With careful attention to detail and obvious extensive research, Tara Johnson brings the Civil War period to life in her book, Where Dandelions Bloom. The characters are meticulously crafted and layered, and so realistic I could easily see the scenes play out in my mind. I felt Cassie’s anxiety and horror when she realized she would have to leave to avoid being married off to a loathsome man. Her scheme to disguise herself as a man and join the army to fight in the war seemed a bit radical, but she was desperate and determined. Gabriel was a perfect hero—handsome, ambitious, friendly, and well-liked by those around him. Watching the relationship evolve between Gabe and Thomas Turner/Cassie was captivating.
Johnson did a wonderful job of painting the settings and describing the conditions the characters were in. I could almost feel the mud sucking around my shoes and the rumble and shaking of the cannon firing. Filled with nail-biting suspense, intrigue, romance, and tender messages of courage, faith, and forgiveness, this book has something for everyone. I’ll be looking forward to more wonderful stories from this author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.
Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.
Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?
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