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Ann M. Beardsley
Scribes World Reviews
This book is well written, and while set in a historical period, is not so overwhelming in historical detail that it becomes a hindrance to the romance. Perhaps it could best be described as a "romp through history," but that doesn't quite do it justice, as it kept me up past my bedtime. The characters are engaging, and the author has done a good job making Angelica true to the era of which she writes, rather than simply setting a modern-minded woman in the midst of 18th century America.
Faith V. Smith
Author of "Viking, Go Home" and "Immortal Justice"
Waldron depicts the era of America's bid for freedom, using the conflict to bring her hero and heroine together against all odds. Sweet.
from Blogger News Network
October 5, 2007
Being as the preface so notes, an “ . . . account of Angelica TenBroeck’s flight from New York City during the late War of Independence, her would-be lovers, and a blue bird quilt”, “Independent Heart” is
as wayward as it’s title.
It begins straightforwardly enough at an elegant ball, seeming to be just another romance novels; the beautiful and spirited heroine, the studly and devastatingly attractive yet mysterious hero and the menacing, Snidely Whiplashesque villain determined to assault the heroines’ virtue. Actually they both are determined to assault Angelica TenBroeck’s virtue; it’s just that the hero has got a bit more couth about him... which is why he is the hero. That, and Angelica is all wobbly in the knees about Jack - er, whatever his surname and rank is, anyway. It changes several times during the course of the book, depending on whatever situation he is trying to talk his way out of.
When Jack er - Whatever rescues the fair Angelica from the vile clutches of Snid - oops, Major Armistad of His Majesty George III’s army of occupation in New York, gallantly promising to return her safely to her uncle’s household behind the Rebel lines in the upper Hudson River valley, the story takes a new turn. This might strike some readers as somewhat disconcerting. It’s rather like biting into a cake covered with sweetened whipped cream and instead of having it turn out to be something light and crisp, discovering that there is a historical novel underneath, like a like dense and solid slice of fruitcake.
But rich historical fruitcake it is; deftly written and very well researched, if concealed under a layer of romantic frosting which might initially put off the fans of straight historical novels. Angelica and Jacks’ flight from New York turns into one of those interesting, picaresue jorneys, through a part of the country today not particularly renown for being wild, wooly or otherwise lawless. That it might once have been is part of the eye-opener, as they encounter gun-powder smugglers, a band of Scotch-Irish rievers, Rebel and British soldiers, kindly Tory sypathizers, and a kidnapped minister who discovers that given sufficiant whiskey, he can indeed preach a powerful blood and thunder sermon.
The fact that there was a clash of cultures between the Dutch and the Scotch-Irish settlers, just as much as a clash of politics, adds a layer of complexity not usually found in straight romance novels. The details of 18th century living - food, cleanliness, conditions of travel on horseback and personal safety - are also addressed in more depth than usual. The device of Angelina’s bluebird quilt patches, to which she continues adding at every stop, all during her adventure is a clever linking device. Even when they reach her uncle’s farm, there is no safety for either one of them. There is still a war on. Jack and Angelica’s participation in the messy business of divided loyalties and near-civil war is obligatory. And thereby hangs the rest of the story; somewhat less of a fluffy costume romance and more of serious historical. But not to fear - the ending is mostly happy, just as the first chapter promised.
October 5, 2007
Celia Hayes, aka “Sgt. Mom”, is a freelance writer, who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her latest book, “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. More about her other writing is at her website, www.celiahayes.com.
INDEPENDENT HEART is a story filled with an old-fashioned creativity that grabs the heart and transports you to a time that allows the reader to get a feel of the surrounding of the scenery along with the characters and the ordeals they encounter. Times were not always plenty and situations oftentimes harsh but with the love of a good woman or a brave man, obstacles could be victorious. Jack and Angelica were in-depth characters that I rooted for all the way to the end.
Juliet Waldron has a style of writing that emits sensation throughout her words. She weaves a story through a war that does not paint a pretty picture but it depicts the truth surrounding it and how people still had dreams and lifelong ambitions in life. This story has heart and the characters make it a lasting read more than once. Ms. Waldron’s beautiful words are elegant and make this story a classic.
Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual
November 3, 2005
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