His Steadfast Love

( 26 )

Overview

It isn?t until the Civil War comes to her doorstep that Amanda Bell must choose between love and family.

It's the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Amanda never thought she would marry because of a promise she made to her dying mother, but her attraction to Captain Kent Littlefield is undeniable.

When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother Daniel aligns with the Confederate States, while Kent ...

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Overview

It isn’t until the Civil War comes to her doorstep that Amanda Bell must choose between love and family.

It's the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Amanda never thought she would marry because of a promise she made to her dying mother, but her attraction to Captain Kent Littlefield is undeniable.

When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother Daniel aligns with the Confederate States, while Kent remains with the Union troops.

Her heart is torn between the two men she is closest to and the two sides of the conflict. Amanda prays to God for direction and support, but hears only silence. Where is God in the atrocities of war—and whose side is He on?

Amanda senses her life is at a turning point. She must trust God to deliver her family through the chaos of war with her heart and her faith intact.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595546296
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Golden Keyes Parsons is the author of the highly acclaimed Darkness to Light series. She's been nominated for several awards, including the ACFW Book of the Year. She and her family live in Texas.
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Read an Excerpt

His Steadfast Love


By Golden Keyes Parsons

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Golden Keyes Parsons
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-629-6


Chapter One

September 1860

My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side. Abraham Lincoln

The sweet, gooey peach pie filling had overflowed its crust and dribbled down the side of the plate. Amanda Belle made a quick swipe on the side of the tin, then turned her back on the table laden with pies and licked her index finger. A husky voice interrupted her surreptitious snack.

"Which pie do you recommend? They all look tasty."

Startled, she looked into a pair of blue eyes as clear as a cloudless Texas sky.

She cleared her throat and bobbed a curtsy. "I'm afraid you have observed me being rather impolite. Please excuse my bad manners."

Ignoring the heat rising in her cheeks, she waved her hand over the desserts lined up on long tables covered in calico tablecloths. The special offerings of the ladies of the Methodist church dotted the tables—and each woman watched eagerly to see which platters and baskets emptied first. A young slave stood at each end of the table steadily waving a palm fan to keep the flies away.

"Our Elsie baked the chess pie, and it is a favorite. So you are fortunate that there is still a piece left—if you like chess pie, that is, Lieutenant."

The stranger grinned. "I don't blame you for sampling the goods. I don't know that I could have resisted either. And it's Captain."

Flustered, Amanda flicked open her fan. "Oh, my soul. I'm sorry. I'm not very conversant with military ranks."

"Give it no mind." Pointing to the chess pie, he said, "That must be a Southern dish. I've never tried it, but upon your recommendation, I'm happy to indulge." He held his plate toward her, and she lifted a sugary, buttery slice of the chess pie onto his already full plate. "This is such a treat for my men—to sit down to home cooking. Thank you for your hospitality."

"You are very welcome, sir."

"I am Captain Kent Littlefield." He tipped his hat with his free hand.

Again she dipped a slight curtsy. "Amanda Irene Belle, sir. My father is filling in as pastor until we can call a permanent one." She nodded toward her father, who lingered at the front door of the church, visiting with members of the congregation. The shoulders of his lean, lanky form slumped forward, as they usually did—a habit formed because of his height. "That 'temporary' position has lasted for two years already." She smiled. "I am pleased to meet you."

"The pleasure is mutual." Captain Littlefield nodded his head and grinned as he walked to join his men at a nearby table, balancing his overloaded plate. He glanced in her direction several times, but she averted her eyes and looked away.

After dinner, as they were clearing the tables, the captain walked toward Amanda carrying several plates. "Here, let me help you."

"Thank you, Captain Littlefield. We're almost finished."

He handed her the plates and then pulled the cloth from the serving table. He shook it out, folded it, and handed it to her. "Well, thank you again, Miss Belle." Their hands brushed, and he took hers and raised it to his lips. "I like it."

"Pardon me?"

"The chess pie—I like it."

"Oh ... yes ... the pie." She fumbled with her basket.

Before she could pick it up, Captain Littlefield had it over one arm and offered her his other. "May I escort you to your buggy?" He cupped her elbow in his hand and assisted her. "I shall look forward to seeing you again ... at church?"

She laughed. "Yes, I'm here every Sunday. You know, when you're the pastor's daughter, it's expected." She cleared her throat. "So to speak."

