Thursday, April 28, 2016

Loving Leah by Lynne Larson {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Loving Leah by Lynne Larson
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Covenant Communications 
“Promise me, Ethan, no matter what, you must stay here! You can’t make a sound! Promise me you won’t!”
Caught in the middle of a massacre in Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War, Leah Donaldson, a twenty-year-old Mormon governess, must risk everything to save two children in her care—and she lives to pay dearly for the decision. Young Ethan Pace loves Leah and can hardly stay still as she is taken away by the enemy for refusing to reveal where he and his sister are hiding.
Five years later, Ethan desperately searches for her, trying to reconcile all that has happened and grappling with his feelings for her. Still idealizing Leah, he hopes she has survived and that he can help her get to Zion and her people. But after everything she’s been through since they last met, will Leah overcome her regrets and allow love into her life? Will she come to see Ethan as the caring man he has become rather than the lovesick boy she once knew?



My Review: 4 Stars

I always enjoy a fictional story with a bit of real history mixed into it and this one delivers. The Civil War had some guerillas and this story shows just how much damage they did to one small town in Kansas. This time period is full of stories and I loved the way the Mormon pioneers were tied to the Civil War, joined mainly by one main character, Leah. Leah is orphaned and working as a governess until she can join Zion out West. She is caring for 14-year-old, Ethan, and his younger sister, Addie, while their father fights in the war. Years after the rebels attacked, Leah is full of regrets, but Ethan is determined to help fulfill her dreams. 

Leah is a likable character, one who is very wise and mature for her age at times and almost childlike at others. She's very accepting and loving because of her background and really makes the lives of these children and their friends entertaining and memorable. Ethan is smitten by the pretty governess. The story is told in first person, through his eyes, which is interesting. I appreciated watching him grow up and become a man.

The story is heartbreaking and hard to read at times, but has a light and hopeful feeling throughout most of it. It made me think back on my carefree summer days as a child. While mostly predictable, there are a few twists that I wasn't expecting, especially toward the end. This would be an especially enjoyable read for those who like historical fiction and/or fictional stories about the Mormon pioneers.

Content: religious references to LDS beliefs (not preachy); some violence (one scene is a little intense, but not graphic); very mild romance (vague reference to rape). Clean!

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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About the Author:
Lynne Larson is an award-winning teacher and writer with a special interest in western history, particularly as It relates to women. Several of her stories, essays, and articles have appeared in regional magazines, as well as in Latter-day Saint publications.
Her novel, In the Shadow of an Angel, grew from her great regard for the pioneers who put the statue of Moroni on the temple long ago, never realizing the changes that would come as the golden figure watched over their Zion for the next one hundred years. Nor could those early builders fully imagine the generations coming after them, for whom the statue would be a beacon and a guide, millions of people, each with a life to live and a story to tell, and all connected by the angel on the spire.

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