Tag Archives: Colonial America

Book Review: A Heart Adrift

11 Feb

Laura Frantz’s newest book, A Heart Adrift, is a sweet confection perfect for Valentine’s reading. 🙂 What’s not to love? Two wonderful main characters, rich historical detail, and chocolate! If you are looking for a romance for this weekend, I heartily recommend it.

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril–on the sea and in the heart–in this redemptive, romantic story.

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Proud of her heritage, she is also a Daughter of the American Revolution. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. 

Readers can find Laura Frantz at http://www.laurafrantz.net

My Impressions:

Laura Frantz quickly became a must-read author of historical romance. Her blend of rich detail, real and relatable characters, and spot-on truths provides a very satisfying reading experience. A Heart Adrift met all my expectations. This novel transported me to colonial Virginia, especially York and Williamsburg. I loved how all classes of society were represented. Scenes ranged from the drawing rooms of the elite to the almshouse, giving this novel a complete perspective. The two main characters, Esme and Henri, have been parted for 10 years because of a quarrel that neither of them were prepared to back down from. Now they are given a second chance. The love they have for each other has matured, yet there is still plenty of chemistry for fans of romance. Their love story is set during the years when the British and the French and Native Americans were at war. There is the tension of war, along with the politics of the day, and the everyday life of the colony. Truly, I felt like I was walking the streets and beaches with the characters. Along with Esme and Henri, there is a cast of characters that rounded out the times. It is very evident that Frantz did her homework while researching this book. I found one theme — how we see other people — to be very relevant for a modern-day reader. Then there’s the chocolate! Oh yes, Esme has a chocolate shop. Be prepared to have a mug of cocoa or your favorite chocolate treat nearby. 😉

A perfect confection, A Heart Adrift will appeal to fans of historical romance.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

If You Liked . . . Tidewater Bride

2 Dec

November’s book club selection, Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz, had mixed reactions from my book club members. Most really liked it (two felt it moved too slow). I loved the early colonial America setting of the novel which also appealed to others of my group. There were interesting historical elements we were not familiar with. The novel explores the Tobacco Brides, relations with Native Americans, and the advent of slavery. If you liked it too, I have a few more reading recommendations.

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort — but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy — exile to the Colony of North Carolina — he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves — and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way — just in time.