The Mark of the King
by Jocelyn Green Published by Bethany House
on January 3rd 2017 Genres: Christian
, Religious Pages:
Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent. After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
In order to regain her freedom, Julianne chooses to be one of many exiled from France to the colony of Louisiana, but even such a promising choice comes with unforeseen consequences and heartbreaks along the way even after settling into New Orleans—a place of turmoil and lawlessness. Already forced to marry a stranger before leaving the shores of France, Julianne must face one trial after another.
I was surprised with The Mark of the King because the writing did not flinch away from the attitudes and particularly vile actions of men in those times (the barn thing and Pascal in general). I haven’t read much of the French colonies, so I found Julianne’s journey interesting. Julianne, despite everything that kept happening, proved herself to be a strong, persistent woman when any other might have just called it quits. I’m glad everything worked out at the end—even if it turned out to be bittersweet.
And though I liked the story, I’m not completely satisfied with the storyline surrounding Julianne’s brother. It was just meh and not enough for me to care about, even though everything else was good.
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
by Jody Hedlund Published by Bethany House
on January 5th 2016 Genres: Christian
, Romance Pages:
Readers Await This Dramatic Conclusion to the Beacons of Hope Series. Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him. Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.
Tessa Taylor arrives to Eagle Harbor, Michigan with the hopes of starting over. She’s running from her past and hopes to change the lives of the children and parents of a struggling mining town through the opportunity of an education. She must face many obstacles, all connecting back to the sleazy superintendent and chief mine clerk Mr. Updegraff. Percivel runs the town like a tyrant and has surly plans for the new teacher. Meanwhile, the two handsome Bjorklund brothers vie for Tessa’s love.
I’m a little underwhelmed with Undaunted Hope. There is a love triangle between the two brothers and Tessa. I didn’t like who she ended up with, which was glaringly obvious. As for Alex Bjorklund, I just didn’t like his attitude toward Tessa. The whole “You’re in love with me. Just admit it…” thing was annoying. I’m unconvinced of their love. The romance and back and forth of the brothers took away from some possibly more interesting details of her teaching and life outside of the men. There were cute moments, but I’m just dissatisfied. Alex seemed to make Tessa selfish because she would ignore Michael Bjorklund, even though there were reasons to be rightfully concerned about him during certain scenes in the story.