To put it bluntly Magnolia Scott hates Brazil. She hates it with a passion. In fact she double hates it (you get the picture). The insufferable heat, the constant filth and the fact that she will be pressed into a marriage of convenience (meant to better her family’s wobbly position in society) only serve to further ground that attitude. Life wasn’t always like this. At one time the Scotts lived a life of luxury. Oh yeah…but that was BEFORE Magnolia allowed herself to fall prey to a conman who swindled her out of the family’s fortune. And what a time for it to happen. The South was in shambles at the end of the Civil War. Chances of a swift recovery – let alone a slow recovery – were next to zilch. And when the opportunity arose to build a Confederate colony in Brazil the Scotts did what any levelheaded and we-need-money-because-our-daughter-is-a-naive-brat person would do. They shipped out. In Brazil the Scotts hope that a wealthy and eligible bachelor will marry Magnolia and raise the family out of their poverty. Ah, but such is life.
After sometime in Brazil Magnolia has had enough. And as if tramping through bug and creature infested jungles is not bad enough, Magnolia throws her lot in with Hayden Gale, a man she thoroughly detests (please keep in mind Magnolia isn’t exactly hero material. She. Is. A. Brat. You don’t like right off the bat. The author gradually forms her into a likable person). But back to the story, she forces Hayden to take her through the jungle and to the city with him so she can catch a ship and get back to the States. Because, quite frankly, a forced marriage was bad enough, but with that aside Brazil is bizarre. There is a supernatural force lingering over the colony and it isn’t making life pleasant. Individuals, or some sort of demon in the form of those individuals, from each of the colonists’ past are materializing before their eyes, taunting them. Magnolia has no idea how this stuff can be explained and she doesn’t intend to stay behind to find out. But can she truly escape? Will Hayden go back on his word and return her to the colony? Find out in MaryLu Tyndall’s Elusive Hope!
It’s not often a book snags my attention that I lose sleep over it in an effort to read just one more chapter…and then another…and then another! But this one is responsible for just that. It’s chocked full of adventure, mystery and in some cases dry humor. Humor is always a plus to me. There is also a supernatural element. May I add, I NEVER read books that deal with the supernatural. In fact, I avoid it. It doesn’t often crop up in history books; and vampires, zombies, etc just put me off entirely. But this was different and not to mention I hadn’t been anticipating it. When the colonists began having these strange illusions I thought that in the end it would be found that fumes from a swamp or something were responsible for the events.
Something to note, I would not consider this a family read. There were some things that I skipped over because it was too sappy for my tastes or blush-inducing. But it is still worth a read. As I (im)patiently await the release of the third book I will be locating a copy of the first book to catch up on the back story of some of the other characters.
I have also learned Ms. Tyndall is the author of other swashbuckling reads. Combine that with this and she is now one my favorite authors – and in one blow! Even in this book she managed to throw some pirates in for a dramatic scene.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received an electronic copy of “Elusive Hope” from NetGalley.com provided by the publishers, Barbour Publishing, Inc, in exchange for our honest review.