Christian Fiction Review: Raider's Heart (Backwoods Brides, Book 1) by Marcia Gruver

Raider's Heart (Backwoods Brides, Book 1)
by Marcia Gruver
Copyright 2011
Barbour Books
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60260-948-8

From the publisher:
Steal away to the Old South with Marcia Gruver’s Backwoods Brides series. Two brothers—one violent and one gentle—belong to a family of bandits. While Duncan McRae can hardly stomach their raids, his brother Hooper revels in the violence perpetrated by the band of thieves. When they meet mild-mannered Dawsey Wilkes, the competition steps up a notch as the brothers vie for her hand. Which marauder will steal Dawsey’s heart? Meanwhile, Dawsey holds the key to Dilsey McRae’s past. What will Dilsey do when she discovers the truth?

My Review:
If you're like me there are probably a few author's who you turn to if you want a guaranteed romantic read, a few you go to for that suspense laden drama and a few you turn to just for an escape. Marcia Gruver is one of the author's whose books I turn to when I want to read a book that has an out of the ordinary setting. Don't get me wrong her stories have romance, some suspense and they are definitely great escapes from everyday life but the thing that grabs me the most about Ms. Gruver is her knack for picking an incredible setting for each of her stories. Yes she has set her books in late 19th century which has been done before but I've never encountered bandits, gamblers and oil all in one little town before!

This latest series is set in the South, not in the cotton fields, on a plantation or a bustling city like Charleston but rather the backwoods and swamps of North Carolina! When you read a lot (and I mean a lot) of historical fiction like me, sure the characters are usually always interesting but the the settings are just kind of...well...blah. I never thought that a place called Scuffletown and the folks who reside there could have captured me so fully. Life on the swamps may be simple but it is far from easy!

The McRae family and the entire Scuffletown gang are about as closely knit as any group of folks you'll ever meet in a story. I loved the Robin Hood like feel that this story had. It was so cool to see the old legend kind of brought to life in this book but with a new, unique twist! Although that wasn't the whole of the story, it was what I liked the most about Raider's Heart.

To me this wasn't really about romance, although there was a bit of a love triangle, it was more about family and forgiveness. I loved to see Dawsey Wilkes evolve from a somewhat spoiled"city" girl to accepting the McRae family. I also enjoyed seeing Ellie aka Dilsey, stubborn as she was, soften up a bit. To date, Raider's Heart is definitely my favorite book by Marcia. I can't wait to see what happens next in the swamps of the Carolina's in Bandit's Hope due out this Fall!

To learn more about the author visit:

*I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*



  1. Whenever I read a review at your blog, I end up thinking, "So many books; so little time." Wish I could keep up with all these authors--especially when there's suspense mixed with romance!

  2. Hahaha I feel the same way when I travel around the blog many books, so little time!

    XOXO~ Renee

  3. You always find the best books. I've never heard of this author before. I'll have to look her up. Thanks for the great review. :o)

  4. Thanks Lee and Juju for stopping by today! I appreciate you ladies!

    XOXO~ Renee

  5. The cover definitely looks good. Now have to look at the book.


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