A Rebel Heart

A Rebel Heart

by Beth White


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Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family's Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he'll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to "supervise" while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn't sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she'd do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800726898
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Series: Daughtry House Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 449,174
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of The Pelican Bride, The Creole Princess, and The Magnolia Duchess. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.

Read an Excerpt


April 20, 1863 Ithaca Plantation

Selah could hear the horses thundering closer, oncoming hell and destruction. Cowering in the darkness under the porch with her arms around Joelle, she felt her sister's body heave with great, gulping, silent sobs. She had no idea how Mama had known they were coming, but thank God they'd had time to hide.

"Get under the porch, girls!" Mama had screamed, cloak billowing as she ran up the path from the gate.

Mama, who never ran, never raised her voice.

Dropping their books and sewing, Selah and Joelle ran down the steps and scuttled backward into the hidey-hole they'd loved as children. Their full skirts took up most of the space, and the thought of mice and spiders made Selah's scalp crawl.

"Mama, aren't you coming in too?" Joelle asked as their mother replaced the latticework and pushed at it to make sure it was secure.

"I have to warn the servants, make sure they get somewhere safe. Now back up out of sight, pray hard, and don't make a sound no matter what you hear. If something happens to me, I want you to go to Grandmama and Grandpapa in Memphis."

"Mama!" Selah burst out. "What —"

"Do what I say!" Mama's eyes blazed. "Promise me, Selah!"

"Of course." Selah wasn't going to cry. She was nineteen years old — a grown woman, for mercy's sake. But she wasn't going to Memphis like her little sister Aurora had either. Papa had left her in charge of Ithaca, made her promise to watch out for Mama and Joelle.

Mama's mouth relaxed a bit. "This will be over soon, and we'll have a silly story to tell over tea this afternoon." She stood, and her skirts had whisked out of sight.

Now the horses galloped closer until they pulled up at the hitching rail near the porch, snorting and blowing in the cold air. The riders dismounted, hooting and hollering, and Selah knew they must be drunk.

"We're free, boys," one man said, chortling. "Let's see what we can find to juice a celebration."

Through the lattice Selah saw butternut uniform legs and leather boots, heard the jingle of spurs and clank of sabers. If they were Confederate soldiers, why had Mama made her and Joelle hide? They'd entertained Rebel officers here before — two Christmases ago, in fact. Why would they hurt the women of this house, whose master had sacrificed everything to fight the Yankees up in Tennessee?

Maybe Mama was confused —

"These big plantations always have good whiskey."

That was a different soldier, and Selah noticed something funny about his accent. He didn't sound Southern at all. Come to think of it, the first one hadn't either. Northerners in butternut? She'd heard about the spies riding with that devil Grierson. Tricking Confederate outposts into delivering false messages, and taking over rail depots and tearing up track.

Joelle whimpered, and Selah clamped a hand over her mouth. "Shhh!" They sat rigid, until Selah heard boots clomping across the porch overhead. She thought she counted four sets of boots going up the steps, then got confused. How many were there? Was it a whole unit? She let Joelle go and whispered, "Not another sound. They're Yankees — no telling what they'd do to us."

Joelle nodded.

The front door opened, then the voices and noise of boots faded into the house. Apparently they'd left the door open. Selah and Joelle sat there for a long time, cramped, sweating, shuddering, listening to the sound of glass breaking and furniture being dragged around in the parlor. If they found Papa's liquor cabinet —

Where was Mama? Oh, God, let her be safe.

The men were laughing now, the voices growing louder and the jokes more off-color. Selah didn't understand half of what they said and prayed Joelle didn't either. "Jesus, have mercy," she whispered into the top of her sister's head. Maybe they'd get so drunk they'd pass out. Then maybe she could sneak out and get Papa's hunting rifle from the office —

She jumped when a woman's shriek ripped from inside the house. Seconds later, a gunshot cracked, and Selah pressed Joelle's head into her shoulder to stifle her scream. What had just happened? That might have been her mother screaming, but it was hard to tell in the chaos of scuffling, furniture hitting walls, another gunshot.

"No, stop! Oh please, you cannot —" The frantic voice choked on muffled squeals.

The men burst into raucous laughter and cheers, while bumps and thumps shook the floor.

