A Reluctant Belle (Daughtry House Book #2)

A Reluctant Belle (Daughtry House Book #2)

by Beth White

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Impoverished Southern belle Joelle Daughtry has a secret. By day she has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of the construction of a Negro school. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.

When childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry house renovation Schuyler Beaumont takes over his assassinated father's candidacy for state office, Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect--and even love--if you're already engaged to someone else?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493417704
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Series: Daughtry House , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 131,878
File size: 7 MB

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, The Magnolia Duchess, and A Rebel Heart. 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.

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A Reluctant Belle 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
SBMC 5 hours ago
“Cracking you open is like getting the sweets out of a pecan. It’s a lot of work, but the result is pretty tasty.” Ah, the second book in The Daughtry House series picks up right after where the first one left off. A Reluctant Belle continues with Joelle, the middle Daughtry sister, and her long-time frenemy Schuyler during the middle of the Reconstruction Era as the poor town of Tupelo, Mississippi struggles to find its footing in the midst of violent racism. With her easy-to-read and descriptive writing style, multi-faceted characters, and a finely-honed theme of faith, Beth White vividly paints life in the 1870s Deep South. Joelle is an independent, intelligent, compassionate, passionate introvert who spends her days writing, under a pseudonym, articles supporting the education of freedmen so that she can buy the supplies to educate those freedmen who work in the family’s renovated hotel. She’s socially awkward and completely oblivious, as well as obtusely blunt, but has a heart of gold and is fiercely loyal to her family and friends. Schuyler is the happy-go-lucky youngest son of a rail tycoon who gets embroiled in the heat of southern politics and racism when his father is assassinated during his gubernatorial campaign. The death of his beloved father helps Schuyler turn his life and attitude around to better mankind with the gift of speech and money that he has. The spark and electric banter between Joelle and Schuyler are so incredibly fun and it’s nice to have Selah and Levi from the first book return to add more layers to the plot. There is a delightful and surprisingly solid suspense aspect to the plot which I thoroughly enjoyed. If you love historical romance, this series by Beth White is not to be missed. I received the book from Baker Publishing House via Interviews and Reviews book review program and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Nanna51 1 days ago
Although I missed the story of the first Daughtry sister, I did not feel that I absolutely had to go back and read it since the author does a masterful job of filling in the gaps for the reader. This historical fiction is set during the Reconstruction Era, when the south is still reeling from having lost the war and all of the changes that this means to their lifestyles. The author does a wonderful job of portraying such explosive topics as the rights of the freedmen to be educated and to vote. Joelle Daughtry, the main character in this second book in the series, is a writer who pens articles about the inhumane treatment of others, writing under a pen name and trying to keep her identity secret. Through a series of unfortunate events, Joelle finds herself engaged to Reverend Gil Reece, a man of noble character but not very interesting. She is helping her sisters to set up the old homestead as a bed and breakfast, having the financial backing of Schuyler Beaumont, a young man who has to grow up quickly when his father is killed. Joelle and Schuyler feel an attraction to each other, but as childhood nemeses, they don’t act on their attraction, but rather choose to pretend that it does not exist. The story of Joelle is fascinating and told with what seems to be total historical accuracy. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction. I gave it four stars because I was a little lost at the beginning, having not read the first book in the series. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Anonymous 3 days ago
Don't you love the name Joelle? This main character's bookwormish, introverted tendencies, along with her love for writing and sassy comebacks make her a woman after my own heart in many ways! Beth White's writing style is energetic and vivid, and her attention to historical detail was excellent! I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. I appreciated how she focused on the lesser known education of former slaves just after the Civil War, and the brutal travesties of the Ku Klux Klan. But the story fell short for me. I had to force myself to finish it because the plot just didn't hold my interest, and Joelle and Schuyler disappointed me as a rather immature, frustrating couple. Also, their love story just didn't feel very edifying or grounded on much else than sexual attraction. I'd like to give some of Beth White's other books a chance one day! But for me personally, this one wasn't that enjoyable
MaureenST 4 days ago
I loved being back with the Daughtry sisters, and being reunited with old friends. This being the second book in the series the author does a wonderful job of bringing you up to date, and a bit about what happened in the previous read. The Inn is about ready for guests, and times and tensions are heightened, and evil rears its ugly head. This is a rebuilding time after the Civil War, but there are those that really don’t want change and will do all they can to ensure that what they want continues. A bit of romance, and this is Joelle’s story, and we hope she makes the right decisions with two men of interest in her life. A wonderful historical read that you don’t want to miss, and there is another sister, so yes, there is another book in this series coming! I received this book through the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
PaulaShreckhise 4 days ago
