An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women's rights and abolition.
Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father's clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she's his equal--or challenged him to consider the lives of others.In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?
Love the tag-line for this Quaker Brides series: "Stong Women. Brave stories." An apt description of the heroines I've met so far. Honor, in the first book and now, her daughter, Blessing. You don't need to have read the first book (though Honor was one of my favourite reads from 2014 and I think you should!) Blessing reads well as a standalone, though I was thrilled right down to my toes to get more than a glimpse of Honor and Samuel a couple of decades later.
Just like her mother, Blessing is an exceptional woman of strength, courage and deep-rooted faith. I'm so thrilled that the cover of this book captures those characteristics. You can't help but be drawn in -- just the way people are inexplicably drawn towards Blessing in the story. Including Gerard.
Not sure what I should say about him -- except it was dislike at first sight between this reader and the hero. It takes guts (and amazing talent) for a writer to introduce a wretchedly flawed character such as Gerard and expect the reader to stick around for his redemption. Cote did exactly that. And even though Mr. Ramsay grated on my nerves from the get go, he possessed an intangible essence that suggested hope. Yes, I had to look beyond his incorrigible, self-centred, opinionated self. Had to get past his childishness and that wretched unholy sense of superiority in order to find the substance hiding within.
Truth is, Gerard is at a crossroad and the decisions he makes now will determine not only his future, but the nature of the man he will become. Is he aware of that fact? No. Is Blessing? You betcha and she isn't above a little meddling.
Gerard hated her way of speaking openly of matters no lady should ever even acknowledge. "Do you never stop meddling, ma'am?" he snapped.
"I don't meddle. I shine the light into the dark corners of this city..." (p. 154)
And that totally describes, Blessing. She's the light shining in the darkness that can't be extinguished (paraphrasing John 1:5) Her story is so inspiring because she represents the many women of faith who worked tirelessly to abolish slavery and improve conditions for women and children. Reading Blessing is like getting a front row seat during a volatile time in history. And -- be still my fan-girl heart -- real life heroine Sojourner Truth even makes a cameo appearance! A book can't get any better than this. Really.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Blessing please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 13 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!