Amber Quill Press
Date: June 2003
it at Amazon
Adult, Historical Romance [1777 New York and Pennsylvania]
Rachel A Hyde
Redcoat soldier Matthew Smith was plucked from the gallows to serve
in George III's army and sent to America to put down the rebellion.
At the head of a party of disgruntled deserters, he stumbles upon
the home of Sarah Lloyd and her family and holds them hostage. Meanwhile,
Sarah's husband Jonathan and son Adam are fighting in Pennsylvania
and Adam's twin sister Molly is a reluctant guest at her Uncle Henry's
luxurious home. While Adam tries to find meaning in the war, Molly
is wooed by the dashing Major Allen, a scion of the English aristocracy.
During the interminable winter of 1777, all their lives are to change
for better or worse?
This is a gripping
historical romance that ought to appeal to today's readers. There
are no strutting alpha males or fainting virginal girls between
these covers and battlefield action mixes with drawing room flirtation.
Here are some strong women and some vulnerable men, but don't worry
if this sounds too much of a role reversal as the opposite is true
as well, and often about the same people. It is not a cozy story
and the characters are certainly put through their paces, but this
does not make it a depressing read, although at times there does
seem to be rather an abundance of hand-wringing. I think I could
have done with hearing a bit less about Matthew's wretched former
life (after having got the message early on in the tale) but this
is a minor gripe in what is otherwise a fine book and there is much
adventure and romance to offset the tribulation. The result is a
thought-provoking and convincing story that ought to appeal to both
fans of historical romances as well as to people who think that
romances are too flimsy for them. Another bonus is that this novel
is nothing like other Debra Tash novel reviewed on this site The
Maiden's Song, which shows that this is a versatile writer.