Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell | My Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:
West Point History Comes Alive in this Warmhearted Romance
Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father's sordid past behind her. When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives.
Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy, is proud to be at the top of his senior class. But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man. But the army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier...which leaves Seth with some tough choices.
When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?
AMAZON | GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE

MY REVIEW:

A lovely jaunt back in time to the antebellum era with endearing characters and a gentle romance.

This book is a classic example of judging a book by its cover--hence my desire to read and review it. It's rare nowadays to see covers in this historical romance genre that don't show the character's faces. There is something more alluring to me when we are not allowed a glimpse of the character's faces and, in turn, are given a sense of place and destination of the characters. So it is with Flirtation Walk.
We open to New York pre-Civil War, the antebellum era--a favorite--at West Point Military Academy. The hero, Seth Westcott is an up and coming captain slated to join an elite group of soldiers who will go abroad to study engineering--he is a disciplined, black and white individual who strives to do his very best in all he does. Until news from home upsets his future previously all but laid out in stone and his brother's heart must choose between career or tracking down a despicable swindler who took advantage of his sister's naivety and stole her inheritance.
What Seth doesn't expect to run into is Lucinda Pennyworth--a woman trying her best to be good and to redeem herself by making it her mission to marry a respectable man to impress her relatives and redeem herself.
When we first meet Lucinda, much of her world is rocked off its axis upon stepping off the steamboat onto the soil of Buttermilk Falls, still reeling at the news of the death of her father. She finds a haven with her mother's sister and cousins as well as an old contemporary of her shifty father's--her own uncle! Her identity is further shattered upon learning the truth about both parents--dredging up years worth of lies from her father.
A gentle romance, the main characters in this novel flew off the page due in part to the fact of Siri's stellar first person point of view technique--a writing style rare to historical fiction. One thing I loved as well were the vibrant secondary characters--quite a cast of them, let me tell you. Lucinda's young cousins, Seth's good friends who, despite being at the bottom of their class, were so loyal and good humored.
I have to comment on the romance. Hashtag forever a hopeless romantic. Seth and Lucinda's individual goals were so opposite, as well as their backgrounds, but it worked. Not only did it amp up the conflict and the odds of the story, but I was reminded afresh of why I love Christian fiction. No background, past, or present trials are too big for God. This was beautifully woven through out every page of this story, including the sweet romance, keeping me turning the pages past midnight some nights and eager to see how both characters would continue to change individually, and grow together in spite of the odds.

Having read the author's historical notes first, I was excited to learn more about the academy from whence a host of Civil War generals on either side graduated (or famously did not graduate) from. The historical details are rich and vivid in this story, but what left the greatest impression on me via the individual journeys both Seth and Lucinda took, especially after their roads converged with secrets revealed and forgiveness needed, was the heart of the story.
The heart of the story brilliantly summed up by, fittingly, a line from the West Point Cadet Prayer:

Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.


Siri Mitchell
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Siri Mitchell is the author of over a dozen novels, three of which were named Christy Award finalists. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government and lived on three continents. She and her family currently reside in the D.C. metro area.
Find her at her website and on Facebook.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Meghan M. Gorecki
Meghan M. Gorecki

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.