Do you moan and groan, complain and whine when your favorite fiction series ends? You know you can always re-read them, but if you’re like me, you just prefer that they go on forever! If that’s you, I can’t wait to introduce you to this new book from Mary Lu Tyndall, Charity’s Cross!
I have often wondered how many books an author could put into a series without the settings, plots and characteristics becoming too familiar and similar. Yet, there are several authors that have done this very concept excellently. Mary Lu Tyndall is one of them.
Charity’s Cross can be read as a standalone…but it’s listed as the fourth book in Tyndall’s “Charles Towne Belle” series…and I would go as far as to say that it could be read as the sixth book in her “Legacy of the Kings Pirates” series as well. (It isn’t labeled that way, that’s my opinion!) The book fits in so well, it’s brilliant!
Let me introduce you to our heroine: Charity Westcott Gregson, or, Lady Villemont.
“The man’s clumsy efforts forced her head below the surface. Choking on a mouthful of salty water, she struggled as he jerked her upward into the air again, coughing, hacking, and spitting out the sea. ‘Vapors! You draft loon. You’re going to drown the both of us!’”
Charity is the fourth sister to Faith, Hope and Grace from the Charles Towne Belles Series. When the Westcott sisters moved from Portsmouth, England to Charles Towne, South Carolina; Charity stayed behind in England, married to Lord Villemont. Charity’s husband was physically abusive and manipulative. As Charity’s story opens, we see her with Lord Villemont’s pistol, firing and his body slumping on the floor lifeless. Charity’s only option was to flee England in hope of reaching her family in Charles Towne. She did, but instead of the Colonies, the ship she boarded sailed to Nassau. Now, Lord Villemont’s brother, Charles, (a.k.a. bad guy!) gives chase, determined to see her hang for murdering his brother. What follows in the book is an entertaining, suspenseful plot that brings a murderess and a preacher together for an unforgettable tale, sailing across the Caribbean!
Charity’s hero comes in the form of a preacher: Mr. Elias Dutton.
“Elias would laugh if he didn’t know the pistol was loaded-waving across his chest in hands that were trembling far too much.
‘Your low opinion of preachers cuts me to the quick, Miss Westcott.’”
Dutton. If you’ve read Tyndall’s “Legacy of the King’s Pirate” Series, that name may sound familiar to you! The Dutton’s appear in books #4 (The Ransom) and #5 (The Reckoning). The connection here is with Elias – the son of Rowan and Megan Dutton, who are main characters in The Reckoning. If you’re a “family saga” fan, I’ll mention that The Ransom tells the story of Elias’ aunt, Julianna Dutton Hyde (Rowan’s brother). Back to Elias…the oldest of eight children, his strongest tendency is to protect. Good quality for a preacher, right? Well, sometimes it gets him into trouble…like, when he pretends to be married to Charity to ensure she remains safe when they end up on the same ship sailing to Barbados. In Barbados, his sister needs help keeping the plantation safe while her husband is away in England, and it’s in Barbados that Elias and Charity experience their greatest joy and their deepest sorrow. There, God stretches their trust in Him to the limit. Will they obey?
One of my favorite parts of Mary Lu’s books are the ships. In her pirate series, each ship has a name beginning with the letter “R.” These names hint at the spiritual theme woven throughout the pages of each story. In Charity’s Cross, Elias’ ship is The Restoration. Thus, we find one of the book’s themes. Charity needed restoration in two main areas of her life: God and her family. Elias also suffered from carrying a burden unnecessarily and needed his heart restored to a place of peace. This part of the story was told so beautifully! It wasn’t “preachy,” but God’s love and redemption came through loud and clear.
The story is fast paced, interesting and has the kind of suspense that keeps you turning the page to see what happens next. What intrigued me about the “bad guy” (Charles Villemont) was how Mary Lu crafted his story so you would dislike the man and feel sorry for him at the same time. When the story shifts to his point of view, you can feel the closeness he had with the brother he just lost and almost mourn for the loneliness and loss he must have felt. My, how confusing emotions can be when you know both sides of the story! *wink* Altogether, the plot of a pregnant murderess, a brother-in-law bent on seeing her hang and a preacher determined to protect (and maybe marry) her had me hooked from the first page. I was never bored and the ending had me sighing in satisfaction. It’s funny when, just a few chapters before the close you can be mentally screaming one thing and then completely change your mind when you see how the author ends the story. Ah!
Anyone who enjoys a good, clean historical romance with an entertaining, yet believable situation with some page turning suspense – Charity’s Cross is for you! I give this book a five star rating!
“All God’s endings are happy if we wait for them.” ~ Caleb Hyde
Purchase Charity’s Cross on Amazon – HERE.
Connect with the author at MaryLuTyndall.com
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*