An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition.Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equalor challenged him to consider the lives of others.In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?
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By Lyn Cote, Danika King
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Lyn Cote
All rights reserved.
SENECA FALLS, NEW YORK
JULY 19, 1848
On the high bench of the farmer's open wagon, Gerard Ramsay tried to take a deep breath, but the heaviness of life, a constant pressure over his heart, made it difficult—not to mention the July heat. Under the cloudless royal-blue sky, the New York countryside blazed green with healthy crops and full-leafed trees.
From the corner of his eye, Gerard observed with increasing chagrin his lifelong friend Kennan Buckley, who was sitting next to him. The man's expression radiated a kind of unholy glee.
Kennan's devilish sense of humor had lightened their boarding school and university years, but now that they were nearing thirty ... Gerard almost asked, "This isn't one of your foolhardy pranks, is it?"
The rough wagon lurched over a deep rut, and Gerard had to hold on to both his seat and his silk top hat. "I can't believe you talked me into this," he growled into Kennan's ear. "I left Boston for Saratoga for some horse racing and light flirtation at the springs—" another deep rut jarred them—"not this."
"Do you want to let your own cousin down?" Kennan retorted. "And of course, I had nothing better to do than bump along a country road in this heat."
Gerard sucked in hot July air and felt the starch in his shirt wilting in the blazing sun. "All right," he said under his breath. "The whole idea seems inconceivable."
"Well, conceive it. Stoddard Henry is in danger of becoming ensnared by a female—and a female who would lure him to a women's rights meeting. Have you ever?"
"Whoa!" the driver announced. "Here we are, gents. The Wesleyan Chapel." The wagon rolled to a halt. The two horses flicked their tails high, swishing away irritating flies.
After Kennan, Gerard scrambled down from the bench, resisting the urge to rub his bruised posterior. He glanced around at the small town of Seneca Falls. He immediately recognized the chapel, a large brick building on the corner surrounded by tall leafy oaks and maples, with a few hundred people gathered around the door. So many standing outside in this heat and in this out-of-the-way village—the sight was startling. How had they heard about the meeting? "Look. Would you believe it—a crowd?"
"What did I tell you?" Kennan said, striding toward the building.
Gerard turned to pay the farmer. Kennan hadn't bothered. But they'd been lucky to find this man and his wagon. When they'd arrived this morning on the early train from Saratoga, all the carriages at the station had already been taken. They'd persuaded this farmer, who'd been picking up a package, to bring them the few miles here.
"Gent, I'll be coming back this way in a few days." The farmer mopped his face with a large, frayed kerchief. "Should I stop and pick you up?"
Gerard hesitated. "Is there an inn here?"
"A few. The best is the Seneca Farmers' Inn—best food, clean sheets."
"When you come through, check for me—Gerard Ramsay—there, then. I'll leave word whether to find me or forget me." Gerard added an extra two bits.
The farmer beamed at him. "You can count on me, gent. I'm Jim Patterson. Everybody around here knows me." The man tugged the brim of his straw hat, pocketed the money, and slapped the reins.
Gerard hurried into the shade of the tall trees near the Wesleyan Chapel. He too took out his handkerchief and wiped the grime and perspiration from his face and hands. This crisis would have to land right at the very height and heat of summer.
The large crowd of women and, unbelievably, some men still waited outside the double doors of the chapel. Something odd was going on there. Two men were lifting a boy up to a window near the door. The lad opened the latch and slipped inside. Soon, to everyone's loud approval, he opened the chapel doors from within. No one had a key to open the chapel? What kind of ill-prepared meeting was this?
Gerard already knew the answer to that. A bunch of lunatics and radicals. He hurried forward, craning to see above the crowd, looking for his tall cousin.
"There!" Kennan shouted across the people now surging inside and gestured toward the door.
Gerard glimpsed his cousin—who, at the sound of Kennan's voice, turned just as the building swallowed him from sight.
Kennan jogged back to Gerard. "So did you see her?"
"No." Gerard felt irritation, hot and unpleasant like the summer air, roll through him.
"She's a very pretty blonde and she was right beside him."
Gerard chewed on this information. "I can't believe this is happening."
