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Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall
Barbour Books, 01 July 2012

Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?

From Adalia’s daring escape from her terrible enslavement, to deathly gentleman duels, island rescues and battles at sea – this book had me captivated and on the edge of my seat.

Adalia is brazen and good intentioned, but her character falters over an issue so familiar to us all – the approval and acceptance of others.  Morgan is a bored, spoilt rich boy whose eyes and life are opened when Adalia crosses his path.  Because of Adalia’s secret heritage, their relationship is doomed from the beginning – but what ensues is a gallant and dramatic tale of Morgan’s pursuit.  The desperate measures Morgan takes in the end are shocking – and I found, funny – but Adalia is not impressed.

By the end of the book, Adalia has acknowledged and rectified her wandering from God and Morgan has matured into an impressive and heart-swelling man of action.  So many times I had to throw the book down and catch my breath, wondering if I could pick it up again (you know I’m not good with suspense!) but the lure of Adalia and Morgan’s tale could not be denied.  I loved the vibrant setting of Charleston with it’s partying elite, and couldn’t help but love/hate the catty and conniving characters determined to ruin Adalia.  There are no wishy-washy characters in this book.  And it brought to my attention the callous way in which one human being can view and treat another.

MaryLu’s writing is vivid and sophisticated, creating a good paced read that once you start, you can’t put down.  It will challenge you to consider how much value we place on seeking a place amidst the elite, and open your eyes to the freedom that comes with giving up something to follow God’s plan for your life.

I can’t wait to read more of MaryLu’s work!