He fixed his gaze on her and lifted his eyebrows, then stepped back as her father approached. The two men shook hands and introduced themselves. Amanda touched her cheek, which had started to blotch, displaying her disquietude to those around her. She twisted the cameo ring on her finger and turned to watch as the captain mounted his horse and waved good-bye.

* * *

Father's bass voice boomed out the familiar line of the closing hymn. "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee."

Amanda, her brother, Daniel, and the three little Belle sisters turned to leave when they spotted Captain Littlefield across the aisle toward the back.

Daniel bounded toward him and shook his hand. "Welcome again, Captain Littlefield. I'm Daniel Belle, Amanda's brother."

The captain glanced over Daniel's shoulder at Amanda. "Yes, I remember from last week. Good to see you again."

The two young men turned and walked out the back door where Father stood at his usual place bidding members of the congregation good-bye. Captain Littlefield shook his hand and lingered a moment, chatting. Her father smiled and clapped the officer on his shoulder.

What were they talking about? Grabbing Mary and Catherine's hands, Amanda skirted around the bevy of women moving slowly down the steps and waited for Daniel and Captain Littlefield.

Ten-year-old Emmaline had broken away from her sisters and run to her brother. Suddenly shy, she ducked behind Daniel's long legs, and he laughed and pulled her in front of him as they approached the hitching rail. Captain Littlefield gathered the reins of his horse.

"Good morning. Is that a new bonnet?" Claire, Amanda's best friend and Daniel's sweetheart, stopped them. She patted Catherine, who was six, on the head and knelt down to hug little Mary. "How are you girls today?"

"Hold you." Mary held her arms up.

Claire laughed. "You're almost too big for me to hold anymore, but I'll try." She swung the four-year-old into her arms and settled her on her hip, and kissed her on the cheek. "You're growing up too fast."

"Not fast enough." Amanda smiled. "Sometimes I think they will never grow up."

"I'm sure it does seem like that to you sometimes. But look at Emmie. She's getting so tall." She waved in the direction of Daniel and Emmaline, who were chatting with Captain Littlefield.

Daniel motioned for the girls to join them. Amanda felt her face flush as they drew near to the men. Daniel reached for Claire's arm, still holding on to Emmaline with the other hand.

"Captain Littlefield, may I introduce my fiancée, Claire Beecham. I believe you've met my sister Amanda. And these are my two youngest sisters, Mary and Catherine."

"You are surrounded by beautiful women, it seems."

Daniel chuckled. "Yes, so it seems." He took Mary from Claire.

"I noticed you visiting with my father at the door," Amanda said.

Captain Littlefield grinned. "Yes, I asked him if it was permissible for a Presbyterian to attend your Methodist services when my duties at Fort Washington allow me to do so."

"And ...?"

"He assured me that it was." The captain mounted his large gray. "I must return to my duty station."

"How long have you been stationed at the fort?"

"Just a couple of months."

Amanda opened her parasol against the vivid noonday sun as she looked up at him. "I hope you and your men know how much we appreciate the protection of the federal troops. We feel most vulnerable here on the frontier, with the wetlands and swamp on one side and the ocean on the other. Thank you for your service."

He smiled and tipped his hat. "You are most welcome. Ladies, Daniel. I trust we will have the opportunity to meet again soon."

* * *

Amanda saw Captain Littlefield in church every Sunday after that for a month, although he did nothing more than tip his kepi and say, "Good morning, Miss Belle." She wondered if he was more interested in chess pie than he was in her, yet there was something in his expression when he looked her way. His eyes seemed to smile at her.

One Sunday morning in October the captain entered the pew behind the Belle family. He held his cap in his hand. "Good morning, all you beautiful Belle women. You too, Daniel."

Amanda ducked her head and blushed.

Daniel turned around to shake the captain's hand. "For a Presbyterian you are becoming quite faithful to this Methodist church."

Kent laughed, and even his laughter sounded husky, like his voice. "I guess I am. I enjoy your father's sermons."

"Would you do us the honor of coming to our home for dinner? Then you and Father could have more than simply a few moments to talk."

Amanda turned around in her seat. "Please do, Captain Littlefield. We have great plenty at our house."

"You are certain that it is acceptable with your father?"

Amanda nodded. "Guests are always welcome in our home."

"Will you be serving chess pie?"

Her lips lifted in a demure smile. "I can't guarantee chess pie, but I can guarantee that the meal will be delicious."

"How could I resist such a tempting invitation? I heartily accept."

* * *

The three young people passed the time on the veranda before dinner. The day was cloudy and threatening rain, and Amanda could smell the moisture in the air. She and Daniel sat in the swing as they chatted, and Captain Littlefield leaned against the railing. The family's big yellow dog lay sprawled at Daniel's feet.

