Where Hearts Are Free (Darkness to Light Series #3)

( 26 )

Overview

Bridget is in love with one man...and promised to another.

Amid the liberty and promise of the New World, Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love. But nothing about their love seems possible.

To pay for the Clavell family's passage from France, Philippe, a former member of French royalty, worked as an indentured slave to the Barringtons. Bridget is the heiress of the prominent plantation.

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Where Hearts Are Free (Darkness to Light Series #3)

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Overview

Bridget is in love with one man...and promised to another.

Amid the liberty and promise of the New World, Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love. But nothing about their love seems possible.

To pay for the Clavell family's passage from France, Philippe, a former member of French royalty, worked as an indentured slave to the Barringtons. Bridget is the heiress of the prominent plantation.

When Bridget's parents discover the budding Romance between their daughter and their servant, they quickly orchestrate her engagement to an older, more advantageous match. But Edward Moorehead has a secret. And he's anything but a good match for Bridget.

Separated from her true love and in danger from her betrothed, Bridget must rely on God to deliver her from darkness into light.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595546289
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Series: Darkness to Light Series , #3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,310,730
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (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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First Chapter

Where Hearts Are Free

BOOK THREE IN THE DARKNESS TO LIGHT SERIES
By Golden Keyes Parsons

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Golden Keyes Parsons
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-6262-5


Chapter One

Bridget pulled the lace curtain aside and peered through the diamond-shaped windowpanes. She watched from her upstairs room as the handsome Frenchman calmed a rearing red roan in the early morning fog. He dodged the flailing hooves with no more than a step sideways and stroked the neck of the nervous mare.

She tugged her hood over her head and pulled a blonde lock of hair out from under the folds of the soft blue fabric of her silk palatine. Not that Philippe Clavell would notice. Horses captured his attention; riding captured his attention; newborn colts captured his attention-but she did not. She had to admit, however, that his skill with horses was a most attractive aspect of this young indentured servant. He harnessed the team of mares to the carriage and led the rig around the corner of the house toward the front of the Barrington plantation that sat on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

It did not seem possible that six years had passed since her father had bid on him at the redemptioner's auction on the wharf that drizzly day. And though he'd carried her deepest secret all these years, the older the two became, the more he seemed to withdraw from her. They had not ridden together in months.

Bridget turned from the window and moved down the stairs to the front door. As she descended the steps from the porch to the circular driveway, Philippe appeared with the carriage. Her parents, Amos and Sarah Barrington, followed her, chattering about the day's outing.

Bridget loved going to Philadelphia to spend time with her best friend and childhood companion, her cousin Ella. But since Ella's marriage, their times to share confidences had become fewer and shorter. Bridget missed her.

The top of Bridget's head barely reached the tall Frenchman's shoulders as he opened the carriage door. He nodded and helped her into the cab, along with her parents, then climbed onto the perch and chucked the reins. Bridget was pleased that Philippe was their driver today. He executed impeccable, formal manners and exhibited a strength that gave her a sense of security in the noisy streets of Philadelphia.

"Look at the violets and clover. Aren't they beautiful this morning?" Sarah tapped her daughter on the knee and pointed out the window.

Bridget gazed in the direction her mother pointed and watched the wildflowers that covered the hills nod their colorful heads, shaking off the early morning dew. "Mmm, yes, beautiful."

"Do stop that squinting. You'll get wrinkles." Sarah sat back and looked at her daughter. "What is going on in that pretty head of yours this morning? You're awfully quiet."

"Nothing." She fidgeted with her gloves. "Has Philippe asked permission to go see his brother today?"

Sarah turned to her husband. Amos shook his head. "Not yet. Why should that be of any concern to you?"

She shrugged her shoulder. "No reason. No reason a'tall." She continued to stare out the side of the carriage, but her mood fogged over like the vapor that hovered in patches over the landscape. She didn't want Philippe to go visit his brother. As an indentured servant, he wouldn't be included in any of the family activities, but she could imagine what it would be like if he were ... If only he could sit down to dinner with them, enter into conversation with the men, laugh at inside stories of the family. Family. Of course he wanted to go see his brother.

