My Thoughts: Book two in Peterson’s ‘Lone Star’ series tells an unrelated story with new names from book one (though Will is briefly in ‘Sky’), and characters from the third and final novel, Taming the Wind play an important role. Set in a post civil war era, this weaves together the lives of the affluent Marquardt family and the challenges they face in the aftermath of their support of the Union in a state that either considers itself for the south or not yet a part of the U.S. It isn’t until youngest daughter, Carissa marries a known supporter of the south and eldest, Laura meets the handsome captain, Brandon Reid that their lives change. There is something interesting driving Peterson’s latest series – but I am not entirely sure that I can pin down what it is.
Before I read very far into this, I found myself enjoying it a great deal more than Chasing the Sun. It seemed to tell a more appealing story with a better approach though it was still rich in its time of history that was wrought with conflict, and characters whose motives are much more believable. The villain’s act was easier to “except” as something a bad guy may orchestrate, and there wasn’t such a trite motive for revenge. Additionally, he wasn’t a man to be trifled with (for the genre) being the abusive man he was. Brandon and Laura’s courtship was charming if not slightly under-developed. It’s one of wittiness and pretty blushing but instead of sappy romantics, the mysteries of the story are what is most prominent, propelled by the events of history. It reads as if Peterson really wanted this to be taken more seriously as a historical but threw in a touch of romantics to satisfy her fans. From the subtleties that build here, I predict that the up-coming book will be the most romance-fueled of the trio.
In reading this, one of the things that I continually paid note to, was how eloquent the speech was. It made me wonder if this is how 1800’s Texans spoke and piqued my curiosity about the elegance of the era in a place I don’t usually associate with grandeur or events like balls and afternoon tea. What it also informs is how genteel and educated its characters are. Laura is a spitfire of a heroine who isn’t about to let anyone stomp on her dreams and the dashing Brandon is anything but a broken solider. In fact, he is really quite the flirt with Laura. *wink* Written with a practiced, skilled hand, Peterson’s signature style shows in every nuance of the story – from the opening chapter to the adorable ending, I just wish that it had been one that came with that same signature chemistry between its leads.
In Summary: Though not my favorite, this novel is still plotted well with characters the reader come to care about and a subtle message to never give up on what you can achieve.
The Story: Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid. As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeat of the South is a bitter reality.
When Laura’s sister marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences. In her heart she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister’s life. Yet as the stakes continue to rise and Brandon’s motives for pursuing her come into doubt, Laura questions where to turn… and wonders if her own dreams of love may be forsaken.
– via the publisher
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing this copy for reviewing purposes