The noise went on and on, until Selah thought she might suffocate from rage and terror. Papa had taught her to shoot, and if she'd had a weapon she could have gone to her mother's defense. But she didn't, and anyway, she couldn't leave Joelle alone. They had to stay here, listening to the horror above their heads. The tiny space seemed to shrink around them.

Eyes squeezed shut, breath caught high in her throat, Selah prayed for it to end, prayed for rescue.

God, where are you? Strike them dead. I know you have the power.

He did, didn't he? Wasn't God able to annihilate entire armies? Maybe she wasn't praying in the right way. But Mama — or whoever that was, even one of the slaves — didn't deserve this. It was horrid. It was demonic. And if Selah ever got out from under this porch, the first Yankee she saw, she'd shoot him dead without a thought.

"Selah," Joelle whispered, "I hear someone else coming. You hear it?"

Selah listened. Horses galloping closer? "Maybe." It was hard to tell with the racket going on in the house. The woman had gone quiet, but the men were still laughing and crashing around. She'd heard boots going up the stairs to the second floor too. "Yes, you're right. Hush, honey, we've got to be quiet, so whoever that is won't find us."

In moments, the horses thundered to a stop, and the first rider jumped to the ground, followed by the rest. Selah saw the leader's boots as he hurried past their hiding place. Blue pants this time, big spurs, clanking sword. An officer?

He ran up the porch steps, shouting, "Ho, you men! Form company! On the quick!" The voice was young, firm, with an edge of anxiety. He stopped somewhere close to the doorway above Selah's head, apparently encountering the brawl inside the parlor. Disjointed orders joined the shouting of the men, and even when the door slammed, Selah could still hear the young officer roaring above them. "I said halt! Stop that, you —" A gun fired.

Selah and Joelle both jumped, but the melee suddenly ceased. Eerie, uneasy silence fell.

The girls waited, clinging to each other, shivering. Selah knew that at any moment the officer or the rest of his unit could search the house, find them under the porch, and do anything they wished to her and Joelle. But at least he had stopped the horror that had been going on.

She heard the officer issue a series of curt orders, sending one of his men to bring a surgeon, their muffled and indistinguishable replies. The woman's groans faded, and Selah thought they must have moved her to another room. Maybe she had been injured by one of those gunshots. Selah couldn't stand not knowing if it was her mother or one of the slaves. All she could do was hold Joelle and pray.

* * *

At last they were gone, all of them. Darkness was falling, and the Yankees weren't likely to come back. But what if they did? What if this was a trick to coax survivors out of hiding?

Selah had sat under the porch with Joelle for another hour or more before the doctor arrived. During the long wait, someone began to play the piano — someone very talented. The bizarre concert somehow exacerbated her anxiety, but it mercifully broke off with the arrival of the surgeon. Selah had no idea how much time passed before the young officer and his men got the looters bound and mounted and took them back to camp, but it seemed like forever.

"Selah," Joelle whispered. "Can't we come out now? I've got to ... you know."

Selah herself was beyond uncomfortable. In fact, her muscles were so cramped she wasn't sure she'd be able to move at all. But they had to. She and Joelle couldn't stay here under the porch indefinitely.

She shoved away her terror, drawing on some reserve that hadn't been there before this morning. "Yes. Let's go."

Selah pushed at the latticework with her foot, put her hands on the ground, and crawled toward the opening, fighting skirts and short breath. She cautiously stuck her head out.

She didn't hear or see anything to indicate soldiers lingering on the property. No noise from the house or grounds. All was dead, ghostly silence, as if the Judgment had come and left her and Joelle behind. She wrestled her skirts out behind her and stood up on shaky legs, then bent to help Joelle.

They ran to the outhouse, took care of that business. Hand in hand, they climbed the back porch steps and stood looking at the door.

"Mama didn't come for us," Joelle said finally.

"I know." Selah swallowed. She knew what it meant, and her heart failed.

"Where do you think the men went?" Joelle whispered.

"I don't know." Selah shrugged. "Back to camp, maybe."

"Did you hear that man play the piano? Wasn't that strange?"

"Yes, very strange." Reluctantly she added, "But he was also good. Better even than Mama."

"Certainly better than me." Joelle gave a nervous giggle. "I don't practice enough."

