Her Traitor’s Heart
By Colleen Hall
For Coral Leigh, the Civil War took everything and everyone she loved: her fiancé, her brother, and her father. But when her mother dies of grief shortly after the war’s end, Coral’s plantation home, Elmwood, must be auctioned. Soon to be homeless, she fears becoming yet another casualty of the war.
Fortunately, help arrives in the handsome form of Clint Logan, a decorated general in the Union army, and part of the occupational forces stationed near her home. When the general kindly offers her employment, Coral decides her pride isn’t worth starvation.
As love blooms between them, Coral and Clint must contend with threats worse than the scrutiny of Southern society. Disenfranchised Confederate soldiers are causing trouble around town, and Coral has to face the possibility of Clint’s death in the line of duty, along with her own social ostracizing. She will have to decide if she’s ready to trust her heart’s new loyalties, even if it means forsaking everything she’s ever known.
This book surprised me. I was impressed from the very beginning. The beautiful descriptions of the landscape, and houses, people, everything, from a historical perspective; the intelligent and oh so relocatable descriptions of emotional struggle and tragic experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed it all, I have to say. It was also different than other civil war novels I’ve read, and I’ve read quite a few.
I admired and related much too closely to Coral Leigh because of the tragedy she experiences. I love her name! I love her personality, her spit-fire spirit, her tenacity. I also loved Clint Logan. Coral’s opposite in many ways. So very patient. Kind, passionate, honorable, so incredibly chivalrous. Even though we did not read anything from his perspective, my writer brain was yearning for his POV. Just his actions and the kind patience he showed, spoke volumes. To me, this display of character through another character’s view shows exceptional writing talent.
Like I said, this book surprised me. It wasn’t like any of the typical Civil war stores I’ve read. I really loved the drawn out tension, the enemies-to-lovers trope (I am not ashamed I love those tropes) So much inner conflict, so much heart-wrenching decisions. Most of the time, I fall for book heroes who are broken, who need healing and mending emotionally. Clint was the opposite. While he had also experienced tragedy, he was strong, a commanding leader, a warrior and hero. He was also strong from an emotional standpoint. I loved how he carried Coral through the journey of her tragedy without her even realizing he was doing so. He was there for her. Not physically, but emotionally. It was fascinating to me, the way he patiently waited for her.
I also wanted to mention how realistic she portrayed the slaves in this story. There are so many authors with so many different styles, and I preferred Hall’s stylistic choices in how to portray the way slaves talk, the way they interact, over others, because they were more authentic, in my opinion. She didn’t overplay, she didn’t underplay. Their portrayal was well balanced for the type of story that this was: An historical romance with the heroine in focus.
Recommended: Yes, yes highly. A beautiful historical romance, full of both historical information, and romantic tension. I loved it.