When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her parents and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother’s family in Louisiana. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships, but whose real goal in life is to bring to justice the man who stole his father’s ship and caused his untimely death.
When Catherine finally arrives at her family’s plantation, she finds it in disarray and her family absent landowners. Torn between returning to Key West with Tom or beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation, Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance. When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice. Can they relinquish the dreams that have been holding them captive in order to step forward in faith–even if it costs them everything?
This was the first book I have read by Christine Johnson. Freedom’s Price is the third book in the Keys of Promise series. I had a hard time connecting with this book. Perhaps, not having read the previous two books in the series put me at a disadvantage. I enjoyed the early parts of this book. I thought Catherine’s willlingness to stand up for herself and voyage across the ocean to find her mother’s family was brave. I admired her independence and her attempt to find a better situation in life without resorting to a marriage of convenience. I wish there had been a little more development of Tom’s character in this book. I feel as though the reader doesn’t really get a chance to know exactly who he is, other than his quest to find the man who ruined his family and his sudden infatuation with Cathrine, a total stranger. Again, perhaps there is more development of his character in previous books. It was difficult for me to keep an interest in the characters or plot of this book. I didn’t think a lot of the situations or responses from the characters were realistic or genuine. I found it hard to believe that Catherine,at the beginning of the story, was so intrigued with a random stranger visiting her father with a strong box. So intrigued, that it was mentioned several times even though a decade had past. I also did not care for her take charge attitude in wanting to help manage the plantation when she arrived. She had never met her family, or stepped foot on the property, but seemed to think it appropriate to ask to see their account books and gauge whether they turned a profit or not. Tom, a man of honor, who escorted her across the ocean for safety, seemed to think it was appropriate to leave her in the care of an estate manager who seemed to cause concern for anyone who met him. It just didn’t seem likely. Multiple times Catherine seemed to find herself in uncomfortable or even dangerous situations and was given the opportunity to leave and chose to stay. Her reasoning? She needed to see if she would inherit part of the plantation. It seemed like a paltry excuse when her safety or her innocence was being threatned. There was a lot of intrigue and mystery going on throughout the story which added some tension and drama. I found the time period to be interesting and the different settings that were visited throughout the story were great read about. All in all, I will say that this book just wasn’t for me.
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*I was given a Free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.