Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.

This story grabbed my attention right away but it wasn't until about half way through that I became gripped by the drama. Then ... oh my!... I felt the thrill and struggle to love and be loved, the angst and sorrow of tragedy and loss, the joy and peace of a new beginning, and then again the heart rending sorrow of betrayals from the past. There is no doubt you will be drawn into this story!

I loved the three main characters! Sophie Menzies is a gentle yet strong character who works hard, loves well, and is still hopeful for a bright future in spite of the abandonment of her father and the unknown whereabouts of her brother. General Seamus Ogilvy is a man wounded by the past and the war but with the strength and determination to reunite with his daughter and bring about the restoration of Tall Acre. And then there was Lily Cate (I love her name!). This little 5 year old, whose father is a stranger to her and whom circumstances have made on the serious side, is smart and loving and immediately takes to Sophie. My heart hurt for their struggles to become a family - whole and joyful once again.

The reasons for a 4 star rating rather than a 5 star is that for the first half of the book, although it flowed smoothly, for some reason it was just another book. It wasn't until about half way through that it became more than just another story. And although the last half of the book was riveting for me, it was also full of angst and sadness and trouble with just little bits of joy intertwined. I understand that the drama was part of the story and was needed for the whole story line but I could have handled the last half better if there had been a whole lot more lightness in the first half. Just my feelings on it.

All in all, this is a very well written story that will hold you captive with romance, drama, mystery, redemption and healing!

*Thanks to Revell Reads for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*

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Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.

 You can find her at and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.