Thursday, January 28, 2021

TIDEWATER BRIDE by Laura Frantz, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca

Laura Frantz is a wonderful storyteller, immersing us in a tale of life in distant 1634 James Towne, Virginia Colony. She aptly conveys the everyday struggles from merchanting, to owning and farming land, to dealing with the native people who live nearby. Her background in history and fine research shine through. She brings the characters to life, showing the customs of the era and personalities of Xander and Selah.

Though based in part on the real inhabitants of that long ago community, Ms. Frantz gives us a winsome child in Watseka , a young Indian girl living with Selah Hopewell and her family. This is part of a peace gesture where children are exchanged to live in the opposite culture for a time.

Xander Renick is a laudable hero. He is kind, prosperous and an envoy between the Powatan and the English settlement of James Towne. He lost his Indian wife to sickness but is pursuing Selah.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read in one of my favorite time periods. A history lesson packaged in a beautiful story. It seemed to wrap itself around me with spiritual truths and the comfort the characters found in their faith. However, it was not without tension and exciting conflict. The story is brought to a satisfying conclusion.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars, Strong faith thread.
"Time will tell I love thee well.

As the daughter of a successful town merchant, Selah Hopewell's days were full, even before she was tasked with overseeing a ship load of tobacco brides. Everyone was hopeful that bringing in an abundance of purported genteel ladies would help tame the often raucous nature of the James Towne port community. Selah had no clear intentions of marrying anytime soon herself, if at all, for there was only one man who had managed to capture her attention; the widower Xander Renick, and his attention, as the most successful planter in the entire region, was almost always on fields of liquid gold; his prized tobacco. But perhaps she had judged him too severely, because there were those rare moments when his gaze would linger, or amusement would flare up briefly in the corner of his eyes . . . just long enough to give Selah cause to pause and perhaps wonder.

Attraction aside, there were many things that Selah didn't know or pretend to understand about the elusive Master Renick, who had hurriedly married an Indian princess, only to grieve deeply following her death, leaving their young son behind in Scotland after a trip they had taken there. Xander's friendly relations with the local Indians increasingly put him in the middle of heated political discussions among those who wished to push the indomitable Powhatans further out of the region. When Selah begins to avoid unwanted advances from a man that Xander loathes, their relationship takes a sudden turn towards friendly, and then yet again towards something more precious, for once Xander makes his intentions crystal clear, Selah is incapable of denying her heart.

The Tidewater Bride is the quintessential embodiment of inspiring historical romance. Vividly describing life in colonial James Towne, the author adds her own aura of elegant enchantment to the colonists' daily struggles to fight the elements while managing vast fields of valuable crops, endeavoring to treat those indentured into employment with fairness and grace, continually diffusing political squalls, and yet carving out enough time to bare one's heart and soul before another . . such were the circumstances that surrounded Xander and Selah's tender beginnings. . . until things took a turn for the unimaginable worse.

In her end notes, Frantz credits the words of well known historical figure John Rolfe, penning his eloquent words from the mouth of Xander Renick; "It is she to whom my heart and best thoughts are and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I could not unwind myself thereout."

It's no wonder that this is one of the author's favorite stories. "Truly joy cometh in the morning. And the evening too."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
4.5 stars
BackCover Blurb:
Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family's shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they've been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.
Revell Publishing, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

1 comment:

  1. Thrilled and thankful you enjoyed Tidewater Bride so much! Your reviews are such a pleasure to read. They make me want to REread my own book. You're the best literary missionaries out there with your book sharing. Heartfelt thanks!


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