For such a complex novel filled with twists and turns, the story line of “A Reluctant Melody” remains clear, easy to follow, and captures your attention throughout.
It’s 1892 and Joanna Stewart is a young widow of twenty-six, but the circumstances and bad decisions she has made in her past have brought enough tragedy and rejection to last a lifetime. All she wants to do now is sell her home bequeathed by her late husband and start a new life, far from the accusing eyes and castigating tongues of the town. These haughty neighbors only reinforce what she already knows: Her sins are unforgivable.
Just as she finds a glimmer of hope when a buyer makes an offer on her house, she is instead forced to face the very man who ruined her life. Instead of running away, she must wrestle with her guilt all over again, as well as the feelings of attraction she has long repressed—feelings that sent her on a downward spiral so long ago.
The settings in “A Reluctant Melody” by Sandra Ardoin sweep you back in time to 1890’s North Carolina. Ms. Ardoin has done her research well, helping the reader feel the sights, sounds and pacing of the era. Every detail from clothing to hair styles to the stricter mores of the time transport a reader to another time and place.
Although the atmosphere fills your senses, it is the characters who truly shine in this complicated yet well developed story. Ms. Ardoin creates believable protagonists and antagonists who draw you into understanding the complexities of life, the ramifications of sin, and the redemption that is possible for all if they will accept it.
This is a historical I will be recommending for a long time. A five-star tale of intrigue, hope and romance. Well done!
Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, antique store prowler. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Join her email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story.
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