Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray, © 2016

Lone Star Hero's Love Story, Book 1

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Historical fiction is my very favorite genre. I appreciate the research the authors do to place their characters within the happenings/events of the time period. So much more than we might have learned in school. This story is centered in two locations; an officer prisoner of war camp in Ohio and two years later at the Texas home of the widow of a perished officer. The story gives an insight into both locations as a backstory.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Miranda Markham: I have lost so much in my life ~ my husband to the turbulence of war, my reputation to rumors, my solitude becoming a prison of sorts, especially with my best friend, Mercy Jackson, turning her back on me. Nowhere to turn, so little to look forward to ~ a dim day indeed.

Robert Truax: The Civil War has ended and regathering hope for many lost. I was with Phillip Markham near the end of his life. He loved his wife Miranda so ~ regaling her virtues to us, her kindness, her concern for others. The five of us made a pact together that we would uphold those left behind after the war. It is requested that I be the one to go to see about Miranda Markham, Phillip's widow. Their home in Galveston, Texas, known as the Iron Rail, is now a boardinghouse, a shelter to those in need of a resting place.

Winter, 1867 ~ A warring at home continues as hostility and contention nurture mistrust along the Strand in Galveston, Texas, crowding out faith and rebuilding. There is some repetition within the story as different characters are told what is happening. The house staff is concerned as the ups and downs in moods of their employer are seen. Mrs. Markham has a lot to consider as she is taunted when she goes out in public as if she doesn't exist. Being alone without just cause and being labeled from opinion causes her to use caution in whom to trust. Reaching out to the law enforcement initially does not get a positive response. A woman alone making choices and apparently without funding beyond her own means and decisions. Instead of coming alongside, the town seems divisive without a spokesperson willing to seek truth in place of hearsay.

author Shelley Shepard Gray

***Thank you to Fiction Guild for sending a review copy to me of Shelley Shepard Gray's first book in her new series, A Lone Star Hero's Love Story. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

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