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Readers & Writers Ink Reviews
SEEN BY MOONLIGHT
By Kathleen Eschenburg
Historical romance (American Civil War)
Whether you're looking for the sweeping grandeur of a crumbling civilization or the shattering of a haughty facade in which a wounded man had encased himself, SEEN BY MOONLIGHT delivers full satisfaction.
Royce Kincaid makes a name for himself as a Black Knight who operates outside the confines of normal military procedure. He conducts raids and judges who shall live and die. It is a perfect role for the man who once was a horribly wounded child and who seeks justice no matter how much he says it does not exist. He has caged his sorrow and anger in sarcasm and lashing out first before anyone else can ever hurt him again.
Annabelle Hallston is sold in marriage by her father to Royce in a financial arrangement with Royce's wily patriarch, Peyton Kincaid. She would do anything to save her brother. Royce agrees to the marriage to help save his own brother, Gordon, who was the hero of Ms. Eschenburg's stunning debut novel, THE NIGHTINGALE'S SONG.
Although war separates them, a bond has been forced between Royce and his bride that will shatter their preconceived notions of how they regard each other and what they will demand from each other.
In addition to a vibrant love story, Ms. Eschenburg goes much further. The families of Annie and Royce are composed of full-bodied characters who breathe on their own outside what they bring to the central love story. As a story that takes place before THE NIGHTINGALE'S SONG, SEEN BY MOONLIGHT deepens those characterizations. Kathleen Eschenburg is one of the few genre writers today whose characters are recognized as the same people from one book to the next, even if they are at different stages of their own life journeys. A lot of thought and heart goes into making characters as real as these, and Ms. Eschenburg's name should be in the top echelon of authors known for creating characters to care about who are placed in stirring situations.
Ms. Eschenburg also excels in bringing the attitudes, the hopes and dreams and heartaches of her chosen historical period to life. She even does something few nonfiction histories can do -- she makes sense of the Civil War from a Southerner's viewpoint to a Westerner.
In addition to understanding her characters and historical setting, Ms. Eschenburg conveys the sights, sounds and smells of her story. In a Kathleen Eschenburg novel, you are a ghost from the present walking, working and loving alongside her characters.
With such deep understandings of people and places, it's no wonder that Annie and Royce's story is emotionally satisfying and a grand adventure. SEEN BY MOONLIGHT is a romance that will stand the test of time as one to treasure.
-- Reviewed by Lynne Perednia
Readers & Writers Ink Reviews
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