Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

5 Stars

Lori Benton has written a historical adventure interlaced with a romance.  The adventure begins in western North Carolina in 1787 and leads you across the vast mountain wilderness that would test our characters faith and endurance.

Tamsen Littlejohn is a beautiful, young woman who lives with her mother and stepfather, Hezekiah Parrish.  She has been groomed from childhood to be a lady in ever possible way and servants have taken care of her ever need.  She has reached a marriageable age and her stepfather see this as both a convenience and profit for him.  Tamsen longs for freedom to choose her own path and to marry where she wants.  The family has traveled to Morganton, North Carolina to meet Mr. Ambrose Kincaid, a possible finance. Her stepfather is overbearing and she longs to thwart his plans.  She has never seen any violence out of Mr. Parrish, but after all she has overheard, there's no doubt that he has been violent with her mother.  Tamsen is nervous at meeting Mr. Kincaid for fear he will only be a younger version of her stepfather. 
Upon meeting Mr. Kincaid she was intrigued and had high hopes as they began their conversation.  Tamsen has always dreamed of someone seeing her as a person instead of her beauty, but quickly come to the realization that Mr. Kincaid was only interested in her outward appearance.  Shortly into their conversation a crisis arose concerning on of Mr. Kincaid's slaves and she felt his true personality emerged.  Both frightened and angry she flees back to the house where they are lodged.  A fight ensues between her stepfather and her mother over Tamsen's rude behavior. 
When Mr. Parrish leaves the house, Tamsen decides this is her chance and flees to the stables where she is intercepted by Jesse Bird.  Jesse is a frontiersman and guide and she enlists his help to guide her to Watauga settlement in western North Carolina.  Jesse being captivated by her beauty agrees,  but neither are aware of the hardships they will face.  Tamsen struggles to adapt to her life, but he real world is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.  They find themselves in a town full of conflict and a divided community and come to the realization they are being pursued by both Mr. Kincaid and Mr. Parrish. Jesse explains the only way to thwart being found is to travel deep into the mountain wilderness to Jesse's homestead. 
Tamsen is determined to face her struggles head on, adapt to her new environment and learn all she can in order to survive.  The frontier life was so challenging, but Jesse was there to help her in every way possible.  She looked to God for her strength to endure her trials.  Is this the life God has in store for her?  Suddenly she come to the realization that her feelings for Jesse are much deeper than she had anticipated.  At first, Jesse was just captivated by her beauty, but when he sees the strength and courage she exudes when faced with the challenges of frontier life he fall completely in love with her.  Now his goal is to keep her safe and protect her from any danger, but to also see they are meant to be together. 

My Review

Lori Benton has written a wonderful adventure which is interlaced with both suspense and romance.  Her well developed characters will grab you from page 1.  Tamsen is much more than a beautiful, young woman, but also has a heart of gold.  I enjoyed getting to know her and watching her grow.  Jesse is constantly wanting to do the right thing and help someone who's in a crisis that is not of their  own making while at the same time being faithful to his morals and values.  The plot flows effortlessly.  Her masterful use of imagery will transport the reader into the story.  This is a story of love, trust and faith.  I applaud the author for the in depth research completed to bring this story to life.  I dare say few have heard of the first post Revolutionary War attempts at independent statehoods. I was given this book by the author for a honest  and unbiased review.  

Let Me Introduce the Author

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.
When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband – often scouring the brush for huckleberries, which overflow the freezer and find their way into her signature huckleberry lemon pound cake.

Contact Lori by email: 


Or by snail mail:
Lori Benton
PO Box 5578
Central Point OR 97502

Published by WaterBrook Press

Release Date:  April 15,2014

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