My Friend Carrie Reviews — The Reluctant Belle

13 Jul

It’s time for another review from my friend Carrie! Today she shares her thoughts on A Reluctant Belle by Beth White. This historical romance takes place during the Reconstruction period in Mississippi. Thanks, Carrie, for helping me out!

Impoverished Southern belle Joelle Daughtry has a secret. By day she has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of the construction of a Negro school. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.

When childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry house renovation Schuyler Beaumont takes over his assassinated father’s candidacy for state office, Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect–and even love–if you’re already engaged to someone else?

Beth White (also known as Elizabeth White) has written contemporary and historical romances with a Christian worldview for Baker/Revell, Zondervan, Tyndale House and Steeple Hill/Love Inspired. She is currently working on a historical romance series set during World War II.Beth’s foray into the world of publishing began with a young adult romance written while her son was a baby. Twenty books later, she continues to dream up happy endings with faith, warmth and a golden glint of humor (pronounced with a distinct Southern drawl). Look for her on the Web at Beth usually sets her stories in either her native Mississippi or her current home, Alabama. Though she has spent most of her life studying, performing and teaching music–she plays piano, flute and pennywhistle and sings lyric soprano–she has always been in love with the written word. With a Masters degree in Creative Writing, she has also taught middle school Language Arts, high school English, and college Freshman composition. Recently retired from teaching chorus and piano at an inner city public school on the Gulf Coast, she now considers herself a full-time writer.

Carrie’s Thoughts:

A Reluctant Belle by Beth White is the second book in the Daughtry House Series. Joelle Daughtry is the main character in this post Civil War era novel. She is opening a hotel with her sisters but more than anything wants to open a school for the freed slaves. This will be more difficult as a preacher’s wife since she’s just agreed to marry Gil Reese. Although Gil has asked multiple times, he is as surprised as everyone else when Joelle agrees, even though she agrees only to make Schuyler Beaumont, the boy she has known most of her life and who has terrorized her just as long, mad.

Schuyler has just figured out his feelings for Joelle when his dad is assassinated. As he tries to find the murderer, he finds himself trying to infiltrate the local KKK to bring his father’s murderer to justice and take down the group that is wreaking havoc on his town.

The story has several surprising twists and turns and shows how recovery in the South was still divided and hostile. Beth White gives a realistic story about life after the Civil War and how it was difficult for all involved: the freed slaves, the southern sympathizers, the northerners, and the southerners who were angry about losing the war. She shows that bad things happened even with good intentions, but how people worked and came together for those they loved. Even though she claims to be a romance writer, you can clearly see she did her research on this time period and was as accurate as she could be.

If you like Civil War era or historical fiction romance, then this book is for you.

%d bloggers like this: