I have read and own all Laura Frantz's books and I wish I could give this book 10 stars! It was that good. Not often do I continue to think about a book long after I've closed the last page, but I do with her books. She doesn't just write to give a reader something to read, a bit of fluff with a few scriptures thrown in. Her books cause you to think about your own walk with Christ.
Roxanna Rowan is heading to Fort Endeavor after her mother has died and her engagement is broken. She means to surprise her father who is scrivener at the fort. Circumstances happen and she finds herself at the fort with no place to go or means to get there. Colonel Cassius McLinn is commander of the fort and runs it with an iron hand. It seems everyone walks on egg shells around him, but Roxanna must trust him for her support now. I will not give away more of the story so as not to spoil it for other readers.
This book blew me away. Laura Frantz's books are not ones that,when you are finished with them, you donate, toss or put in a yard sale. They are books you put on your shelf and cherish to read again. She writes with such depth of feeling and unfathomable emotion from the very beginning and it only gets deeper as you continue to read. She plumbs the absolute depths of human emotion. Just when you think the emotional impact of the book can't go any further, yet it does!
She describes her characters so vividly and their psyche that you feel as if you're a part of them. Their pain, love, longings, heartaches. Here are two flawed individuals who have lost everything, basically, and yet they continue to feel as if there might be somethign for them. Yet their pride is almost their undoing. Then they both realize that surrendering to God is what they need and surrender they do in a most wonderful way.
Frantz writes with meticulous and rich attention to historical detail. I found myself researching some of the dishes her characters cooked in the fort kitchen like: apple tansy, coffin pie and cherry bounce. She writes so convincingly that I felt the dark wintry gray atmosphere in the fort when Roxanna first arrived and her heart was as gray as the winter skies. I love history and it's very clear she has done her research well. You feel yourself in the woods during battle scenes, feel fear as you walk through the trees and hear little sounds, knowing that Indians are probably watching your every move.
But what sets this book apart is the depth of feeling in Cass and Roxanna. You want to reach out and touch them and pray for them, it seems so real! There were scenes that had me in tears. I can't say enough good things about this book and I'm not articulate enough to describe it as it truly deserves. This book was a masterpiece and I am so glad that I bought it. I will continue to buy all Laura Frantz's books. I don't even have to read the synopsis. I know for a fact they will be worth it. I will be thinking about this book all day today and how good it was. It's hard to pick up another cause you know it won't measure up to the wealth in The Colonel's Lady.
I love Frantz's depiction of frontier life - I feel so grounded in the setting, it's like I'm there, both in time and place. Most of that is thanks to her grasp of historical detail, which lays the foundation for the story. And she doesn't sugarcoat the bad: this novel is quite revealing as to the dismal existence of a soldier on the frontier, where alcohol was one of the few ways to escape from the pain of injuries, sickness (such as dysentery and malaria), and loss of friends in the many skirmishes of the war. And if alcohol didn't cut it, desertion and suicide were the main alternatives.
Besides being a well developed romance, there is a strong spiritual thread to the tale. Cass doesn't know how to forgive himself, and once he shares his guilt, Roxanna can scarcely forgive him. The story begs the question, "How much are you willing to forgive?" Even knowing that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins, there are things that seem impossible to forgive by ourselves. Perhaps they are impossible to forgive, at least without the supernatural help of our savior.
Like The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little, it is a stupendous historical romance, with both joy and heartache, danger and safety in the Lord. A beautiful novel.
Roxanna Rowan no longer has any patience to wait for her dear father to return to her as he fights as a Patriot in the war. Determined, Roxanna sets out...only to find that her dear father has been killed. Now, with no money and no safe way to get home, Roxanna sets to work and agrees to stay until spring. When handsome Colonel Cassius McLinn arrives on his white steed, coattails flying, the heart of the Virginian Spinster soars along with it. When Roxanna begins to fall for a soldier, something she promised her mother she would not do, will his secret rip them apart? And when danger is just on the border, will the British prevail over them? Will anyone be safe, will Cass? And what of the secret of dear little Abby?
Colonel Cass McLinn feels dread, attraction and a million other things every time he looks at his dear friend's sweet Roxie. With growing respect and admiration for his new found scrivener, Cass does his best to keep his feelings under wraps. Unfortunately, to his undoing Roxie's feelings are similar and frightening to her. Trying to comfort the sweet young woman, keep himself in control, and worry about attacks, Cass is overwhelmed. Then when there's a chance that lives are lost, what will they do to protect one another? Will they live to see another day? Together?
*What I liked*
I love this book for many reasons but the first is the setting. I've read so few books set in the Revolutionary war time period (actually this was a first!) that it made it so worth it to read the history in this one. The cover was fabulous and don't get me started on the descriptions. Normally, I'm not too enthralled with red haired characters but Cass...he really had me. My favorite part was the nicknames. Not one but TWO nicknames, girl and guy nicknames!!! LOVE!!
*What I didn't like*
I didn't like the ending...don't get me wrong, I loved it but it was sooo sad when I reached the last page!! My sole issue with stand alone novels. ;)
I give The Colonels Lady... 5 stars!!
*My Overall Opinion*
My overall opinion on The Colonels Lady is five stars. I find it to be a wonderful book with faith, heroism, strength, and so many wonderful values in it without surrendering any passion or romance anyone may be worrying about. Into my favorites it goes!
With both bold and intricate strokes, master storyteller Laura Frantz has painted a breathtakingly beautiful tale in The Colonel's Lady. With equal amounts of history and romance, this literary gem will immerse you into another time and place and keep you turning the pages until the satisfying conclusion. The hero is among my favorites I've ever read.
Kentucke Territory 1779. This book takes place during the war with the French. Dangerous Indians lurk about. Colonel Cassius McLinn has lost his home in Ireland, and has been ordered to protect the area, far away from General Washington, and his own traitorous twin brother. Serving under Col McLinn is Roxanna Rowan's beloved father, whom she hopes to surprise at the isolated fort. Her father serves as Scrivener to the Colonel and is well respected there. Roxanna barely makes it to the fort alive, and must wait many months before it is safe to even consider leaving. In the beginning, that seems unthinkable, but she develops bonds with the people within its walls.
While I did enjoy much of the details about the war, what grew tiresome, by about page 300 of 406, was Roxanna's mistrust and lack of insight, and woe-is-me attitude. It dragged on and on and on.
Usually, I am excited to write a review, but not so much in this case.