Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias, Four Southern Love Stories

by Tamera Alexander, Dorothy Love, Shelley Gray, Elizabeth Musser 


I don't normally go for short stories. Oh, I was already a fan of the authors, but  I love to invest myself in a nice big book, where I can settle in and really enjoy the characters. I've got to say I was quite surprised that I loved this book. After reading them I can say that they didn't feel at all like short stories. All are set in time shortly after the Civil War, and all are faithfilled Christian Romances. Each was richly told and I was hooked on the characters, romances and stories. Each and every one will pull on your heartstrings! There's enough depth in each novella to keep you entertained, with satisfying finishes. 
From the book publishers: "In the most turbulent decade of our nation's history, four Southern women—their destinies forged by birth and heritage—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love."

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
This is a continuation of one of the characters in
To Win Her Favor (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel). Savannah has lost her family home, and she has an old letter that her father wrote indicating there is something he hid inside the house that could possibly restore her fortune. The house has been purchased by a Yankee who met a Southerner on the battlefield and convinced him to come to the area. He's having the house redecorated by his fiancĂ©e, and by happenstance Savannah is chosen to do the work. 

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
A young man is forced to protect the honor of his girlfriend - from his abusive step-father. After he kills the man, he is rejected by both his mother and his girlfriend, so he runs away and eventually joins a band of outlaws. For various reasons, that comes to an end and he returns home to see his estranged mother, who as it turns out is very ill. She is being attended to by his former girlfriend, so he has the chance to see them both again before he leaves. This is a time for healing all around, and each character's life is enhanced by the other.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail and her family return to their summer home on Pawleys Island, SC. She is in love with a friend whom she quarreled with the last time she saw him, and she wonders if he will reconnect with her again. Her father expects her to marry Charles, the son of family friends - a young man with investment talents that he believes will enhance their family funds and aid in his quest for an elected seat in the new government after the war. Abigail hasn't told her father about Charles and his abusive behavior and doesn't know how to begin to make him understand. A story full of tension, heartache and testing of relationships in and out of the families involved. 

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
In this story a young girl grows up on her family's plantation, and as is typical is partly raised by a slave - who has a son. They are now freedmen, and Emily is in love with the woman's son - who is now a preacher and very politically active during this volatile time. Emily is expected to marry the son of a neighboring plantation, but they disagree on all their values - he is even seen riding with the KKK. You'll find heartache, murder, mystery and romance full of twists throughout.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Thomas Nelson - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements andTestimonials in Advertising.”.