"I'm afraid that piece would be over your head, darling." Selah sucked in a breath. "We've got to go in and see what the damage is. Clean it up before Mama —" She swallowed. "We need to look for Mama."

She reached for the doorknob.

Meekly, Joelle followed Selah into the house. "Oh, Selah." Joelle's voice broke.

The girls stood gawking at the mess in the breakfast room. There was just enough daylight left to see the broken table, chairs upended, smashed mirror over the sideboard, curtains yanked half off the rods. The two house servants must have run out the back to the slave quarters.

Selah pulled herself together. "We'll clean it up later. Let's look for Mama."

Together they walked through the breezeway into the rotunda. Joelle kept uttering little whimpering sounds as they encountered damaged furniture and floors and walls, but Selah tugged her grimly toward the stairs.

"Mama?" she called as they reached the second floor where the bedrooms were. "Mama, where are you?"

There was no answer.

At the top of the stairs, Selah stopped Joelle. "Stay here while I look around."

"Why? I want to come with you."

"Just mind me, Jo." Selah dreaded what she might find upstairs. She gave Joelle her fiercest glare.

"All right." Joelle sighed. "But hurry."

Selah headed straight for her parents' bedroom. The door was shut, and everything was utterly still. The fact that Mama hadn't come to get her and Joelle when the soldiers left could only mean that she had been taken by the soldiers or she was injured too badly to walk. Stomach roiling, Selah jerked the door open.

With the curtains pulled, the room was nearly pitch-dark, and Selah didn't have a candle or lamp. She closed her eyes for a moment to let her vision adjust to the darkness, then opened them. There was a dark form on the bed. "Mama?" She sounded childish to her own ears. Clearing her throat, she repeated more firmly, "Mama, it's Selah. Are you all right?"

Still no answer.

Then she knew. Everything she'd dreaded was true. Her mother was dead. They had killed her — those rotten, heartless Yankees with their loud, drunken voices, their crude boots and swords. They had taken and broken Selah and Joelle's one remaining anchor in life, their precious, beautiful, gentle mother.

The world upended, and she fainted.


