The Cumberland Bride

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

It's official...This is my favorite book of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. Not that I don't love other books in this series, or enjoy all of them. But this one was fabulous! Life has been a little busy the last several months and I was super slow reading and reviewing this book by its publication date. But I'm slowly going back and catching up on several books that I missed. I figured that I'd pick this one up and skim through it quickly to finish it so I could write a review for it and get myself all caught up. Ha! Yeah right! My plan backfired completely on me. Thanks to this author that I've never read before. I was sucked in completely! I couldn't set it down. It was so good! I was completely pulled in and transfixed throughout the story of the Cumberland Bride.

I love historical fiction. I love any era honestly. I think it's all fascinating and amazing to learn about the different time periods and how people lived and thrived. These early settlers were so amazing. I live in an old town that was settled back when the West was very young and it became a major hub for travelers, so it is very rich in history. I love the history of it and the surrounding areas as well. Although where I live and the setting of this story aren't close by each other, it still felt like the histories of both places were similar and very fascinating.

There is most definitely a love story involved in this one and I have to say that I loved watching the relationship develop between the two main characters. Thomas Bledsoe has been hired by the Gruener family to scout for them as they are journeying to the new land they plan to settle on. Thomas and the Gruener's daughter, Kate, have plenty of great encounters. Several of them little mishaps but they are drawn to each other, even when they try to avoid the pull that they feel.

I'm not going to go into detail because I don't want to spoil anything. I will tell you that there are moments of suspense, laughter, heartache, friendship, sweet and tender moments and plenty of adventure. I loved the main characters but I also thought that the author did a great job of supporting characters to help round out the cast in this book. The adventures that this group experiences along their travels resembled the lifestyle and struggles of the time. The struggles with trying to settle the land peacefully with the Native Americans and yet the anger and hurt caused by both sides of that land battle kept some suspense going throughout the story. Well done for sure!

I'm so glad that I finally picked up this story and devoured it. Yes, I did devour it. I read it super fast and absolutely loved it! 

If you're wondering about this being a series and needing to read all of them to understand the story, you don't need to. The books are connected by a family line but you are able to read them individually and not feel like you've missed something by doing so. The authors may mention the couple who came over on the Mayflower throughout this series but only in referencing who the main characters of each book descend from. So pick and choose or read them all. I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to do.

Content: Clean. Some moments of peril. Some kisses and mild innuendos about relations between a married couple but nothing graphic. This is a Christian fiction so the characters do occasionally pray to God for help and guidance and a couple small scenes of Sunday worship but nothing that felt over the top for those readers who might shy away from Christian fiction. I felt like it was well done and if you're interested in the book but not those small scenes, I think you'd be fine skipping over them and not missing any pertinent information for the storyline.

I received a copy from the publisher, Barbour Publishing, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.

Happy Reading!!!
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*thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for this free copy in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve read quite a few of the DAUGHTERS OF THE MAYFLOWER series but I think this one is my least favorite. I love a good historical fiction but this one didn’t tickle my fancy...I think because of the subject matter and how it’s mostly traveling. It could also be because it’s about a time period I’m not particularly familiar with. 
Nonetheless, the romance is what kept me turning pages. The way the characters fall for each other is so genuine and easy-to-read...I loved being a fly on the wall.
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She's curious, he's reticent, and they are in for quite a bit of trouble along the way in the fifth entry in the multi-author Daughters of the Mayflower series from Barbour Books. Shannon McNear takes readers for a frontier adventure, blending nature, romance, faith and family dynamics with danger, politics, and period detail.

Whether it is Kate Gruener's love of story, Thomas Bledsoe's past or his present relationship with his sisters, there is much to enjoy in this tale that depicts some of the dangers and hardships encountered in the Cumberland Gap of the late 1700's. Add to that some delightful romantic tension and strengthened faith, and you have one of the best novels of this series.

Having only read a novella by this author previously, I was delightfully surprised to find that The Cumberland Bride was easily one of my favorites in the series. If you are a fan of American history in fiction, frontier romance and/or adventure, and a well crafted tale, this is a book for you. If you prefer that romance to be chaste and the inclusion of a faith element, then even more so.

Though I've only previously read one novella by Shannon McNear previously, I predict that for readers of Historical Christian Romance, she is one to watch. Highly recommended.

This review refers to an advance digital galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Another well written book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, you’ll be swept up into Kate’s Wilderness Road adventure. Historical facts, well developed characters, and great descriptions of the country make this an enjoyable read. Full of danger, clean romance, and faith I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
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Shannon McNear has painted a very interesting picture of the early founding of our country and the settlers traveling the wilderness to establish new homes. Her description of Katrina Gruener and her family and of their scout Thomas Bledsoe are very intriguing drawing you into the characters, their history, and budding relationships.

I really enjoyed this book the best of all in this series and they are all good. I recommend it 5 stars. Kate Gruener loves to journal which, turns out, was a task many early settlers like to do. Thankfully they did, so that we know more of what happened, why, and what they thought. But Kate's journaling habit causes problems for her family especially her Dad. She loves to hear others stories to the point that she is a distraction especially for their scout Thomas Bledsoe.

Thomas is a taciturn but very kind person; and, against his better judgment he finds himself looking out for Kate more and more and rescuing her from one predicament after another.

Thomas has and interesting relationship with the Indians and the reasons for that have roots in his past.

Many thanks to Barbour Publishing for allowing me to read this book from Netgalley.
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I was captivated by this wonderful historical romance!

