In April of 2014 I reviewed book one in the Gulf Coast Chronicles series. I am delighted to have the opportunity to review book two, The Creole Princess, in April of 2015. While characters from book one, Pelican Bride, are briefly referred to, this book tells the story of their descendents and is set in Mobile and New Orleans during the Revolutionary War. I had been previously unaware of two British colonies that remained loyal to the Crown – East Florida and West Florida. White focuses on Spain’s contribution to the success of the American War of Independence as she tells this story. Many of us may be less familiar with Spain’s alliance with the Americans that with France’s, creating additional interest in this historical romance. White’s research and attention to detail are clearly evident as she intertwines real and fictional characters in authentic and fictionalized events.
The Creole Princess tells the story of Lyse Lanier, daughter of a poor, drunken fisherman and granddaughter of a wealthy businessman whose family had settled in the Gulf Coast decades before. Lyse is being semi-officially courted by a young, red-headed soldier named Niall McLeod, and unofficially by a Spanish merchant, Don Rafael Maria Gonzales de Rippardá. Don Rafael has a way of appearing and disappearing, leading Lyse to be uncertain about their future, and wondering if there is not more to him than meets the eye. Beyond providing her readers with an intriguing romance, White expands the freedom theme inherent in a story set during the Revolutionary War to include the issue of slavery. She does this by giving her heroine ancestors with French, Indian, and African roots. Lyse, born to a freed slave, gives much thought to the difference between her life and her cousin’s, the daughter of Lyse’s mother’s twin who had not been freed. As Don Rafael quizzes Lyse about her family, she laughing tells him he would need to see a family tree to follow the relationships. I agree with her and hope that Beth White will supply us with a Lanier family tree on her blog site.
Fans of Jane Kirkpatrick books will likely also enjoy White’s brand of historical fiction. Both authors tell engaging stories, mixing fact and fiction with historical accuracy. Both have well developed characters and use beautiful language to create vivid mental images to hold their readers spellbound. I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing The Creole Princess for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.