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Beth White has charmed readers with her historical romance novels
set in the Deep South. In A Reckless Love, the final book in the Daughtry House
trilogy, White returns readers to Tupelo, Mississippi, one last time to offer a
captivating tale of a war-damaged lawman, a vivacious Southern belle, and an
elusive enemy set in post–Civil War America.
Aurora Daughtry loves to manage projects and people—and clearly takes after her Southern grandmother with a penchant for matchmaking. Between orchestrating successful matches for her two sisters and working on transforming the run-down family mansion, Aurora has had her hands full. But now that the Daughtry House is up and running as a luxurious and lucrative hotel resort, Aurora finds herself in need of a new project—and his name is deputy marshal Zane Sager.
Arriving at Daughtry House to collect two key witnesses to a federal judge’s murder, the lawman’s conviction that the world—and God in particular—is out to get him is clear. As determined as Zane is to put the criminal behind bars, Aurora is just as set on freeing Zane of his cynicism. But the threat of danger
increases as they get closer to the criminal—and to each other.
Masterfully weaving humor with heart, Beth White delivers an entertaining novel of two strong-willed people who might have just met their match.
|Title: A Reckless Love, #3|
By: Beth White
Number of Pages: 368
Publication Date: 2020
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 12 ounces
Series: Daughtry House
Stock No: WW726914
In 2018, you introduced readers to the Daughtry sisters for the first time in A Rebel Heart, and again in A Reluctant Belle. How is A Reckless Love—the conclusion to the series—different from the
first two books?
My intention for the series was to create stand-alone stories in each book, completing a romantic arc for
each Daughtry sister, plus a mystery to be solved by the end of the book. I also developed an over-arching
series mystery spine that would be wrapped up in the final book. That meant some “insignificant” loose
story threads at the ends of the first two books. A Reckless Love continues the love stories of Selah and
Joelle and culminates with youngest sister, Aurora, finding a lasting love. Since Aurora is a good bit more
bubbly and outgoing than either of her sisters, and hero Zane is considerably more cynical than the first
two heroes, A Reckless Love seems to be both more humorous and emotionally deeper than the first two
books. Also, the action story feels more tense, due to lawman Zane’s goal of tracking a serial killer.
Maybe. What do I know? I’ll have to let readers decide on that!
As is true for many of your books, this series is set in the South. What about this location and time
in history appeals to you?
I understand and appreciate the psyche of Southerners and love the grit and trauma of our history. It’s
ugly and beautiful and contradictory and passionate. I have really enjoyed reading Civil War and post–
Civil War primary sources in order to get a feel for contemporary views of controversial issues that still
affect modern culture and politics. Frankly, “rolling around” in all the details of slavery and the Ku Klux
Klan and the emerging American justice system was exhausting and certainly not always fun. But it was
educational and fascinating! And fortunately, there were enough real-life heroes working behind the
scenes to explain how we managed to survive it all. Biblical virtues always redeem the worst of
circumstances, and humor keeps us sane!
The three sisters all play strong female roles.Can you tell us about Aurora, your main female character in A Reckless Love, and what makes her special?
Aurora, as I mentioned in an earlier question, is a bubbly, social creature, who still fights a well-hidden
sense of having been left out of her older sisters’ experiences. Also, there is a deep core of generosity and
sweetness that I didn’t see coming in the first two books, which makes her persist in encouraging and
helping people she encounters. Also, she’s not easily shocked, and manages to keep a humorous outlook,
which keeps her from taking herself too seriously.
Did anything surprise you as you were writing this novel?
I’m surprised I finished it. Just kidding! I knew who the bad guy was from the beginning, but I did not
know how he was going to be caught until the very end. A little research factoid I discovered along the
way was that black militiamen vigorously defended the rights of freed slaves after the Civil War—to
work, to vote, to buy and sell property—by openly drilling in public areas like courthouse lawns all over
the South. “What-ifs” are useless, but it was very frustrating to read evidence that pro-Union lawmakers
and leaders likely gave in too quickly to Southern insistence on returning to “normalcy,” leaving these
newly minted citizens to fend for themselves before they were really ready in terms of education and
What would you like readers to learn from A Reckless Love?
I don’t really write with a “lesson” in mind. I’m a storyteller, and the story just is what it is. But one
kernel of truth seems to always hit me by the end of a book: God is invested in drawing people to himself,
through their circumstances and challenges, and through their interactions with family and friends. In a
What kind of research is required to write a successful—and accurate—historical romance?
For this particular set of books, I visited an antebellum mansion in Mississippi and talked with the family
who restored it. I’ve participated in several reenactment events over the last few years. Those are fun!
Also, I usually read five or six primary sources, biographies, or memoirs before starting to write and in
the course of drafting the manuscript. I highlight passages that seem pertinent to the story or that are just
plain interesting, and I even copy and paste into chapters of the manuscript to be incorporated as I go.
Some of that is tossed, some is woven into dialogue, some simply informs how I approach the scene or
describe people and things. I also look up details as I go—sometimes referring to those primary sources
I’ve already read, sometimes googling online. Often I find scholarly journals by talented historians that I
can reference or use as fact-checking. Honestly, sometimes historic details can’t be traced, and I just
resort to common sense. As far as the romance side of the story, the emotional development of characters
. . . I’m a teacher. I’m a mother. I’m a pastor’s wife. I’m old. I’ve made a career out of reading people.
What are you working on next?
I’m most likely moving historically to the World War II era. Lately I’ve been watching wartime
documentaries and reading about the shipbuilding industry in Mobile, Alabama. I’ve uncovered some
fascinating little-known stuff that I think I can weave into a set of exciting romantic thrillers.
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