Beth White has become another author on my “Must Read” list. I particularly enjoy her skill at merging history with a darn good story. It also helps that her books have a Southern setting.
In the second book of White’s Daughtry House series, sister Joelle Daughtry is the featured heroine. When she’s not helping her sisters convert their family plantation home into a resort hotel, Joelle spends her time teaching former slaves and writing articles for the local newspaper, hoping to gain support for a school for former slaves. Although no one knows Joelle is writing the articles because they are written under an assumed male name, the articles stir up those in the community whose sympathies lie with the KKK. Caught in a weak moment, Joelle agrees to marry the local pastor who has been courting her although her heart is not in it, probably because she feels drawn to her childhood antagonist Schuyler Beaumont.
A Reluctant Belle is a true page-turner with its love triangle, an assassination, unexpected revelations, and plenty of action and danger. Joelle and Schuyler were almost bigger than life and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop through its ups and downs. The story was a revealing look at the turbulent history of Mississippi during the years following the Civil War. As a born and raised Southerner, I am proud of my home but regret the ugly history from its past.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Joelle Daughtry has a secret.
By day, the impoverished Southern belle has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of constructing a school for former slaves. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.
Loyalties shift when Schuyler Beaumont, childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry House renovation, takes over his assassinated father’s candidacy for state office. Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect–and even love–if you’re already engaged to someone else?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Beth White‘s day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of The Pelican Bride, The Creole Princess, The Magnolia Duchess, and A Rebel Heart. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.