Litfuse Blog Tour: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Loyal Heart
Shelley Shepard Gray
Copyright 2016
ISBN: 9780310345398
The Story: 
Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn't expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can. He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task---Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

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My Thoughts:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a very talented author. Her Amish fiction books are some of my favorites in the genre. When it comes to her historical fiction books, it's a bit hit or miss for me. The Loyal Heart had such promise, but it fell short of the mark. I love stories that are centered around the Civil War and Reconstruction, so it didn't disappoint in that aspect, but most of the characters and the plot just didn't work for me. 

First off, the good! Miranda was fantastic. Rarely do you find characters in Christian romance that battle demons like depression, suicide, PTSD, etc. Even though romance readers come to expect a happily ever after, I liked that Miranda *spoiler alert* got hers in this book, but not without some serious internal battles and soul searching. For me, however, she was the highlight of The Loyal HeartI was a little confused with Robert and Jess Kern's roles in Miranda's life. Just why were those two men, as well as a few other of Phillip Markham's army comrades so invested in her life? I realize that they had each made promises to stick by each other and their families after the war, but they were all a little obsessive when it came to Miranda. I also didn't know what to think of some of these men! If they are supposed to be "heroes" in stories to come, something better take place for me to trust these guys more -- especially the sheriff, Mr. Kern. He is a wee bit shady for a lawman. 

All in all, The Loyal Heart was just an "OK" read for me. The few characters whose moral compasses were in a gray area and a sluggish plot made this my least favorite novel by Gray. If you're a fan of her historical novels, this could be a story worth reading on a lazy Sunday. At just over 300 pages, it's a quick read. 

~ My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars ~

*I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading! 


  1. Thank you for your honest review, Renee. I'm sorry this fell short of your expectations.


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