Excerpted from "A Rebel Heart"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Elizabeth White.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
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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A Rebel Heart (Daughtry House Book #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
RobinWillson 7 months ago
"She shoved away her terror, drawing on some reserve that hadn’t been there before this morning." Christian historical takes place in Mississippi first during, then 5 years after the civil war. A former Union man, now a Pinkerton agent investigating a series of robberies, and a young woman from a local plantation travelling on family business are passengers together on a horrible train crash. The atrocities of the war, and later adjustment to getting along after the war must have been incredibly hard to live through. The train crash was historical fact. The characters come to life and are artfully woven around the restoration of the estate and the Pinkerton investigation. Selah employs former slaves to bring the plantation back, and she and her sisters work just as hard along side them. A benefit to them all, but not approved by all. Struggle, danger, mystery and murder along with love, strength and faith make for a strong story and lay the ground for a wonderful new series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers 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.” #ARebelHeart #BethWhite #NetGalley #5Stars #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout
AGBoss More than 1 year ago
A Rebel Heart is the first book in author Beth White’s newest series, The Daughtry House Series. Five years have passed since the War Between the States has ended, and the South has not been left the same. Once luxurious and prosperous plantations are now left in shambles and riddled with debt. So it is for the Daughtry sisters Mississippi plantation. Selah, the oldest of the three Daughtry daughters, is left trying to save their family home and care for her two sisters and her spinster cousin. Just as all hope seems lost for their ancestral land, an offer is made to fully restore their home and convert it into a hotel for the railroad. But can she trust the handsome hotel management agent who is also a Yankee? And what about the underwriting benefactor? Is this offer too good to be true? Rich in history with a host of intriguing characters, hidden secrets, romance, and suspense, The Daughtry Series begins! From the gorgeous and stunning cover to the very last page of this book, you will be drawn into the lives of these characters and the stories they tell. If you like historical fiction, this book is for you! ~ I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts and opinions given in this review are my own.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
I just love historical fiction. This one is based on the American History time period of the War Between the States. This story is based on the rebuilding after the war and what living through that looked like for these characters. One of the things at the beginning of this story was a train adventure that was quite a gripping trip, showing bravery and quick thinking. The main girl after this point takes on guardianship of a boy affected by the trip. She and her sisters are on a journey to fight for what is theirs and keep it in the family, needing to discern who is for them and who is against them. It’s a great recipe for a wonderful read. If you like historical fiction, this is a great one! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
swissgranny More than 1 year ago
With a setting in Mississippi in the Reconstruction era after the Civil War, A Rebel Heart by Beth White is brimming with historical details and authenticity. It’s obvious she has done much research about this time period, and I enjoyed learning more about it. The author did a great job showing the problems that abounded after the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves. There were many difficulties involved with trying to unite country again, and distrust was prevalent between the North and the South, the freed slaves and the prior owners. The characters in this book were well-developed and engaging. I was drawn to Levi’s kind, compassionate heart and the way he tried to help Selah and her family. Selah was independent and protective of her family and her home. I admired the way she tried to keep things together for her sisters in nearly impossible circumstances. There’s a little bit of everything in this story—intrigue, action, romance, suspense, and a lot of faith, hope, redemption, and forgiveness. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
Beth White has written a captivating story of three sisters struggling to find a way to save their home and rebuild from the great losses they suffered during the Civil War. The setting of this book, a few years after the War ended, was one of social and economic change, and that change drives the storyline. The book shows that the author did quite a bit of research and she did a great job incorporating those details in this story. There’s some mild suspense and mystery along the way which blends in well with the themes of love, loss, redemption, and forgiveness. But it was the characters that I loved most about this book. especially Selah. She’s strong, independent, compassionate and loves her family above herself. Levi was the perfect hero for this story, and it was fun reading their story. I think this is one of the best historical novels that I’ve read set during this time period. It’s clean and inspirational with no foul language. I’ll be looking forward to reading another book by Beth White. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
