Friday, April 15, 2016

"The Magnolia Duchess" by Beth White - conflicting loyalties in the War of 1812

Cover ArtIn the Third of the Gulf Coast Chronicles, tomboy Fiona Lanier finds a half-drowned man washed up on shore--one from her childhood. Charlie Kincaid remember the most recent ten years of his life, but with a war raging against the British, she can't be sure this Brit can be believed, as much as she would like to. As his memory comes back, will their political allegiances come between them and love?

Beth White writes an incredibly detailed account of the Gulf Coast--particularly Mobile and New Orleans--during the final year of the War of 1812, while incorporating a story of conflicting loyalties and love. And pirates. Stubborn British aristocrats. Tennessee militiamen. Plus all the varied ingredients in the melting pot of Gulf Coast culture. In short, it's pretty exciting.

Considering the War of 1812 is the battle for American Independence Part II, it gets relatively little attention. (If understand correctly, even during the war it received little attention at home and abroad). But if there is one battle I've heard of from that war, it's the Battle of New Orleans. Granted, that doesn't mean (prior to reading this book, anyway) my knowledge of the battle itself extended beyond Johnny Horton's rather fanciful musical rendition. Suffice to say, I learned a lot, especially about battles and the British presence in the entire Gulf, and not just New Orleans.

Though Fiona and Charlie are the main leads, I liked Maddie and Desi a lot too; I would have enjoyed more of them, in fact! Both are a little older and a little wiser, having already made their own lives and share of mistakes.

The Lanier family tree gets a little complicated when it comes to remembering exactly how who is related to whom (though I discovered afterward the author has put together an online Lanier Family Tree). The blend of cultures they represent is astounding, yet, at the same time, not so surprising considering how many peoples have made the Gulf Coast their home.

Thank you Revell for providing a free book to review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.

Gulf Coast Chronicles
1. The Pelican Bride
2. The Creole Princess
3. The Magnolia Duchess

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