Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Shadowed in Silk

Shadowed in Silk by Christine Lindsay.
E-book release date:May 1
Paperback release: September 1.
Read the back cover blurb here.
Purchase for you Nook here.

Even though it's the printed word, Shadowed in Silk is a feast for the senses. Christine paints India with words that bring it to life. The textures and scents and culture of India almost breathe on the pages of her debut novel.

No part of Indian culture is left out of this book. Christine weaves Hindu words and beliefs into every chapter and does it beautifully and naturally. The themes of redemption, forgiveness and God's grace live on every page and in every decision Geoff and Abby make.

Geoff is a man struggling with his faith in the aftermath of World War One and losing many of the men under his command. I found many things in his spiritual journey that I identified with. He struggles with forgiveness, as I have over the last year.

Abby starts out a little naive. The India she returns to is not the India of her childhood. Even without knowledge of God until the end of the story, she is a woman of faith, ministering to all those around her. Especially the untouchables and orphans. The fact that she "sees" everyone around her is what draws Geoff to her.

But she's a married woman. The way Geoff dealt with those feelings is one of the rare times I've seen this done in a realistic manner in a Christian romance. He doesn't just pray about it and it magically goes away and he can be around her all the time. No, he struggles with it throughout the book, tries to avoid her, tries to see her as nothing more than a sister. In the process he hurts Abby. And grows from it.

The secondary characters are also richly drawn and just as fleshed out as the main characters. Eshanna in particular is well done. A young Hindu widow cast out by her family, she embraces a God who makes her a princess. Christine is able to give the reader a true representation of the musical accents most Indians have when they speak English. And never once does she use any sort of dialect to do it.

This book has it all. Love, betrayal and sacrifice. Spies, gun-running and suspense. Christine's love for the people of India also shows on every page. Her passion gives the story life.

Shadowed in Silk is a rich historical romance that is not to be missed. Don't let the unfamiliar setting put you off. It is well worth the time.

As of this posting the Kindle version of the book is not live yet, but keep checking. For some reason there's a delay in the book being posted on Amazon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: At The Captain's Command

The third book in Louise Gouge's East Florida colony series did not disappoint. The rich prose and characters with deep convictions that I've come to expect from Louise were richly evident in this novel.

Thomas Moberly doesn't understand why the colonists are rebelling against England's rule. Dinah Templeton, younger sister of Jamie Templeton from The Captain's Lady and a devout Loyalist, captures his attention at first sight. Already aware that this is his brother-in-law's sister, he takes it on himself to make sure she's being taken care of. Unbeknownst to him their families have been scheming for years to get them together.

Dinah is living with her foster sister in St. Augustine and assists the doctor at the fort. It's there she first sees Thomas Moberly. Their romance develops quickly, but believably. I particularly loved the elegant language Thomas used to express his affections and the proposal scene goes down as one of my favorites. Dinah is a strong character, but still period appropriate. Her Quaker upbringing shows in her strong convictions that never waver.

From the moment Captain Thomas Moberly entered the scene in The Captain's Lady, I wanted to know more about him. He struck me as a man of deep character. He did not disappoint. He and Dinah are Loyalists and I found it very interesting and wonderfully written. That's not a viewpoint seen often in fiction set during the Revolutionary War. Louise made me see their side of the issue and how it mattered to them.

Having Thomas on the cover of the book is also a huge plus. The book lives up to the promises made by the cover.