Keys of Promise, Book 1
Can a girl enamored with the adventurous seas
ever be content with the tame life of a Southern belle?
When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O'Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.
As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.
From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws you into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy South.
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I really wanted to like this book. It had so many of the elements that I love in a good book. It is set in beautiful Key West following the Civil War which is not the usual setting for post Civil War era novels. It is a historical fiction/historical romance story with characters that have the potential to be interesting. There is even an element of mystery surrounding several of the events. With all of that I was set to enjoy a trip back to the deep south.
Unfortunately I just didn't like the book. It would be easy to blame it on the offensive language used. But the truth is more that I just did not enjoy the character of Elizabeth Benjamin. I'm hoping that with subsequent books in the series I will warm up to the characters because I really think the story line is promising.
I should clarify my statement on offensive language. The use of disparaging racial terms is historically accurate and I understand that completely. But the story is being written for a modern audience and leaving out the slurs would not have taken away from the story. It was not the main reason I was disenchanted with the novel but it did add to the discontent.
I most likely will read the rest of the series because there are many elements that I like about this book. I would urge you to read other reviews on this book before you make your decision as others have really enjoyed the book.
If you happen to be reading this book with your book club there is a Reading Group Guide that you can download here.
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