I've read several of Ann Gabhart's books and enjoyed them immensely, but I haven't felt compelled to read her Shaker series, until now. I will state now that most of what I write here is a matter of taste. I chose to read The Innocent, but I forced myself to slog through it. I didn't like the plot and that is all a matter of taste.
Carlyn Kearney believes her husband is still alive, even though the war has been over for a couple of years, and he hasn't returned home.
Mitchell Brodie is the sheriff who finds himself falling in love with Carlyn.
Curt Whitlow owns the mortgage on the farm Carlyn and her husband bought before the war, and he wants his payment in ways that Carlyn is loath to give.
Sister Edna is the sister assigned to Carlyn when she goes to the Shakers for help.
Elder Derron is the elder who is in charge of all acquisitions the Shakers receive.
The Shakers are a sect that does not believe in marriage or procreation, or owning property. They do believe that we can live a sinless life here on earth as long as Mother Ann Lee's rules are followed to the jot and tittle. Unlike the Amish, they are all for using machines to accomplish whatever needs to be done in a timely manner, but like the Amish, they dress plainly and modestly.
Ann has done her research well for her Shaker series. She is a gifted writer who knows how to move a plot, who knows how to include fully developed characters to fill out the plot, and who knows how to engage her readers. I have liked her other books that I have read, including Angel Sister and Small Town Girl. Those really piqued my interest.
I will give this a grudging five stars, not that I begrudge giving the stars to Ann, but just that I didn't care for the plot line THIS TIME. I really recommend that you take the time to read something Ann has written. She's that good.
I want to thank Revell for allowing me to read and review this book.