By Janine Mendenhall
Triangular Trade Trilogy #1
Heritage Beacon, 2016
Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.
She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God's existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way . . .
Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.
Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter's faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?
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Starving Hearts is quite different from anything I’ve ever read, and while my feelings were mixed, I appreciated that aspect of the novel very much. Romance and suspense combine in this story takes place in England during the year 1795. Characters come from all walks of life, customs and manners of the time are realistically portrayed, and the storyline is fairly intricate. In fact, a story that I first thought would be predictable turned out to be anything but that.
The historical detail was interesting, reflecting a time when women had little control over their lives, marriages were arranged, and family loyalties were divided over the issue of slavery. The ugliness of the slave trade was realistically conveyed without being overly graphic. The romance between Peter and Annette was gentle and sweet, and spiritual growth is clearly seen.
The classical-style prose fits the era that is portrayed – and while certain sections had me fully engaged, others seemed to move slowly. I’m not sure why, but I never got to know Peter and Annette deeply enough to feel emotionally connected to them. In fact, the villain was my favorite character because he was fleshed out so well and I knew so much about his background and reasoning.
Janine Mendenhall has great potential as a writer and has laid a strong foundation for this trilogy. I enjoyed Starving Hearts overall and recommend it to fans of inspirational historical fiction.
Janine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like Pride and Prejudice and claims she's researching her next book. Splickety Love and Splickety Prime have published her flash fiction.
She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.
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Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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- An essential oils diffuser necklace
- A chiffon scarf
- A shoulder handbag
- A copy of Jane Austen's World
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