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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Quartering Act by Judy Baker

The Quartering Act by Judy Baker
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure; Historical
Length: Full (320 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Bluebell

Katherine Heaton, a young patriot woman, stares into the eyes of the Redcoat officer standing over her father’s lifeless body. Stunned at what she has just witnessed, there is nothing she can do when the soldiers haul her brother away for hanging a British Stamp Agent. Devoted to her brother, and the cause, she will help him fight for independence. Captain Jeremy Burke, officer in the King’s army, arrives in the New World and discovers the colonies have an elegant simplicity that surprises him, especially the beautiful Heaton woman. He has never had a problem with self-discipline, until now. The painful road of time, separate lives, and war require determination and courage for two enemies to embrace a love so powerful and forbidden.

“It takes mad men to build nations. Not the weak ramblings of cowards.” With this comment between brother and sister the intense rivalry that tore our nation from its Mother Country begins.

The Quartering Act is set against the sweeping backdrop of the American Revolution. Beginning with the father and moving through the second generation of patriots, the author firmly sets the plight of colonist against the British. We are thrown into the horrors of the Stamp act as people rallied against the thumb of the crown and builds to the fighting at Lexington and beyond. Two star crossed lovers, Katherine Heaton and a young British officer Jeremy Burke, struggle against their rising affections. As we all know, our hearts rule over our heads.

Ms. Baker does a masterful job weaving in the major conflicts around Boston so familiar from our history books. She twists the plot pulling the lovers away for a huge break in time allowing both to move toward other facets of their life. But as the course of true love pendulum swings, the man she marries is lost and her true love has one more chance to make things right. The madness of Katherine’s brother is portrayed perfectly. He is so consumed by hatred of the British that it turns his soul black. While we sympathize with his feelings, the reader will not condone his actions aka the sublime villain.

The Quartering Act is an excellent read. I love the opening that gave us the flavor of the struggle against Britain and moved us gently toward the hero/heroine’s first meeting. I liked this much better than slamming them together. Such a broad story must be told with a bit of feeding. And speaking of feeding, I did pick one problem and I could be wrong but the author says our hero, Jeremy Burke fed straw to his horse. Being a farm flower, I know that my horses won’t eat straw. Horses eat hay. Straw is for bedding because it’s coarse. Did it bother the telling of this tale? Nope, I enjoyed it all the same. I hope that if you are into reading Regencies, you will take heart and pick up this story. I’d like to say it’s a great addition to any library and a new American Empire drama. Many thanks to Ms. Baker for an enjoyable book.