The captain let the dog sniff his hand. "Pretty dog. What's his name?"

"Sam Houston—after our governor—we just call him Sam. He's a mutt, but he's a good dog."

Sam wagged his tail and nuzzled the captain's hand.

He chuckled. "Looks like I've made a friend."

Amanda leaned forward, stopping the gliding of the swing. "Daniel tells me you are a graduate of West Point."

"Yes. It's a family tradition that all of our men go to West Point. And since I'm the only son ..." He grinned. "I have four sisters."

Daniel slapped his knee. "Very good! That's something we have in common."

"And where is your home, Captain Littlefield?" Amanda asked.

"Pennsylvania."

Daniel leaned back in the swing and put his arm around his sister. "How do you like Texas?"

"I love Texas, especially here on the coast where you can see the ocean from every part of town. And since horses are my passion, well ... there's no better horse country than Texas."

"Texas is indeed horse country, even though some have attempted to make it camel country as well."

They all laughed at the mention of the less than successful experiment of bringing camels to south Texas.

"Camels will never replace horses in Texas," Daniel said.

"I agree. However, the army does use camels to carry large loads of equipment across the desert."

Daniel nodded toward the captain's gray. "That's a fine horse you have. What's his name?"

"Sterling Prancer, but I just call him Sterling. He's a bit of a show-off—likes to prance around in front of people. My father gave him to me when I turned eighteen."

"Before you went to West Point?"

"Yes, and then my orders brought me to Texas. I truly love this area. In fact, I'd like to buy a ranch and settle here someday—after I retire from the military. There is a charm about the West that tugs at me."

"How would your family feel about that?"

"I'm sure they would rather I settle in Pennsylvania." He looked at Amanda. "But I have nothing to tie me down there—no sweetheart, I mean, or anything like that."

Amanda avoided his eyes and put her hand to her neck. As usual, she could feel the embarrassing mottling of her skin that she inherited from her mother spread to her cheeks.

* * *

"Is that Captain Littlefield?" Amanda asked as an officer on horseback approached their fence.

"I invited him to come by this evening after he got off duty." Daniel rose from his seat on the porch swing and strode out to meet the officer.

Captain Littlefield walked through the gate and stopped to greet Emmaline, Catherine, and Mary, who were playing in the yard. The girls giggled as he handed each of them a wildflower he had plucked somewhere along the way.

"Welcome, Captain Littlefield. I'm glad you could get away from your post and drop by for a visit," Ezekiel said.

The captain shook his hand. "Good evening, sir."

"Please, have a seat." Her father moved to the swing beside Amanda, and indicated a chair next to a table.

The captain turned and handed one remaining flower to Amanda. "There are still wildflowers in the fields. I thought you might enjoy ..."

Amanda rose and took the flower. She opened the front door. "Elsie, would you bring the lemonade and cookies, please?"

Captain Littlefield cleared his throat and took a deep breath. Leaning over the railing of the veranda, he looked out over the ocean. "I love the fragrance of the ocean. Did you know that it smells different on the East Coast?"

Amanda turned her attention to the young man. "Well, Papa's family is from Alabama—on the coast, but that's still the Gulf. Why would there be any difference?"

"I suppose it has to do with the different vegetation and sea animals, but the odor is definitely different." The glow from the setting sun sent brilliant shades of pink and orange across the waves. "You have a beautiful view." He turned to Amanda's father. "May I have permission to escort your daughter on a stroll along the beach, sir?"

Her father sputtered and stood, sending the swing twisting from side to side. "It's getting late, and we need to get the girls to bed."

"Kitty can do that," Amanda said. "Daniel will come with us—won't you, Daniel?"

Daniel laughed and leapt over the railing. "Of course. A walk on the beach is always in order."

"Very well," their father grumbled. "Don't be gone long."

The young people, accompanied by Sam, were down the steps before he could voice any other arguments.

They walked toward the shoreline, the rhythmic swooshing of the waves punctuating their conversation. Daniel plied the captain with a plethora of questions about military life. "Do you get homesick? What is the most difficult part of being an officer? Is the food horrible? Aren't those uniforms hot? What has been your most difficult order to carry out?"

"Little brother! Give the poor captain a rest. I'm sure he's growing weary of your questions."

"Little brother?"

Amanda laughed. "Yes, but barely. It gives him pause for me to call him that. There's only eleven months between us."

"Oh, I see."

