About the Book ~
Joelle Daughtry has a secret.
By day, the impoverished Southern belle has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of constructing a school for former slaves. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.
Loyalties shift when Schuyler Beaumont, childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry House renovation, takes over his assassinated father's candidacy for state office. Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect -- and even love -- if you're already engaged to someone else?
For more information about Beth White and her books, check out her website here!
My Thoughts ~
A Reluctant Belle by Beth White took me to all the places I expected to go and to all the places I did NOT expect to go!
First things first, Joelle and Schuyler! I knew from the first book in the series (A Rebel Heart) that I would adore these two! Their bickering had me living for the moments they were together, and I could not stop smiling! Joelle couldn't conform to the "ideal" standards of a woman if she wanted to, and Schuyler was a reformed man in his walk with God! The chemistry snapped between them as they each realized they had been in love with the other for a very long time. I really enjoyed how in the end it was the love for the other person that helped them choose to work through any remaining doubts, fears, and uncertainties!
From the back cover, you can see that this story is going to venture into some pretty shady places...and man, it did! The characters needed to lean on God's guidance as they navigated high tensions, mystery, mayhem, and murder. The injustices and heinousness will make your skin crawl! And for that, I applaud the author! Those parts could not have been easy (and from the Author's Note you can see that they weren't!), but this truthful narrative is more powerful and eyeopening because of it. There are so many insight and lessons to learn from this story which shines a light into some of the dark alcoves of humanity!
Four Stars ~ A Reluctant Belle by Beth White was filled with loads of laughs and insights! A Reluctant Belle is the second book in Beth White's Daughtry House Series. I think readers would get the most enjoyment by reading the series in order because the books do build on each other.
Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.
See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!
~V. Joy Palmer
V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.