What I liked:
There was a lot in this book that I liked. Being a Civil War fan, I enjoyed reading of the aftermath of the CW in people's lives. The flashbacks to Johnson's Island when the men were POW was also intriguing. The hint of mystery with Mrs. Markham's threats, the loyalty and friendship of her servants, the love and loyalty of Phillip's comrades. It was a very interesting and likable story.
What I didn't like.
The main thing that lowers my rating is the Christianity, or lack of it, in the book. God or Jesus weren't mentioned until halfway through the book. And even then, the Lord always seemed and afterthought. "He was going to need to place his complete trust in her and Kern. And the Lord, of course. He sincerely prayed that would be enough."
Gotta get on a soapbox here and say there was more trust in the arm of flesh than in God. Prayer might be a "good idea," but it was never enough. There wasn't really evidence that the characters were believers. I got the impression that they stood up for themselves and fought in their own strength just fine, only turning to God when they thought they needed a little extra help. There wasn't a personal relationship between man and God.
So, as a story, I enjoyed it. The writing style was fantastic, plot line intriguing, but the spiritual aspect found wanting.
*I received this book in exchange of my honest review from LitFuse*
Back Cover Blurb
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 her 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.
To purchase the book: https://www.amazon.com/Loyal-Heart-Lone-Heros-Story/dp/0310345391
To find out more about the author: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/