Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated—plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.
Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.
Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.
I know I say something like this every time but, good gravy this review is hard to translate from thoughts to words. I saw this on accident on NetGalley and threw a bunch of hopes, prayers, and wishes that I would be accepted. The synopsis drew me like a moth to a flame. The cover didn’t hurt either. I knew that it might not be all that I expected since dual time frames are often hard to pull off successfully. But I still had to read it! I’m beyond glad I did since there’s only one eh moment for me in the who shebang.
Let’s get that eh moment out of the way so I can get back to gushing. The faith felt awkward. It is integrated well but it felt like an after thought. It felt like a toss out to the Christian fiction reviewers that NEED that faith element in every single book they read. Like I said, it fit with the book but it didn’t feel seamless and it didn’t focus in like it could have. Without it, the book still would have been amazing. I think people forget you don’t have to overly write and read it to draw people to Christ. It wasn’t an awkward enough an eh moment to affect the rating, however. (I’ve been known to do that.)
On to the good stuff! Like I said before, dual time books are hard to pull off. Heidi did so in a way that it meshed together really well, each time frame bouncing off the other to create an amazing story. What she did with two very well known events was nothing short of engaging. I needed to know the story of the ring. I knew the story but I had to ensure that Brad and Annie got to know it too. I think if it hadn’t pieced it together, for them I would have been heartbroken. But then again, if Liberty hadn’t found her happiness again I would have been heartbroken. I was so invested in these two women. But now I need to know what secrets Brad and Annie will find in her family tree…hint hint sequel.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
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About Heidi Chiavaroli
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. She writes Women’s Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.