The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray *Plus GIVEAWAY*

the-loyal-heartI’m giving away one paperback copy of this book. Details at the end of this review.

I’ve read a few books from this author that I really enjoyed, but for some reason, I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would. This story had great potential, but I found it difficult to connect with Miranda. At the beginning of the story, she’s nearly suicidal and just came across as a weak character, so it took me a while to get into her part of the story. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the parts with the men from the war’s prison camp. That really redeemed this story for me. The bonds that grew between them as they struggled to stay alive made me want to learn

more of their stories.

Plot: Set in Texas during the reconstruction period after the Civil War, this story shows the struggles widow Miranda Markham faces in trying to re-build her life. She’s opened her home as a boarding house, but due to rumors around town that her husband sold out to the northern states as a spy, business is poor and the way she’s treated by the neighbors is even worse. Robert Truax, who was imprisoned along with Philip Markham and Captain Devin Monroe, knows what really happened in the prison camp. Before he died, the men all made a pact to take care of each other and their families, in case the worst should happen. Upon Captain Monroe’s request, Robert heads to Texas and boards at Miranda’s house in order to help her out without her knowledge of his past connection with her husband. Robert never intended to let the widow get under his skin and make him want to stay.

Characters: Miranda had to grow on me a bit in this story. She starts off rather hopeless, but Miranda became a stronger character throughout the book. Robert was the honorable gentleman sort of hero, and I adored him, but I still felt like Captain Devin Monroe tended to steal every scene he was in. I can’t wait to see more of his story. I really enjoyed having the multiple points of view in the story and the flashbacks to when the men were all in the prison camp together. I liked that the story was almost as much about the bonds between the soldiers as  it was a romance between Miranda and Robert.

Recommendation: I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy clean, historical romance. While I found the story to be a little slow moving at times, I really enjoyed the characters and look forward to seeing their stories in the following books.

Rating: 3/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild. This review is my honest opinion.

Want to win a copy of this book? Just leave a comment here telling me if you’ve ever won any giveaways or contests and you’ll be entered in the drawing! Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US Mailing addresses only. Giveaway is open until November 10th.

Before you go, check out these other giveaways I currently have open. The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow *Plus Giveaway* and The Raven by Mike Nappa *PLUS Giveaway!* Last chance for anyone to win The Raven!



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