In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.
Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?
After reading Ms. Benton’s first novel, I knew I had to get my hands on this one. Here’s why:
What I liked:
The ratio to historical facts and storytelling is perfect. At no point does the author stop the narrative to explain some history. Instead the state issues, slavery, different clothes that people wore, American Indian concerns, are seamlessly interwoven into the story so that I learn much without realizing I am being taught.
The premise. It was very Last of the Mohicans except they were running from white men as opposed to Indians. The book will keep you on your toes and at the same time allow you to experience such a lovely romance.
The romance. It was slow, and yet smoldering. Tamsen has to learn to depend on Jesse, and Jesse, who has never really been around women, has to learn what they’re like. LOVED watching them together.
Tamsen. She’s a wonderful heroine, who was raised well off and must now learn how to survive.
And Jesse who is a delightful mix of innocence and warrior-ness.
The mystery. Who is Jesse? Better read it to find out.
The secondary characters (Cade), even the bad ones, are very rich and fleshed out.
What I didn’t like about this book?
Overall, a wonderful novel, that sucked me in from page one and I didn’t want it to end.
Romantic Scale: 9.2