An awkward silence followed before Daniel interjected, "I'm nineteen."

"Yes, well, I don't mind the questions about being in the military. They are all questions I had prior to going to West Point."

Daniel held up his hand. "Very well, then, one more question: what do you find is the main difference between living in the North and living in the South?"

Captain Littlefield hesitated before he answered. "Isn't that rather obvious? It would be the issue of slavery."

Amanda and Daniel both stared at the captain, and Amanda felt her pulse escalate. "You have servants in your home, do you not?"

"We do. We have servants. Not slaves. They are free to come and go."

"Is it ... is our way of life offensive to you?"

"I would say different. I see that your slaves are well cared for and seem to be content, but—" He stuck his hands in his pockets.

"Go on, please. But what?"

"But ... they are not free. I must admit that I am offended by the fact that human beings are owned by other human beings."

Amanda snapped her fan. "My father says he will free our slaves soon, especially with President Lincoln backing the abolition of slavery. But how will we run our farm then? Bellevue is not a true plantation, but we are a very large farm."

Daniel stepped in. "This is nothing we can solve today. It's a difficult question."

"Yes, and I must admit that I don't have all the answers. Nobody does."

The three fell silent. Daniel ran to the shore and began skipping rocks on the water. Amanda and the captain fell behind.

"Miss Belle ..."

"Please call me Amanda."

"Yes, well, Amanda. I hope this discussion about slavery won't discourage you from ..."

"Discourage me?"

"Discourage you from looking upon me with favor. I would like to ask permission to call on you."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons Copyright © 2011 by Golden Keyes Parsons. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    HIS STEADFAST LOVE by Golden Keyes Parsons is an interesting and

    HIS STEADFAST LOVE by Golden Keyes Parsons is an interesting and intriguing inspirational historical romance set in 1861 Texas during the Civil war era. How can you chose between love and family?But during the Civil war era that is exactly what Amanda Bell must do.Captain Kent Littlefield aligns with the Union, while her brother,Daniel aligns with the Confederate states,Amanda finds herself in a conflict of the heart. Filled with the atrocities of war,faith,the chaos of war,internal struggles,romance,and love. Fast paced story of love and decision that could cause one to lose their life,the other their heart. A must for anyone who enjoys historical romance,fiction,Civil war era,inspirational stories and love. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details at the author's website,Thomas Nelson, and My Book Addiction and More.
    RATING: 4.5
    HEAT RATING: SWEET
    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    His Steadfast Love is a Civil War-era novel mainly centered on A

    His Steadfast Love is a Civil War-era novel mainly centered on Amanda and her difficult choice between supporting his brother, Daniel who fights for the South and her love interest, Kent who fights for the North. Torn between choosing family versus love in a war where no one really wins, she struggles with her faith and her heart too.

    Ms. Parsons has made a well-researched historical-romance-politics book that would make you realize the horrors of what men, fathers, sons and families had to endure when our own country went to war against itself. The plot isn’t that unique, but the storyline and the other subplots especially the theme of faith and slavery makes “His Steadfast Love” a wonderful book. The descriptions of the culture, surroundings and even what war look like was well-written. This book put you back into the time of the Civil War.

    I love all of the characters, Ms. Parsons made a wonderful job in weaving them to reality. I was carried away with the real emotions and real prejudices. The flaws of each of the characters made the story real too. I honestly hate too perfect characters, but in this book, they had flaws, they made mistakes. And it’s the best thing that makes reading this relatable.

    I really love Kent here..:)… he’s not just a soldier fighting for his country and what he believes in but he’s willing to fight for love too. Amanda’s is a strong character I would also remember because of how she learned and listened to her heart and God’s word.

    The reason I give this 4.5 is because the story was in a slow-paced, there are fighting, drama, conflicts but these are evenly placed. Also because although I really admire the protagonists relationship and how God put them together, I felt it was rushed or like they met, met some more and fall in love. >not everyone may share this opinion. Also because, the story jump fast into time, like one month, then the next chapter is 6 months (maybe it’s just because I’m curious to what happened during the lost time :D)

    His Steadfast Love is about love, family and loyalty. Where does your loyalty rely- to your country or to your own family? Is love enough to disobey your family? This book made us see death and how hope, even in the darkest times could make life worthwhile.

    An engaging and thought-provoking read that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical pieces with the subthemes of love, faith, loyalty and slavery.

    Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Y'all will love this story.

