Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review of "The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn"

Rating: 4 Stars
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Review: Lori Benton's "The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn" is a vividly portrayed historical saga.  Colonial America is the backdrop for an epic love story of adventure and gentle romance.  Benton's sketches of the East Coast's untamed wilderness and rustic towns fill with color and detail as the story builds, and her descriptions reveal scenes that bring the characters and setting to life.  The novel begins with high emotion and ever-present danger.  Tamsen Littlejohn’s plight is gripping from the beginning as she breaks free of her stepfather’s unyielding grasp.  What occurs thereafter is a story of escape and pursuit as Tamsen and her rescuer, Jesse, attempt to outrun their trackers.  Their journey reveals scenes of early America, from Indian villages to the conflict between the State of Franklin and North Carolina.

“The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn” is an undeniably rich novel, and I completely enjoyed the first and last quarters of the novel. The middle lagged in spots for me, though there were moments of action and tension interspersed throughout the entire plot.  I was surprised by some of the revelations uncovered in the conclusion.  Some unlikely turns of events left me fully satisfied; especially when details from the novel’s beginning play unexpected roles in the outcome. 

Benton gives readers a meaningful love story of restraint and sacrifice.  Despite Jesse’s almost immediate attraction to Tamsen, their feelings are not entirely mutual.  Their relationship grows slowly and with restraint as Tamsen’s feelings unfold from survival dependence to encompassing love.  I am always glad when romance develops at an unrushed pace that allows characters to develop deeper emotional attraction. I also appreciated Benton’s portrayal of the father–son relationship between Jesse and his adoptive father, Cade.  The story of love and sacrifice that unfolds is just as beautiful as the romantic love that blossoms between Tamsen and Jesse. 

“The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn” is a historical romance that will draw readers in with its resplendent detail and beautiful writing. Click Here to Read Chapter 1.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. 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.

Summary from Waterbrook Multnomah: Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love

In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.  

Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

About the Author: Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace. When she isn’t writing, Lori enjoys exploring beautiful Oregon with her husband. Visit

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