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Mar 24, 2014

The Quaker and The Rebel by Mary Ellis

Intriguing Civil War romance with villains!
The Quaker and The Rebel by Mary Ellis
Harvest House Publishers; January 2014
$13.99; pb; 352pp; 9780736958508
Review copy provided by the publisher for review in the February 2014 Historical Novel Society magazine
Burton Book Review Rating: 4 stars

Bestselling author Mary Ellis presents book one of her brand-new Civil War historical romance series, which tells the stories of brave women in times of testing and the men who love them.
Emily Harrison's life has been turned upside down. At the beginning of the Civil War, she bravely attempted to continue her parents' work as conductors in the Underground Railroad until their Ohio farm was sold in foreclosure. Now alone, she accepts a position as a governess with a doctor's family in slave-holding Virginia. Perhaps she can continue her rescue efforts from there.
Alexander Hunt is the doctor's handsome nephew. While he does not deny a growing attraction to his uncle's newest employee, he cannot take time to pursue Emily. Alex is not at all what he seems--rich, spoiled, and indolent. He is the elusive Gray Wraith, a Quaker leader of Rebel partisans. A man of the shadows, he carries no firearm and wholeheartedly believes in Emily's antislavery convictions.
The path before Alex and Emily is complicated and sometimes life threatening. The war brings betrayal, entrapment, and danger to both of them. Amid their growing feelings for each other, can they find faith in God amid the challenges they face and trust in the possibility for a bright future together?

The traditional storyline of a romance blossoming between a Confederate and a Unionist is made unique with Emily working with the Underground Railroad movement. Meanwhile, Alexander disguises himself as a sort of Robin Hood stealing provisions from Union soldiers to benefit the Confederate soldiers and neither person knows the other's secret as they fall in love with each other.

This Civil War story is set in Virginia as it struggles with dividing views regarding slavery and war causing Virginia to split into two states. Alexander played a wonderful hero as Emily's character became more likable as pieces of her past were revealed throughout the story, though her role as a governess seems a bit far-fetched due to her uncouth manners and rash actions. The author chose to space out events with an authentic time line and added a bit of villainy as well. If you look hard enough the reader might notice an undercurrent of a spirituality aspect but it was not focused upon. Pick this one up if you are looking for an intriguing romance set during the early 1860's...don't let the silly cover dissuade you.