Gerard started forward.
Kennan grabbed his arm. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going after Stoddard."
"Into that women's meeting?" Kennan's voice rose. "Are you out of your senses too?"
"Maybe he'll come to his senses when he sees me." Gerard pulled away.
"Suit yourself. And I'll do the same. I'm going to find a tavern and some cool, wet ale. Isn't that better than charging into bedlam? Stoddard will come out at luncheon."
Gerard shook his head as he hurried to the chapel door. At seven years of age, all three of them—Kennan, Stoddard, and Gerard—had been sent away to boarding school. Stoddard and Kennan had been unwanted stepsons and Gerard had felt like one. The three had learned to count only on each other, and the bond still held. He must find his cousin and stop him from making a fool of himself.
Inside the chapel, Gerard tried to glimpse Stoddard, but it was so crowded that he couldn't. And since the seats were all taken, he found himself obliged to stand in the back. When a woman stepped to the pulpit to address the congregation, Gerard felt his jaw drop. A woman speaking to a group of females and males—in public?
Astounded, Gerard stumbled back outside toward a bench in the shade under an old oak. What had Stoddard gotten himself into?
The vaguely familiar Boston-accented voice stopped Gerard in his tracks. He turned to see who had called.
"It's been a long time," a stranger said, holding out his hand.
Suddenly recognizing him, Gerard felt a wave of disgust. Ambushed. Conklin had been a scholarship student at Harvard—the same university Gerard, Stoddard, and Kennan had attended. He forced himself to shake the man's hand. "Conklin, what brings you here?"
"Working." Conklin waved a notebook. "I'm covering this women's rights convention. Have you ever heard of anything so outlandish?" The man chuckled, mocking. "What is the scion of one of Boston's most swank—uh, I mean, most prestigious families doing here?"
Gerard stared at him, trying to hide his discomfort at being recognized by a journalist. This meant Stoddard's folly might be written up in the Boston papers. Worse and worse. "Just happened to stop here," Gerard said, attempting to smooth matters over. "I'm trying to find someplace cooler. Thought of the Finger Lakes."
"Really?" Conklin rocked on his heels, his expression amused.
"Really. Now if it's not against the law, I'm going to sit in the shade and relax."
Conklin studied Gerard for a moment. "Wish I could. But I have work to do."
Fuming, Gerard watched the journalist hurry into the chapel. He could only hope that Conklin wouldn't see Stoddard and would find more to write about than the fact that a Boston Ramsay had come to Seneca Falls on the same day that fanatics and lunatics had gathered for a big meeting, promoting the rights of women. Unbelievable.
Within him bloomed the urge to strangle Kennan for leaving him to deal with Stoddard alone. And a second urge: to throw a bucket of ice-cold water into Stoddard's face, shock him back to his good judgment. Gerard would have been happier staying in Boston, and he hated Boston.
* * *
In a few hours, after Gerard had walked around the small town and settled back on the bench outside, people began to exit the chapel at the time for luncheon, and he rose to watch for his cousin. Finally he saw Stoddard's head above all the others. Gerard rushed forward. "Stoddard!"
Stoddard turned with a startled look, then pushed his way from the throng and hurried toward Gerard.
"Cousin, what are you doing here?" Stoddard gripped his shoulder, grinning but appearing puzzled.
"I met Kennan in Saratoga, expecting to see you, too, but he said you were here, so we came to find you."
Stoddard's grin tightened. "Came to save me from my own folly?"
What could he say here in this crowd? "Yes," Gerard admitted, leaning close. "How could you ever think coming to a meeting like this was a good idea?"
Stoddard chuckled in reply.
Gerard glimpsed Conklin, the reporter, dodging in and out of the crowd, heading straight for them. "Cousin, there's a Boston reporter here. Remember Conklin—?"
"Stoddard," a soft, feminine voice from behind his cousin interrupted Gerard.
A truly lovely blonde, dressed in the height of fashion and almost as tall as Stoddard, claimed his cousin's arm.
Beside her walked a petite Quakeress dressed in simple gray and white, her prettier-than-average face framed by a plain white bonnet. The ladies were arm in arm, but in total contrast. They looked to be from two different worlds.
