Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lori Benton's The Pursuit of Tamsen LittleJohn ~ Reviewed

By Lori Benton
Waterbrook Press 2014


Western North Carolina, 1787 ~ To escape a threatening stepfather and an unwanted marriage, Tamsen Littlejohn enlists the aid of Jesse Bird, a frontiersman she barely knows, to spirit her away from Morganton, North Carolina, west beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Trouble pursues, as the two men intent on seeing her recovered prove relentless in their hunt. Trouble awaits in the form of a divided frontier community. Across the mountains the State of Franklin has been declared, yet many settlers remain loyal to North Carolina. Chaos reigns, thwarting Tamsen and Jesse’s hastily cobbled plan to keep her safe.

With her pursuers ever nearing, the region in turmoil, neighbors grown suspicious of her presence, Tamsen’s safety is soon put in greater jeopardy. Gaining the freedom she longs for will mean running yet again, to the most unlikely refuge imaginable—the Cherokees, a people balanced on the knife edge of war.

But the biggest complication may prove to be Tamsen’s growing bond with her knight in greasy buckskins, Jesse Bird. Falling in love was never part of the plan.


Okay. I admit it. I am a super jaded reader. It takes a creative plot, larger than life characters, and some sweet turns of phrases to even slightly tickle my reader bone. THE PURSUIT OF TAMSEN LITTLEJOHN not only meets those requirements, it rockets right to the top of my favorite reads list.

And Lori Benton is one of my new favorite authors. I don't have many faves, folks, so this is quite the feat indeed.

So, let's get down to the nitty grittiness of why the heck I'm making such wild claims. I suppose it mostly boils down to how thoroughly the hero, Jessie Bird, stole my heart right along with the heroines. He is seriously "da man." What red-blooded woman wouldn't swoon for a fella who looks out for her safety, is gentle yet tough enough to fight off enemies even when he's shot and bleeding, and sports a serious six-pack beneath his shirt. Whew. Is it hot in here?

Okay, so besides my obvious man crush, let's talk plot. There are some great twists and turns in this one. In fact, you don't find out some very important information until near the end of the book. Don't panic. No spoilers here. Just know that you're in for a real treat of a surprise.

I also love the history lesson woven throughout the story. No dry textbook dates and names, just plenty of true action. 

I picked up this title because of the recommendation of a friend. So here I am, friends, passing that recommendation along. This is a keeper. Now then, I'm off to buy every last other title of Lori Benton's even if it makes my credit card smoke.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

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