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A RELUCTANT BELLE by Beth White, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

With a setting in post-Civil War Mississippi and a cast of colorful, engaging characters, A Reluctant Belle by Beth White drew me in from the first and kept me turning the pages. Independent, feisty, and maybe a bit quirky, Joelle Daughtry tickled my funny bone and made me laugh out loud. Known for her prodigious vocabulary and outspoken ways, she also had a propensity for landing into ridiculous and sometimes dangerous situations.
I was delighted by the humor in this book. It helped to lighten the more somber and sometimes disturbing events that occurred and added to my enjoyment of the story.

“We know you went to a fancy boarding school, Joelle, but can you try not to talk as if you swallowed a dictionary?”

Whenever Joelle and Schuyler Beaumont, the reformed hero of the story, met, sparks of one kind or another flew, and their witty, and sometimes sarcastic banter kept me chuckling. Schuyler had a way of riling Joelle just by showing up, and he used it to his advantage. I enjoyed seeing their relationship mature and change throughout the story.

Beth White’s writing is easy to read and her careful historical research is apparent. I enjoyed learning more about this interesting slice of history and some of the adjustments both the North and the South had to make after the Civil War. With intrigue, suspense, lots of history, humor, romance, and threads of redemption, courage, and faith, this story has something for everyone. This is the second in the Daughtry House series and can stand alone, but reading A Rebel Heart, the first in the series, will help with understanding some of the background a little better. Although I’ve enjoyed White’s other stories, I feel like this is her best book to date, and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Daughtry House series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher Revell. All opinions are my own.


BackCover Blurb:
Impoverished Southern belle Joelle Daughtry has a secret. By day she has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of the construction of a Negro school. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.

When childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry house renovation Schuyler Beaumont takes over his assassinated father's candidacy for state office, Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect--and even love--if you're already engaged to someone else?


Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:
Buy A Reluctant Belle at Amazon
Buy A Reluctant Belle a Christianbook.com
 

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