Gerard snapped his mouth shut so he wouldn't blurt out any ill-considered words. Over the heads of the crowd, he noted that Conklin had been snagged and buttonholed by another attendee. Saved.
Stoddard chuckled, shaking his head at Gerard. "Ladies, may I introduce you to my cousin? This is Gerard Ramsay of Boston. Gerard, this is Miss Xantippe Foster—known as Tippy—and her friend, Mrs. Blessing Brightman, both of Cincinnati."
Blessing—an unusual name even for a Quakeress. And since Stoddard presented her by her given name and not her husband's, she must be a widow. Gerard commanded himself enough to accept the blonde's curtsy and both women's gloved hands in turn. "Ladies, a pleasure I'm sure," he recited the social lie.
"A pleasure? Truly?" Miss Foster laughed merrily as if he'd made a jest.
"Gerard Ramsay, won't thee join us for luncheon?" the Quakeress invited, speaking in the Quaker way and dispensing with any title, even mister. "Expecting that we might meet a friend, we reserved a table for four at our inn." Without waiting for his answer, the woman started walking briskly toward the main street, lined with shops and inns.
Stoddard offered his arm to Miss Foster and nodded Gerard toward Mrs. Brightman.
Gerard could not disobey years of training in proper manners. He edged forward as efficiently as he could through the crush of the surrounding crowd.
The Quaker lady paused, letting Stoddard and the blonde precede her. Then she gazed up at Gerard with a look that he might have used when trying to decide without tasting whether a glass of milk had soured. It unnerved him. He tried to step back but bumped against a stranger. He swallowed an unkind word.
She cocked her head, still studying him.
He'd had enough. He offered her his arm. "May I escort you, ma'am?" he said as if issuing a challenge.
She touched his arm and then began to walk on. "Yes, but I do not need to cling to thy arm. I am quite capable of walking unaided."
More startled than insulted, Gerard held back a sharp reply. As audacious as she might be, a gentleman did not contradict a lady. Peering ahead, he observed the possessive way the tall blonde clung to Stoddard's arm. He wanted to snatch up his cousin and run.
"I did not mean to be rude or uncivil," the Quakeress continued, walking beside him. "I'm sure thee offered thy arm simply from courtesy. But after this morning's meeting, I am afraid I see more clearly the prescribed manners between gentlemen and ladies as a form of bondage."
The equation of courtesy with bondage sent prickly disbelief rippling through him. "I beg your pardon." And with the press of the crowd threatening to bowl him over, he was forced to walk faster. What would this woman say next?
She looked up at him. A mischievous smile lightened her face, and he saw now that it was not just pretty but beautiful—big blue eyes, a pert nose, generous pink lips, and thick chestnut hair peeping out around her close bonnet.
Her smile did something to him, something unexpected yet welcome. The heaviness he always carried relented and he could draw breath freely. What was going on here?
"What is thy stand on abolition?" she asked, completely ignoring what should be the standard polite conversation between a man and a woman upon first meeting. They should discuss the weather and then move on to discreetly find out about each other's family connections.
He stared at her. Ahead, Stoddard was chuckling at something his lady had said. The sound wrapped Gerard's nerves tighter.
The Quakeress shook her head at him, still grinning. "Very well. I don't mean to be impolite. I will follow propriety." She cleared her throat. "Gerard Ramsay, what brings thee to Seneca Falls this July day?"
He swallowed and tried to come up with a palatable conventional reply. He failed. "I'm against slavery," he said instead.
"I am happy to hear that, but I asked what thy stand on abolition is."
He was not accustomed to women who put forth opinions, and her tone, though cheerful, was almost cavalier, as if she was making fun of him. Usually, with him, people did that to their own peril. But this Quakeress had pushed him off balance. "You are in favor of abolition?" he ventured, trying to find his feet in this discussion.
She laughed softly, the sound reminding him of children playing. "Yes, I am in favor of abolition. Has thee ever heard Frederick Douglass speak?"
"No," he said, trying to keep up with her unexpected questions and her brisk pace without bumping into anyone.
"Would thee like to hear Frederick Douglass?"
"Who is that?" He looked down at her again, her face attracting him in spite of himself.