The Civil War was such an ugly hard thing for our country. Families were divided. The nation was torn in two. A Rebel Heart brings us a tale of one group of people working to repair and rebuild not only structures but relationships. Selah Daughtry and her two sisters and cousin are barely eeking out an existance on their family's plantation. The main house is in a deplorable state of disrepair, the slaves have been set free, and all sorces of income have dwindled to nothing. Despite all of the obsticles Selahh is determined to retain her family's estate but her options are quickly narrowing to one. And that isn't the one she was hoping for. What was intriguing about this book was the reminder that the after effects of war are nothing new. PTSD was a thing even though it wasn't called that. Former enemies had to find a way to make peace to move beyond the conflict. All that we see in our current situations were present then, maybe in a different form due to the time-frame, but present all the same. I thought that it was easy to connect with Selah and her sisters and cousin. They each found themselves struggling to find their place between the past and the future. Relationships can be hard, but they are always worth investing in. If you like historical fiction, especially Civil War era then I think you'll enjoy this book. There's a bit of romance to lighten the dire subject matter but it doesn't fluff the story too much. This first book focuses on Selah, but there are more books planned in the series that will focus on the other women in the story. I'm looking forward to reading them all. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is book one in the Daughtry House series. I love the personalities of the Daughtry sisters. There are many characters in which I look forward to getting to know better in the up coming books. Selah Daughtry, is a beautiful, opionated, loving sister. She is trying her best to keep her families house going. When strange things start happing and she must trust the handsome, Luke Riggins. Luke Riggins is a Pinkerton agent. He is not sure whom he can trust and whom may be hiding information. When his heart gets involved can he keep his distance and objective yet still fall in love with Selah and have a fighting chance? I love the sparks that fly between Selah and Luke, they both have a fun loving and feisty personality. Beth White does a great job at keeping your interest throughout this novel.
SweetPea_3 More than 1 year ago
Selah Daughtry is the eldest daughter in her southern family and before her father leaves to fight in the war against the north he charges her to take care of her mother and two younger sisters. She takes this seriously, although the youngest sister is sent immediately to join her grandmother where it is safer. After a terribly tragedy where her mother loses her life, Selah and her sister Joelle live out the rest of the war with their grandparents but can't wait to return home. In the remaining six or so years they have fought both the government and railroad executives to keep their home, even though both it and the extensive grounds have fallen into terrible disrepair. When Selah's life is saved dramatically, that also appears to open the door to a way to restore their home to it's former glory without having to move back in with their grandparents. Is this an answer to their problems or a terrible idea? Not only does this story deal with life in the south after the civil war for Selah and her sister, but also for the former slaves who are now free and living in the community but not necessarily wanted by the rest of the town. There is resentment and bitterness on both sides and will Selah have the courage to lead the way in what she feels is right? She has always been an abolitionist at heart but her family owned slaves and that was out of her control. This is the first book by Beth White that I've read and I'm eager to read more. I loved the whole book from beginning to end. I'd tell you my favourite parts but I don't want to ruin anything so suffice it to say there are some surprises along the way that really make the story exceptional. Well written, in that the story deals with some pretty grim realities without being excessive in the descriptions or unnecessarily gruesome. Totally recommend this one! This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
I am beginning to appreciate more and more how divided our country is at this time. How could things be any more ready to ignite? And yet, throughout our history, there have been times of great cataclysm. The Civil War was surely one of those times. In A Rebel Heart, by Beth White, after Ithaca Plantation has been destroyed by marauding Northerners, how can genteel Selah Norton work with an out-of-favor neighbor and a northern carpetbagger to restore the glory of her former home? Courage has to be one answer. Whether it is Selah’s courage to follow Levi Riggins’s directions in their first mutual disaster, or her willingness to head up the whole project that Riggins later proposes. The former slaves have to have the courage to agree to work with Selah, trusting they would be treated well, not like the slaves they have been. Wyatt Priester, agreeing to live with Selah and her sister and work, hoping to get some apprenticing, again shows a great amount of courage. He is only 14 when he makes that decision. Riggins himself is quite brave. While helping restore Ithaca, quite a bit of scheming is going on which could cost him everything. Riggins says, “Doing what you have to do when you’re afraid. That’s what courage is.” I really enjoyed the great mix of history, romance, intrigue, and even plotting, involving the Pinkertons. I would have appreciated a small glossary. There were several big words I had to look up. Good thing I was reading on my Kindle! “A couple of quotables could go a long way today if only people would take them to heart: “History always matters because it impacts the present and the future.” and “When everyone knows something is true, you don’t question it.” There is, of course, a teaser at the end for the sequel, which will be Joelle and Schuyler’s story. I am ready for it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review was required and all opinions are solely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished Beth White's A Rebel Heart, the first in a new series. Cleverly written, it has a thread of romantic tension, a little bit of mystery and is totally intellectually satisfying! Another triumph!
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
