Just Above a Whisper (Tucker Mills Trilogy, Small Print) Hardcover – 2005
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The main plot of the story is the situation of the "indentured servant contract" initiated on February 29, 1834 ending in February of 1841 with Mr. Thackery having to work to pay off a debt owed to Mr. Zantow a local carpenter & furniture maker. We have to assume that Mr. Thacker & his daughter came to reside in the same house with Mr. Zantow due to their poverty stricken condition since it wasn't made clear in the story. Upon Mr. Thacker's death his beloved daughter Shereese (Reese) V. Thackery assumes the contract & continues to reside & work for Mr. Zantow cleaning, canning, cooking, tending the garden & running errands for him. Mr. Zantow had a drinking problem that scares Reese & she sometimes has to barricade herself in her room for safety. Reese is loved adored among the town's people and everyone is concerned over her plight. Reese is 6 feet tall, red headed, gentle, unassuming, intelligent, compassionate, honorable, trustworthy & diligent at her work. When Mr. Zantow dies suddenly at his work bench Reese's orderly world starts to spin. The inconsiderate condescending bank manager Mr. Victor Jeness doesn't release her contract - he assumes it for the bank and begins to work her like his own personal slave. The townspeople are appalled at the bank manager's behavior and the Pastor Muldoon writes a letter to the founders & owners of the bank for assistance. Soon Conner Kingsley along with his business partner Troy Thaddon show up to inspect the situation. Troy immediately releases Reese's contract and is too appalled at Mr. Jeness' decision to not only retain the contract but only pay her a measly $4.00 a month to live on. Soon, Mr. Jeness disappears. Troy is filled with compassion and good will and hires Reese to cook & clean while he and Conner reside at the Kingsley Mansion. Reese wants to share with the town that GOD has answered her prayers and released her from her contract. Now she boards with the widow Mrs. Greenlow and is happy to have employment in the beautiful Kingsley Mansion. All is well until she actually is introduced to Conner Kingsley. Reese is 6 feet tall red headed, very thin which gives her confidence to stay safe but Conner is 6 feet 6 inches and large in frame mysterious with a raspy whispery voice. Reese is terrified of Conner and not sure that she can maintain her employment. Just when things are starting to settle into some kind of normalcy Mr. Jeness shows up contemplating murder.
Find a comfortable spot on the sofa and nestle into the slow moving story of Reese and Conner and the good willed people of Tucker Mills. I however will utilize my Kindle and buy the Trilogy. Enjoy!
Did I mention no sexual tension? Sorry, but I call "no way". I'm a Christian, Bible thumping believer myself, but I still have hormones. I don't care how chaste a person is, he or she is still going to have some serious "feelings" when meeting the significant other of their dreams. I'm glad the leads didn't jump on each other ten minutes after meeting, but does it have to be such a yawn festival? Does the author think nobody had "the hots" in the 19th century?The leads are so tortuously boring that there isn't even a kiss of any kind until after the wedding! Look, people "made out" in the 19th century, ok? It was done in private (unlike today), but people is people.
Perhaps the author thinks that it's "Christians" or "Believers" (as she terms us) who are free from sexual temptation. You'd think so, judging from the pompous, stuffed-shirt goody-two-shoes Christians populating this story. We can't go more than a page or so without the entire transcript of somebody's heartfelt prayer or sermonizing to either a fellow believer or seeker. Only a few pages into the first chapter, I was already irritated with the over preachyness of the writing. It's like reading a novelization of a Chick tract, complete with 20th century "Church speak" guaranteed to befuddle or exasperate anybody outside the "Christian ghetto". Which begs the question of the target audience for this book. If it's for believers, why all the preaching and salvation messages? If it's for a wider audience, with the hope of presenting the gospel to random readers, the Evangelistic jargon needs to be revised and explained. When somebody says "I'm saved by the blood!" it probably sounds like a Vampire moment to the uninitiated.
A few years ago I read an outstanding "Christian" romance (sort of) named "Pascal's Wager". I highly recommend it and would read anything by that author. Lori Wick can't hold a candle to it (pun intended).