But still, selfish or not, she much desired to have him near. She was relieved when her mother began to prattle away about the arrival of Ella's new baby-the reason for their visit today.

"It's always nice to have a boy first. A big brother is ..." Sarah paused, and her eyes misted over.

Amos patted his wife's hand as she searched for her handkerchief. "That was a long time ago, Sarah."

"I know, but I still miss him."

"So do I."

Bridget wished her mother wouldn't do that. Her heart twisted inside of her with compassion, but she felt awkward whenever the subject of her older brother came up. Somehow it made her feel inadequate or guilty, even though she had not even been born then. Asthma had taken his life when he was twelve. Then there had been a baby boy who was stillborn. But all Bridget remembered was being an only child. She never knew what to say during these conversations. At least the ride was only thirty minutes into town.

Philippe slowed the buggy in front of the Osbornes' house and guided the team through the mud to the hitching post alongside the wooden sidewalk. He jumped down, secured the horses, and opened the door of the carriage. Amos emerged with a grunt and helped Sarah maneuver out of the buggy. Philippe waited for Bridget to set her foot on the iron plate.

She held out her hand to him, and her eyes traveled over the new formal blue footman's uniform that Amos had requested Philippe wear today. It fit his tall, slender frame perfectly, the epaulets accentuating his broad shoulders. She looked into his face as she stepped onto the street, but he averted her gaze. "Philippe, I appreciate the expert job you do in driving us. Thank you." She took her father's arm as Amos clapped Philippe on the back.

"Your time to leave us is drawing near, my boy," her father said. "What are we going to do without you?"

Philippe smiled. "I am sure you will manage." The young man paused as he helped the Barringtons gather their belongings. "May I ... may I have permission to visit my brother today?"

Bridget stared at Philippe and frowned.

"Of course." Amos glanced at his daughter and pulled a basket of baked goods from the carriage, handing it to his wife. "Be back here around three o'clock."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, monsieur."

Amos looked at the young man. "Your English has improved greatly, but one can definitely still detect the French accent."

Philippe nodded and untied the team to take them to the small stable in the back of the house. "I'll take care of the horses, and then I shall return before three, sir. Thank you, sir."

The Barringtons moved up the steps to the door of the house.

Bridget sighed. "I wish you had asked Philippe to wait here for us, Father."

"I would not deny the boy the chance to see his brother."

"He's not a boy. He's a man."

"Yes, of course. He's grown into a fine young man before our eyes. Come, ladies." He ushered his wife and daughter to the door and clacked the heavy knocker.

Bridget turned to watch Philippe head toward the back of the house with the carriage. He disappeared around the corner without so much as a glance in her direction.

Philippe adjusted his bag, shoved his hands into his pockets, and walked at a brisk pace down the now familiar street. He hunched his shoulders against the morning chill. The yellow daffodils, red tulips, and white lilies of the valley in patchy flower beds struggled to announce the arrival of spring, but the mornings were still cool. The sun began to poke through the haze, burning the moisture away. It would take him about twenty minutes to reach the shop, but he didn't mind the walk. On these days when the Barringtons came into town to visit relatives and allowed him to go see Charles, he pretended that he was no longer a servant, but a free man. And that he would be soon.

Rounding a bend in the road, he spotted the Harbor Tavern & Inn. He opened the heavy door; the wood scraped against the floor, alerting the proprietor, who looked up from behind a large table set with steins of ale and rounds of bread. The smell of cinnamon wafted from a large brick oven where the owner's wife poked a long-handled peel into the interior.

A wide grin spread across the man's face, revealing stained teeth with a wide gap in the front. "Philippe! I was just thinking about you this morning. I reckoned it was about time for you to come around. Come in, my friend."

Philippe shook the man's large, beefy hand and nodded toward the door. "I would be happy to fix that for you."

"Ah, no need. It shifts and will likely not be scraping next time you visit. Have you come for your usual?"

"Yes. A round of cheese, some smoked ham, and a loaf of your wife's wonderful bread. Do you have rye today?"

