Valerie Fontaine is a girl of privilege, living in 1861, during the Civil War.It is a dangerous time for the country. Being a girl from privilege doesn't mean she has everything she needs or what is most important. While away at school she loses her mother and her world comes crashing down. She and her mother were always very close. Now she leaves school, heart broken and finds her father, not as he was when she left. He is lost in the bottle and in more trouble than she could imagine. Valerie finds her father being cruel and doing unthinkable acts. Just when she is hurting the most and needing her father's love, although home, he is far away from reality.
As Valerie is wanting to spend time with her father, but now a house guest arrives, Mr. Benjamin McGabe. He is a photographer capturing images of the war and has a mission on hand, finding his missing brother. Benjamin and Valerie begin spending time together and in just a short while they build a bond of friendship. Love at first sight? I think so, but Valerie has been promised to another, James Ladden. James is one of those men you want to steer clear of your daughter, but Mr. Fontaine has gotten himself into some trouble, and the Ladden family men are promised things, and Valerie is one of them. Valerie's heart is not with James, but with Benjamin.
As Valerie's heart is soft and tender, Benjamin is taking his time, and placing his faith in Christ to lead them in the right direction. Valerie's father now has a warrant out for his arrest for his unspeakable acts, but as his daughter, Valerie finds herself in the ripples of her father's actions.
As Benjamin is searching for his father, he has a plan to bring Valerie to safety. Is she ready to leave her home of privilege for the untamed country of Missouri? Benjamin's family cares for Valerie just as she were their own child. As Valerie is learning to love this country, Benjamin is moving closer to finding his brother.
This story is rich in details and places the reader right in the middle of the war between the states. We find ourselves with a deeper understanding of what this war did to families and to the country itself. It is filled with hope and renewal. There is an unwilling warrior in all of us and we see that in these characters. Life is not always what we expect, but we can expect life through Christ and we see a beautiful picture of faith that builds throughout this book. As a historical romance, this book also holds some suspense for the reader. Valerie soon becomes your hero, as you cheer her on, facing life unexpected, pushing forward with a willingness for change.
This is a book you must have for your summer reading list. It is one that leaves you asking for more, and there is more. Book two of this series, "Uncertain Heart", comes out in October 2010. To read more about this book and Andrea Boeshaar, click on to this link.
This book was a gift from Glass Road Publications for it's review.
Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar: Andrea has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea's educational background includes the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn't until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women's Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft. Finally her first novel was published in 1994. Since then she's written numerous articles and devotionals. Andrea has also published inspiration romance novels, women's fiction, and novellas. In 2003, Andrea joined the Hartline Literary Agency and worked for Joyce Hart as a literary agent. She saw much success. But then in 2007, Andrea realized she was more of a teacher/encourager than a sales person. She left the agency and became a certified Christian life coach. Now, in addition to her writing, Andrea enjoys encouraging others to use their God-given talents and gifts to their fullest. Andrea has taught workshops at such writers conferences as: Write-To-Publish; American Christian Fiction Writers (AFCW); Oregon Christian Writers Conference; Mount Hermon Writers Conference and many local writers conferences. She also speaks at various churches and women's groups. Another of Andrea's accomplishments is co-founder of the American Christian Fiction Writers (AFCW) organization. For many years she served on both its Advisory Board and as its CEO.