Author: Laura Frantz
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 5, 2021
They're both too busy for love . . . but love is not too busy for them
Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in Virginia Colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family's shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.
Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife.
Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they've been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?
Reviewer: Nancy J. Brown
Laura Frantz has written an excellent book, Tidewater Bride, about the American colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, in the 1600s. She has brought to life a period in our history that is important and paramount to learn about. American colonists forged a way of life that we still benefit from today.
The author takes us into a colony of tobacco farmers, merchants, Goodwives, and children, and the co-existence of Indians/Native Americans with the settlers. The story was very strong throughout. It held my attention and kept me wanting to read more.
She brought the characters to life, gave them a depth of personality, and drew a magnificent picture of what life was like for Americans back in Colonial times. I give this book 5 stars, I'd give more if I could!
The relationship between the two main characters, Selah Hopewell and Alexander Renick, was kept pure and clean, and appropriate. It's an engaging story and had me up late at night sometimes, just to see how the situation would resolve itself. She's a very talented writer, gifted by God, whom she honors in her book, again and again. If you want a fascinating history lesson interwoven with fictional characters, I recommend reading her book, Tidewater Bride.
This paperback book was given to me by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Connie Porter Saunders
Tidewater Bride is another example of Laura Frantz's amazing ability to weave a tale with engaging characters and an exciting plot. It also proves her commitment to fully research the time period that she is writing about. This fascinating story is set in James Towne, Virginia Colony, in 1634, and the opening sentence immediately grabbed my interest because of the tobacco crops that my husband and I raised for over thirty years! 'Alas, she was not a tobacco bride, but she had been given charge of them.'
Twenty-six year old Selah Hopewell is in charge of helping young English women choose a husband from the eager colonists of James Towne but she herself has no desire to marry until....an acquaintance turns to friendship and progresses to something more. I enjoyed seeing this capable woman intent on keeping her independence change into someone who yearns to be a wife and mother. I also loved the character of Alexander Renick, one of the founders of James Towne. Still grieving for his dead wife Mattachanna, a Powhatan princess, Xander is consumed with work and feels no need for companionship until...he begins to recognize just how special Selah is.
Frantz transports readers back to the Virginia colony and vividly illustrates all that these colonists endured. She shares the story of men who were willing to pay one hundred fifty pounds of good leaf tobacco for a bride, the young women willing to be claimed, and the efforts to find a peaceful co-existence with the Powhatan Indians. Hard work is the norm and danger is ever present but she also shows the strong faith that helped them through their trials. As the relationship between Selah and Xander progresses, and we see Xander's character change for the better, we are reminded of the universal need for love and the absolute need to fully trust in God.
Tidewater Bride is a thrilling story of love and hope and I was pleased to learn the identity of the real-life people who inspired this story. I highly recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Cheryl Wood
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also...”
Tidewater Bride shows that life is not all that rosy. Life in these times was hard from the harvest, the weather, or the unpredictable behaviors of their fellow men. But with faith, prayer, and courage, they carried on.
The story of a very independent Selah Hopewell refuses to become another tobacco bride, looking for love that seeks her heart. Xander Renick is stuck between two nations, the Powhatan nation and the colonists, will Xander and Selah find their way to each other? Will they survive the circumstances in front of them? Will their love stand the test of time?
The story was slow for me and had a hard time getting into the book.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Rich with historical detail and filled with memorable, authentic characters, Laura Frantz’s newest novel grabbed my interest from the first page and held it captive to the end.
Set in James Towne, Virginia in 1634, Frantz brings this slice of American history alive to the point where I could vividly imagine being present in the scenes. Be prepared to fall in love with Xander Renick and Selah Hopewell as they navigate life among the rigors of Colonial America. Xander is a wonderful hero—compassionate, industrious, and capable. Selah is spunky, independent, and caring, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship progress and grow. The fantastic cast of secondary characters added color and extra interest to the tale.
Packed with adventure, intrigue, twists and turns, and romance, this beautifully written story is historical fiction at its finest. Uplifting inspirational themes of hope, courage, and healing are deftly woven throughout and give extra depth and dimension to it. This book is bound for my keeper shelf and is sure to make my list of top reads of the year.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: June McCrary Jacobs
A powerful historical Christian romance set in 1634 James Towne, Virginia Colony.
This story begins in the spring of 1634, in the bustling settlement of James Towne in the Virginia Colony. Selah Hopewell, the unmarried daughter of the cape merchant, is awaiting the arrival of the latest group of tobacco brides, who have traveled from Europe to the New World with the hope of marrying a suitable husband and beginning a life in the Virginia Colony.