"Sorry, but"-the man put his hand up in the air and laughed-"my good wife is baking apple pies this morning. Surely you would want one of those."

Philippe took a leather pouch out of his tunic, poured his wages onto the dark wooden table, and began to count the coins. "How much?"

"For you, I throw the pie in for good measure."

"Ach, Mister Clark. You are too generous. How can you stay in business if you don't charge your customers?"

"My customers, I charge. My friends, I can give a gift, if I choose, eh?"

Philippe chuckled and scooped the coins into his hand. "Very well. How much for the rest? And I think I would like two loaves of whatever kind of bread you have today, please."

"The same."

Philippe shook his head and counted out the money. "Any news in the city?"

"Nothing, except the Lenape seem to be moving north and west."

"Yes, we've seen the movement of the Indians past our place. No trouble, though?"

"Not that I know of. Some of the older folk are staying, but I hear the younger ones are moving to expand onto more land."

Philippe nodded. Amos had worked diligently to maintain a good relationship with the local Algonquin tribes. They traded goods and even worked for him on occasion. Philippe had heard tales of Indian uprisings in other colonies, but in Pennsylvania, all seemed to be peaceful-so far.

Philippe paid for his food, stuffed it into his bag, and stepped out onto the street. He headed at a brisk pace toward the foundry. Approaching the establishment, he noticed the sign that announced Zwicken's Foundry leaning against the front of the building. His brother emerged from the front door with a hammer in his hand and picked up the heavy, carved marker. The wind tousled Charles' hair, still red but growing darker as he matured. The young man looked up at the bracket and put the hammer down.

"Need some help?"

Charles whirled around and dropped the sign. It clattered at his feet as he ran to his older brother and pulled him into a smothering hug. "Philippe! I'm so glad to see you!" He pounded Philippe on the shoulders. "Don't you look fine! New uniform?"

"Yes, well, you know how Mister Barrington is. Likes me to look the part."

Charles looked down at his ragged breeches, his worn shoes and stockings. "Ha! Not quite like my employer."

Philippe winced. "Well, do you?"

"Do I what?"

"Need help with the sign?"

"Oh ... uh, yes, please. I thought I was going to have to put on new hooks, but it appears to have simply swung out of the bracket. Grab that end of it, and I think we can hook it back on."

Philippe set his bag next to the shop window. He helped Charles heft the sign and rehook it. The heavy marker creaked as it swung into place.

Philippe motioned to Charles' tool belt. "Do you have pliers?"

Charles pulled out a pair.

"Let me lift you on my shoulders and you can press those hooks back together. Then it won't slip out again the next time it gets windy."

"Why didn't I think of that?" Charles cuffed him on the arm.

Philippe grinned and removed his tricornered hat. He bent down for Charles to climb on his shoulders, then slowly stood, raising Charles just high enough to reach the hooks. "Hurry. You're not as light as you used to be."

"Got it. Let me down."

Philippe lowered Charles and wiped his forehead with his sleeve. "It's warming up."

"Philippe, Clavell men are gentlemen. We use a handkerchief."

Philippe grinned and pulled a handkerchief out of the cuff of his jacket. "I remember saying that to you when the musketeers 'escorted' Maman and me to Versailles. You were pretty upset." He replaced the handkerchief, picked up his hat, and brushed his hair out of his eyes.

"Oui. I was." Charles wasn't quite as tall as Philippe but was more muscular. The gap of three years in their ages seemed to have narrowed now that they both were adults. "You look more and more like Papa every time I see you. Especially your hair-the way it falls across your forehead."

"I know." Philippe twirled his hat in his hands for a moment, then put it on.

"Philippe, do you know what bothers me?"

"What's that?"

"I can't remember what Papa looked like when I try to recall his face."

"You were pretty young."

"I was twelve. I should remember. But then when I see you, I see him. That makes me feel better."

"Don't feel guilty. I have trouble remembering as well." Philippe picked up his bag. "I brought food."

"You always do. Thank you. Can you stay awhile?"

"Oui, I don't need to leave until around two o'clock."

