3 out of 4 stars
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The Civil War has ended, and the citizens of Elmwood are trying to pick up the pieces of their broken lives and ignore the Yankees who have come as victors to instill new rules and even more hardships upon them. Coral Leigh is one such Southerner, trying to manage her family's plantation by herself with just two freed slaves and her bedridden mother after losing her father, brother, and fiance in the war. Clint Logan is a Yankee general, and he's determined to prove Coral's misconceptions about the Yankees wrong. He's patient when she lashes out, a perfect gentleman, and so charming she could almost fall for him...if it weren't for the fact that he and his Yankee men took everything she loved from her.
In Colleen Hall's Her's Traitor's Heart, Coral learns to overcome her prejudice and realizes what is most important in life. She had lost her faith in God after all the terrible things that happened to her and her fellow Southerners, but Clint's patient teachings slowly bring her back around. Throughout the book, Coral must deal with issues such as her own pride, her willingness to break from tradition, going against her own values, hurting others, and falling in love with a man who may ride out as a general and come back in a casket, just like her own family members did.
I really enjoyed the amount of detail in this novel. It's obvious that Colleen Hall did very in-depth research while she was writing. Her writing style was so fluid and captivating that I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind's eye rather than reading a book. Every page held vivid descriptions of life after the Civil War, as well as a little bit of Southern charm. All of the characters were charming and likable, even when they were full of human faults. The pace of the novel was smooth and the plot didn't include any unnecessary scenes. Also, I couldn't find any typos or other mistakes at all! It was very well edited.
The only thing that bothered me was that the plot was quite linear. There were no other male characters that had captured Coral's heart, no need to choose between the general and a charming Southern man. The reader knew exactly who Coral was coming to end up with, they just didn't know how. Some readers may enjoy that simplicity, but I prefer a little more drama in my romance.
Overall, I would give Her Traitor's Heart 3 out of 4 stars. I honestly wish I could give it 3.5 stars because it really was a great novel overall, but I can't see myself gushing over it and recommending it to all my friends who enjoy historical romance. Since it is so simple and could be read through in just a few hours, I would recommend it as light reading material during a plane ride, perhaps even on the way to visit the South to enjoy a little bit of Southern charm before you arrive! Also, since the novel is a work of Christian fiction, it is appropriate for all age levels. If I had teenage daughters who enjoyed romance, I would definitely recommend it to them.
Her Traitor's Heart
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