Book Review for Impending Love and War

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.

The cover of Impending Love and War

The cover of Impending Love and War

Antebellum romance

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.

Tyler Montgomery on being a better lawyer than Abraham Lincoln

The cover of Impending Love and War

In Impending Love & War by Laura Freeman, published by The Wild Rose Press, Tyler Montgomery is a Harvard lawyer looking for a runaway slave.  Abolitionists Cory Beecher accidentally shoots him and is forced to care for him.


“Do you think you’re a better lawyer than Mr. Lincoln because you went to Harvard?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”

“You certainly have a high opinion of yourself.”

“I didn’t go to Harvard to be a worse lawyer.”

She challenged him. “Don’t you have to be a man of high moral character to be a lawyer?”

“I’m only twenty-five. I haven’t had time to do anything immoral, yet.” He added the last word with a glint in his eye.


The sight of Tyler’s nakedness had stirred an erotic response she’d never experienced. But how did a scholar acquire sculptured muscles that rippled with power at every movement? She wouldn’t obtain the answer through silent pondering. “How did a Harvard lawyer become so strong? Carrying books around?” She hoped her witty remark camouflaged her embarrassment. How could she ask such a personal question? She turned away and lit a lantern on a peg by the door with her candle.

Tyler grabbed the lamp and whispered in her ear. “They were very big books.”

Cory opened her mouth to argue but had a feeling she wouldn’t uncover the truth. She looked around. “Do you think I should take Hiram’s gun?” It was in the parlor but needed to be reloaded.

“Haven’t you shot enough men tonight?”

“What if there’s an intruder? He could be dangerous.”

“I think I can handle him.”

“Are you going to quote him the law?” She followed him into the dark yard.

Cory Beecher on marriage

The cover of Impending Love and War

The cover of Impending Love and War

In Impending Love & War  published by The Wild Rose Press Cory Beecher is hoping for a proposal of marriage from Douglas Raymond, who is leaving after calling on her.

Cory followed him into the hallway. She had placed the flowers he had brought in a vase on the sideboard. “The flowers are lovely. Thank you.” She handed him his hat. “I’ll see you at the celebration on the square on Wednesday.” She stepped outside onto the porch and led the way toward his horse, swishing her wide skirt side to side. For a few minutes, they would be alone.

She had worn her best-looking frock, an emerald and blue plaid made with a gathered skirt, wide shoulder straps and a tightly cinched waist to create an hour-glass figure. The bodice was altered for evening wear and cut perilously low in the front. Adelaide had threatened to tell her mother if she didn’t sew some modest lace inserts above the bodice, but she had postponed the work until after Douglas called. Now it appeared to have been a futile attempt to attract his attention.

She stood by his horse, anticipating a declaration of love or a gesture of affection, but after securing his hat, he awkwardly mounted the horse he had borrowed from the college stable.

Cory leaned against the elm tree as he rode off. Her ingénue attempts of seduction had failed. Most men spoke words of admiration when they called. Some held her hand. A few had the nerve to kiss her. And those advances were at home with her mother, father, and her pesky younger sisters all gathered around them. Here, she was practically alone, and Douglas hadn’t even given her a warm smile. He was all prim and proper. Perhaps his position as an instructor required it. As a school teacher, she was expected to adhere to higher standards, but they were alone. Couldn’t he have let his guard down a little?

She waved when he turned onto the road in case he looked back. Not even a glance. A sigh escaped her as the wooden heels of her leather shoes clicked against the slate. The visit should have been more successful with a delicious dessert, a daring outfit, and flattering conversation. What did a girl have to do to get married?