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Friday, August 6, 2010

Bound by Honor by Carol A. Spradling

Bound by Honor by Carol A. Spradling
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (346 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

The Freedom Series

Harrison Jackson must defend his family against British spies, Colonial advocates, and himself. Secret meetings are destroying his good name and nightmares from a life he thought buried threaten more than his reputation.

Victoria Greyson steps onto Boston streets and back into Harrison’s life without warning. She wouldn’t blame him for hating her, but his rage will have to wait. Her sister is dead and Victoria intends to extract revenge on the man responsible.

While Harrison fights to keep his past a secret, Victoria and Colonial Independence demand more than he wants to give--and neither of them will be denied.

Harrison thought he’d buried his painful past until Victoria walked back into his life and reopened old wounds.

The colonies are in a state of unrest. Some clamor for independence while others fight to remain under British control. Harrison Jackson simply wants to protect his family and those he cares about. His service in the British military has left him disillusioned with British rule. He and his brother William have even joined the Sons of Liberty. However, he soon finds himself torn between the Colonials and the British.

Harrison’s life becomes even more complicated the minute Victoria walks back into his life. To say that Harrison’s history with Victoria is complicated is an understatement. It is obvious from the moment they lay eyes on each other that they were once in love. However, things ended badly between them. Harrison is puzzled by Victoria’s sudden reappearance in his life, but it is clear that Victoria has an agenda of her own. She seeks revenge for the death of her sister and she will stop at nothing to find the man responsible. As Harrison tries to keep his family safe, he makes some decisions that will make those closest to him doubt his character. Can Harrison live with the consequences of those decisions? Will he let Victoria back into his life, or will he close his heart off forever?

Harrison is as mysterious as they come. Even those closest to him aren’t privy to his innermost thoughts and late night meetings. Harrison’s secretive behavior is a somewhat misguided attempt to keep his family safe from both the British and the Colonials. However, his actions cause not only members of the community to doubt his character, but also his own family. Harrison will have to learn to trust those around him, or he will lose the very people he works so hard to protect.

As a heroine, Victoria possesses the admirable qualities of strength and determination, which serve her well in her quest to avenge the death of her sister. Though Victoria presents a tough exterior she has a soft place in her heart for Harrison, but fears he can never forgive her for the pain she caused him years ago. Victoria must learn to let go of the past if she is to have a future with Harrison.

William and his wife Abigail are very strong secondary characters. William’s unwavering dedication for Colonial independence and Abigail’s concern for all people, British or Colonial, makes them a very powerful couple. Their love and devotion to each other was quite moving. I found myself laughing and crying right along with them. In fact, most of the emotionally charged moments in Bound by Honor, were centered on William and Abigail, and in my opinion overshadowed the romance between Harrison and Victoria. While I enjoyed William and Abigail immensely, I would have liked to have seen more from Harrison and Victoria’s perspective as they were the hero and heroine of the story.

I did have one small issue with the story. Ms. Spradling did an excellent job of keeping Harrison’s activities and motivations secret. So secret that I even questioned what his true feelings were. I thought these things would be fully explained eventually, but in the end, I still had questions.

Despite this very minor issue, I think Bound by Honor is a great read. It is full of intriguing characters set against the tumultuous time when the colonies began seeking independence. Since it is the second book in The Freedom Series, I recommend reading the previous book first. This will make some of the back story between the characters more understandable. I highly recommend it to any fan of historical romance.