Saturday, October 20, 2018

Review: The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

Heidi Reads... The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But na├»ve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

My Review

I loved the expansive wilderness setting in this book and the various feelings it gave throughout the story- anticipation and adventure, trepidation and danger. I could relate to Kate as she shows her inexperience in the elements, but also her strength, determination, and grit. Like Thomas, I couldn't help but admire her lack of complaints and selfless attitude. Even though it takes a while for Thomas to warm up to her enough to spark a friendship, she doesn't go unnoticed. I enjoyed learning about his past as a former captive of the Indians and the unique perspective and skills it gave him. The journey begins with a slow but steady pace, but definitely picks up with action and conflict that draws Kate and Thomas closer together. I finished the book with a satisfied feeling, and I think it's a story that would be enjoyed by fans of Laura Frantz and Lori Benton. Highly recommend!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Check out the other books in the Daughters of the Mayflower series . . .

Book One

Heidi Reads... The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean

Book Two
 Heidi Reads... The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo - set 1725 New Orleans

 Read my 4 star review here

Book Three
Heidi Reads... The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep - set 1760 during the French and Indian War

Read my 5 star review here

Book Four

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia 
Read my 4 star review here

Book Six

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore 
(coming December 2018)

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Seven Trilogy by Sara Davidson

The Seven Trilogy

We are celebrating these gorgeous new covers for the Seven trilogy by Sara Davison, with a blog blitz and giveaway hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The End Begins - final cover Title: The End Begins (Seven Trilogy #1)
Sara Davison
Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Romantic Suspense

One of them is a prisoner and one of them is free. The same one.

Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. When martial law is declared, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and make sure they are not stepping outside of the confines of the law.

Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier.

His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future, and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

The Darkness Deepens 1 (1) Title: The Darkness Deepens (Seven Trilogy #2)  
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

(formerly The Dragon Roars)

Their Secrets Protect Them … But Secrets are Hard to Keep

No one in the army can find out that Captain Jesse Christensen has become a believer. He and bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly are forced to meet in secret, facing imprisonment or worse if they are found together. Their relationship deepens, but so does Lieutenant Gallagher’s hatred for the Christians in their city. As Gallagher’s power grows, it becomes clear that his connections go much further up the chain of command than anyone realized, putting all believers, especially Jesse, in extreme danger.

Meryn wants to give her heart to Jesse fully, but her past holds her back. Although circumstances conspire to keep her silent, she needs to tell him her secret. When he finds out what she has been keeping from him, nothing will stand between them anymore. Or nothing will ever be the same.  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

The Morning Star Rises flaming books LA Title: The Morning Star Rises (Seven Trilogy #3)  
Author: Sara Davison  
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing  
Genre: Romantic Suspense

In the Midst of all the Fear and Confusion, Only One Thing is Clear … This Isn’t Over Yet

Jesse Christensen is out of the army, but the real battle has just begun. Major Gallagher has taken over the city and his oppression of believers has intensified. But is Gallagher acting in a professional capacity, or is he carrying out a personal vendetta?

Meryn O’Reilly faces a dark and uncertain future after shocking revelations devastate her life. She is determined to follow God’s call, but her plans could cost her everything. She and Jesse struggle to surrender fully to a God who is always in control, even when circumstances suggest otherwise.

With the world descending into chaos around them, Meryn and Jesse face the greatest barrier to their love yet—a barrier that may prove too strong to breach.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


Meryn glanced back at the store. Pain pricked her chest like the tiny slivers of glass that had dug into her fingers when she’d brushed them off the brick.

The captain must have seen it on her face, because he followed her gaze to the shattered window, pieces scattered all over the sidewalk. “I’m sorry, Meryn.”

“No.” She shook her head. “I’m the one who’s sorry. When you first came in the store, I was angry and frustrated about losing my Bibles and all those books.” Her voice broke and she drew in a quivering breath. 

“Once again I took it out on you, but it wasn’t your fault. You didn’t take them and, even if you had, you would have been following someone else’s orders and doing your job, even if it wouldn’t have been easy for you. I … admire that.”

When he smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkled. “We seem to always be apologizing to each other.”

“Yes, we do.”

He tilted his head. “Maybe that’s it. Maybe we’ve found it.”


“The ray of light that counteracts the darkness of all this pain.”

“What is it?” She held her breath.


Meryn let the power and beauty of the word brush over her skin like the breeze had a few moments earlier. “I think you might be right.”


Sara Davison - headshot 1

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.  

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook | Twitter

the seven trilogy blitz giveaway

(1) winner will receive:
  • a set of all 3 books in The Seven Trilogy (US/CAN only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 20, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 27, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustReadTours for a full list of stops!