This review for Impending Love and War by Laura Freeman appeared in the Nov. 9, 2014 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal on page E4 under Book Talk: area authors and events by Barbara McIntyre.
Cuyahoga Falls writer Laura Freeman delves into Ohio’s Western Reserve history inImpending Love and War, a solid romance novel set in the antebellum town of Darrow Falls, easily recognizable by its classic architecture and abolition-minded residents.
Courtney “Cory” Beecher, a schoolteacher spending the summer with Adelaide, a newly widowed friend of her family, would like to get married, but has reached the advanced age of 20 with her only prospect being Douglas, a mathematics instructor at Western Reserve College. She grinds her teeth as Douglas advocates the colonization theory — “send themback to Africa” — of resolving slavery.
After Douglas leaves, there is a knock on the door. A handsome man who introduces himself as Tyler Montgomery claims to be looking for a black man with falsified papers. Suspicious, Cory first corrects his grammar and then accidentally shoots him with Adelaide’s ancient pistol.
This gives him the opportunity to take off his shirt and allow Cory to dress his wound while she admires his rippling muscles. Of course, he cannot be allowed to return to his inn, but must remain under observation.
As the household returns to slumber, Cory is alerted to a presence in the barn. She hurries to investigate, and Tyler follows. While he checks out the second-story loft, she sees the fugitive of his description hiding in a stall. Desperate to distract Tyler, she gives him a passionate kiss and then threatens him with a pitchfork for “taking liberties.”
With a realistic sequence on a canal boat, great humor as Cory explains courtship to the dunderhead Douglas, and Tyler’s ingenious argument in the ending courtroom scene, this spicy story hits every note.
Impending Love and War (322 pages, softcover) costs $16.99 from Wild Rose Press, or $4.99 as an e-book. Laura Freeman covers Hudson for the Record Publishing Co.