by Rosanne Bittner
Publisher: Diversion Books
Page Count: 708
Release Date: January 31, 2016
How got: personal buy; on discount @ Amazon
First attention getter: the author
Stolen kisses and secret rendezvous lead to a passion that war cannot sever.
Beautiful, proud Audra Brennan felt like a stranger in a foreign land when she came north from Louisiana to study music. But when she savored her first forbidden taste of desire in the arms of handsome lawyer Lee Jeffreys, his caresses sparked a flame within her that burned away the differences between rebel and Yankee, all objections silenced by the fierce beating of two wild hearts falling impetuously, impossibly in love.
Suddenly cannon fire shatters the country. Principled, impassioned, and committed to a nation united, Lee answered the call to fight against the Confederacy, while Audra hurries home to a plantation shadowed by the darkening cloud of war. But in the most terrible of wars, can either afford to surrender their hearts.
Star Rating - 5
Ah Bittner, you know how to take me on an emotional journey. More used to her Westerns, this take on a Civil War tale still pleased on all fronts. I appreciated the new environment but still enjoyed the classic Bittner elements.
At first, I didn’t like Audra; I found her immature and blind to the world around her. Yet, she quickly aged as the Civil War years approached and the harsh North/South divide played a part in her life. By the time we’d reached the climax, she was a strong, resolute woman, determined to make a difference in the world and to create new lives with those she never thought to rub elbows with.
Her relationship with Lee was heart-felt from the beginning. Despite such different backgrounds and family circumstances, there’s an instant connection that laid the groundwork for a relationship to develop through the war years. While they may not share much time together page-wise, there’s still a very tangible love between these two that the reader is sure to feel.
From a historical standpoint and as a tale of the Civil War in general, this book also entertains and excels. The harsh reality of a civil war comes to vicious life as the author explores the institution of slavery itself, the toll of the war took on all, and the common place death that stalked the American South.
I was reminded of a mini-series from the ‘80s that I enjoyed, North & South, with Patrick Swayze. That also combined a historical familial saga of the Civil War years with romance. This book is similar in that it has plot points and characters that ring close to those others. I have to wonder if the author didn’t pull some inspiration from Patrick Swayze and his flowing locks. LOL
A nice shake-up from Bittner’s usual Westerns, this tale of Civil War romance and bleakness stands out. The characters change with the circumstances, being relatable to the audience. The romance is sweet and emotional. If you like Bittner, you’ll love this title.