Beth White knows how to immerse you into the hard facts and real life or starting out in the new world. She doesn't sugar coat the trials and realities of fort life and surrounding native people. The history in this story really grabbed my attention and I appreciated the "note to the reader" in the back with the details of what was real and what she put into the story. A ship full of women coming to a new settlement/fort to become wives of the soldiers there. Not an ideal way to get to meet men! Beth writes the awkward but sweet romance between Genevieve and Tristan very well. They struggle with growing dangers and even enemies within their own ranks. All the while Genevieve hides a secret and Tristan hides a deep loss. This is a very historically rich and intriguing story dotted with sweet romance throughout.
I received this book from bookfun.org for an honest review.
This was an interesting period of history for a novel. The Gulf Coast Chronicles promised history and it promised that of a region I am unfamiliar with historically or currently. I am a bit of a history buff yet did not know much about the area's history. I knew that a group of French Canadians emigrated to the Gulf Coast to escape persecution in Canada. It is also presumptive to assume that English and Spanish were contenders for the territory. And of course, there were the Native Americans - Indians - that were already in the area. It was a rough area just as the author depicted and the young ladies aboard the Pelican (boat they traveled on to arrive as "Pelican Brides") did not expect it to be so rough.
The ladies soon found out that they as women were much wanted and desired by the rough, dirty, lonely men in this frontier. But even though they signed on to marry, they could have their choice of husbands. It was not quite this simple, though, as there was political unrest, dishonesty, and manipulation of the Indian tribes to suit the political and dishonest goals of the manipulators.
The characters are well developed and interesting. Genevieve Gaillain, a French Protestant and fugitive, is the lead female character who traveled with her sister as Pelican Brides. The main male lead, Tristan Lanier, is a strong interesting man. The supporting cast of men and women are woven into the story with ease creating a community of people that tend to make the reader think this is indeed a historical happening. While a novel, I found it appealing to my love of history. I especially liked the detail of the Indians and their interaction with the French and Canadian settlers. The Indian women teaching the French women how to make bread from corn which they grind themselves is interesting.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.
Genevieve is running from her past and things we are not real sure of at first. She feels she has no choice but to become a "Pelican bride" She is strong and has ideas of her own. She not only would like to marry for a least a chance of love but feels she must also protect her sister who has also come to this new world as a pelican bride. Can she keep from having feelings for the "confirmed bachelor" and hold her faith and past a secret? Will she be the undoing of all the hard work going on at the time or does she help keep it all together?
Tristan feels he can never love another after the death of his first wife, yet he just can't keep Genevieve out of his mind and path. She seams to always need his help in getting out of trouble. Can he find love again? What secrets is she hiding and can there ever be complete trust and love between them?
I found this book a little hard to follow at times, there are a lot of different names to keep up with. This is a time period we usually do not read about, yet I found it interesting. I enjoyed this book, even though I did have trouble keeping people apart at times. I was given this book for my honest opinion from bookfun.org (The book club network).
What a great romance novel with lots and lots of history about Mobile, Alabama! Since I am not from that area I had no idea about some of the multiple difficulties the early settlers had in that area - warfare between the French, Spanish and English and the various native tribes and then the natural difficulties such as disease, insects and different weather conditions than they were used to. All of these things the author brings up, entwined in a love story with spies and death and threats of war. Good book! I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.