The door to the foundry opened, and a burly man with a bushy beard and huge arms filled the entrance. He boomed at Charles, "Anytime you feel like returning to work, Mister Clavell ..." He glared at Philippe. "You again."

"Yes, sir. I'd like to visit with my brother for a bit today. I'll be happy to work."

Mister Zwicken eyed his uniform. "In that finery?"

Philippe lifted his bag. "I brought work clothes."

"Humph." He scratched his chin. "Very well. But if we lose any time on this job, you're on your way."

"You'll make up time with me working alongside Charles. I guarantee it."

Zwicken opened the door wider and shooed the brothers inside. The shop was already steamy and noisy. They walked to Charles' workbench in the back of the shop.

Philippe removed his jacket. "What 'job' is he talking about?"

"We have several dozen rifles to ready for the militia. They are required now to use flintlocks, rather than matchlocks." He handed one of the weapons to Philippe.

Philippe peered down the sight. "It's longer."

"Yes, and look into the barrel."

"Ah, there are grooves."

"Makes the ball spin-one gets a more accurate shot." Charles sat down at a table. "That's our current project. We'd better get to work. Get changed. Zwicken will be watching."

Philippe donned a work tunic. He suspected Zwicken mistreated his employees, but Charles never spoke of it. His brother worked hard and deserved better. Philippe didn't know how he was going to return to the family in central Pennsylvania a free man in a few weeks while his brother labored in these conditions. Where was freedom for Charles?

Chapter Two

Bridget and her parents uttered the proper oohs and ahhs over the new baby in the wooden cradle. Ella beamed and rocked the cradle with her foot. David Osborne, the proud father, strutted around the room like a rooster and gathered with the men in front of the fireplace, discussing the latest news of the frontier.

"May I?" Bridget bent over to pick up the baby.

"I suppose that would be fine. We don't want to spoil him, though."

"I don't think his cousin holding him for a few moments is going to spoil him." Bridget picked the baby up in her arms and looked into his blue eyes as he blinked at her and jerked his fist into the air. "Do you think his eyes will stay blue?"

"I doubt it. Be careful. Hold his head. He's only a month old."

"I know how to hold a baby, Ella. Don't be so nervous."

"Well, you haven't had much experience."

Bridget smiled. Ella, with her dark hair and milk-white skin, looked more like Amos and Sarah's daughter than Bridget did herself. She knew what her cousin was insinuating: You should be married by now with a baby of your own. "I've birthed many a foal and puppy." She kissed the baby's forehead and nuzzled his cheek.

"Horses and dogs are hardly like a human baby."

"Oh, I disagree. They are very much like a human baby-helpless and weak and ..." The baby began to search against Bridget's arm to nurse. "And always hungry." She laughed and handed the baby back to her cousin.

Ella blushed. "Please excuse me. I'll go upstairs and feed our little David Junior."

A rap sounded upon the door as Ella left the room. A servant stepped into the parlor. "Mister Edward Moorehead."

David bounded toward the visitor. "Welcome, Edward. Thank you for coming."

A delicately handsome man stepped into the room. He wore a chocolate brown riding habit lined in gold satin with gold braid on the cuffs and buttonholes over a shorter, dark green embroidered vest. Mister Moorehead removed his hat, revealing a well-groomed head of dark blond hair, and acknowledged his host.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Where Hearts Are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons Copyright © 2010 by Golden Keyes Parsons. Excerpted by permission.
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

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2013

    This book was better than I could have ever imagined. I did not

    This book was better than I could have ever imagined. I did not realize until the end that this was the third book in a series. My early reservations of the book finally made sense since I had not read the first two books in the series.




    Let me say first that this book is definitely able to stand on its own two feet. The only thing I noticed was that the mother and father of the hero were not what I would call round characters. I realized that their characters were dealt with more in the first two books. And as I continued in the book, those characters grew on me. I began to understand who they were, so they no longer detracted from the enjoyment of the book.




    You will notice my five star rating. Yes, this book touched me in a way a fiction book had not since I was in high school. I loved the main female character--Bridget. She drew me in from the first page, and she was the reason I continued to read. I only read a chapter or two at a time at first, but that all changed once I got about halfway.




