There was nothing for it. Verity had to set aside her misgivings and do what she felt she ought. She dug her booted heels into Fiona’s flanks, and the big chestnut mare resumed their climb up the steep, rocky path. She wished her resolve could be as steady and sure as her mount’s gait. Because what was to come…well, the mere thought of it left her feeling quite ill.

Opening lines of Verity by Lisa T. Bergren

Verity, by Lisa T. Bergren, is the second in the sugar baron’s daughters series and continues where Keturah leaves off. Whilst a story in and of itself, I highly recommend reading this series in order to fully appreciate the journey. Having loved the first, I have been anticipating this one ever since and it doesn’t disappoint!

A fine balance of romance and realism is struck in this novel. It is full of adventure, faith and hope as well as rich with historical details. Whilst life in the West Indies is harsh and the people our lead characters come up against are brutal, the beauty of the surrounds and the power of love triumphs over it all.

Our leading lady, Verity, sets her mind to selling both horses and horse-related items imported from America and her travel between the two lands is on the seas are fraught with British and Patriot fighters. Being a horse-lover, I wish to reassure future readers, no horses were harmed during the novel – I always hold my breathe whilst reading in fear an animal may be injured! – but it is packed with fascinating facts about transporting and training them which I thoroughly enjoyed!

As the conflict drew to a head between Britain and the Americas, several acts were put in place to suppress the uprising including having to allow soldiers to take up residence in one’s home, feeding and caring for them at one’s own cost! Astounding! Details like these are woven into the story which makes its fabric all the more interesting!

Christianity sits at the heart, as it did in the first book, and finding joy and hope after loss and heartbreak is the central theme. Standing apart from the world’s norms of slavery and the place of women causes strife for the whole family and finding a way to be true to God if not the way of the world is explored beautifully.

The writing is exquisite and the characters wonderful! I eagerly anticipate book number three, Selah, and highly recommend this one! It’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.

From the back cover:

After leaving England behind for a new life in the West Indies with her sisters, Verity Banning wants something to call her own. Her affinity for animals inspires her to set up a business importing horses, as well as other goods in demand by the island residents. But when she arrives in the Colonies to purchase her goods, unexpected news of Captain Duncan McKintrick awaits her–as does the captain’s handsome brother, Ian–whose sympathies lie with the fledgling Patriot cause.

As the great-granddaughter of a British general and friend to many Loyalists, Verity believed all she wanted was a peaceful resolution. But both the Patriots and the impassioned Ian McKintrick are steadily laying claim to her heart. When faced with the decision of what–and for whom–she will fight, can she set her feet on a new path despite the danger that awaits?

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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