Friday, July 7, 2017

"The Promise of Breeze Hill" by Pam Hillman - Colonial Mississippi

The Promise of Breeze Hill (Natchez Trace)In the Natchez market, Isabella Bartholomew purchases carpenter Connor O'Shea's indenture, with the stipulation she will pay for his brothers' passage from from Ireland. However, her home of Breeze Hill is barely solvent after a series of misfortunes that may or may not be sabotage. With the assumption Isabella will inherit, suitors are clamoring for her hand, but the one man she'd consider--Connor--will have nothing to do with her, having been burned by a landowner's daughter before. Can he set aside his feelings to keep Isabella and her family safe?

It was interesting to learn a bit more about the South at a time we hardly ever study--after the American Revolution, when it left British hands and became controlled by Spain (but before Napoleon took control and sold it to America). Even then there were contentions over slavery, and it was particularly interesting to learn about the white slavery that the British had perpetrated. Highwaymen and disreputable folk abounded in the relatively recently-settled territory, leaving room for adventure.

I had a hard time caring for Connor as much as I felt like I should, especially at first--he's neither particularly nice nor respectful to Isabella, thanks to previous bad experiences with a woman, and he gives a lot of mixed signals. To be fair, his actions are generally kind and considerate, but his attitude grated on me. I did like Isabella, and kind of wanted to see her put Connor in his place. Occasionally she does something extremely foolish, but at least it's with good intentions. I really liked Isabella's family and servants--who seemed like family anyway, especially the kids. The estate feels like a real tight-knit community, and I really enjoyed how the author brought out that feeling of closeness.

Thank you Tyndale House and NetGalley for providing a free e-book; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

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