Mar 6, 2011

Book Review: Journey of Honor

Author:  Jaclyn M. Hawkes
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publication Date:  August 2010
Authors' Website:

About the Book:
Disowned, she came to America anyway. Attacked and left pregnant by a vicious mob, she still pressed on. Finally, in spite of being accused of theft by the vilest of her attackers, Giselle tries to remain as upbeat and uncomplaining as a prairie wildflower as she travels on to Zion.Thoroughly disillusioned with the ugliness and cruelty of slavery in the South, Trace Grayson leaves his young medical career to go west, hoping to leave bigotry and hatred behind. He begins taking goods by teamster train to sell in the territories. However, this fourth time across, in July of 1848, he’s stuck in St. Joseph, Missouri, waiting for enough wagons to join the train so that they can leave.Knowing that if they don’t start west soon, they’ll be caught by snow in the mountains, Trace is thrilled when the final wagon signs on. Then, when the beautiful, young Dutch girl traveling with the last wagon is falsely accused of stealing and is detained, the whole trip is jeopardized. Thrown together by circumstance, Trace and Giselle team up to begin to figure out just how to make this epic journey across a continent a success.With a deep sense of honor and an equally strong sense of humor, together they learn to deal with everything except the one trial that neither of them can overcome.
My opinion:

I love stories about relationships.  It's what I write, and my favorite thing to read.  That being said, historical romance is usually not my favorite genre.  However, Journey of Honor was a delightful read.  I've read a lot of pioneer stories, so I picked this book up expecting it to be heavy.  It's not.  The book follows the story of two young people who are thrown into a situation they probably would not have chosen, but they both make the best of it.

The most delightful thing about this story is its characters.  The main characters are well developed and very likeable.  My favorite supporting character is Mose, Trace's best friend.  I loved how the author showed a secret that he and Giselle shared and the way he kept that secret while still being loyal to both of them.

The book drags a little bit as we read about the daily life on a pioneer trek over and over.  They get up, cook, drive for the day, make dinner, and go to bed.  There is some action interspersed throughout, but also a lot of repetition.  I also feel the book could have benefitted from a good edit.  There were a lot of point of view switches mid-scene and quite a few repetetive words.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Journey of Honor.  The author did a great job showing the building relationship between Giselle and Trace.  I definitely wanted to keep reading to see how their relationship progressed.  It's an interesting story that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website.  You can purchase Journey of Honor here.
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