It's no secret that the Civil War is one of my favorite eras in history, from a fiction standpoint. One of my first book loves was 'Gone with the Wind'. I love that deeper digging into personalities and world views and family life. That difference in the thought processes that people had, and still have. Not the black and white issues, the human issues. I think, in all the periods in our own history this more obvious and relevant during the Civil War. This book is set in Mississippi five years later. Surrender is over. Everyone is free, well as free as they can be in a depressed Southern economy and many that still don't accept that everyone is free. Selah Daughtry is bound to save her family home, a sprawling historic plantation that is falling into ruin and failing to come to terms with the taxes and levies and fees being hurled at her. Levi Riggins is a northerner on a mission. Not to save the world or even help the south but to find the bad guy. Acting as an attorney to hide his role as a Pinkerton agent. Yup, stuff is bound to happen. Stuff does happen. And a lot of things. The problem I had with all these stuffs and things was that they came to easily. I didn't get enough information to truly buy into the saving of the plantation. I mean it sounds like a great idea and it benefited everyone involved but. . . It was too easy and too simplified and not really shared with the reader in a way that gave it believability and depth. The mystery was too easy. The romance was too easy. Bells even when Levi's truth came out it was too easy. I struggle with believing too easy. I feel like easy is a distraction from what could have been a stronger story. Despite the easy of this story I still got amazing characters with intrinsic strength that I could believe in. The research and the history molded the story into something that was easy (almost too) to brush through the pages. I invested in this family, this community, and their lives. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series to dive into the story of the next sister. Their lives, their passions for truth and knowledge and people, and their grace. It was entirely too easy to engage with this book. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Revell. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely incredible historical romance! I loved this book. The characters have so much depth to them that they captivated me from the beginning. It begins with individuals on a train. A very simple setup and yet the descriptions of the surroundings, and the characters themselves, was fantastic. The amount of detail in the post-civil-war era was great. I’ve seen movies and read books about this period before. But this story had my attention to the point that I was emotionally invested in the different groups to a deeper extent than I believe anything else has done prior to now. The plot of the case that Levi is trying to solve has so many twists to it that I was caught up in trying to figure it out right along with him. One of my favorite aspects of this book is the deep faith in God that Selah displays. She is leaning on Him and striving to follow the teaching from the bible. This was the first book that I’ve read by Beth White. I look forward to the next one in this series. In the meantime I will be looking for any other books that she has already written. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions 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.*
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This book opens with a heart wrenching scene and it’s scene you won’t forget but reminded of and learn more about as the book goes on. Selah is a wonderful, strong character, who carries the burdens of her family and is trying to do what is best for them. Levi has an agenda of his own but also finds himself drawn to Selah, which can only lead to heartache when the truth comes out. And that is what adds tension to this book. The reader knows the conflict between Levi and Selah and Levi knows it, but Selah does not. So I just kept wondering when she finds out what will happen? How will she find out? This is a wonderful historical romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. A copy of this of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
academy252 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new series called The Daughtry House Series.  It is set in post Civil War Mississippi five years after the last shot was fired.  Selah Daughtry and her sister Joelle and cousin ThomasAnne are struggling to make ends meet as they fight to keep the plantation family home under their protection.  Selah is a strong southern woman with a fighting spirit in the face of some very hard things.  With her mother killed during the war and her father missing she is the one that must keep the family going.  Selah has no desire to sell their family's plantation house but she does not know what to do.  The railroad and the powers that run that enterprise are trying to get the plantation from them.  Selah makes a trip to talk with a bank about getting a loan to help her save it to no avail.  On the train to the bank the train is derailed and many are killed.  A young man by the name of Levi Riggins saves her and others in a perilous rescue.  The rescued Selah takes in a young boy who is orphaned by the train wreck.  Knowing it will be hard to take on another mouth to feed she decides to take him home with her anyway.  She hopes they can find some way to connect him with possible relatives willing to take him in.  She must find a way to completely trust that God will provide for her family as she opens her home to him. Levi is a former Union officer who is secretly working for Pinkerton.  He is on a mission to find a bank robbing outlaw who has been eluding him.  He is a man with a past that continues to trouble him.  His path through this will bring up a lot of haunting memories as he tries to do the right thing at each point in the story.  Upon rescuing and learning more about Selah he devises a plan to act as a hotel management agent.  He sees an opportunity to help Selah save her plantation and get his man at the same time.  The plan unfolds before his eyes in a way that only God could orchestrate.  I was pleased by the writer's knowledge and research of the time period, people and places in this novel.  This is the first time I have read a book by Beth White and I must say I love her story telling style.  We get to be in the minds of both Selah and Levi throughout the story.  There is a fantastic blend of external and internal conflict as well as a spirit of adventure and some tense moments along the way.  It is so much more than a love story.   I definitely give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  It is beautifully written and I will be reading more from Beth White in the near future.  This book was sent to me free of charge from Baker Publishing Company Revell Books division.  They only ask that I read and give my honest opinion on the book. I loved it!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful look at how someone works to keep there nome after the civil war. There were some twists and turns throughout and a bit of intrigue. Selah and Levi are great characters. I had a hard time putting this book down. I look forward to reading more books in this series to find out what happens to others in the family. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
