Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Review: Heather Graham’s REBEL: Intriguing Tale of a Difficult Marriage During the Civil War

This is the third in Graham's 19th century Old Florida's McKenzies series--passionate romances that tell the stories of the men and women who shaped a great state. The first began in 1835 but with this third, the Civil War begins. Graham takes care to give us the history of the times (it's her home state after all!) as she weaves wonderful tales of love in the Eden that was the Florida Territory.

Set in 1860 at the outset of the Civil War, this is the story of Ian McKenzie, the son of Jarrett and Tara (from the first book, RUNAWAY).

The prologue begins with the Union Army Major they called the Panther, hunting silent and deadly along the southern Florida coast for the Moccasin, the Rebel spy who has taken such a great toll on the Union. Until he captured the Moccasin, Ian McKenzie didn't know (though he suspected) the spy was also his wife, Alaina...the wife he didn't want but was forced to marry for honor when he inadvertently joined her in a pool where she was swimming nude.

Ian McKenzie, though handsome and charming and an "honorable" man, treats Alaina roughly at times, even on his wedding night. Then, too, he shares his most intimate thoughts with Risa, the woman he had intended to marry. In truth, he admits he loves them both, which makes this a most unusual romance. Risa would have been happy to sleep with Ian notwithstanding her supposed friendship with Alaina (who could like Risa after that?). One had to feel sorry for Alaina. To be sure, early on she was a bit of a brat and didn't try to see Ian's point of view as a man loyal to the Union, but then she was raised a Southerner—as was most of Ian's family—and it was Federal troops that had killed her father. She was not the kind of wife who would forgo her convictions just to follow her husband. Ian never seemed to understand that about her. So Ian and Alaina were ever at odds.

This  is a well-told story and it’s a part of a great series (see list). Graham knows how to write and weaves intriguing, well-researched tales. I suggest reading the series in order.

The Florida series:


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