    I read this as I was substitute teaching in classes this week, and the past couple days I could hardly put the book down. I had to know how the story would end. And I will not hint in this review at the end--no spoilers from me!




    I was impressed with how the author handled the history of this book. I love historical fiction, and I knew nothing about the French Huguenots. I had heard about them before, but I had no idea about the persecution they faced. I was greatly intrigued with the way the author brought her history into this book.




    I was also impressed that the author, though Christian, made the story realistic. There was a point in the book where I believed that something had to happen, but I figured the author would sugarcoat it since it was a Christian novel. No, my friends, she wrote the story as it had to be written. 




    In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book. I plan to look up more by this author. I appreciate the fact that she writes excellent Christian fiction where the people have to face serious situations. Without the Lord, the characters in the book would never have fared as well as they did. I was reminded that the Lord can do anything He wants, and no one can thwart His will.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Silence

    It doesnt matter who....i know....or who my freinds are i will never find...ONE stinking person who understands!!!

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    Enjoyable read

    Number three in the series, Where Hearts Are Free concludes with the Clavell family coming to America. It's great because you get a taste of France at the beginning of the book and then move to America. I read the first two in this series also and enjoyed them, also. The story gives a satisfying ending in this historical romance. Golden Keys Parsons is great at detail and giving you a history lesson without even knowing it!

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Stunning Detail Becomes a Trip Through History

    Though this is the first book I have read by Parsons the stunning detail of setting, characters, and events flood the fertile imagination placing readers amidst the plot as they turn each page. I am looking forward to "rescuing" this author's previous novels from this series from my TBR soon. I'm sure there will be connections and carry over from the earlier Darkness to Light novels though this one read like a stand-alone title.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    Well Worth the Read

    When I saw that this book was the third in a series, I wondered whether my not having read the other two would mean that I'd feel as if there was something missing ... unsaid things that had been explained in the previous two books. I came to the conclusion that not having read the previous books and therefore not having the background and tension build-up probably took a little off this book for me personally. I read this book during a particularly busy and stressful time and so when I picked it up and opened to the first page, I wondered whether it would hold my interest and make me want to pick it up and read more, in spite of all the other distractions. I was pleased that it was easy to pick up and it kept my interest and I found it easy to make time to read it.

    A romance in the true sense ... Girl loves boy, girl can't have boy and parents want girl to have another boy who they think is more suitable, who just happens to have a dark past ... and boy that girl wants comes through as the hero in the end and they all live happily ever after. The story flicked back and forward between the main character, Bridget and her true love, Philippe which I enjoyed and felt that it helped keep the tension in the story as their two lives ran side by side, inching ever closer to each other until in the end their journeys came together. The ending was perhaps a little light ... and seemed a little rushed as if not quite as much time had been put into that as to the rest of the story.

    All that aside, I felt the story was well worth a read and I'd happily read other books by the same author.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Where Hearts Are Free

    'Where Hearts Are Free' by Golden Keyes Parsons is the third installment of her highly acclaimed Darkness to Light Trilogy. The other two being 'In The Shadow Of The Sun King' and 'A Prisoner of Versailles'.
    The story is set in Philadelphia 1681. It revolves around Bridget Barrington and the Clavell family. Bridget is in love with Philippe Clavell, who has worked for her father for six years as an indentured servant. However, because he is "only" a servant, she is forbidden to marry him, and her parents instead insist on a more suitable match - the daunting Edward Moorehead. The book deals with how in spite of all odds and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, love and faith in God finally triumph.
    I found 'Where Hearts Are Free' to be quite well researched and narrated in a quite a well woven manner. Though in certain parts the plot seemed to move too slowly, I attribute it to the pace of that era rather than the skills of the author.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    Meh.

