Saturday, July 23, 2016

Touching story -- The Loyal Heart

Shelley Shepard Gray is an author who does a great job in a variety of genres.  She is a favorite in the Amish fiction category but has also written some great historical stories in a Texas western setting and others set in Chicago during the time of the World's Fair at the turn of the 20th century.

In The Loyal Heart, Shelley takes us back to Texas, soon after the Civil War.  Some of the flashbacks of the story occur during the war itself, with the main story taking place a couple years later.

In this book, as in so many of her others, Shelley uses her gentle style to tell a touching story of hurts, friendship, love . . . and of course, loyalty.  Miranda is a hurting woman who discovers she is much stronger than she ever thought possible.  Robert is a man who has experienced almost every side of life and has come out with a rare wealth of character.  The other characters all come to life in amazing ways to fit into this engaging story.  And I also found one of the things I enjoy about well-written historical fiction -- a chance to learn some details about history that I didn't know before.

I highly recommend The Loyal Heart to fans of great inspirational historical fiction.  Thanks to Shelley for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the story: 

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers' prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner.  She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

You can find Shelley online at her website and on Facebook.

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