A Reluctant Belle by Beth White is the second story in The Daughtry house series. It is best if you start with A Rebel Heart, Selah’s story, for a full experience and background information. A Reluctant Belle is about middle daughter, Joelle. The third will be A Reckless Love, Aurora’s story. The Daughtry sisters have come through the Civil War but have lost their father. In order to provide for themselves, they are making their family mansion into a resort hotel in the midst of Reconstruction. In order to realize this enterprise, they have accepted the financial backing of distant relative and sometime enemy Schuyler Beaumont. He is from wealth and influence. Schuyler is a colorful character who delights in goading Joelle into arguments just so see her reactions. They may have more in common than they realize. Schuyler muses: “ The women, of course, had always been family— if, at times, of a distant and somewhat contentious variety, in fact, to his surprise, he realized that Daughtry House felt more like home than Beaumont House in Mobile. He might not own it outright, but he’d invested much more than his finances here. He suspected that his heart and purpose in life might actually be found in the soul of this place.” Joelle Daughtry is a progressive thinker. She feels God prompting her to speak up for the underdog. She writes articles under a false name advocating for education for the freed slaves so they can vote in an informed manner and make their way in commerce intelligently. While they each have their secrets to keep, Schuyler and Joelle are learning who they can trust and we see them maturing in their views and purpose in life. Since the story is set in the Reconstruction period, Ms. White has dealt with the many injustices that followed the Civil War. Among them are Negro voting rights and education, simmering racial tension and the beginning of the KKK. She handles it with realism and tact. There is plenty of intrigue and excitement as the characters navigate the turbulent times. The Southern humor and witty banter make this novel enjoyable as well as interesting and informative. I recommend this book for those who like Civil War fiction with a clear faith thread and characters who don’t back down from their convictions. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not obligated to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
connywithay 5 days ago
“What do you want from me? We can’t be confidants any ore. We can’t even be—argument mates anymore,” Joelle is told in Beth White’s novel, Reluctant Belle. ~ What ~ The second in the Daughtry House series, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in a historical romance set in the South during the middle of the Reconstruction Era. With no profanity, topics of abuse, torture, and murder may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note to the reader, an excerpt of another novel, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography with advertisements. In this tale set in 1870 in Mississippi, twenty-two-year-old Joelle Daughtry has her hands full being betrothed to the local pastor while she helps run a resort hotel and writes under a male pseudonym newspaper articles that promote helping former slaves. However, knowing she rushed into accepting her marriage proposal due to the ongoing frustration with Schuyler Beaumont, a hotel investor she has known since childhood, their love/hate relationship has to be put on the back burner to uncover who murdered his father. ~ Why ~ I enjoy novels where I learn about America’s history, especially when slavery was abolished. I appreciated the details of the Southern culture. The story focuses on how freedom started spread among slaves and lines were drawn between the Lincolnites, Union League, and Ku Klux Klan. The bantering between the two protagonists was charming and engaging at times. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like stories of the persecution of freed slaves may pass on this book. Others may wish some of the characters were not stereotypical and the romance predictable. I found Joelle to be a bit too flawless as a teacher, journalist, and hotel manager who seemed wishy-washy when it came to love. ~ Wish ~ Since this is a part of a series and I did not read the first book, I wish there were a list of characters since there is a plethora of people mentioned. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you like a historical novel of the South’s conflict over race and politics, this is a quick and cozy read of romance that includes solving a murder. Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
Christianfictionandmore 7 days ago
A Reluctant Belle picks up right where A Rebel Heart left off. While those who read the first book in the Daughtry House series will have some insight into the characters that others will not, A Reluctant Belle will work as a stand-alone read. This second book is set in the Reconstruction period in Mississippi and Alabama, and deals with atrocities that were not uncommon in that time and place. White examines the hearts on both sides of the continuing social conflict as well as personal events that shaped them. Sometimes hardships bring out the best in folks, and sometimes the worst. White also draws attention to the difference between authentic faith and self-serving religion, and the difference between those who seek to be transformed by the renewing of their minds, who want to have the mind of Christ, and those who seek to create God in their own image. Embedded within weighty themes, White writes in suspense and romance that will hold tight to the reader's interest. This story focuses on the middle Daughtry sister, Joelle, a shy but headstrong young woman, one who knows her own mind and does not see the necessity of conforming to the demands of society. One who can thoughtfully and logically put pen to paper with great success, but one who often acts on impulse. While a bit older than a typical unwed southern belle, Joelle now has two suitors, one whom she recognizes as such, the other only recognized by those closest to her, but only one to whom she is well suited and who is well suited for her. I highly recommend A Reluctant Belle, and am grateful to have received a copy from Revell via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
TCJRogers 15 days ago
A Reluctant Belle is an extremely well-written story about Joelle Daughtry, a young lady living in the Deep South just after the Civil War who yearns to help educate the recently freed slaves. Obviously, there is opposition to this cause, and she and Schuyler, her childhood friend/enemy who she can’t stand and also can’t stand to be without, are caught in the middle of a dangerous situation. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story and connect with it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. The characters were so engaging. I love the relationship between Joelle and Schuyler — how they would push away from each other but then always pull back together, not really realizing the love they had for each other until they thought they might loose it forever. One of the most compelling aspects of the story is knowing that the danger was real — that post-Civil War life was dangerous, for freedmen and for those who would take up their cause. Overall, I thought this was an excellent book. I hadn’t read anything by Beth White prior to this book, but now I am definitely going to check out her other books. I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes historical romantic Christian fiction. *My thanks to the publisher for the Early Reviewer’s copy. I was not obligated to give a positive a review, and all opinions expressed are my own.*