Scheduled for world wide release on December 9th, 2014 from Central Avenue Publishing.
The Civil War has ended, leaving the country with a gaping wound. Lorie Blake, a southern orphan sold into prostitution at fifteen, has carefully guarded her aching soul from the disgrace forced upon her every evening. Two years have passed, leaving her with little hope of anything more. Meanwhile, three men – longtime friends – and a young boy with a heart of gold are traveling northward, planning to rebuild their lives in the north and leave behind the horrors of their time as soldiers in the Confederate Army.
Fate, however, has plans of its own, causing their lives to collide in a river town whorehouse. Forced to flee, Lorie escapes and joins them on the journey north. But danger stalks them all in the form of a vindictive whorehouse madam and an ex-Union soldier, insane and bent on exacting revenge. At last, Lorie must come to terms with her past and devastating secrets that she cannot yet bear to reveal.
Heart of a Dove is the first book in a gripping, sweeping romantic saga of pain, unbearable choices, loss and true love set against the backdrop of a scarred, post-Civil War America.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars*
(*disclaimer - Dean was provided with an advanced copy for the purpose of this review.)
Abbie Williams is an author who excels at the romance genre. Her Shore Leave Cafe series is a show case for her ability weave a contemporary tapestry, complete with rich characters, vivid settings and seductive moods. With Heart of a Dove, Williams takes those ingredients and deposits them into an historical back drop - in this case, the American Civil War - crafting an epic story that is her most accomplished work to date.
Author Abbie Williams.
The effects of the War are evidenced in Williams cast of characters - all of whom have been damaged in some way by the conflict. Not the least of which is Lorie Blake, a unique heroine whose young innocence is shattered by forced servitude at the hands of a callous brothel madame.
Her situation seems helpless until she is rescued by a rag tag quartet of young men, lead by an enigmatic veteran in Angus, a mysterious stranger in Sawyer, a dependable horseman in Boyd and a precocious boy in Malcolm. They are as much veterans from the war as they are orphans because of it. And because of this, each man has a distinct sense of justice and an intolerance of those who seek to abuse it. All of them have a unique experience and, for me, I became as much a student of history through their eyes as I was a reader of this sweeping romantic drama. Williams attention to history is impeccable and yet she doesn't labour the story with it.
Her romantic elements - so much a signature of Williams writing - shine in Heart of a Dove as it moves softly in places and urgently in others. There is an erotic energy to the tome that is tastefully drawn and an emotional power that is honest and heart felt.
With Heart of a Dove, we are quickly drawn into what is a rather lovely place and time to be and I had a difficult time wanting to leave.
It is a singularly beautiful story - a fine achievement for Abbie Williams.
Heart of a Dove is scheduled for a December 9, 2014 release from Central Avenue Publishing in both print and digital formats.
Minnesota based writer Abbie Williams says she has been addicted to love stories ever since first sneaking her mother's copy of The Flame and the Flower. "Since then, I've been jotting down stories of my own in notebook after spiral-bound notebook. Well, that is until I got a computer that was equipped with Word, one fine day."
Abbie spends her days with her own true love, their three daughters, and a very busy schedule. She says she is most happy when she can sneak in a few hours to write and indulge in visiting the characters in her stories.
When Abbie not writing, teaching or spending time with her family, she can be found listening to her favorite music: Alison Krauss and Union Station, the Wailin' Jennys, and The Be Good Tanyas. If there's time in the evening, she might watch a few episodes of Hell on Wheels and eat a jar of crunchy peanut butter.
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