This book was better than I could have ever imagined. I did not realize until the end that this was the third book in a series. My early reservations of the book finally made sense since I had not read the first two books in the series.
Let me say first that this book is definitely able to stand on its own two feet. The only thing I noticed was that the mother and father of the hero were not what I would call round characters. I realized that their characters were dealt with more in the first two books. And as I continued in the book, those characters grew on me. I began to understand who they were, so they no longer detracted from the enjoyment of the book.
You will notice my five star rating. Yes, this book touched me in a way a fiction book had not since I was in high school. I loved the main female character--Bridget. She drew me in from the first page, and she was the reason I continued to read. I only read a chapter or two at a time at first, but that all changed once I got about halfway.
I read this as I was substitute teaching in classes this week, and the past couple days I could hardly put the book down. I had to know how the story would end. And I will not hint in this review at the end--no spoilers from me!
I was impressed with how the author handled the history of this book. I love historical fiction, and I knew nothing about the French Huguenots. I had heard about them before, but I had no idea about the persecution they faced. I was greatly intrigued with the way the author brought her history into this book.
I was also impressed that the author, though Christian, made the story realistic. There was a point in the book where I believed that something had to happen, but I figured the author would sugarcoat it since it was a Christian novel. No, my friends, she wrote the story as it had to be written.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book. I plan to look up more by this author. I appreciate the fact that she writes excellent Christian fiction where the people have to face serious situations. Without the Lord, the characters in the book would never have fared as well as they did. I was reminded that the Lord can do anything He wants, and no one can thwart His will.
Number three in the series, Where Hearts Are Free concludes with the Clavell family coming to America. It's great because you get a taste of France at the beginning of the book and then move to America. I read the first two in this series also and enjoyed them, also. The story gives a satisfying ending in this historical romance. Golden Keys Parsons is great at detail and giving you a history lesson without even knowing it!
The love that Bridget and Philippe have for each other is not respected by their society, she being the heir to a promising plantation and he a mere indentured servant. Philippe is well aware that their relationship cannot go anywhere, so when he is offered his freedom in return for separation from Bridget he leaves the Barrington estate without a second glance. But little does he know that this will plunge Bridget into a marriage of convenience to a man with a disreputable reputation. Will Philippe discover this in time to rescue her from the clutches of her husband-to-be? Will God provide a way for these star-crossed lovers to be together?
This lovely historical romance definitely surpassed my expectations! I'm a history geek and a romantic at heart but I will admit that the blurb sounded a bit cheesy, even for my standards. However, once I was a third of the way into the story I became entirely immersed and didn't want to put it down. I wanted to find out whether Bridget and Philippe would ever get together, and if Edward would be outed for being the scoundrel that he truly was. I will admit that it took me a while to warm up to Bridget and I would have preferred more interaction between the couple before they were separated to fully convince me of their love for each other. Because of this, it took me a while to be come completely interested in their conflict, but by the end of the novel I definitely thought that it was worth the read.
This is the third in a series about a noble Huguenot family from France who escape Catholic persecuation during the 17th century, but it can easily be read as a standalone book. And as I've studied this particular period of history at university I can say that Parsons has clearly done her research and produced an authentic novel. Bridget's marriage of convenience, I felt, was particularly appropriate for the period and the conflicts she encountered were probably quite common for a woman in her situation. I was also impressed that the author dared to deal with the historical conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, and did so without favouring either side. This is an issue that few authors dare to attempt in the Inspirational genre, for fear of offending people, but Parsons was incredibly delicate yet honest with her examination of the topic. I will caution that this is definitely a Christian novel, and the characters frequently seek God's guidance and pray to him in difficult situations. I thought her portrayal of faith was excellent, but non-Christians may find this unappealing.
I would definitely read more from this author and I'm interested in the rest of the Darkness to Light trilogy. This is more than your typical inspirational historical romance, dealing with some difficult situations and a time period that's not commonly featured in romantic novels. If this is a genre or topic that you're interested in then be sure to put Golden Keyes Parsons on your wishlist! 8/10
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com 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.
Bridget and Phillipe both made the choice that most people make to avoid conflict. Bridget gave up on Phillipe and agreed to marry the man her parents choose for her and Phillipe agreed to stay away from Bridget and gain his freedom. Bridget had resigned herself to her fate and reluctantly agreed to an engagement to a man much older than she and too prissy for her taste. As their engagement continued Bridget realized what a cruel and immoral man she was marrying and wanted to get out. Phillipe realized that freedom wasn't the same without the woman he loved and went back to rescue her. I enjoyed every word as the story unfolded. The sweet romance and tragic events kept me intrigued. I learned that doing what people expect of us isn't always the right way and that we should follow the heart where it leads.
**This book was made available for review by publisher.
This book, "Where Hearts Are Free", is the first book I have ready by Golden Keyes Parsons. I absolutely loved it! I was expecting a typical historical romance but this one surprised me. It is filled with mystery, murder, forbidden love, and passion for God. The book is very well written and had me hooked from the first paragraph. There are a couple twists throughout it, which I always enjoy. And this book reminds us that if we follow God's plan things may not turn out like we thought but always for the best; and that usually God's plan is so much better than ours.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance. This book has you rooting for the main characters to finally admit their love and hating the obstacles that stand in their way. This book also is a great stand alone. There is no need to read the first 2 books in the series to enjoy this one.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission I must tell you that BookSneeze.com has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I must also say that all opinions I have expressed are my own.