    Typically, I read a book in one sitting (thank you, Mrs. Mico-Smith, for teaching the first grade "early birds" to speed read!), even if it isn't of great interest to me. Unfortunately, Where Hearts are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons took me just over three weeks to finish. I got through about half of the book in my first sitting; after that, I don't entirely know what it was, but I just couldn't bear to make myself sit down and read it. I would start, then have to stop after about five minutes when I got to the end of a chapter and couldn't push myself to go on to the next one. I found myself frustrated with the characters and their ridiculous actions, with the inevitable plot twists that I seemed to figure out pages ahead of their occurrences, with the horrid suitor who was all bad.

    Bridget Barrington, the protagonist, only becomes somewhat likeable at the end of the narrative; until then, she is portrayed as either selfish, strong willed, or weak. Unfortunately, her character wavers between the three, never fully settling on one personality. Contrary to the author's supposed intentions, this seems to make her an unrealistic, weak character. Also, there were a few storylines that were abandoned midway.

    While I would say that Where Hearts Are Free was entertaining, I thought it had great potential that it did not live up to. Thank you, though, to Thomas Nelson who provided this review copy to me free of charge. My opinions are my own.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    Swept Away to Colonial America!

    A story of honor, betrayal, pain and forgiveness--this novel brings you through several emotions that will sweep you away to early colonial America. While Phillipe Clavell tries to do what is right, his lack of action inadvertently causes the downfall of Bridget Barrington who desperately loves him. I like the way Bridget stands up to her family and goes after what she wants. When things don't turn out as she hopes, she doesn't give up, but she makes up her mind to make the best of her circumstances.

    Due to his position as the family's indentured servant and their opposing religious denominations, Philippe must resist Bridget. He almost hid his feelings for Bridget too well.

    Overall, Where Hearts Are Free is an enjoyable fast read with a sweet faith-based romance that blooms into true love. You get a real sense of how indentured servants were seen by society and treated. Yet, one can see the hope and fresh start these families experienced once their indentured service was over--a chance at the American dream to be free. The characters are memorable, the story realistic and moving, and the faith of the characters is inspiring. It is a wonderful conclusion to the Darkness into Light series.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    A Stirring Novel

    I was curious to discover how I would feel about this third installment in the series. In the first two Darkness to Light books, what I loved most was the setting in the decadent French court and the Huguenots' struggle for freedom. However, I found I adored this novel for completely different reasons. Something about the main character and her heartbreak over losing the love of her life and being forced into an arranged marriage really spoke to me and kept me turning pages. All of Golden Keyes Parsons's books have managed to spark some deep emotions for me, and this one was no exception.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Huguenots in colonial America

    This story kept me up till 4 a.m. to finish but it was well worth the journey. I read the previous book, Prisoner of Versailles, so was curious to see the continuation of the Clavell family's journey. Although it's no longer Madeleine & Pierre's story, it was enjoyable to see them in their happily married life. I was so intrigued throughout the story to know how much was based on Parsons' actual family ancestors and how much was fiction, so I was gratified that she reveals this information at the back of the book. I really enjoyed the story of Madeleine's son, Philippe, and how he deals with life as an indentured servant. Parsons describes a truly honorable young man, who denies his feelings for his master's daughter, because of his own station in life, the difference in their religions, etc. Bridget is a wonderful spirited heroine, whose love wins the day. There is a strong spiritual thread throughout, which sustains both hero and heroine when they must face some tough challenges before they can be together.

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  • Posted October 8, 2010

    Great book!! A must read!

    Where Hearts are Free is the third book in a fiction series titled A Darkness to light. Bridget is in love with Phillipe Clavell, but their love is an impossible one the worlds separated by many hurtles including station in life and religion and an engagement of convenience.
    I loved this story, the author keep me on my toes through the whole book. I ached and rejoiced with Bridget as she went through the journey life lead her on. The book is very well written I could close my eyes and see the plantation and feel the darkness of Bridget's Betrothed's large house. I could see Bridget's mother and father trying so hard to do what they felt was right for their beloved daughter. This book is a third in a series as I mentioned before, this did not hinder me from understanding the story line and it reads very well as a stand alone book, though after reading it I am itching to go back and read the first two in the series. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars it was a real joy to read.
    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through the BookSneeze program for review purposes this review is my opinion and has not been influenced by Thomas Nelson in any way.

