Tag Archives: New World

The King’s Mercy

The King’s Mercy

By Lori Benton

The Story

For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th century colonial south.

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.

(Back cover summary from Waterbook & Multnomah)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This book isn’t due to release until June, but I was able to read an early copy via NetGalley. I had just finished Many Sparrows, and found myself fallen in love with the way Benton tells a story, as well as the setting she paints so vividly. It was then I remembered that newest novel waiting on my Kindle.

The King’s Mercy is a little different from what Lori Benton normally writes, but it still contains her signature elements. Though it begins in the Old World, the story quickly moves to a plantation in North Carolina, and the troubles there. I loved the characters in this book. Alex is a hero who possesses strength and leadership, but he also is deeply flawed in several ways. The same with Joanna. While strong, she’s also distinctly human, and able to be hurt just as any other.

The plot of this story was engrossing. As it progressed, I was trying to figure out who was causing the troubles at Severn, and though I was right on a couple things, it unfolded into so much more. The villain’s intentions and background speak to real-world situations that grieve the characters, and my own heart.

The romance in this book is also spot-on. It felt like a natural progression of shared hopes and dreams and mutual respect for the other’s strengths.

Last, I loved the secondary characters in this book. They were colorful, meaningful, and added so much to the story. The King’s Mercy focuses on just that: mercy. The mercy God gives us primarily, but also mercy toward others, and giving up control and surrendering to Him.

In all, this is a satisfying tale that once again leaves me looking for more books from Lori Benton.

About the Author

LORI BENTON was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards; The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn; Christy nominee The Wood’s Edge; A Flight of Arrows; and Many Sparrows.

(Biography from Waterbrook & Multnomah)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

A Bound Heart

A Bound Heart

By Laura Frantz

The Story

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is just the keeper of his bees–and the woman who could provide an elixir to help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Can they make a new beginning in this New World? Or will their hopes be dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony?

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in colonial America.

(Back cover summary from Revell)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laura Frantz transports the reader to Scotland’s rugged isles in this historically rich and emotionally deep novel. I love how Frantz can draw the reader into the story, whether the setting is the wilds of Kentucke Territory or across the ocean in the old country.

Lark is a sweet, compelling character, with a depth of character that compels her to do what’s right, even against the pressures of the culture and people around her. And to her own danger at times. Magnus is a strong hero, eager to step in when needed, but still flawed. As these two find themselves in a mess too tangled to undo, they must learn to trust each other and to trust God to lead and guard them.

While I enjoyed this story and the history it is steeped in, the pacing threw me off. I expected the story to move towards their time in the New World much faster. Looking back, I appreciate the way Frantz drew the story along, but as I was reading it, I felt like I kept waiting to get to that part of the story.

In all, though, I enjoyed this latest read from Frantz. She delivers in the areas she’s so good at: history, romance, and depth of story. While this is not my favorite of her novels, it has earned a spot on my shelf.

About the Author

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the ECPA bestselling author of several books, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, and The Lacemaker. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

(Biography from Revell)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.