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Frontier dangers cannot compare to the risks

one woman takes by falling in love.

I’ve heard so much about Lori Benton’s writing and her debut novel Burning Sky, but I started with The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn simply because I LOVE the title. There’s a lyrical quality about it that sucked me in before I ever read a word of the novel. It doesn’t hurt that the setting is my fun stomping grounds.

Tamsen Littlejohn’s marital future is controlled by her cruel stepfather, and he wants her to marry a Virginia slave owner—a man with the same penchant for violence. When she’s faced with sudden tragedy, she has only minutes to escape.

Love strikes Jesse Bird at first sight of the refined and beautiful Tamsen. Jesse is an Overmountain man raised in an Indian town after being orphaned. He doesn’t even know his real name. He only knows that he has to protect Tamsen from her stepfather. In the process, he’s wanted for kidnapping and murder.

For some reason, I had a hard time with the first few pages. The words tripped in my mind, but soon flowed into a beautiful story of love, acceptance, and survival. The description puts the reader on the soil and gives a sense of the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I liked the way the dialog differentiated between the more educated characters on Tamsen’s side and the less educated on Jesse’s. With the exception of a certain “Why didn’t I see that before?” twist, the ending isn’t a big surprise. However, it does satisfy. 

What more can I say than to tell you if you like well-written, historical stories along the lines of Laura Frantz, or stories set in the early days of our country’s settlement, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is one to read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with this book since I checked it out of the library. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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