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An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition.

Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equal—or challenged him to consider the lives of others.

In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?

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Trim Size:
5.5 x 8.25 in.

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“There are two kinds of men – those who respect women and those who debase them,” the widowed Quakeress tells Gerard in Lyn Cote’s novel, Blessing. Second in the Quaker Brides series, this three hundred and eighty-four page paperback targets those who enjoy historical romance. Using words such as hell and bastard, topics of alcoholism, physical abuse, slavery, and prostitution, may not be appropriate for immature readers. After the story that references the King James Version of the Holy Bible are a historical note, advertisements including a chapter in the next book, ten discussion questions, and the author’s biography. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. In this continuing tale set in the mid-eighteen hundreds in Ohio, widowed Blessing Brightman no longer trusts men. Being a Quaker shunned from her church for marrying a rich non-believer at a young age, she is wary of the opposite sex, having experienced a loveless, physically abusive marriage. When her husband dies in an accident, she devotes herself and money to orphanages, runaway slaves, and those in need. Wealthy Gerard Ramsay leaves Boston and travels to Cincinnati not only to try to keep his cousin from marrying a suffragist, but also he yearns to become his own man, freeing himself of his demanding, over-bearing father. Although Blessing and Gerard have a tumultuous beginning to a friendship because he does not believe in women’s rights, the two have more in common trying to divorce themselves from their pasts. Containing historical references to race riots and those who spoke out against the abuse of women and slaves, the romance shows how inequality between the sexes was rampant during the era. Dealing with a sordid individual who will stop at nothing to pursue his cause, Blessing and Gerard must work together to thwart his attacks and protect those that need help. With the widow’s meddling and the young man on a path to self-destruction, they must change course to find love. Although predictable as far as the main two characters evolve romantically, the book focuses on one widow’s determined efforts to help others while promoting the cause for women’s rights and ending slavery. Having written over thirty-five novels, author Cote has won several prestigious writing awards. She and her husband live in Wisconsin. Thanks to the Book Club Network and Tyndale for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.