I was excited to return to the United States for an historic romance, and Wendy Lindstrom brings a Civil War era story into this romance involving two brothers. Post-civil wartime settings and ideals are well defined, and the people are lovely: hard working, hopeful and above all, looking to start anew with the new definition of their country. The story is also not a story of people with money and grand aspirations: it is of the ordinary people with their own humbler hopes and dreams as we follow their lives.
Evelyn is going to marry her childhood friend Kyle Grayson: she isn’t dreaming of passion and soul mates, the war put end to dreams of that sort. Respect, friendship and a kinship from their long acquaintance is perfectly fine. I liked her attitude of making the best with what you have, and the real regard and friendship between her and Kyle was well defined and nearly palpable.
But then, in walks Radford after the war and a family estrangement, and the whole story went left for me. I saw the very well developed and defined character, and I believed in the attraction between he and Evelyn, I just couldn’t get past the whole “brother’ thing. I was hoping for some real reason, a real purpose to his returning to patch things up and diving right in to devastate the family all over again, and I couldn’t find it. Sometimes, and most especially in the 1870’s, I couldn’t see the pressure from society allowing it to happen. And, I will say that Evelyn wasn’t particularly indecisive or spineless, but I didn’t see her as a particularly bold woman either.
It was, other than the disappointment with the twist in the romance, a well-crafted romance that was more compelling for its setting and surrounding characters and world than for the main hero and heroine.
The narration in this book were from Julia Motyka, and this is not my first encounter with her work. While I find her voice pleasing, she needs to dial it back in her emotional (and often over-emotional) enhancements. This was not a story set at Tara, but I swear she was channeling Scarlett in one of her infamous drama queen moments more often than not. Her over-reach in several passages starkly contrasted with passages that were perfectly balanced and performed, and made for a very uneven listen.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 2 Story 4
Title: Shades of Honor
Author: Wendy Lindstrom
Genre: Historical Romance
Narrator: Julia Motyka
Published by: Rustic Studio Publishing
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 46 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
Former Union soldier Radford Grayson returns to his small hometown, looking for a stable and comforting place to raise his young, motherless daughter. Despite his troubled past, his hopes are to reconcile with his family and put his dark secrets behind him. But he doesn't count on falling in love with Evelyn—his brother's financee...
When Evelyn Tucker accepted her childhood friend Kyle Grayson's marriage proposal, she thought it was the best way to make her ailing father happy. But after Radford arrives home, the fiery and independent Evelyn realizes that the comfort and friendship Kyle gives her will never hold a candle to the instant, undeniable passion she feels for Radford. Now their forbidden desire threatens to shatter family ties and destroy newfound dreams—unless their love has the power to overcome all obstacles...
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.