The Loyal Heart

Title:  The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story #1)

Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray

Pages:  309

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 stars.

This new series by Shelley Shepard Gray is set about two years after the Civil War’s end, and this story in particular is set in Galveston, Texas.  The two main characters are Miranda Markham and Robert Truax.  There are occasional flashbacks to a time during the war as well.

Before the end of the war, Robert and a few of his comrades who had served the Confederacy together made a pact.  They were currently prisoners of war in Ohio, but when the war was over they vowed to always look out for each other.  In particular, Phillip Markham asked that they look after his wife if something happened to him before the war’s end.  Well, Phillip didn’t live to see the end of the war and his widow, Miranda is in trouble.  Robert is contacted by his former captain and agrees to travel to Galveston to see what the problem is.  When he arrives, he soon finds out Miranda is treated as an outcast and Phillip has been deemed a traitor to the South.  Robert knows for a fact that Phillip remained loyal to the South and intends to find out how these rumors got started so he can fix the situation.  He also intends to find out who started the rumors about Miranda offering more than room and board at her home for her boarders.

Miranda Markham just exists in a fog of despair for the two years since her husband’s death.  They loved each other very much and she is depressed over his death, his family’s and the community’s treatment of her, the threatening letters she has received and the sheriff’s lack of response to these threats.  When Robert arrives, she begins to have hope for the future.  He has told her he will be leaving once he has helped her solve her problems, but can he leave a woman he find so fascinating?  Loyalty on many fronts plays a key role in the story as evidenced by the title.  I look forward to the next book and seeing what attribute will be highlighted.  As always, this author writes with a deft pen and draws her readers in from page one.  I find the Civil War time period very interesting and this book certainly kept me engaged.

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