    Y’all will love this story!
    The setting for this romance brings the history alive and Ms Parsons gives us a wonderful insight into the lifestyle of pre-Civil War Texas, during the war and after the war. The history breathes as our hero and the heroine’s brother are in battles and moving around the country during the war. Our heroine experiences many changes to her lifestyle and grows, sometimes tenuously, in her faith and mettle through those changes. The ravages of war and its effects cannot daunt the love our hero, Kent, has for Amanda, even though they are from opposing sides.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Love is found on the battlefield!

    Imagine if you will, being in Texas just on the Gulf. It's the spring of 1861 and Amanda Bell is the oldest of four sisters and a brother she is helping to raise along with her father, Pastor Ezekiel Bell on their southern plantation. Her mother passed away and left Amanda tasked with raising her siblings until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

    However with the rivalry between the North and the South, the stirrings of a Civil War is on the horizon and Amanda's only brother Daniel is willing to go to war to defend the South's position on slavery. What he doesn't seem to understand is even though they treat their slaves well, they are still not free. However Pastor Bell provides his blessing over Daniel as he heads off to war along with his childhood friends and Amanda is helpless to stop him.

    When Amanda meets Captain Kent Littlefield during a church service, she finds her heart pulled in a way she hadn't expected. Now that the war has begun, Captain Littlefield has been called to duty fighting for the North, which now puts her at odds with the man she loves from the North, going to war with the brother she loves from the South. Will either of them return home from the war? Or will this war keep her love at a crossroads she can never hope to cross battle lines?

    In the latest novel by Golden Keyes Parsons, His Steadfast Love, shows the horrors of what men, fathers, sons and families had to endure when our own country went to war against itself. In the end, lines were drawn and even when the war ended some feelings would never be resolved over what men had witnessed during their time of war. This is a chilling, fictional account of the Civil War that was waged in regards to the issue over men's freedom within our own country and along the way, God and love will prevail.

    I received His Steadfast Love compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was amazed at this fictional account of one of our countries bloodiest battles on our own soil and the amount of lives that were lost in the war. Amanda Bell is a strong woman character I could relate to, who was willing to put aside her feelings of duty to her family and learn to listen to her heart and God's word. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this to anyone who loves historical romance!

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great story during the Civil War

    I love to read a good historical book and this is one of those. A love story back during the Civil War where Amanda Belle, a southern lady brought up with the strict upbringing of a Southern family and she is left to care for her younger brothers and sisters after the lost of her mother. She met an Union army officer Kent Litterfield just before the civil war started and they fell in love. But he soon had to leave her for the union army and having to leave the woman he loves back in the south.

    Soon Amanda's brother Daniel joined the Confederate army, so now they would be fighting brother against brother, so sad. Will their love be enough to bring Kent back to Amanda or will she loose him.

    As I am also a southern lady and lost my own great-grandfather in the civil war, I know a lot about the way the south was destroyed by the north. My own great-grandfather was last heard of near Charleston, SC never to return, my grandfather was born during this time never to know his own father. I love to read about this time, but I also hurt for my own people at what they had to undergo.

    Thanks so much to Wynn-Wynn Media for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Civil War Romance

    This book takes place during the Civil War. Most of the book is set in Texas. For me that made it very interesting since I have lived in Texas my whole life. It shows many of the ugly parts of the war on both sides. Often when we are in a conflict we only see the side we have chosen. We often forget that there are good and bad things on each side. And we often forget that when the war is over we need to move forward, forgive and rebuild what was torn down.

    Kent and Amanda faced the fact that they were on different sides of the war but their love continued to grow. They depended on the Lord to bring them back together when the time was right. You see honest doubt in Amanda about the prayers she offers up to the Lord through the years of death and hardship. But when it comes right down to it she returns to her faith and trusts the Lord to take care of her and her family.

    Kent is a man of honor and understands that even though he is a leader in the war, there is a line that should be drawn. He is not always able to keep his troops from the evil they seek to do but you see that it is a part of his heart to do so.

    If you love history and romance, you will enjoy this book. I would not recommend it to younger readers since the topic tends to lean heavily on the war, unless you want to use it as part of your history lessons for older teens so that you can talk about what you have read and address the ugliness of the war with them.

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    His Steadfast Love - A Review

    His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons is a story of God¿s faithfulness in the midst of the most serious conflict, confusion, and controversy. Against the background of the Civil War, Amanda Belle, a supporter of the Confederate cause, falls in love with a Union officer. Both she and the man she loves are devout Christians and both are praying for victory for their respective sides. Yet, how can God answer both of their prayers if one of them is not on the side of truth? And where does the truth lie? This central question is resolved by the end of this entertaining and inspiring book. Packed with emotion, this story will captivate you from beginning to end. You will laugh and you will cry as God¿s answer to division emerges as unchangeable and constant as ever.