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Not My Favorite

    I must say that this is not my style of book. I just couldn't get into the story line of this book. It may be that I'm used to a certain genre of books, or that I am just not used to this author, but it wasn't to my liking.

    That doesn't mean it's not good for someone out there. If you are a Golden Parsons fan, then definitely check this book out. If you like the stories that are set in the 1600's and way back in history, then you will like Golden's style of writing.

    This will be a book that I will pass on to my daughter in hopes that she enjoys it better than I did.

    ~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    ~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Where Hearts Are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons Book Review

    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

    It's 1687, in the burgeoning town of Philadelphia, and for seven years, Bridget Barrington has watched with growing affection as Philippe Clavell worked as an indentured servant for her father, a wealthy landowner. Her father rejects her request for Philippe to be a potential suitor as he has none of the qualities Mr. Barrington hoped for his daughter's future husband, the least of which is a respectable income. Heartbroken, Bridget accedes to her parents' wishes and gets engaged to a man she does not love. However, Bridget's husband-to-be does not love her, but only her wealth.

    MY REVIEW

    Where Hearts Are Free is a very heartwarming love story about Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell. They cannot be together because she is an heiress and he is an indentured servant to her family. Bridget and Philippe have been friends since childhood. They also share a very dark secret. A secret Philippe has told no one.

    Philippe is from France, and former member of French royalty.

    To pay passage for his family he worked as an indentured servant.

    To keep Bridget and Philippe apart, her parents set up an engagement to an older man.

    Her future husband has a secret also. A very deadly secret.

    Everybody must rely on GOD to deliver them.

    Will Bridget and Philippe find happiness?

    What is this secret that Bridget has?

    What secret does her betrothed have?

    Where Hearts Are Free will hold your attention, page after page.

    I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

    Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Where Hearts Are Free

    Bridget Barrington has shared her secret with only one person. Since the day she confided in Philippe Clavell, her feelings for the servant have grown from friendship to tender companionship to love. When Bridget's parents begin looking for a husband for her, she risks her pride and bears her heart to Philippe and her parents. But more than social status stands in the way of her love. Questions remain about Philippe's feelings and whether or not love can conquer extreme religious differences between the two families. When Philippe is released from his servitude, he returns to his family and Bridget's engagement to Edward Moorehead is finalized by her parents. Will the truth of Bridget's secret ever be revealed and is it possible her fiance is somehow connected?
    Where Hearts Are Free is historical fiction that incorporates realistic elements of the persecution of the French Huguenots. I thought this was an interesting twist and it added tension to the plot. I enjoyed the story though I found some of the language peculiar. I suppose this is to reflect the time period in which the book is set.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookSneeze as part of their Blogger Review Program. 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 September 23, 2010

    Great read!

    Forbidden love. That's what Philippe Clavell and Bridget Barrington have. Philippe is a French noble who became an indentured servant to the Barrington family when his money was stolen during his passage to the New World. When Bridget declares her love for Philippe, Bridget's father releases Philippe early from his servitude on the condition that he never speaks to Bridget again. This works out well until Philippe learns that Bridget is engaged to a man that is all wrong for her, a man who has ulterior motives that are less than pure for marrying her. Philippe, with the help of his brother Charles, decides that he is willing to risk it all to save the love of his life. Where Hearts are Free was one of those books that I just did not want to put down. I would say that I was going to read one chapter before bed and one would then turn into two, three, maybe even four chapters before I was willing to turn the lights out. It was uplifting to see how the characters put their faith in God and trusted that everything would work out the way that it was supposed to. That is something that I think people today often forget, myself included, so it was a good reminder for me that as long as I trust in God things will end up working out how they should in the end, even if they don't seem very good right now. This was the third book in the Darkness to Light trilogy and since I never read the first two, I do plan on going back to read them because if I enjoyed the third one this much, I'm sure the other two are just as good! Note: I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze to review.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Where Hearts Are Free

    I received this bible free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for an advance reading as part of their Booksneeze bloggers program . I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, the book review is 100% my own opinion.

