Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Bookshelf: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again but it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

The Loyal Heart is the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series, but definitely isn’t the first book I’ve ever read by her. I’ve been a fan of Shelley’s for quite some time now, and I was excited when I found out she was working on another new historical series. I really, really enjoyed her Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series—Secrets of Sloane House, Deception on Sable Hill, and Whispers in the Reading Room—so I was really looking forward to this series. Fortunately, I can say it didn’t disappoint, though I will be honest and say I liked the World’s Fair books just a little bit better.
Miranda Markham has been through so, so much when we meet up with her at the beginning of this book, so I couldn’t help but feel so much compassion for her and her situation. I was so excited the Robert was coming in to rescue her, because I could definitely tell that she needed a savior. The whole town had turned its back on her, and she needed someone, other than her servants of course, who was finally in her corner. Especially since she is such a sweet, kind woman who didn’t deserve a bit of the malice that was thrown at her.
Robert Truax was definitely another fantastic character. His childhood and upbringing was so horrible that I just couldn’t help but admire him for the way he had overcome it to become the man he is at the beginning of this book. His determination to take care of Miranda in her time of need is the sweetest thing ever, and I really loved his devotion to his captain. Besides, his attitude at the end of the book is literally the sweetest thing EVER. I can’t explain to you just why it’s so sweet, but trust me, it really, really is.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book, although at the beginning it was just a little bit slow going for me. It took me a few pages to really get into the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed every bit of it. I think I can definitely give it four out of five bookshelves, and I’m super excited to read the next book in the series, even though it doesn’t come out until next year. I’m super glad I have a copy of this book, and I’m positive that I’m an even bigger fan of Shelley’s now than I was before.
Happy reading!

I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review.

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Shelley Shepard Gray and Zondervan Publishing.

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