Book Illuminations from Merrimon Book Reviews: Ever My Love by Gretchen Craig


Merrimon Book Reviews

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Ever My Love
Ever My Love
by Gretchen Craig
Do hearts lie?
Set in Louisiana six months before the election of Abraham Lincoln with the underground railroad as a backdrop, Gretchen Craig paints a brutal picture of the dehumanizing effects and violence perpetrated against slaves. Set against this society, Marianne Johnston lives within it but not of it. Her heart, intelligence and soul ennoble her life, those around her and her choices for romance. Secondary romances and plot lines detailing the lives of slaves and also the different branches of the Chamard family may distract the reader at first but their addition makes this romance a more daring and interesting read than portrayed on the book's cover or description.

This novel vividly sets the historical scene. The violence is not gratuitous because it sets a realistic image of the times from which the courage of Marianne, the hero and the slaves moves the reader's heart. Gretchen Craig does not shy away from the complexities of the setting. The reader sees the Creole influence on Louisiana and also the reality of the in-between world of freemen, slaves, mixed races and those caught in the middle. Nothing is black or white, literally or figuratively---not the people and not the friendships. As a Southern (albeit relocated) reader, I appreciated the less stereotypical view of the location and of the friendships formed across society's barriers. The heroine is about as far from a shrinking violet as a reader will get in a historical romance set in this period without huge time placement problems. Marianne is tender and loving but she will stop at nothing when circumstances force her to choose. The daring hero is the perfect match for this fine heroine. The reader will take delight in seeing the unfolding of this romance of heart, mind and soul.

The romance between the memorable secondary characters Pearl and Luke, two of the slaves owned by Marianne's father, intrigues the reader. In one incredible scene Pearl daringly and boldly reaches for the dream of her heart. This one scene stuns the reader with its emotional beauty. All the main free and slave characters are forced to choose sides. Do they follow their hearts or society's rules? This is the heart of the romance for all of them!

If you are searching for a nice tender, pretty Southern romance, do not buy this book. If you are searching for a memorable read and a historical romance with a bit more cutting edge, Ever My Love is definitely is one to consider. Within this romance, historical circumstances and hearts coincide to present the reader with much more than a pretty picture. The characters are truly heroes and heroines.

Publisher: Kensington Zebra (May 2007)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2008  All Rights Reserved