Saturday, September 26, 2015
My Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre, plus GIVEAWAY!
I have to confess - I really love this cover! It's so lovely and gives a glimpse into the setting and story! The designers at Revell definitely did an excellent job, in my opinion!
The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?
About the Author:
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the author of several books, including The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel's Lady, and The Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.
My Review: 5 stars!
I confess, this is the first book I’ve read by Laura Frantz. Now, don’t start throwing rotten tomatoes yet, because I am now a huge fan of hers! I had no basis for expectations, aside from the gushing of her fans (who I now must concur with). I have to think that if I’d had any, they would’ve been far surpassed. I adored this book!
Ms. Frantz is definitely a gifted writer and it shows through in every line of this book. I was engrossed from the very first page and I couldn’t read fast enough! I loved the historical details she includes, the little things to bring the story to life and transported this reader back to the trying days after the War for Independence. Every scene is vivid and full of images and descriptions that took flight in my imagination. Even when I would put the book down, a part of it would stay with me through my day, in the back of my mind, waiting for when I would pick it up again. This is a book that kept me up late more than once, then stayed with me long after I finished it.
I loved the intricate storyline and the twists and turns that kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. Though I wanted to savor the writing, the desire to find out what would happen next won out more often than not. I will confess that I found a couple of the “surprises” a little lackluster, but mostly because I had already guessed as much from reading the book description. Sometimes I think a little too far ahead and try to guess what might happen next, rather than just enjoying the ride and being surprised with everyone else. Despite this, I was never disappointed with where the story went. I’m a sucker for marriage of convenience stories and this one sets the bar quite high for the future ones I’ll read.
I loved all of the characters, but I confess Lily Cate stole my heart at once, much as she did Sophie’s. Sophie Menzies is a character I wasn’t expecting. She’s faced hard times, trials, and difficulties, but she still loves freely. She gives freely, though she has little. She knows the true worth of a person isn’t their wealth, or their home, but their heart. I loved seeing this play out through every page, as she cared for and loved the people in her life, even those who were unkind to her. Seamus Ogilvy (whose last name I never did figure out how to pronounce), is a unique hero. He’s a war veteran who has seen the darkest parts of life. He doesn’t know how to love his daughter, how to be the father he wants to be. I loved this broken leader of many. Because to lead, you have to be willing to do the work too, which Seamus does. He sets high expectations for himself, then does his best to meet or surpass them. He has his scars, but he tries so hard to be the best father, and then husband, that he can. Even when he falls short of the measure he built for himself, he gets back up and fights again.
This is one of those books that becomes so real that sometimes you have to step back and remember it is fiction. I had to do this a time or two, when I found myself forgetting completely where I was. I confess, it almost made me cry a time or two, and not many authors can manage that. The spiritual element was so realistically written that I could almost feel the characters’ pain, their questions to God of “why?” But in everything, I loved their faith. In the hard times, they believed God was still good. In the good times, they praised Him. And in the darkest moment where the only thing left was “why?” they still didn’t lose faith. I loved how Ms. Frantz handled the questions and how intricately she wove the faith aspect through out the book. I have to honestly believe she is a lady of deep faith, because it showed on every page.
I honestly don’t have a single complaint about any aspect of this book. I loved it and will be eagerly anticipating the next book by this new-found author! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a compelling historical read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Now, I'm simply going to assume that most everyone reading this completely skipped my longwinded review in order to learn more about the giveaway. And I honestly can't say that I blame anyone, because hey, free books are more exciting than my gushing, right? That being said, I loved this book so much, that I want to share a copy of it with someone, hence the giveaway. :)
Every giveaway has to have rules, correct? And mine are simple. To be entered you have to do 2 things:
1) Leave a comment about almost anything (i.e why my reviews should be shorter, what books you like to read, the weather, something funny your dog just did . . . .). I'd just like it to be something more than "I'm so excited!" Okay?
2) Be sure to include your email address somewhere in your comment, so that I have a way to contact the winner. A format similar to something[at]suchandsuch[dot]com is recommended to deter spammers.
And that's it! The giveaway is open until midnight EST on Thursday, October 1st. I'll notify the winner on Friday morning. Okay! I think that's everything . . . yep! I hope you all have a fantastic day!
P.S. Oops! I almost forgot! If you'd like to read more about this book before entering, or maybe consider purchasing your own copy, you can find it on these sites (as well as others):
Barnes & Noble