Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review: Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

To Purchase

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My Thoughts:

Engraved on the Heart took me deep into the heart of Savannah, Georgia, into the home of one Keziah Montgomery. Besides her unusual name, she is also a young Southern belle that suffers from epilepsy, at a time when little was understood about that ailment. I liked how the author wove into her story the leanings of her heart to being an abolitionist, yet living with her family who are very pro-slavery. In fact I felt for her as she was little more than a prisoner/slave herself being ruled by her father and at the whims of her family’s reputation and stature in public. The author did a great job of showing how backwards thinking and with little sympathy her family treated her medical condition. They felt as if she was doing this on purpose and absolutely opposed any new ways of dealing with the ailment, no matter the relief it may have brought her. That type of treatment by her own parents really stuck with me.

We meet the hero, Dr. Micah Greyson, in the same first few pages as we are introduced to Keziah. The story had already established them as past school friends so the torch Micah was carrying for her was already well established in his heart. As Keziah’s eyes are opened to the plight of the slaves and the Underground Railroad, she decides to risk everything she holds dear for a greater purpose. Micah is at once appalled and thrilled at her leanings especially since he has a few secrets he has been carrying around as well.

This was a well-rounded story of family drama, secret missions, and a slow burn romance full of danger and strife. I look forward to more work from this new author.

I was provided with a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

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