About the Book (from the Daughters of the Mayflower website)
Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure, like he did during the War for Independence, and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?
The Cumberland Bride takes some interesting and surprising turns that really engaged me as the story progressed. Starting off, I was curious about the set up, the characters, and the coming journey, but I wasn't sure if this story would stand out. While it didn't wind up a favorite for me, I still quite enjoyed it and found myself eager to keep reading—especially after the halfway point.
Kate is a sweet character, and she won me over with her resiliency and gentleness. Her obsession with learning Thomas's history feels a little odd at times, and she seems to get into trouble or sticky situations rather often (although it's nice in that it forces Thomas and Kate to actually spend time together).
Thomas...left me with conflicted feelings. His first impressions are ones of coldness and apathy, and I don't know if he ever fully claimed my heart. But he's forced to open up as the plot picks up, and I do like how he confidently steps into the role of hero in later scenes.
Despite a few tumbles and points of tension in the first half, this book begins in a quieter way as the family's journey unfolds. But when Kate and Thomas find themselves in some serious danger, watch out! Historical romance fans like me will find it hard to stop reading.
The way one character from later in the book is portrayed feels a bit inauthentic to me...perhaps out of character or somewhat modern? And some things feel a bit rushed toward the end. But it's quite clear from the author's notes that she did her research, and overall, I enjoyed this fictional journey along the Wilderness Road.
P.S. I love when the cover is tied into the story, and I was quite satisfied with the scene in which the cover model's outfit makes an appearance! :)
*With thanks to Barbour Publishing through NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*
My Reviews of Other Books in This Series...
The Mayflower Bride (#1), The Captured Bride (#3)