Cristina Stiles is left to fend for herself and her two young children while her husband goes off to fight in the Confederate army. She also has to deal with two rogue Yankee soldiers who’ve beaten her, stolen her food, and keep coming back to cause more trouble.
Jack Fuller is a God-fearing Christian fighting for the Union. During a surprise encounter, he shoots and kills a Rebel soldier. In his final breaths, the Rebel asks Jack to deliver a letter to his wife—and he agrees. But when he arrives at Cristina’s small farm in West Virginia, she assumes Jack is one of the Yankee trouble-makers, trains her rifle on him, and fires. As he lies on the ground bleeding, he explains the purpose of his visit, and out of a sense of obligation, she decides to nurse him back to health.
What will happen when Cristina discovers Jack is the one who made her a widow? Will her rebel heart forgive him—or finish him off?
Her Rebel Heart has many things that I love in a novel. It is historical fiction set during the Civil War, and along with a romance that made my heart race, there is also a deep faith message that isn't normally found in a work of fiction. It's very apparent that author Sharlene MacLaren has put a lot of effort into researching West Virginia in 1863, and she shows us a side of the Civil War that we often overlook. Cristina Stiles doesn't live on a plantation, and she doesn't have a maid or 'mammy' to help her with her children. In fact, Cristina is the sole provider for her son and daughter as her husband fights for the Confederacy, and her life is very hard. Sadly, she is a true depiction of what most women endured during this war that divided our nation.
Her Rebel Heart's first pages show Cristina being brutally assaulted by a Union soldier, so her dislike and distrust of the North are truly strong and deep. Is it any wonder that she would shoot another Union soldier who appears at her door? The story that follows shows an awakening in Cristina. Even though she has been a faithful wife to Orville, it becomes obvious that her love wasn't the deep, all-consuming romance we all long for. As she nurses Jack Fuller after shooting him, she experiences a connection she didn't know was possible. And for the first time, Cristina witnesses what a true Christian is. Jack believes in God, he lives for God, and he wants Cristina to experience the joy of having a personal relationship with God. As their friendship deepens into love, Cristina learns that Jack is actually the soldier who shot and killed her husband. Will their chance for true love and happiness end with this discovery?
If you are a fan of history who especially enjoys reading about the Civil War era and, if you yearn for a 'take-your-breath-away' romance, you need to read Her Rebel Heart. It is certainly one of the best books that I've read this year!
This book was provided courtesy of the author through Interviews & Reviews.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene attended Spring Arbor University. Retired in 2003 from 31-years of teaching, “Shar” loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family, in particular, her wonderful, adorable grandchildren!
In recent years, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further and in 2006 signed a contract for her first faith-based novel; thereby, launching her writing career with Through Every Storm. With more than a dozen books now gracing store shelves nationwide, she daily gives God all the praise and glory for her accomplishments.
Shar has done numerous countrywide book-signings, television and radio appearances, and countless interviews. She loves to speak for women’s organizations, libraries, church groups, women’s retreats, and banquets. She is involved in Apples of Gold, a mentoring program for young wives and/or mothers, and is active in her church as well as two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with their beautiful white collie, Peyton, and their adorable Ragdoll cat named Blue.
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