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  • Posted November 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    His Steadfast Love - A Moving Tale

    Author, Golden Keyes Parsons, uses vivid details and words that painted wonderful pictures for me and kept me fully engaged. The week that I read this book, I substituted all week, and I almost couldn't stand it when I had to stop reading.

    I appreciated historical facts that were included. Some I had not considered before and some gave me ideas for further exploration. I also liked that a reader's guide was included. The questions are perfect for further personal consideration of issues raised in His Steadfast Love, or for a book club discussion. I would definitely recommend this book.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    Enjoyed, but not as much as I would have liked.

    Amanda Belle falls in love with a dashing young soldier, Kent Littlefield. But then the Civil war breaks out and Amanda finds her heart divided between to two men she loves most, her brother Daniel, with the Confederate Army, and Kent with the Union. While she tries to keep her family's home in order Daniel and Kent are fighting each other on the battlefields.




    First off, Ms. Parsons is a very talented writer and I loved her style. But it wasn't until 2/3's of the way into the book did I truly become drawn into the story, and the characters. At times I felt that the story moved too fast and I would have liked to slow down a bit, as this book spans the 5 years of the war, it was understandable. I also thought that the romance moved a bit swiftly for me, though their relationship was strengthened through many letters and correspondance.




    The characters were a bit hard to get into for the first 2/3's of the book, but I eventually warmed to them. My favorite character was Washington, because he was such a gentle, faithful soul. I think that Ms. Parsons really did an amazing job of pulling off the Belle family owning slaves, because often Christian books shy away from that and I think that those relationships really made the book richer. I also liked the story of Claire and Daniel's romance, it was very sweet indeed :)




    Overall this book was a slow starter for me, I was engaged, but not as much as I would have liked to have been. Thanks :)




    Final Rating: 3.8 out of 5

    I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    His Steadfast Love - A Lackluster Read

    Actual Rating: 1.5/5 stars
    Level of Recommendation: N/A
    Recommend to: N/A

    Amanda Belle is a typical Christian Southern woman. She meets Captain Kent Littlefield, and there is an instant connection between the two. But when Civil War breaks out, Amanda is forced to choose between family loyalty and love. With Captain Kent Littelefield as a Union solider and her own brother, Daniel, on the Confederate side, Amanda has to make a difficult choice: follow her heart or stay by her family.

    I honestly did not enjoy this book very much. The writing wasn't bad, but I just wasn't drawn to either Amanda or Kent. Neither character interested me, and as the two main characters, I expected more from them. Their love story wasn't believable to me either. I found it difficult to understand or see why it was the two fell for each other. Also, their declarations of love felt contrived. Their interactions were so limited before that I could not understand how and when the two had fallen in love with each other.

    Overall, this book was hugely disappointing. I found myself skimming most of the pages just to get to the end. I thought that the historical setting and intriguing premise held a lot of potential, but the love story just wasn't strong enough to make this book memorable. I did develop a soft spot for Claire and Daniel, but their touching story was not enough to redeem this book. I can't say I'd recommend this book to others, but if you enjoy historical Christian romance, you might like it more than I did.


    **I graciously received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
    **This review can also be found on LibraryThing and Goodreads

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    An Enjoyable Light Read for Girls

    A daughter's promise to her dying mother. A war between the states. A family to care for. A Confederate brother. A Union Captain.

    In 1861, Amanda thinks she will never get married. She made a promise to her dying mother. A promise that was made willingly, but is rather binding to her siblings. She's fine with that, until handsome Captain Kent Littlefield walks into her life. Then Texas secedes from the Union and Amanda's brother joins the Confederate army. Where does Captain Littlefield go? Well, he joins the Union army. As you can probably guess, this complicates that blossoming friendship between the Captain and Amanda. When her father forbids her to pursue the relationship, Amanda is heartbroken, but moves on with her life. Until, her father dies, her brother is wounded, and the love of her life is captured.

    The Bad: There is very little to not like about this book. It was simple and sweet, it had an interesting plot line, and a lot of history. :) However, some people might be worried about some elements. One, Amanda continues to secretly write the Captain even after her father forbids their relationship. Two, the couples in this book do hug and kiss.