"Thee hasn't read his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave? It was published three years ago and has sold over five thousand copies."
Distracted, he wished he could overhear what the other lady was saying to his cousin. "I've not had the pleasure."
"Indeed thee hasn't read it, then. It is not a pleasure to read. It is as harsh as the slavery that bound him."
Gerard felt as if he were back on the wagon, only riding over an even bumpier road. Though primarily concerned with Stoddard's flirtation, he scrambled to keep up with the Quakeress's odd conversation. "He's a fugitive slave, you say?"
"He is a free man of color who left the state and master that enslaved him."
Gerard gaped at her. Ladies didn't discuss slavery. No woman had ever spoken so frankly to him in his life. All his usual sangfroid evaporated.
"I see my direct manner has disconcerted thee. I apologize." She smiled and said in a sweetly conversational tone, "When does thee think this hot weather will ebb?"
His mind whirled, but he wouldn't bow in defeat. "Is this Frederick Douglass attending your ... convention?"
"Gerard Ramsay, thee must make up thy mind whether thee wishes me to be conventional or not. I own fault. I started by speaking frankly as I do among people with whom I'm acquainted, not strangers like thee. But this morning's discussion of the Declaration of Sentiments has made me overbold with thee—one who is not at all acquainted with me."
She tilted her head like an inquisitive robin. "I apologize. Should we try to follow convention or proceed with frankness?" She looked at him expectantly as she continued walking. "Please choose. I do not wish to be rude."
He inhaled the hot, humid air. Her candor irritated him, and he would be cursed if he let this woman best him. He girded his defenses. "Mrs. Brightman," he drawled, "I must confess your conversational style is completely unparalleled in my experience."
She laughed once more, sounding almost musical.
Was this woman being artless or artful? He glanced at Stoddard's companion again. The two women differed in costume, but did they both share this originality?
The foursome arrived at the besieged Seneca Farmers' Inn. Telling them to wait, Stoddard threaded his way through the crowd to the harassed-looking, aproned proprietress and then turned at the door to the rear arbor. "They saved us our table outside!" He waved them forward. "Come."
They followed a flustered-looking hostess to a table at the rear of the inn, just outside under a shade tree. She pointed out the bill of fare posted on the outside wall near the door, then left them, promising to bring glasses of cold springwater.
Excerpted from Blessing by Lyn Cote, Danika King. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Cote. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blessing by Lyn Cote, Book Two in the Quaker Brides Series, is an intriguing novel that focuses on women’s rights and abolition in Cincinnati in the early 1800’s. The plot includes plenty of action, suspense, and romance as well as historical significance and faith-based truth. Young and beautiful Quaker widow, Blessing Brightman, has resolved not to marry again after life with a difficult husband and to devote herself to the less fortunate—orphans, abused women, and slaves. She is content as their champion. Gerard Ramsey, son of a wealthy Boston family, travels to Seneca Falls and Cincinnati to rescue his cousin from the clutches of a pretty little blonde who is dragging him to women’s rights events and impairing his good judgment. Gerard’s desire is to escape his father’s demands and to be free and independent. He chooses to stay in Cincinnati and to live his own life. Blessing Brightman is like no other woman he has encountered. Strong and independent, she both irks him and draws him to her. Her intelligence and compassion for others impresses him. Each resists the other, but all others see their growing attraction. I recommend this historical novel and look forward to Book Three in the series, Faith. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Blessing is an excellent historical fiction dealing with Quakers and women's rights. The historical facts are well documented and researched. The story line is easy to follow and interesting. After reading the first one in the Quaker Brides series(Honor), I was looking forward to reading this one. It did not disappoint me. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Nothing much happened.
