Title: The Pelican Bride (Gulf Coast Chronicles #1)
Author: Beth White
I thought, based on the picture on the cover of the book, which this was going to be a light, fluffy romance. I couldn’t have been more wrong! There was nothing light or fluffy in the book with the exception of the pastries. This story is set in 1704 in what eventually will become the area of Louisiana and Alabama. The French are trying to establish a thriving colony, but the humidity, mosquitoes and location of the fort are making this difficult. The approximately 200 men living in the fort are French or Canadian soldiers, merchants or tradesmen. In order to grow the colony, a request is made of King Louis of France to send over women contracted to marry one of these men. Louis agrees and sends the ship called the Pelican to the New World with several women on board.
Genevieve Gaillain and her sister Aimee are daughters of a baker, who was murdered for his religious practices, which were anti-Catholic. To escape religious persecution, the girls agree to marry and board the Pelican. Upon arrival, they realize that what they were promised in France is not what is in fact reality. Living conditions are poor and the threat of Indian attacks is very real. Genevieve has told herself that she will keep her religious views to herself, marry a God-fearing man, bake her bread and make a life for herself and her sister in the New World. Tristan Lanier is a widower who was married to an Indian woman killed by British soldiers. He still grieves her loss two years later, but is inexplicably drawn to Genevieve. As much a surprise to him as it is to her, he asks her to marry him the day before he is to leave on a two month expedition to try to ally with various Indian tribes. Can their marriage survive separation, secrets and manipulation? Can Tristan develop a real relationship with God or will he remain a nominal believer?
I just loved all the historical information interwoven in the story. I knew nothing about this time in history at this place in history and learned a lot, which I much appreciated. I thought the characters were very interesting and well-developed. I came to care what happened to them; I was invested in the story. The story was not boring at all and kept moving at a good pace. I really enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to be released in 2015.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457