Her Rebel Heart by author Sharlene MacLaren is a Christian Historical Romance set in West Virginia during the Civil War. It is an extraordinary book written by a master wordsmith. This is not a book to be missed.
Throughout the book the writing style is consistent and easy to read. The story easily grabbed my attention. From page one I was invested in this smooth flowing tale. This page turner had surprises along with twists and turns that made it difficult to stop reading. I loved every part of it.
This is the story of Cristina Stiles, mother of two. Her husband is off fighting Union soldiers while she is left at home to care for their children and farm. It is also the tale of Union officer, Jack Fuller. He is a strong Christian and soldier. Jack takes a message to Christina, and their story explodes off of the pages. Author MacLaren is a professional when it comes to breathtaking love stories.
Author MacLaren reminds readers that she is an award winning author with this book. The characters are multi-layered and realistic. Even secondary characters were lovable and detestable. Some of the horrendous things that happened during the Civil War are mentioned without going into details. Her novel is well researched and extremely well thought. It is so well written it was not difficult to travel back in time to West Virginia and feel like part of the story.
For me, conversation in a book is a major part. Dialog in Her Rebel Heart sounded authentic and flowed effortlessly. It was plentiful which added to my reading enjoyment. I could picture the characters talking. “My faith’s prob’ly smaller than that,” Cristina said quietly.
There are many life lessons to be learned in this riveting book. Trusting God, having faith, forgiving, and second chances are all common issues with today and the past. Author MacLaren does a beautiful job with each one of them. Faith is in the forefront without being hidden in her book. That is refreshing because not all Christian fiction books do that. Sometimes the inspirational message of faith and God is covered or subdued.
I enjoyed reading about and experiencing Christina’s faith journey. Many of the words brought a smile to my face as I read them. “Hearing the prayer, brief though it was, filled Cristina with a wonderful sense of peace and awe.”
I highly recommend this sweet, clean Christian romance. It is a lovely story that would be beautiful made into a movie. This would make an excellent choice for a reader’s club. There is so much to discuss. At the back of the book are discussion questions to assist groups. An author page is also included. I happily rated this book a 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own true words.
About the Book
Book: Her Rebel Heart
Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Cristina Stiles is left to fend for herself and her two young children while her husband goes off to fight in the Confederate army. She also has to deal with two rogue Yankee soldiers who’ve beaten her, stolen her food, and keep coming back to cause more trouble.
Jack Fuller is a God-fearing Christian fighting for the Union. During a surprise encounter, he shoots and kills a Rebel soldier. In his final breaths, the Rebel asks Jack to deliver a letter to his wife—and he agrees. But when he arrives at Cristina’s small farm in West Virginia, she assumes Jack is one of the Yankee trouble-makers, trains her rifle on him, and fires. As he lies on the ground bleeding, he explains the purpose of his visit, and out of a sense of obligation, she decides to nurse him back to health.
What will happen when Cristina discovers Jack is the one who made her a widow? Will her rebel heart forgive him—or finish him off?
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About the Author
Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. After traveling for a year, she returned to her teaching job, then in 1975, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and they married that very December. They have raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!
Shar has always enjoyed writing, and her high school classmates eagerly read and passed around her short stories. In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, so in 2006, she signed a contract with Whitaker House for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her professional writing career. With more than twenty published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, Shar gives God all the glory.
Shar’s novels have won numerous awards. Most recently, Their Daring Hearts was named a 2018 Top Pick by Romantic Times and her last book, A Love to Behold, was voted “Book of the Year” in 2019 by Interviews & Reviews.
Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and has participated in several interviews on television and radio. She loves to speak for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. Shar and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.
More from Sharlene
Dark-haired, independent, and tough to the bone, Christina cares for her two young children in a ramshackle cabin in Ripley, West Virginia. When the Yankee who killed her husband pays her a visit, she has to decide whether to forgive him—or finish him off. Will this tough Southern woman find grace in her rebel heart?
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To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.