Shelley Shepard Gray's The Loyal Heart REVIEW! A great Civil War era story!


I LOVE Shelley Shepard Gray's writing! Her style is so at ease, and it really pulls you in to the story. The characters are lifelike and so very real. The story line has a nice flow, and the ending isn't obvious from the start, which I appreciate. It is having read her books before that caused me to choose this book to review, because I wouldn't have otherwise. Why? Well....the overall topic kind of bothered me. I understand the two battle buddies (for lack of a better phrase) made a pact that should Phillip die, Robert would see to it that his wife was taken care of. I also understand it was a different time period. FYI:  Gray nails the time period and the customs of the day, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with those customs haha! It bothered me that the wife needs a man to take care of her. Yes, I get it...I do...but my inner independent female screams at this. THEN Robert falls for her. He wants to save her reputation since Phillip's legacy is not fabulous, so he falls in love with her? Ohhh Robert, I could smack you! To me, that's not showing her a lot of respect given she just lost her husband, but then again, I guess you can't control your heart. But still...sigh....I wanted to slap him.  That's just not my usual style of book, BUT Shelley Shephard Gray is one of my FAVORITE authors, so I decided I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. I'm so glad I did! This is a fantastic book. Robert has Miranda's best interests in the mind the whole time. She isn't portrayed as a weak, fragile damsel in distress as much as she could have been, so I appreciate that. She definitely leads up future characters and I can't wait to read those stories! Real characters, vivid scenes. GREAT BOOK!

About the book: 

The Loyal Heart (Zondervan, July 2016)
Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn't expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task---Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.
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About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray
 is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

**I received this free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**