slavery and impressment (which could be considered a form of slavery carried out by the Royal Navy.) Despite these difficult subjects, however, I still found this to be an easy read.

Actually, I found this installment of the My Heart Belongs series to be shorter than what I’m used to reading. The story left me wanting more. I especially wanted to know about two characters whose futures were left somewhat up in the air. I could envision a Shenandoah Valley family saga except Boeshaar already has one in progress, albeit one set during the Civil War.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Have you read My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Barbour Books

Publication Date: 01 September 2017

Page Count: 256

Read more on:   Andrea Boeshaar’s Website   Barbour Books’ Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

Too Deep for Words, by Andrea Boeshaar

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Carrie Ann Collier has been a newlywed for nineteen blissful days–as blissful as life can be in the midst of war, that is. Soon that war will take a toll she never expected. When her new husband, Peyton, goes missing during battle, she refuses to believe he is dead and must find a way to move forward with everyday life in the face of fear.

As Carrie struggles with how to welcome her estranged sister, Margaret, back into her life, another new arrival appears on her doorstep–her husband’s best friend, and rebel officer, Eli. Wounded and bitter, Eli is nonetheless committed to keeping his promise to Peyton: take care of the Collier women, no matter what. But to Carrie, he’s a painful reminder of her lost love.

Then unexpected news makes Carrie wonder if miracles do happen. If Carrie infiltrates the enemy once again, she might find out what really happened to the love of her life. Will Eli be able to keep his promise to keep her safe? Can they forgive each other if promises are broken?

First Thoughts:

This is a continuation of the story begun in A Thousand Shall Fall. From the premise, however, I’m wondering if the romantic hearts of readers will be happy or broken by the end.

My Take:

Andrea Boeshaar takes readers back to the latter half of the Civil War in the second title of her Shenandoah Valley Saga. I have a mixed view of middle books as I’ve felt some of them have merely been filler. I’m happy to say this is not the case with Too Deep for Words. The story of the Bell and Collier families continues with a look at life on the southern home front. What was it like to have your city continually change hands, as happened to Winchester, Virginia? What could you do when a man in uniform informed you that your home was being requisitioned as a field hospital? What if you were quiet supporters of the Union?

While Carrie and Peyton are still the major characters in the series, much of this book focuses on Margaret, Carrie’s sister, and Eli, Peyton’s friend. I wasn’t a fan of Margaret at first, but she grew on me as she attempted to find her place in her new environment. Meanwhile, although it looked like Eli was trying to do the right thing, I was never entirely sure of his motives. Was he to be believed or not? I do know, though, that I couldn’t stand his domineering mother!

Too Deep for Words is not a book you can read on its own. It starts just a matter of days after the events of A Thousand Shall Fall, and often refers to events in that book. And it finishes on a maddening cliffhanger! Like me, once you’ve finished reading, you’ll be eager for the next book in the series. According to Andrea Boeshaar’s website, it has a title but it won’t be out until next year!

Thank you to Kregel for my complimentary copy of Too Deep for Words, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read Too Deep for Words? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Publication Date: 27 April 2017

Page Count: 320

Read more on:   Andrea Boeshaar’s Website   Kregel’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com