    The Good: This book was really good and interesting. The plot line was intriguing (not predictable) and made for a very enjoyable read. One wonderful thing about this book was Amanda's strong faith in Christ and her love of people.

    My Thoughts: I would recommend this book to my friends (the girls that is!). It isn't life changing or challenging, but it made for some fun light reading!





    Score ~ ????
    Violence ~ 1
    Indecency ~ 3
    Language ~ None
    Age Appropriateness ~ 15 and Up

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    Just Okay

    It is the year 1861 and trouble has arisen in The U.S. regarding the slave population.

    Amanda Belle and her family dwell in Texas, a southern state. After promising to raise her sisters at her mother's deathbed Amanda never dreamed of or contemplated the idea of marriage or a family of her own. Then she meets Captain Kent Littlefield and love blossoms, but they are forced to put aside their feelings as the civil war begins. Her brother, Daniel joins the Confederate army while Kent, being northern, remains with the Union. Amanda is torn between the two and the situation she finds herself in, all she can do is pray and have faith in God, how will it all turn out?

    Recently I learned about the civil war era in history class, so I was curious to see how the civil war and the events that occurred during this time would play out in this book. The story was just all right; personally for me. it lacked that special spark. The love that was portrayed between Amanda and Kent didn't seem to be as resistant and strong as they tried to depicted it. I honestly had a hard time connecting with the characters. Overall I rate this 3 stars, and if you are interested in this book because you would like to learn about the civil war, just remember this is a fiction book so the way events are played out aren't what actually occurred.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    His Steadfast Love

    I really enjoy reading novels that are set during the Civil War era and this book was no exception!

    I liked how the book started six months before the start of the war and ended shortly after the war. I got to see how different both sides were towards one another before the war, and how drastically that changed. I thought 'His Steadfast Love' portrayed very well how torn most people must have been during this time, with brother fighting against brother, friend against friend, and father against son.

    Amanda knows just how this feels. She is torn between both sides. Her brother is fighting for the Confederacy and the man she loves is fighting for the Union. Every victory is a defeat, every advance is a setback, when one is winning the other is losing. She will never be completely happy until this war is over. Little does she know that even that may not solve all the problems that have been created.

    The reason I didn't give 'His Steadfast Love' five stars, is because several times very obscure words were used and had I not been reading this book on an ereader I would have had to look them up because I couldn't figure out what they meant. I liked that I learned some new words, but at the same time this slowed the story down. I also didn't like how abrupt the ending was - I felt that there should at least have been a few more pages.

    Overall, 'His Steadfast Love' is a book that I would recommend. I think that this book would make an excellent movie - especially if they made the ending a little longer! Anyone who loves Civil War era books should LOVE this book - I know I did!

    *** I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of it - which I have done.***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    GREAT!

    His Steadfast Love is an amazingly good book! The plot caught my attention and it was well written. This book is a romance set in Texas. This book is an inspirational book. It has lots of religious moments in it that I admire. His Steadfast Love is great and I can tell it had a lot of work put into it. The characters are well described, the plot is amazingly interesting, and everything about this book is good!

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great, Historically Accurate book!

    The Civil War, America's biggest scar. Brother against brother, father against son, and countrymen killing their other countrymen. Families and lives torn apart in a second. So is the world that Amanda Belle finds herself hating, as both her brother, and potential husband have left to fight. On different sides, that is. Through the long, miserable war, Amanda finds herself hating the cruel soldiers, Yankee and Confederate, and wishing that her sweetheart and her brother could simply return. Through the war, she remains fearful for her Brother's life, as well as the life of her beloved. Will her world ever be the same?
    I dearly enjoyed this story, and the detail woven within. Until I read this book, I understood what happened during the Civil War, and that it was a terrible time in America. I never had understood the depth of the tragedy until now, and I am amazed and thankful that America even got through that devastation. This book was detailed enough, but not overly so, it was lengthy enough, but again, not overly. The one side note {Not a criticism} I had was this: If you choose to read this book {which I hope you will} pay attention to the dates listed! If you ignore the dates, you will be lost. I overly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to whosoever enjoys historical/fun books!
    Sincerely,
    Libbi H,

    I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Live To Read

    This book is perfect for those who enjoy the civil war era. The main character, Amanda, has to make several difficult decisions. She doesn't know where to turn or who to choose. In this awful time period, she finds herself falling in love with a potential enemy and she still wants to obey her family.




