September 1, 2015

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Blessing by Lyn Cote {Book Review}

I am not usually interested in Quaker or Amish series when it comes to books. I don't know why. I guess they just aren't my type. But I stepped out of my box after reading the back cover for a new book from award winning author Lyn Cote...her book Blessing is book 2 in her Quaker Brides series and I hoped that my experience and love of her other books would make this one an excellent summer read.

Book Review of Blessing by Lyn Cote
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Blessing by Lyn Cote, follows the story of Blessing Brightman a Quaker widow and Gerard Ramsay, a handsome wastrel from a wealthy Boston family. The setting is 1848 when the two hottest topics in America are women's rights and abolition. The two of them meet while Gerard is attempting to save his cousin from a supposed promiscuous gathering...a WOMEN'S suffrage meeting. He discovers his cousin is in the company of a well-bred young lady and her friend, Blessing. Knocked on his heels with the radically unconventional discourse he has with Blessing right from the beginning, Gerard resents her independent spirit and desires nothing more than to get back at her...for she is for everything he ISN'T. And she's thinker! (Gasp!)

Blessing is intrigued by Gerard, but he takes a place on the back burner, because she has more important things to deal with...her rescuing of the abused and neglected on the docks of the shady side of Cincinnati, OH and her covert role on the Underground Railroad. Everything starts changing the day that Gerard shows up in Cincinnati and keeps popping up everywhere she goes.

Gerard doesn't know why, but he can't get Blessing out of his head. He determines to push her aside in his thoughts as he attempts to start a new life for himself now that his hard-nosed father has cut him off without a cent. Determined to extract revenge on his father by being everything his father DOESN'T want him to be, he sets out to involve himself with men of less than stellar reputations as he tries to get interest in building a racetrack in gambling loving Cincinnati.

Enter a series of crazy events and Gerard finds himself caught up in Blessing's business of rescuing the lost souls. Will her secrets about her previous dangerous marriage prevent her from allowing herself to seek love? Will Gerard's conflicting thoughts about a woman's role in society allow him to accept Blessing for who she is? Will they even have a chance to love when the city's racial tensions threaten to destroy any chances they have?

What Are My Thoughts?

I honestly couldn't put it down! I read it all in one day because I HAD to know what happened next! Neither character is a typical "romantic" novel figure. Each had dreadful baggage that threatens to eat them alive. Blessing fights love because she knows how much she had to surrender and how it destroyed her in her previous marriage. Gerard fights EVERYTHING as he struggles to learn who he really is away from his domineering father. Gerard isn't your normal classic honorable figure either. We see him drunk as a skunk in a gutter, we see him thirst for revenge, and we see a dreadfully abhorrent past.

I think it was these imperfect aspects of the characters that made it intriguing. And to make it even better, it wasn't even resolved until the last few pages of the book, so you had to read it all the way to the end!

I was a bit bummed to learn that this was book TWO in the Quaker Brides series, after I had finished the story. I hate to read books out of order, because I fear I will miss important things about the characters in the story, but I am happy to say that I never felt this way about this book. The plot was flushed out well and the characters were very well developed and stood on their own. I am curious though to go back and read book 1 Honor which is about Blessing's mother to learn more about her. There is also a book 3 coming out called Faith which will be released in April 2016.

How Would I Rate The Book?

This book held my interest from beginning to end. It was an excellent book and I liked it a lot! I loved that it was full of history relating to the time period prior to the civil war in Cincinnati, OH. This is because Cincinnati is just 2 hours away and I love learning more about its background. There is a lot of information where I live about the Underground Railroad, since Kentucky was the last state to cross for many to get into free Ohio. It made me want to go visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati even more!

Blessing (Quaker Brides)
by Lyn Cote
ISBN: 978-1414375618
Available as Paperback and Kindle

About the Author

In 1997, Lyn Cote's first book, Never Alone, was chosen for the "new" Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over thirty-five novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, and her book Her Patchwork Family was a finalist for the Carol Award in 2010 and Her Healing Ways won in 2011. These are two of the highest awards in the romance genre. 

Lyn's brand "Strong Women, Brave Stories," always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail and a multicultural cast of characters. Lyn also features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her blog {taken from her Amazon bio}

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