Emily Harrison comes from an Ohio abolitionist family. When her parents die, foreclosure on their farm forces her south in the early months of the Civil War. She becomes governess to the daughters of a Virginia, slave-holding doctor, but resumes her secret work in the Underground Railroad.
Alexander Hunt, the doctor’s nephew, hides his own secret. To most, he’s the spoiled son of a plantation owner, one who refuses to take part in the war. To a select few, he’s the leader of a band of Confederate guerrillas, tasked with stealing supplies and currency belonging to the Federal Army—a man known as the Gray Wraith.
Will love survive betrayal?
Author Mary Ellis is known for her Amish novels, but she’s begun a new series, called Civil War Heroines, with the first release being The Quaker and the Rebel. The story spans the majority of the war, ending after Lee’s surrender. Historical Flavor: Ms. Ellis based her character of Alexander on the Rebel notables Gen. John Hunt Morgan and Colonel Mosby.
Emily means well, but from page one, she displays a tendency for trouble. When she’s not offending her new employer, she’s offending the cook.
Then there’s Alexander. They offend each other and continue to do so on most occasions. I’m one of those readers (and movie-goers) who likes snappy friction between the hero and heroine, so I liked the sparring between Emily and Alexander. But don’t worry, there are lots of kisses.
Betrayed once, with deadly consequences, Alexander finds it hard to trust another woman, but the prickly governess continues to draw him to her. However, when he and a fellow officer discover Emily in a place she shouldn’t be, the suspicion mounts. Is she a spy for the Union? He reaches a point when he must decide whether to trust her motives or not.
I really enjoyed the friendship of Emily and Lila, a “free woman of color.” During the second half of the book, after their friendship deepens, the dialog between them sparkles with humor.
I will admit, I was not a fan of the heroine until later in the book. Yes, Emily has a noble cause, but she is a bit arrogant about it. She knows best and has little respect for southerners and their lifestyle. Over time, her feelings for Alexander and his generous family sparked Emily’s character growth and she became more likable to me.
The story moves quickly and kept me turning the pages. Regardless of the time and place, it centers around the love story, so don’t expect it to delve too deeply into the horrors of the war and slavery.
If you’re compiling your 2014 reading list, for a quick and entertaining read, consider adding Mary Ellis’s The Quaker and the Rebel.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Harvest House, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Sandra Ardoin engages readers with stories of love and faith. She’s the author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com. Subscribe to receive her updates and specials: http://eepurl.com/Xjqwr. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.