Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

"Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love."
Review for: The pursuit of Tamsen Little John by Lori Benton

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In the wake of her mother's death and a suitor forced upon her by her gold digging stepfather, Tamsen risks all by fleeing with a stranger who seems to be her one hope of freedom. As the two are pursued by Tamsen's enraged stepfather and the would-be suitor who believes her to have been kidnapped by her mother's murderer, they face one danger after another, seeking safety amidst a region on the brink of war with itself and the native tribes.

Author Lori Benton has woven a masterful tale in a rarely visited era of history. Her story, plot, and characters are fresh, her style and workmanship beautiful and her setting well-rounded and well researched. This woman did her homework and possesses real talent-- and it shows. The story maintains great forward motion, packed with action and suspense, and gives you just enough time to catch a breather between turmoil. There was only one point, at about the middle of the book, when I feared the story would fall flat, but my fears were quickly abated. The reader will not have time to get bored. But it's not just the suspense and the action, it's the fact that the author can actually write and tell a good story.

I would compare the atmosphere of this book to Gilbert Morris's works, but with a woman's touch, and with less sensuality.

Discretionary notes:

I have decided to start including a "parent friendly" guide along with my reviews, as I know a lot of Christian romance readers are young ladies. Let me first say to you, as a parent or as a reader, NEVER trust a book to be clean just because it claims to be inspirational. That said, here are some things you may want to know about this book before placing it into the hands of your young adult readers (minor spoilers possible).

There is at least one murder, domestic abuse, an almost rape and a rape that happens off the pages is mentioned, but never detailed. There are gunfights (in which people get shot), fistfights, bloody wounds and other injuries.

As mentioned above, there are two instances of rape (one off page that is only mentioned, and one that almost happens, mostly also off page). Characters occasionally admire each other's physical build or beauty (in one scene a man swims in front of a woman dressed in very little clothing), but it does not go into great detail. There are just a couple scenes I recall with kissing. Although it's not on the pages, it is very obvious that characters sleep together after marriage and the topic is discreetly talked about; one scene takes place just after.

I hope you find this review helpful.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for nothing but my honest review.

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