A Rebel Heart takes us back to five years after the Civil War has ended, and reconstruction of the south has begun. Selah Daughtry and her two sisters are about to lose their family plantation. Selah has tried to secure loans with no luck and only one possibility seems to offer hope: turning their plantation into a hotel. There are an assortment of characters that we are introduced to, which help set up the next two books. The main characters of this story are Selah and Levi Riggins who is a Yankee and former Union soldier with a plethora of secrets. He makes for an interesting character even from the time he and Selah first meet which is quite memorable. Both of their lives also have been severely touched by the war. There is a shroud of mystery in this book and I don’t want to give anything away, I will say this was a treat to read and watch how the author tells her story and unravels everything. I think what I really liked seeing was that the people, former slave owners and former slaves working together to bury the past hurts and build something new into the future. I am looking forward to the next two installments. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
AMHeath More than 1 year ago
What I Loved: I was won over from page one. The first two chapters, in particular, were explosive, and I knew I was going to love this book. There was a mild mystery/suspense thread woven here that kept the plot moving forward. The Daughtery family was engaging, and I look forward to visiting them again in future books. In terms of spiritual content, White brings a lovely story centered around forgiveness and benevolence. Simply put, I loved it! A Rebel Heart was one of my reading highlights for the month. Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving A Rebel Heart 5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy Christian historical fiction or those looking for fiction in the Reconstruction Period. ~ I received a copy from Revell. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful read from a new-to-me author whom I will definitely read again. Post civil war in Mississippi, Selah Daughtry was bound and determined to rebuild her family's plantation but without funds she had no idea how she would do it. When ex-Yankee, Levi Riggins, now a Pinkerton Detective, offered her a solution to her problems by rebuilding the mansion as a Bed and Breakfast for the railroad line, a partnership begins. But Levi's past connects with Selah's and as their feelings develop, Levi isn't sure what will happen as he investigates train robberies that could involve Selah's supposedly dead father. Full of action and wonderful characters, I loved each of the three sisters and Levi as well as the secondary characters. The independence and stubbornness of each of the three sisters was amazing given the time period. Selah was a woman ahead of her time along with her sisters. They had been against slavery even though their dead parents had kept a huge plantation with hundreds of slaves. Well written with good historical research, a touch of romance, and a thread of mystery, White's plot and characters were both well developed. I can't wait to read the next book which will feature sister, Joelle, and her desire to open a school for the former slaves so they can learn to read and right. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Rebel Heart is a historical fiction novel set in Mississippi five years after the Civil War, so if you enjoy historical fiction with a touch of romance, this is the book for you. I chose this book because I know that the lady I give these books to would love it. Focusing on the South post-Civil War she'd find interesting. This story holds a bit of history along with a mystery as well as romance. Usually, the historical fiction novels I've read are simply characters within that particular time period. This one is a bit different with the murder mystery within. It wasn't the main theme of the novel, but it is one of the running plots.  The book immediately grabs you within the first few pages with a major train accident and the start of the mystery. Main character Selah Daughtry, is intelligent, hard-working, and kind. Teaming up with several other characters, her goal is to fix up the plantation mansion to its former glory. Levi Riggins helps strike a deal on behalf of Selah to appropriate funds in order to make the necessary repairs and helps with hiring workers to get it all done in time. Part of the hired help includes the plantation's previous slaves who, rightfully so, hesitate to offer amends for past hurts. Add to the mix a sniper that strikes. Levi begins to wonder if the incident with the train might be related. A good mystery in the making with a thought-to-be-dead Confederate soldier back making trouble.  This book is full of intrigue, as well as past hurts and much-needed forgiveness. A Rebel Heart read at a steady pace, making it a quick read and one I'm sure my church friend will enjoy. I received a complimentary copy from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion.
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
Do you like historical novels? Do you like some mystery, romance, and suspense? If you answered yes to any of these, this is the book for you. This is the first book by Beth White that I've read but look forward to reading more. This is the first book in the series Daughtry House series and it starts out with a bang. It is set at 5 years post civil war and shows a little of how it was in the south at this time. The characters are very well developed, the story flows very well. Beth White is a talented writer. The editing was also very good. The book is a Christian book but not preachy. It is filled with faith, trust, and hope. I do not give a synopsis of the book, that's in the book description and if you are reading a review, I assume you are looking to seef my own free will. how others liked or disliked the book and why. I hope I gave you a glimpse in this review. I received a copy of this book from netgalley but the review is my own opinion and given o
janesquires More than 1 year ago