    The author clearly did research into this era. The reader doesn't have to worry about discrepancies or errors. The events are very well-detailed. The reader will be able to picture some scenes. Amanda as a character was OK to read about. She could be a little too sensitive to others' feelings sometimes...eventually you have to put yourself first or at least second. She was brave, smart, and calm through most of the book. The secondary characters were interesting, they added a fair amount to the book. This book is recommended to adult readers.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Good Read!

    When I start a book that I don't want to put down, that usually is a GOOD sign! I loved reading His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons. This is a Civil War Novel that intertwines the concept of war with the concept of God's never failing love. This story is a good reminder for anyone who might be struggling with their commitment to the Lord, their faith, or just their understanding of how great God's love is for each of us.
    Amanda Belle is a Southern woman who meets a Union Officer before the Civil War begins as he is stationed in Texas for a short time. He (Kent Littlefield) gets to know her family and inevitably falls in love with Amanda. He declares that he will come back for her and wishes to write her as well as get her father's blessing, except that her father does not agree due to him being a Union Officer. Amanda and Kent correspond in secret until Amanda's father passes away. Not only does the story focus on their love for each other, but it also focuses on aspects of the Civil War, and the main reason for all the fighting. The South wants the "choice" to keep their slaves without being bothered, and the North wants to end slavery completely. We see how Amanda is changed by the war (not that she was hard on her slaves, in fact she and her siblings had a very unique relationship with their slaves), and becomes devoted to her beloved Kent, even if it meant going against her brother Daniel, who also fought in the war, on the Confederate side.
    As God's message of love and forgiveness are woven into this story, so do the characters that Parsons writes about develop. It is an enjoyable story of love and commitment to your country and your family. I look forward to reading many more books by Golden Keyes Parsons!

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Civil War historical

    This is the second book that I have read by Golden Parsons and I really think I liked the first book titled "Where Hearts Are Free"much better than this one. I normally am a huge fan of historicals especially ones that take place around the Civil War but for me this book really didn't seem to be very thouroughly researched. Other than that it was an okay story. Again I loved the civil war time period, and the fact that the plot moved along quickly was another plus. Even though that the main character (Amanda ) made a promise to her mother on her deathbed she still found herself falling in love with Captain Kent Littlefield, a union soldier, even though her brother Daniel was with the Confederates. I couldn't help but wonder how things would work out. I also find it quite refreshing that a writer can pull us into a story, and also give us a nice positive christian message as well.

    If you enjoy historical fiction, and don't mind a bit of innaccuracies in the details then I think your going to enjoy this one. I easily give it four stars and will certainly watch for more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    His Steadfast Love

    Good evening, all! I hope that everyone is well. I have just received a new book from booksneeze- "His Steadfast Love" by Golden Keyes Parsons. I'm not entirely sure that's the author's real name, but if it is, I am extremely jealous. Anyway, I need to say, before I get started on the review, I received this book for free from the Thomas Nelson Publishing company through the Booksneeze bloggers' program, and everything I say is my own, complete, and honest opinion. So, now, on with the show! "His Steadfast Love" by Golden Keyes Parsons takes place during the civil war, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. A young woman, Amanda, never thinking that she would get married, finds herself falling in love with a Union captain. When her brother joins the Confederates, she is torn in two. What happens next? I guess that you will just have to read it for yourself and find out. Mixing history beautifully with romance, "His Steadfast Love" by Golden Keyes Parsons is a very well written book. It is interesting to see both sides of a conflict put together so well (you know, Union v. Confederate). I give this book four out of five stars.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Aptly titled His Steadfast Love is a character driven inspirational Civil War tale

    In 1860 Texas, Amanda Belle expects to never marrry as she already has a family to raise. She promised her dying mother she would help her father the preacher care for her brother Daniel and younger sisters (Emmaline, Mary and Catherine). However, when Army Captain Kent Littlefield begins attending her dad's church, Amanda knows she is attracted to him.

    In 1861, Texas secedes from the Union. Daniel joins the Confederacy while Kent remains with the Union. Amanda worries about the safety of the two men she loves. She turns to God for guidance especially on slavery, but the Lord is mute. When her father, dies, Amanda knows her three siblings come before her aching heart and soul as she remains steadfast to God to help her and others through the horror of war.

    Aptly titled His Steadfast Love is a character driven inspirational Civil War tale that makes a strong case that armed conflict is rarely if ever the answer to disputes. Although the story line starts slowly, once the war ignites, the novel accelerates with vivid descriptions of the experiences of the lead trio and others. Readers will appreciate this exciting Americana tale as Amanda wonders why God is silent allowing man to cause so much pain to fellow man.

    Harriet Klausner

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