Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Heidi Reads... The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

My Review

This was an enjoyable historical novel set during Reconstruction, with some flashbacks to memories of the Civil War. The pace was slow but steady for the first part of the book, then picked up in the latter half when more things began to happen. There was a lot of telling of the characters' thoughts and feelings, and for some reason I didn't quite connect with them on an emotional level. The theme of unconditional loyalty to one's brothers in arms was well represented, and Robert and his comrades rallied around Miranda to protect her and solve the mystery of her harassment. I wasn't too impressed with Robert's or the sheriff's investigative skills. The story didn't show much of what they did to figure out the problem, and the solving of who was behind the threatening letters came about pretty easily. I was surprised by how simple the conclusion was; I expected it to be more complex.

(Thank you to Zondervan Publishing for a copy of the book; this is my honest review)

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