A young woman defying the laws of her country, a young man hungry with greed and power, a brave soul who falls in love with one he shouldn’t; all three caught in a country divided by war and a forbidden love torn apart by blackmail and disparity.
Alexandra Monroe is a slave smuggler, smuggling slaves north where they can live as free people. Her crime is sedition and her punishment, if caught, is death. The daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Montgomery, Alexandra lives a life not by her own accord, but a life she willingly accepts for her secret quest to save the lives of slaves. Her ultimate sacrifice is to marry the town’s most eligible bachelor, Thomas Ludlow — who has deadly secrets of his own.
One afternoon, Alexandra comes face to face with handsome William Graysden. Although, forbidden for his Creek Indian heritage, he captivates her. They fascinate one another, and ultimately find in each other a bond they don’t wish to ignore. After a series of events; however, William must face the choice to continue the dangerous pursuit of Alexandra’s affections or forget about her.
Publisher and Release Date: Soul Mate Publishing, March 2014
Time and Setting: Alabama, 1861
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Kate G.
In a few short words this book by Angela Christina Archer is easy to get into. It is suspenseful, romantic, well written and dramatic.
Alexandra Monroe is a lively young woman who has every detail set for her marriage to the rich, handsome Mr. Thomas Ludlow, exactly as to please her parents and society. Unfortunately, her controversial efforts to help as a slave runner as much as she can cause many problems, and she doesn’t even realize the multiple levels of danger in which she is placing herself: death at worst, social ruin at best. But Alexandra has become bored with her feminine life and is unhappy about the specific destiny fate – and her parents – have set for her. She feels trapped in these routines and mannerisms of society and begins to dream of freedom.
The characters grow and change in the story as they enhance their very realistic and engaging personalities, while everything around them tries each newly-created moral. Added into the mix is Alexandra’s encounter with an Indian man, Mr. William Graysden, who enters the picture and changes Alexandra’s world more than she would have ever thought possible.
Drama and suspense become abundant just pages into the story, when Alexandra finds herself not only buying a slave boy (her intentions are to free him for good) and dangerously stealing countless others, but most notably, falling hopelessly in love with a socially “unworthy” man.
I can’t help but feel that the plot could use just a little more action in place of some of the imagery. As a reader, you want to know more about the characters – everyone from family, friends and runaway slaves – and the things that they experience.
In terms of the romance, William Graysden says, in his native tongue, “Ecenokecvyet os” or “I love you”, but this book gets four stars instead of five because I feel the characters are more in lust than in love.
In the end, The Woman on the Painted Horse is a very well written historical romance début. Written from Alexandra’s point of view, it is evident that the love, loss, and the general emotion of this adventurous book is neither to be forgotten or ignored.