Title: A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1)
Author: Beth White
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
This story is set in the South in the year 1870. The War Between the States has ended five years prior and Reconstruction underway. Selah Daughtry is the eldest of three sisters and feels the weight of responsibility keenly. Her father fought in the war, but was captured, taken to a Confederate prison, escaped and has not been heard from since. She doesn’t know whether he is dead or alive, but either way life continues and she needs help keeping the family plantation from falling down around her. Her youngest sister has been sent to life with her grandmother, but Selah and her other sister, Joelle, remain to try their best to make ends meet. Selah travels by train to seek a loan from a bank, but is denied that avenue. She doesn’t know what to do when Levi Riggins appears with a plan to save her home.
Levi Riggins is a Pinkerton Agent, working undercover to try to apprehend some men who have been robbing trains. Levi needs to use Selah’s home for a base of operations and as cover while he is searching for the criminals. He has no plans to become involved in the lives of this southern family, especially since he is a Yankee. However, an event from the past links Selah and Levi together unbeknownst to Selah. Levi feels awful keeping this secret, but what is he to do? He continues his investigation, but events turn dangerous when explosives are discovered on the plantation land and shots are taken at Levi. Who is responsible? Levi is determined to protect Selah, so he redoubles his efforts now looking for trains robbers and the person responsible for the danger at the plantation.
This is a good start to the series. The details of the land, buildings, food and clothing put me right in the scene. I could see these things as if I was right there. I could feel the awkwardness of the interaction between former slaves and their former owners. The plight of the freed slaves in the South was in the forefront of my mind. The compassion of Selah and her tireless working to save her home and protect her family were admirable traits. I loved the interaction between Schuyler from the neighboring plantation and Joelle. What a hoot! I’m excited to read their story in book two of the series!
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