by Sandra Ardoin
The Magnolia Duchess is the third story in Beth White’s Gulf Coast Chronicles series and takes place toward the end of the War of 1812. It again follows a generation of the Lanier family.
Charlie Kincaid washes up on the shore not far from Mobile with no memory of ever meeting Fiona Lanier years earlier. However, she remembers him from a childhood visit to England. Now, their countries are at war with one another and, though he isn’t wearing a uniform, she assumes he’s the enemy.
Fiona pounded his back with all her strength, helping him rid his lungs of the suffocating seawater. ‘Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die.’ …
‘Sto…’ He wheezed.
“I said st…stop hitting me,’ he choked out. ‘Headache.’ …
‘You’re alive! Oh, thank God, you’re alive!’
Charlie winced. ‘Yes, but would you mind…lowering the volume?’ He opened his eyes, those familiar, piercing cerulean eyes that she saw in her dreams.
Well, one was blue, and the other had that odd hazel-brown splotch. Perfect, Charlie was not.
So starts a story of wartime intrigue and romance.
Charlie is one of those wonderful scoundrels you hate to love, but you do. Fiona is the only girl in a family of males, so ladylike pursuits are not high on her list of daily activities. Instead, she’s a horsewoman, training horses to sell to the American army. And she’s fighting mad when Charlie steals one of her horses.
The first book in this series, The Pelican Bride, will always be my favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Magnolia Duchess for its romance and the insight into a war we rarely think about.This is a story of the testing of patriotism, loyalties, and commitments to God and one another.
My only trouble was in keeping the families straight. Each book deals with a different branch of the original Lanier family, so it can be difficult to remember who happened to be whose parents and brothers and sisters. There is supposed to be a family tree on Ms. White’s website. I didn’t find it, but I would have liked to have seen one printed in the book.
If you enjoyed The Gulf Coast Chronicles, Books One and Two, you won’t be disappointed with Book Three.
Now, if only the author will write a story about the pirate (or not) Judah Lanier!
Speaking of pirates, for most readers of Christian fiction, Mary Lu Tyndall is the first name that comes to mind when they think of pirate novels. Can you suggest titles of such novels by other Christian writers?