A Thinking Book I don’t believe I have ever read a book about Quakers before, at least not one where a main character adheres to that belief system, so for that reason alone I was intrigued and wanted to read this novel. The history is fascinating, so even though the romance was a bit stilted at times, I found the book an incredible story. I had enough differences with the heroine, Blessing, that it was at times difficult to relate to her. She is very human, with strong opinions and desires warring within her. She can be obstinate and even foolish, but she is also very brave and sure of her convictions. A strong woman in a time when there weren’t very many, she fights for those who are unable to fight for themselves, and that is laudable. Gerard goes through a major transformation in this novel and we get to watch the entire process. He begins as an unlikeable, immature man, afraid of marriage because he considers it bondage; thankfully he does not remain there. Joining him on the journey can be painful but the beauty we witness more than makes up for the discomfort. I did struggle some with the women’s issues in this novel: Blessing is very involved in women’s suffrage and while that didn’t bother me, her attitudes about men and the worthlessness of love sometimes did. Given her backstory, I would say her opinions made sense, but it came across as a bit heavy handed at times. Gerard’s initial thoughts of “teach[ing] her to take her womanly place in society” also gave me pause. I realize that in the time these events took place, these might have been common thoughts, but it still startled me a bit. My favorite part of this novel was the strong spiritual component—from a Gospel presentation and testimony by Sojourner Truth , which I delighted to learn were her own words, to Blessing’s own personal faith, God is found throughout the pages of this book. Her devotion to God and dependence on Him for safety, security, and peace were inspiring and even convicting: she made me want to be a better Christian. I would recommend this book most to those interested in historical women’s issues or abolition. Yes, it is a romance, but that thread is definitely overshadowed by suffrage, inheritance laws and the injustices of slavery. This is a thinking book that challenges our ideas of what the past was like rather than glossing over unpleasant details. That’s a good thing, even if it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I picked up the novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
I had the privilege to read the previous book, Honor, about Blessing's parents and their courtship. This is the second one in the series but can be read as a standalone. Blessing is a young Quaker widow who spends her time helping orphans, slaves and prostitutes. She runs an orphanage using money her deceased husband left her. Gerald Ramsey is a privileged young man that leaves his home in Boston for Cincinnati after a disagreement with his father. These two are the least likely to become friends as any two could be, but they are connected when Gerald's cousin and Blessing's best friend become engaged. This story carries these characters through lots of turmoil, mystery and prejudice. In 1848 meetings begin to spring up supporting women's rights, both white and black, as well as putting down slavery in all forms. Lyn Cote did lots of great research before writing this book and although it is fiction, so much of the historical parts are based on fact. I really enjoy learning historical facts that I never learned in school through the fun of reading a good fiction story, such as this is. In the process of reading I was transported through time to the mid 1800's. I felt like I was actually walking the dark streets and alleys, helping rescue the prostitutes, bringing unwanted babies back to the safety of the orphanage, and confronting evil face on. The author writes that well! I look forward to the next installment, Faith, coming out in the spring of 2016. I received this book from Bookfun for my honest review, which I have given.
Blessing was a great book. I didn’t read the first one in the series but now I want to. I liked learning about things I didn’t know about before. The author did a great job making me want to read. I received this book for free from the author and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
What a captivating historical romance which delves into the difficulties and ideas of the time – 1848 – underground railroad, abolitionists, women suffragists, and more! Gerard Ramsay is a young Bostonian determined to break away from his overbearing father. To aid his best friend and cousin he travels to Cincinnati. Blessing is a young Quaker widow in Cincinnati who rubs him the wrong way. She aids the downtrodden, associates with both the high and lowly, and causes him to look at people differently. They are attracted to each other, but “How can I convince thee I cannot afford to love thee?” says Blessing. She has much to lose with an association with him. Blessing is the 2nd book in the Quaker Brides series by Lyn Cote. However, it is a next generation sequel so although there is some reference to the characters in the previous book, it stands alone. I found this story fascinating and I recommend it! I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.
