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All Lady Constance wants is to go home to England. When he approaches the captain of the newly docked ship carrying male and female felons who are sentenced to serve in the colony, he also seeks men to build his home and work his fields. This tender love story reveals a world not often seen in historical romantic fiction. Gist presents this concept so seamlessly that the reader is captured in the fictional dream she weaves.
Reviewed by Carol Lynn Stewart August 18, Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review.
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A Bride Most Begrudging
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For most, the early times of this country evokes romantic images of quaint log cabins, tricorn hats, and patriotic idealism. However, the reality that most of the early colonists faced was far different from that romantic image. Settlers confronted adversity everywhere, often contending with new diseases, lack of medicine, hostile relations with the Native Americans, starvation, and isolation. England is in the beginning grip of the Civil War, and royalist sentiments are squelched with ferocious authority. The practice of tobacco brides was implemented to solve the problem of populating the colonies. Most women refused the travel and labor hard to start a settlement in the colonies, with good reason.
Any ship arriving from England means good news for Virginia colony farmers. The "tobacco brides" would be on board--eligible women seeking a better life in America, bartered for with barrels of tobacco from the fields. Drew O'Connor isn't stirred by news of a ship full of brides. Still broken-hearted from the loss of his beloved, he only wants a maid to tend his house and care for his young sister. What he ends up with is a wife--a feisty redhead who claims she is Lady Constance Morrow, daughter of an Earl, brought to America against her will.