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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wayfarer's Promise by Sheila Raye

Wayfarer's Promise by Sheila Raye
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (334 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

The Scoundrel...
Clay Hayward is no gentleman. The riverboat captain has vowed never to return to the snake-infested rice fields of his evil father's Savannah Plantation. But with the old man's death looming, and his beloved sister in need of help, Clay finds himself back in Savannah and facing a noose. Accused of murder, he must trust his freedom to a southern belle whose whiskey-brown eyes and honeyed lips promise to heal his blackened soul.

The reluctant Southern belle...
Andrea Lansing adores her family and friends. She can't imagine living without them until one balmy Savannah night a dance with a scoundrel turns her world upside down. Now, forced to choose between all she holds dear and the accused murderer who was once her childhood hero, can she wager her heart on a dream that may have never been or fight for a future filled with a Wayfarer's Promise?
Fascinating characters make this story throb with emotions, longings, and secrets. The grand looking Wayfarer’s Promise plantation has dark secrets that seep like poison from within, threatening to destroy all who get near.

Andrea Lansing’s best friend Catherine Hayward lives there with her cruel father and hides the harsh truth of her life behind a polished, sophisticated demeanor.

Andrea, Catherine, and their life-long friend Michael Montgomery, educated together in the Lansing home, pursue their individual interests as grownups. Catherine is the perfect hostess for her father at Wayfarer’s Promise. Andrea is engaged to Michael who is now a lawyer. She is vibrant, intelligent, loyal, and loves helping her father who is also a lawyer, even though Michael does not believe her abilities have value.

As an adult, Andrea tells herself that her dream of her knight-in-shining-armor returning to fulfill her dreams is nothing more than a little girl’s dream. Yet, at age six, she intuitively, knew he was the true love of her life when he retrieved her toy sword from a big dog.

Clay Hayward IX, sent away at a young age, returns to Savannah to refuse his inheritance. Hardened by frontier life with Indians, and by life on riverboats, Clay does not fit with the “Old South” elite. He is bitter at what his father did so long ago and he still hurts because Catherine never answered any of his letters—not while he was in school or after he went to the frontier.

Catherine thinks her brother Clay, who had been her knight-in-shining-armor, had abandoned her to the cruelty of her father, not knowing the full truth. Their emotional journeys make heartbreaking stories within the story.

The sparks Clay and Andrea strike off each other make the story sizzle. As they work their way through a maze of conflicts, the reader is privy to inner turmoil that must be resolved. Their lives are entwined even though they have been apart since Andrea was six years old.

Wayfarer's Promise is rich with history of the pre-Civil War South. It exposes the pain slavery brought and bristles with self-righteous, opinionated people in authority. However, it also has enlightened people, black and white and interracial that work to better the world they live in.

Set in uneasy times when great change was coming to the South, Wayfarer's Promise has a compelling main plot and emotionally charged sub-plots that make this story hard to put down. GOOD reading!