After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.
Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.
Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.
When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.
SERIES: Lone Star Hero #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2017
“Pain was pain. It all hurt.”
I have so enjoyed this Lone Star Hero series from Shelley Shepard Gray! The richness of emotion between a band of brothers, prisoners together during the Civil War, impacts me in each of the three books. As do the women who have also been left scarred – emotionally, financially and sometimes physically – by the War. But perhaps none of the books has touched me more than this third novel, Love Held Captive.
Because on these pages, we see four people scarred by the same man, by the same evil, in one way or another. Two soldiers. Two victimized women. The combination of their stories – and their friendships – is at the same time heartbreaking and inspiring.
As with the other two books in this trilogy, we get periodic peeks into the soldiers’ lives during the Civil War and particularly during their time on Johnson’s Island, in prison. In so doing we get further insight into Captain Devin Monroe and Major Ethan Kelly, the two men we’ve only seen hints about so far in the series. Both have seemed very strong, buttoned-up (physically and emotionally), self-assured gentlemen throughout the other books.
In Love Held Captive, we see how finally falling in love affects normally-in-control Devin and we learn the moment that has haunted Ethan for years. (“He was a study in missed opportunities and multiple faults.“) Both of those insights involve the two women we meet in this book as well – Julianne and Lizbeth – two women who have suffered the unimaginable at the hands of the same man.
In the process of confronting the nasty villain and thereby facing their own vulnerabilities, this newly-formed group of four also looks inward at their personal faith. Faith that is more than a little battle-scarred. But also a faith that is slowly beginning to heal.
She’d thought her faith was true. Strong. But like her daily attempts of survival, she had only seen part of the whole picture.
Bottom Line: Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray is a tender story of friendship, love and restoration. Not just restoration of a post-War community but, even more so, a restoration of faith and courage. Devin, Ethan, Julianne, and Lizbeth easily endear themselves to the reader, and Gray’s grace-filled writing will charm you even as she breaks your heart a little. The romance is tender and sweet, and the story of this band of War-made brothers poignantly completes the circle that Gray began in book one.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Great read!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
Guest review contributed by Reading Is My Superpower. Peek at Top Ten Tuesday and Favorites Friday but also frequent author interviews/giveaways in a style of review that stands out from the rest.