Thursday, September 17, 2015
A Lady in Defiance by Heather Frey Blanton
Charles McIntyre owns everything and everyone in the lawless, godless mining town of Defiance. When three good, Christian sisters from his beloved South show up stranded, alone, and offering to open a "nice" hotel, he is intrigued enough to let them stay...especially since he sees feisty middle sister Naomi as a possible conquest. But Naomi, angry with God for widowing her, wants no part of Defiance or the saloon-owning, prostitute-keeping Mr. McIntyre. It would seem however, that God has gone to elaborate lengths to bring them together. The question is, "Why?" Does God really have a plan for each and every life?
Written with gritty, but not gratuitous, realism uncharacteristic of historical Christian fiction, A Lady in Defiance gives a nod to both Pride and Prejudice and Redeeming Love. The story, based on true events, is an "ensemble" piece that deftly weaves together the relationships of the three sisters and the rowdy residents of Defiance.
I loved this book! This is the first one I have picked up in a while that I had trouble putting it down. I even read when I had other things more pressing to do.
Heather is an indie-author, but you would not know if from the quality of A Lady in Defiance. Her sentence structure is clean and clippy. Her characters jump from the page, and her plotting is tight and quick. There was not a drag in the whole book. Top notch from the cover to the back cover copy.
Charles McIntrye came west after the Civil War to make his fortune. He owns the saloon, a successful silver mine, and most of the town of Defiance. He is now ready for the railroad to come to his town so he can increase his fortune, but first, he has to turn Defiance from chaos to respectability. The arrival of the Frick sisters is almost too good to be true, until he tangles with Naomi Frick. Needless to say, she is not impressed by his fortune or his conquests, and she is not afraid to say it. Blanton's portrayal of Charles McIntrye as a haunted man, with only a hidden inner kindness to make him redeemable, is fabulously done, while Naomi's anger at God for her own losses is heartbreaking. Blanton did such a great job with both Charles and Naomi, that I was not sure how they were going to thaw enough to find their way to each other before the book ended. (But they did. But I won't say how.)
Now, this is a Christian book, overtly. At the same time, there are prostitutes, saloons, a bit of witchcraft, death and mayhem, and even some brutal cat-fight scenes between women. However, Blanton handles the seemier aspects of the wild west with grace and finesse, so despite the subject matter, nothing is blatant or difficult to read. As for the Christianity, it is woven into the lives of the sisters so that it is, for the most part, not preachy or "over the top." This would definitely be classified as "edgy Christian fiction," for people are not nice, and the Christians, especially Naomi, are struggling in their walk with God and do not always do the right thing.
If you like books where the characters are nice to each other, and every Christian seems to have it together, then you won't like this book. But if you like characters that are real and who struggle to follow God, then you will love A Lady in Defiance.
An easy peasy 5 stars, and I have already ordered the second book in the series, Hearts in Defiance.
Length: 296 pages
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Defiance-Romance-Rockies/dp/0982002750/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442445779&sr=8-1&keywords=a+lady+in+defiance
Thanks for visiting. Julie, Donna & Rochelle