Friday, August 19, 2016

THE LOYAL HEART by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the Civil War, Robert Truax is determined to keep the promise he made to his comrade, Phillip Markham.  The promise that he would look after his beautiful wife, Miranda, should anything happen to him.  When he receives word that Miranda is experiencing difficulties, he heads for her home in Galveston, Texas.  He’s surprised to learn how dire things really are.  Phillip’s name has been soiled by rumors that he was a traitor and now everyone is shunning Miranda because of it.  On top of that, she is receiving cruel, threatening letters.  Miranda is overwhelmed emotionally and at the end of her rope.  Robert doesn’t understand how the town (as well as Phillip’s mother and sister) can treat this beautiful, gracious lady so badly.  He vows to protect her and change her reputation.   But Robert’s simple promise to Phillip becomes much more difficult when he finds himself attracted to Miranda.

What a wonderful story!  From beginning to end you will find yourself entranced with it’s intriguing characters and rich history.  It was one of those stories that when you have to put it down, you find yourself thinking about it until you can pick it up again.  I like how the author allowed us to get to know Phillip and see the camaraderie, and closeness, between him and the guys in his unit.  They had each other backs both in the war and after.  Robert Truax was someone who thought very little of himself but truly had the heart of a hero.  I actually felt that way about the other guys too.  They were very endearing and realistic.  Miranda Markham was someone I admired.  I can’t imagine going through all she went through.  I  liked that we got to to see this gracious lady’s not-so-gracious moments and how the Lord cared for her in several different ways.  That’s encouraging to those dealing with difficult situations.  Watching the spark between Robert and Miranda turn into a flame is so satisfying and loaded with great anticipation.  There is actually a secondary story going on between the sheriff and Miranda’s maid, which was fun.  I didn’t want it to end.  A Loyal Heart is a complex story of the post Civil War era that’s loaded with unforgettable characters who quickly find their way into your heart.  It’s a tale you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you close the book.  Looking forward to the next story in this series.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Zondervan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A couple favorite moments:

“I’m sure we’ll take care of everything in time, ma’am” he replied, his voice gentle.  “And don’t you worry none.  Fact is, I don’t need very much at all.  Why, I’d bet a three-cent piece you’ll hardly know I’m here.”  When he left the room to find her housekeeper on his own, she sat back down.  As she sipped the rapidly cooling tea, Miranda knew one thing for certain.  it was extremely unlikely that she would forget Robert Truax was there.

“It’s going to be all right Miranda,” he murmured as he approached her.  “You are not alone any longer.  I will not leave you to face everything by yourself,” he said as he carefully wrapped his arms around her.  “I, too, have suffered, but I got stronger.  You will get stronger too” he whispered as he brought her into his embrace and held her close.

For more information about this book or other books by Shelley Shephard Gray I encourage you to visit her website at

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