When Blessing Brightman and Gerard Ramsey meet at a women’s suffrage meeting in Seneca Falls, they could never have believed or wanted their paths to cross again. Blessing is a widow of a difficult man whose passing made her wealthy and independent. Gerard is the spoiled, cynical son of a wealthy Bostonian gentleman. When Gerard’s cousin, Stoddard, insists that he is moving to Cincinnati to pursue Blessing’s lovely friend, Tippy, Gerard feels he must intervene. By moving to Cincinnati, Gerard is cut off from any allowance by his father and he must look for a way to make money. Having few scruples, he begins to contact investors for the building of a racetrack. His dealings often take him to the disreputable parts of town. Often he encounters Blessing there on missions of mercy trying to help women and children who have been cast aside. Frequently, he begins to find himself her protector and defender. As he gets to know the lovely Quakeress, he finds his outlook on life changing. He also begins to discover that she may be involved in some dangerous and illegal activities. Having read the author’s first book in the Quaker Brides series, I looked forward to reading this second installment. Blessing is the daughter of the heroine of the first book, Honor. This book did not disappoint. It brings up two movements that some forget were often being addressed simultaneously during that time period – the anti-slavery movement and women’s suffrage. Many of the leading abolitionists were also speaking out about women’s rights as well. This was a well researched historical fiction, bringing up important issues, but it was also an exciting can’t put down story. I always appreciate it when the author adds Historical Notes at the end of the book. This author included some very interesting facts about the city of Cincinnati. It was a very important place for runaway slaves, since if they could cross the Ohio River, they were often free from slave catchers. Therefore, there were many free blacks in Cincinnati, a fact which many in town did not appreciate. The characters were well developed and very sympathetic. This was a great read. I received this from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
_____________________ *My Thoughts* When I started reading Lyn's first book in this series, Honor, it did not interest me at all. Then I got to about chapter three on a long trip and I was hooked. It was the same with this one although it was more like chapter five. I was skeptical that it was going to pick up, but by the end, I was really glad I read this novel. Lyn is a wonderful writer of all things quaker and as fierce lover of civil war novels, this series had my vote from the start. One of the reasons I struggled at the beginning of the book was the male protagonist-Gerald Ramsey. He drove me crazy with some of his thoughts and opinions in the very beginning but I grew to love him as time went on and he changed. Blessing is one of my new favorite "strong women". (Yes, I even have a shelf for this on goodreads!) She was feisty and she did whatever it took to see what she believed was wrong put to justice. She didn't let her fears of what people might think of her stop her from doing what was right. A strong sense of faith and history is woven throughout the pages. You can imagine yourself walking through the streets with a sense of wonder of when things would all be over. You can understand the pain people are going through but still feel their hope that it would all come to an end. All in all, it was a wonderful book and I can't wait for the next installment! ___________________ *Audience* This book is a must read if you are into Quaker or Shaker history or if you love historical novels in civil war era time period. It would appeal to lovers of Mary Ellis and Ann H. Gabhart! ________________________ *My overall thoughts* Blessing by Lyn Cote is a Civil war era Quaker historical novel and one I thoroughly enjoyed. It took some time to get into but once I did, I loved the story and it's characters. _______________ *My Rating* I give Blessing by Lyn Cote... 4 1/2 stars!! *I received this book from the the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way. http://bookreviewsforchristians.blogspot.com/2015/07/tyndale-blessing-by-lyn-cote.html
This was a fantastic book. It was so interesting to read about a Quaker who marries a rich man and turns from the church. Then when she becomes a widow it is wonderful for her to use the money she inherited to help orphans. She also turns back to her true leanings and becomes a practicing Quaker again. She then meets Gerard Ramsey who is a wealthy man from Boston. She falls for him but tells herself she can do nothing about it because she will not jeopardize her standing as a Quaker ever again. This story has many wonderful characters and a lot of twists and turns . I loved this second book in this series as much as I loved the first. I look forward to the third book. I received this book from Tyndale for a fair and honest opinion.
