book review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

cumberland brideDaughters of the Mayflower-book 5

The Cumberland Bride is part of a series by Barbour Books called Daughters of the Mayflower. Although there are several books in the series, they each stand alone, leaving you the option of jumping around throughout the series. I’m starting with The Cumberland Bride and I have no idea which one I will read next. Sometimes I like a series that has to be read in order, other times I appreciate series like this one where I can jump willy nilly from book to book depending on my mood.

Here is the blurb, courtesy of Amazon:

Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)

Let’s jump right into the review.

It’s not every day you get to adventure into the wild lands of America before they were settled and civilized. That’s exactly what you get from The Cumberland Bride. McNear’s descriptions of the journey along Wilderness Road screams of authenticity as the daily travel is very well outlined and discussed. There is no shortage of danger for Kate and the rest of the group as they cross the untamed wilderness with Thomas Bledsoe as their guide. Kate is inquisitive to the point of distraction for Thomas and her almost constant slew of accidents cause him to fear that Kate will never survive the journey to Gruener’s new home. Thomas unwittingly becomes Kate’s rescuer through her many mishaps and a tentative bond is formed.

I had a fabulous time tromping across the Wilderness Road with Thomas, Kate, and the other members of their party. Kate shows courage and dignity in spite of the circumstances that continually heap upon her. She leans on the strength of God in the face of her fear, never giving up faith. Kate has a strength of character that was probably a requirement to survive but lends a depth to the story at the same time. She is no hysterical female flailing about while waiting on someone to come rescue her. Although circumstances continually put Kate in harm’s way, she is never weak, even when no one would blame her for showing a measure of weakness.

Thomas has long since thought that God abandoned him, aligning himself with doubting Thomas from the Bible. However, it is the circumstances that pushed him away that will ensure his being in the right place at the right time when Kate needs him most. He tries to keep his distance from her, but it is soon evident that avoiding her completely will be impossible.

There are often times when we feel as though God has abandoned us, just as Thomas felt. What is hard to accept is that God never went anywhere, we did, and all we have to do is return to Him. The Cumberland Bride is a great story of faith, redemption, and courage in the face of your greatest fear. I enjoyed that I could not predict what would happen next. I had an idea of the climax and I was accurate in my assumption, but the events leading up to it were a constant mystery. The plot moved at a steady pace that never felt slow or overly rushed, it was just a nice progression from event to event. The amount of research that went into this book in order to accurately document the foliage, terrain, characters, and the journey itself deserves a commendation. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical, adventure, and romance in their books.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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