Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Where Hearts are Free - Golden Keyes Parsons

The odds are stacked against Bridget and Philippe reuniting. But God has a plan for them if they'll only believe.

It’s 1687, in the burgeoning town of Philadelphia, and for seven years, Bridget Barrington has watched with growing affection as Philippe Clavell worked as an indentured servant for her father, a wealthy landowner.

Her father rejects her request for Philippe to be a potential suitor as he has none of the qualities Mr. Barrington hoped for his daughter's future husband, the least of which is a respectable income.

Heartbroken, Bridget accedes to her parents’ wishes and gets engaged to a man she does not love. However, Bridget's husband-to-be does not love her, but only her wealth.

But there's always light in the midst of darkness for those who have faith. This stunning historical romance concludes the gripping Darkness to Light series.

The love that Bridget and Philippe have for each other is not respected by their society, she being the heir to a promising plantation and he a mere indentured servant. Philippe is well aware that their relationship cannot go anywhere, so when he is offered his freedom in return for separation from Bridget he leaves the Barrington estate without a second glance. But little does he know that this will plunge Bridget into a marriage of convenience to a disreputable man. Will Philippe discover this in time to rescue her from the clutches of her husband-to-be? Will God provide a way for these star-crossed lovers to be together? 

This lovely historical romance definitely surpassed my expectations! I'm a history geek and a romantic at heart but I will admit that the blurb sounded a bit cheesy, even for my standards. However, once I was a third of the way into the story I became entirely immersed and didn't want to put it down. I wanted to find out whether Bridget and Philippe would ever get together, and if Edward would be outed for being the scoundrel that he truly was. I will admit that it took me a while to warm up to Bridget and I would have preferred more interaction between the couple before they were separated to fully convince me of their love for each other. Because of this, it took me a while to be come completely interested in their conflict, but by the end of the novel I definitely thought that it was worth the read.

This is the third in a series about a noble Huguenot family from France who escape Catholic persecution during the 17th century, but it can easily be read as a standalone book. And as I've studied this particular period of history at university I can say that Parsons has clearly done her research and produced an authentic novel. Bridget's marriage of convinience, I felt, was particularly appropriate for the period and the conflicts she encountered were probably quite common for a woman in her situation. I was also impressed that the author dared to deal with the historical conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, and did so without favouring either side. This is an issue that few authors dare to attempt in the Inspirational genre, for fear of offending people, but Parsons was incredibly delicate yet honest with her examination of the topic. I will caution that this is definitely a Christian novel, and the characters frequently seek God's guidance and pray to him in difficult situations. I thought her portrayal of faith was excellent, but non-Christians may find this unappealing.

I would definitely read more from this author and I'm interested in the rest of the Darkness to Light trilogy. This is more than your typical inspirational historical romance, dealing with some difficult situations and a time period that's not commonly featured in romantic novels. If this is a genre or topic that you're interested in then be sure to put Golden Keyes Parsons on your wishlist! 8/10

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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