Alexander Renick, known as Xander, is the widower of Selah's best friend, Mattachanna, a Powhatan princess. He is the wealthiest landowner in the colony and is also a burgess, council member, and tribal negotiator. His young son, Oceanus, is still living in Scotland after his mother tragically died while the family was on a trip to Xander's homeland.
The first part of the book introduces the settlement's inner-workings, the local government, and the main characters' daily lives. Through the author's diligent research, readers are treated to a glimpse of life in this period. The manuscript includes gardening, cooking, homemaking, medical and religious practices. The climate, scenery, and moirés of the area and the relationship the newcomers had with the native peoples of the land keeps the reader immersed.
Several delightful supporting characters in the story increased my interest in the narrative even more. Xander's aunt, Widow Brodie; Shay, Selah's twelve-year-old brother; Oceanus, Xander and Mattachanna's son; and Watseka, a six-year-old Powhatan girl, all contribute to the story in their extraordinary ways.
The villain of this book is arrogant, savage, self-serving, and utterly evil. I dreaded his appearance on any page of the book even though I understand the purpose he served in the story.
The faith thread was evident throughout the story. The main characters shared Bible verses in their religious discussions, with excerpts of their minister's sermons sprinkled throughout the book. Selah and Xander called upon the Lord in times of danger and crisis.
The element of this story that I most appreciated was the complete respect, acceptance, and compassion the main characters had for the diverse cultures and diverse individuals with whom they interacted. As we know from history and as the author deftly pointed out through her writing, the Native American peoples, enslaved African people, and the indentured servants from Europe were treated inhumanely and unkindly by many people during this time. I believe the kindness and generosity many individuals in this story bestowed upon these diverse individuals gave them hope that others who were different from them could be kindhearted and decent.
This book is completely clean in language and content. I look forward to reading more work from this talented author.
I highly recommend this book for fans of Christian fiction, Christian historical fiction, Christian romance, and pre-Colonial fiction.
I received a paperback copy of this book from Revell through Interviews and Reviews.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"I will not give you what you are yet unsure of, thus forming a bond between us that might well break."
What an incredible historical romance! Laura Frantz is a masterful storyteller, weaving history and fiction into a touchable and absorbing world that captivates, enraptures, and inspires.
I wasn't expecting a novel inspired by Pocahontas when I picked up the book but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in 1634 James Towne, learning about the colony and its trade as well as the Powhatan nation. There is sweet and slowly building romance, shocking betrayal and twists in the plot, deeply layered characters who tug at the heart, and profound spiritual truths that guide the characters even in their trials, tribulations, grief, and sorrow. It's a must-read historical romance that will definitely start your 2021 right.
Selah, an intelligent, witty, and outspoken daughter of the head merchant of James Towne, is almost a spinster and an unlikely match to Xander, the reticent and driven owner of the largest tobacco plantation and a widower of his beloved Powhatan princess. Yet as different as their personalities may be, they are drawn to each other by a desire to see justice, peace, and fair treatment among all men prevail in their new land. Their respective families are endearing, especially Selah's younger brother Shay. This book....it will stay with you a long time after finishing the last page.
I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Laura Frantz has once again produced another remarkable book taking the reader on a compelling, faith-filled journey, fraught with danger, mystery and of course, a little romance.
Tidewater Bride captures the hardships of James Towne, Virginia, in 1634. Frantz is a master of historical fiction, and she triumphs once again with vivid descriptions of the setting and the era that bring her words to life.
I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book and the cover. Selah Hopewell is a fiercely independent young woman, set in her ways. She has no desire to marry even as she tends to the newly arrived tobacco brides who are all seeking husbands and a fresh start in the new world.
Xander Renick is the most eligible bachelor in James Towne, but he is not looking for a bride. How fortunate that Selah is not looking for a husband! I loved how this couple finally came together. More importantly, I loved how faith and waiting on God were instrumental in so many elements of their lives.
Fans will be delighted to learn which historical characters this story is based on. I only wish this was a series, for I would dearly love to see these characters again. I highly recommend this book!
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
Laura Frantz is an excellent storyteller and her research is spot on.
I love her books because her stories come from her heart.
I've been a Frantz fan since her first novel The Frontiersmen's Daughter and that's a long time! Her descriptions of this book are so vivid that it takes readers like me on an unforgettable journey.
This book is especially my favorite since it takes place in my favorite time period. Frantz's fans will not want to miss this wonderful story. It doesn't disappoint that's for sure!
I won't give away who Selah and Xander were based on. I'll let you figure that out. I know one thing. I didn't want the book to end. It was so good that I hated to come back to the present. I will eagerly await the next one. This book was the perfect beach read.
My thanks go to Revell who provided a book through Interviews & Reviews and Netgalley. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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