    Where Hearts Are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons is a historical fiction novel set in Pennsylvania in 1681.

    The book tells the story of Philippe and his family, who were members of French Royalty have come to The New World from France to escape the political problems going on in their country. While coming by ship they lose their money and two of the boys Philippe and Charles are forced to become indentured servants.

    Charles becomes an indentured servant for a man who isn't nice and who is also making and smuggling guns while Philippe is a bit luckier and becomes a servant to the Barringtons, who own a plantation and have daughter who is known as Bridget.

    Time passes by and Bridget becomes very close to Philippe and soon falls in love with him. But their love is impossible and that there is no way they can be together because she is Catholic and he is Protestant. Crestfallen by this fact, her parents quickly decide to let Philippe out of his contract and send him home before she gets too involved with him and decided to elope.

    Bridget's heart is truly broken, but her parents soon find her a better suitor for her. Enter Edward Moorehead. Her suitor Edward is a dangerous man with dark nature, and Bridget feels trapped. She then found herself engaged to a man who not only does not love her, but lusts after her wealth too.

    With no one to turn to, she seek and beseech God to help her out of the mess she's been put into.

    What will happen to Bridget? Will Bridget be reunited with Phillipe? I won't tell. You ought to read this marvelous book yourself to find out what happen to Bridget and if Bridget is finally set free from her troubles and worries.

    This book is the final installment in Darkness to Light series, and having read the final installment first, it made me want to read the predecessor.

    I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, and would recommend this for people who loves Christian historical romance.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Christian Romance!

    As a young child, Bridget Barrington witnessed a murder. As a teenager, Philippe Cavell came to live with the family, but as a servant. Bridget was instantly in love with him. Six years passes by and Philippe's servant days with the family are soon to be over. Bridget wants to finally tell him that she is in love with him, but instead, she tells her parents. Her parents are outraged over the matter, they end Phillip's contract as servant a few weeks early. They announce Bridget that she will be married to Edward Moorehead, an older man. Edward is not the right match for Bridget and he has a secret of his own. Bridget's dark past comes back to haunt her, as she struggles to forget Philippe. There have been countless historical Christian novels over the years with the same plot - Two loves separated by their religion. I was surprised that the author added a mystery subplot to the novel. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. If you like, historical romance books then check this book out. *I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy to review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    Great Christian Romance Novel!

    This is good fictional book by a talented christian author that captivated me all the way through. Perfect for older teens and adults that love romance and suspense. The story is about a young lady (Bridget) who falls madly love with her family's indentured servant (Phillipe). When she expresses her love for the young man, her parents are outraged. They then find a more suitable partner, for her, with the same station in life and same religion. What makes matter worse is that Phillipe rejects her setiments and love or does he? All is not what it seems with the eligible bachelor either. He has a dirty little secret that none of the characters see coming. Can the two young lovers ever be together? Find out in this suspenseful book full of love, romance, courage, forgiveness, and hope.


    To me this book was predictable but the suspense of how they were to get from here to there kept my attention. The book also had a little more sexual content than I usually like but it really did enhance the message. So the book is probably not appropriate for children and young teens. The main characters were lovable, The villian was masterfully written, and the message and christian applications are good for all young lovers to learn. I would recommend this to all mature christian romance lovers of the faith.


    (This was a book, of my choice, that booksneeze.com sent to me for free if I agreed to read it and review it honestly. I didn't have to review it positively so the views expressed in this review are of my opinion.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2010

    Where Hearts are Free

    Where Hearts are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons is a book set in 1681 about the New World. It's a love story for Bridgette and Phillipe. Philippe was working as an indentured slave for Bridget's family to pay for his family's passage from France and Bridget is the heiress of the prominent plantation. but it doesn't seem like it will be possible for them to be happy together. Bridget's parent's are angry at the romance and quickly monopolize her life but arranging an engagement for her to Edward. Edward is a dangerous man with a secret and Bridget relies on God to deliver her from her darkness. This book is a good book. It's got all the good components of a good book, mystery, intrigue, romance, suspence. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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