You learn a lot about how the Civil War destroyed families. One Union officer tried to save Selah's Mother's life. Later Levi and Selah meet during a train disaster. The disaster is caused by Selah's father which is learned later. So much hard things to endure. I truly enjoyed this book. Levi helping Selah decide to turn her home into a Motel in order to save it. Railroad partner with her to help finance. Yet she and her sisters get to live there and manage it. The death of her father is awful. I recommend this book highly.
KatrinaEpperson More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new series, The Daughtry House, from Beth White. This historical sweeps the reader back to Mississippi approximately 5 years after the civil war where people were dealing with the aftermath of the war and the rebuilding of their lives. The story details shows how much research the author put into the writing of the life and times of the era. As the story opens Ithaca Plantation is being raided by rebel Confederate soldiers as the daughters, as instructed, hid under the porch. This is where we are introduced to Selah Daughtry, who by the way is my favorite character. Being the oldest of three she is instructed by her mother to keep her sisters safe and out of harms way. She takes this charge not only seriously, but to heart. As the story progresses we see how she is always putting her sisters first and making decisions based on what's best for everyone. One example is when she makes the decision to leave Ithaca after the death of her beloved mother to keep her sisters safe, then when she returns after the war to take charge of what was left of their plantation until her father returns from the war. She is not domineering towards her sisters, but rather seeks their counsel when necessary in making decisions. What I liked best about Selah was that instead of letting her past define her as a person, she used it to shape her instead by not only learning from mistakes, but also listening to her heart. She takes in young man and tries to help him even though she can barely feed herself. She listens to Levi and places trust in him even though she has learned to trust no one but her family since the war started. She shows her strength of character from the first page. She goes from being a belle of the plantation to being the one who is in charge of making decisions she feels ill equipped to make, but learning to trust and depend on others for help. This historical romance also includes elements of mystery, faith, forgiveness, grief, trust and love. The plot quickly pulled me in from page one and held me with each page turned. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean book. I am really looking forward to the next installment in this series. **I received this book from the publisher via their book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
Can you believe this is the first Beth White book I’ve read? I’ve heard great things about her books and I love historical romance but didn’t get around to reading any of her books until now. And I’m so glad I picked up this first installment in Daughtry House series. All the buzz in the Christian fiction blog world is correct -Beth White is a wonderful writer. A Rebel Heart is a lyrically written historical romance set in the years after the Civil War as the country, particularly the South, attempts to rebuild. The plot is well-constructed with a subtle undercurrent of intrigue; the characters are lovable and delightful even with their secrets, flaws and mistakes; the thread of hope and faith is real and tangible; and the issue of racism that the author tackles is as alive today as it was in the days after the end of the war. Anyone who enjoys historical romance, especially set in the South, will love this book. Levi is a delectable hero in the story who has seen and suffered much during the war. As an undercover Pinkerton agent and a former Union officer, he has secrets and information to unearth, yet cannot help himself from showing his clever, intelligent, resourceful, charming, tender-hearted, and loving self to Selah in hopes of helping her and her family. Selah is the eldest daughter of a plantation owner and Colonel in the Confederate army who is presumed dead. She is on the verge of bankruptcy when plans to turn her historic home into an elegant hotel start to become a reality. She is stubborn, wary, and tends to hold grudges but loves her family and has a soft heart. As Selah and Levi become partners in reviving a decrepit mansion back to its former glory, their friendship blooms and romance beckons. I can’t wait for book 2 in this series where Selah’s younger sister Joelle will get her own story! I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews and was under no obligation to write a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own and subjective.
Madalyn More than 1 year ago
A Must Read Remarkable Book A heart touching story from the time of reconstruction after the Civil War. A Rebel Heart is the first book in the Daughtry House Series. The story of the Daughtry family, which includes three very different sisters and a cousin, is sweet and real and all the other characters come alive also in the story of their lives in a very troubled time. A former Yankee officer who is an undercover Pinkerton agent, Levi Riggins, fits nicely into the drama of this book. The prologue is about an event in the lives of the Ithaca Plantation family that took place during the War. I was drawn into the drama at that point and didn’t want to stop reading. The cover picture of the Daughtry House helped me a lot in letting the story be real as they worked toward their hope to restore the family home. Reconstruction time in history is a sorrowful time for our country but Beth White covers it beautifully. I like that she focused on one person, one family, one community and faith and how they survived this period instead of a broad view of the culture at that time. I’m looking forward to future books in this series from a truly remarkable author. I was provided a copy of the book by the author/publisher but am not under any obligation to post a favorable review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
A Rebel Heart is a fabulous start to the Daughtry House series. Beth White did a wonderful job transporting me back in time to post Civil War era Mississippi. I loved Selah right at the beginning and I admired her strength and determination. She is a type of character I feel connected to and feels as though she is a close friend. I, also, enjoyed Levi and thought he was a perfect addition to the story. I give A Rebel Heart five plus stars and I am eagerly waiting for the next installment from the Daughtry House series. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.