Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Journey of Honor by Jaclyn M. Hawkes

Back Cover 

Disowned, she came to America anyway. Attacked and left pregnant by a vicious mob, she still pressed on. Finally, in spite of being accused of theft by the vilest of her attackers, Giselle tries to remain as upbeat and uncomplaining as a prairie wildflower as she travels on to Zion.

Thoroughly disillusioned with the ugliness and cruelty of slavery in the South, Trace Grayson leaves his young medical career to go west, hoping to leave bigotry and hatred behind. He begins taking goods by teamster train to sell in the territories. However, this fourth time across, in July of 1848, he’s stuck in St. Joseph, Missouri, waiting for enough wagons to join the train so that they can leave.

Knowing that if they don’t start west soon, they’ll be caught by snow in the mountains, Trace is thrilled when the final wagon signs on. Then, when the beautiful, young Dutch girl traveling with the last wagon is falsely accused of stealing and is detained, the whole trip is jeopardized. Thrown together by circumstance, Trace and Giselle team up to begin to figure out just how to make this epic journey across a continent a success.
With a deep sense of honor and an equally strong sense of humor, together they learn to deal with everything except the one trial that neither of them can overcome.

My Review

The back cover pretty much sums up the story, so I can't say much more without giving anything away. I liked Trace's character. He was strong, gentle, and loyal. What a guy!

I had a harder time finding Giselle's character believable because she didn't seem to have any flaws--except for not letting Trace know when she was in trouble. She was perfect in sweetness, looks, and everything a man could ever want. Seeing her have a few flaws would have made her more real to me. Also, Giselle was so innocent that I felt like she should have been more traumatized after being attacked by a mob than she was, and I was surprised those horrors didn't affect her new relationship with Trace more than they did.

Something that distracted me while reading was that, in many instances (but not all), I felt I was being told the story instead of shown it. For example, there were times I would liked to have read a conversation instead of being told what a character said, or seen how they were angry or happy instead of being told they were, but that's just my personal preference.

I had some difficulty with the backstory concerning Trace's adopted brother Mose. Could a white physician have adopted a black child in pre-Civil War Georgia? To my knowledge, a black child who had recovered from a severe beating would have been someone's "property" and been reclaimed or sold. Adopting a black child into a white family would have caused a lot more problems than hatred and bigotry in words only, especially in the deep south. I could have believed the doctor bought the child out of necessity and treated him as one of his own only behind closed doors, but not adopting and calling the boy his son.

I think the author did a great job with the romance. The romantic tension between Trace and Giselle was riveting, and there were some funny moments between the two. I liked how Trace kept control of himself, and how the attraction was addressed in a tasteful way instead of being tossed to the back burner. I enjoyed seeing where budding attraction took the main characters, and that's what kept me reading until the end.

You can purchase Journey of Honor here: Amazon

Visit the author's website: Jaclyn M. Hawkes

*Disclaimer* I was given a copy of the book for the purposes of review. I have not been compensated in any manner for my opinions.


Maria Hoagland said...

I enjoyed reading your review. :)

Debbie Davis said...

great review rebecca! =0)