What a captivating story! Blessing is rich in historic detail, has a wonderful romance that blossoms throughout it, and brings home the real struggle that women and former slaves faced in this time period. I really liked the way the author showed the passage of time throughout the story. Various sections of the book begin with the date and helped me have a better understanding of when events were occurring. I appreciated that. The heroine, Blessing, was strong and sure about many things. She helped so many people and did much good. However, even she had events from her past that she regretted and that impacted the decisions she made and the way she viewed relationships. The hero, Gerard, made so much progress throughout the book. I will admit that for the first third of the book I could not stand Gerard Ramsay! He started out as a vindictive, manipulative, and selfish man. What a difference God and a strong woman made in his life. I really liked Gerard for the rest of the story. Blessing was a very interesting book that I read quickly because I enjoyed it so much. It is book two in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Lyn Cote in her new book “Blessing” Book Two in the Quaker Brides series published by Tyndale House Publishers introduces us to Blessing Brightman. From the back cover: “How can I convince thee that I cannot afford to love thee?” An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition. Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equal―or challenged him to consider the lives of others. Though united by a common foe and drawn together by an attraction that neither can deny, Their ambitions couldn’t Be more different. In a city ablaze with tensions tearing the country asunder, can two people worlds apart possibly find love? Strong women. Brave stories. Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments in American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the lives of brave heroines fighting to uphold their principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of faith, family, and the heart. America in 1848 was an entirely different world than what exists today. Well maybe not so different. There were race riots, whites against free blacks, and lack of women’s rights. This is the environment that Blessing finds herself in. She is a widow that was fortunate that her husband left a will giving everything he had to her otherwise she would have lost everything including her home. So Blessing is fighting for women’s rights in a time when women were supposed to be invisible. Ms. Cote has given us a very exciting story. She has also given us plenty to think about: how Black people were treated, how women were treated and how God has to work through individual problems so that each can heal and move into destiny. And then there is the romance. Both Blessing and Gerard are terrific characters that we fall in love with and root for to succeed. Great stuff and I am so looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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.”
Blessing is the second installment of the Quaker Brides series. I just loved the main character Blessing. Such a strong character. I loved seeing how the Underground Railroad played out in this story and also learning the lesson of keeping faith and forgiveness. Great and Fabulous Book! 5 plus stars.
Blessing, Book 2 in the Quaker Brides series, is a captivating story! Blessing Brightman is a woman who speaks her mind and is determined to fight for women's rights and abolition. Gerard Ramsay is man eager to escape his father’s control. Both tenacious characters, I enjoyed getting to know Blessing and Gerard and experiencing their emotional and spiritual journeys. Lyn Cote’s dramatic portrayal of historical events really brings this story to life. Delving deep into a tumultuous time in our nation’s history, Cote blends fact and fiction creating a compelling narrative. I loved Blessing’s story and am eager to meet Faith in the final book of the series! While Blessing is a stand-alone story, it does revisit beloved characters from Book 1, Honor. Both of these novels, as well as the series prequel, Where Honor Began, are recommended reads for fans of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my honest opinion.
Blessing,***** Quakers Brides book 2 by Lyn Cote Widowed Blessing Brightman has reclaimed her faith after a dangerous marriage. She has promised herself never to loose her independence or marry again. She uses her influence to fight for women's rights and abolition. Gerard Ramsey comes from a wealthy family but escapes his father's clutches and plans for his future. Arriving in Cincinnati with his own plans in hopes to gain his own independence. While putting his plans in motion Gerard comes across Blessing who complicates his plans, even his life as she challenges his ideas and consideration of others. Gerard and Blessing constantly cross paths in the weeks and months that follow. Blessing has secrets that she hides carefully from others. Gerard has his own secrets to hide. But when danger follows Blessing and the orphans she cares for, Gerard finds himself involved more than he desires to be. I like that characters from book one of the Quaker Brides Series are included in this book and we get to catch up on their lives. As the story unfolds we see into Blessings' heart and what drives her to be involved in some dangerous activities. This book captured me from the first page to the last. I found myself rooting for Blessing and Gerard and other times on the edge of my seat as they face dangerous-even life threatening challenges. Suspense, mystery, danger, wounded hearts, healing, forgiveness, faith, and love are woven into the story making a great story. I enjoyed the first book, Honor, in the series but Blessing is even better. ~~I received an ARC from the author for my honest review~~
I was unsure about reading this book, because I've never read a book concerning Quakers. Blessing by Author Lyn Cote is a very interesting and intriguing book. This book not only has romance, but includes suspense, action-packed drama and "Aha" moments which makes Blessing so much more enjoyable to read. The storyline is easy to read and the details and descriptions of the settings and characters are wonderful. I love how the author brings out meaningful messages to touch our lives, plus the history in the book is fantastic. Blessing is Book Two in the Quaker Brides series. I definitely enjoyed reading Blessing by Author Lyn Cote and recommend for others to read this book. I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.