The development of the characters was incredible. I felt an almost immediate connection with Kate as the book started off with her sneaking away to do something she had been told was a waste of time. She was writing down stories she had been told. I have always loved to “waste” time in reading.

Thomas was torn between two lifestyles and two families. This really captured my interest and held it as he was trying to figure out where he fit in. It can be a very difficult journey to take for many different reasons.

I loved all of the details given for how life was lived on the frontier in the 1790s. It was very interesting to read about the conflict between the Shawnee Indians and the settlers. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
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The Cumberland Bride
Daughters of the Mayflower - book 5
by Shannon McNear
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Barbour Books
Christian ,  Romance
Pub Date 01 Oct 2018


I I am reviewing a copy of The Cumberland Bride through Barbour Publishing Inc and Netgalley:



This book takes us back to 1794 where we meet Kate Gruener and her family.  Her father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness so they can farm untouched land.,  Kate is eagerto live out her own adventure the way her Fathet did during the war for Independence.  Kate sets her sites on learning more about their guide, Thomas Bledsoe.  Thomas job is to get the settlers across the Kentucky Wilderness Road safely while listening to hear anything about Shawnee unrest. 


Naive Kate’s curious nature could put them both in the midst of danger.  


Is there more to Thoma’s Shawnee connections than he is willing to tell?  Is there an unseen courage in Kate that can Thwart danger?


I give The Cumberland Bride five ou of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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Enjoyed reading this story and seeing Kate and Thomas's love for each other grow slow and steady as they traversed the dangerous wilderness road. While I could chuckle at Thomas's exasperation at Kate's constant attempts to get to know him, when he finally opened his heart to her- wow, what a romantic he was! I was also intrigued by the insights into the Shawnee lifestyle. I've lived in the Carolinas and Tennessee where this story takes place and have always been interested in the Native Americans that graced those lands in frontier times. Captivating story filled with danger, unique characters, and a sweet romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required but was voluntary and contains my own thoughts and opinions.
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Set in 1794, Kate Gruener's family has decided to move and they hire Thomas Bledsoe as their scout to take them on the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky.  Before reading this book, I knew very little about this part of the country.  The descriptions of the author led me to do some research of my own and I discovered several beautiful pictures of the area.  How awe inspiring it would have been to travel here as an early settler.  I appreciated the author notes at the back of the book that gave even more historical notes about this time in American history.  I thought it was interesting that the Shawnee people would sometimes be at odds with white settlers but at other times would adopt some of the white people into their culture and treat them as one of their own.  Although I enjoyed learning about the trials and tribulations of travelers during this time period through they guise of a fictional story, I didn't like the romance story line of this book.  I felt like there was more of a physical attraction between Kate and Thomas as compared to an emotional connection so I didn't like how quickly they were thinking about marriage to each other.  Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.  All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest opinions of the book.
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"My shoes won't fit."
"Nothing wrong with that," he muttered.  "Keep you from wandering off."

"The Cumberland Bride" (2018, Barbour) by  Shannon McNear], fifth in the multi-author "Daughters of the Mayflower" series, is a Christian historical romance set in 1794 Tennessee.  The novel is a standalone story, with the previous books in the series focusing on previous generations of the Lytton/Chapman clan.  (The heroine's mother is Jemima Lytton Gruener.) I wanted to read this book because two of the books in this series are by authors who are personal favorites.  And I'm a completist, so that means I needed to read the entire series, of course!

Rating: 4  stars

The heroine:  Katarina Gruener, or Kate, loves stories, and loves to write them down, much to the chagrin of her father.  Her family is traveling "northward on the Wilderness Road" into Kentucky.   Kate is a competent young lady, but she also seems to have a propensity for needing to be rescued.  Given the difficulty of the journey, however, this tendency seems completely plausible.

The hero:  Thomas Bledsoe has been hired as a scout to guide the Gruener family up north.  He's very good at what he does.  As a hero in a Christian fiction book, he seems to fall short, in that his faith in God is lacking.  (This is later remedied, however.) He thinks of Mr. Gruener:  "Just what they needed, a pack master who aspired to preach."  

Historical background from Wikipedia:  "The Cumberland Gap is a narrow pass through the long ridge of the Cumberland Mountains, within the Appalachian Mountains, near the junction of the U.S. states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.  Famous in American colonial history for its role as a key passageway through the lower central Appalachians, it was an important part of the Wilderness Road"

Christian elements:  Specific prayers and Bible verses are quoted in this story.  "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me."   Thomas' struggle with his faith in God is highlighted, and shows growth. 

Is it clean/chaste?  Yes!

What I liked: 

*It seems that Ms. McNear has done her research.  The story shows evidence of the author's attention to detail.  "Much nonsense happening up around Boone's fort with the whiskey tax."  Or, I would never have considered the need for the travelers to have "time to dry out their footgear before needing to walk a whole day again." 


*I enjoyed the hero and heroine's curiosity about one another through their journey.  It's portrayal seemed very realistic, except for the early jump-starting.  (See below.)

What I didn’t like: 

*Words or phrases not from the period.  (For example, "Like that would happen."  "Just what they needed…"  "footgear")  

*Thomas' interest in Kate happens too quickly, before any significant interaction between the two of them.  

***********

The bottom line:  This is a great wagon-train type story.  I recommend this book to fans of Christian historical fiction and those who have an interest in the Shawnee or American Indians in general.    I look forward to reading more by this author, and would like to try "The Highwayman."
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My favourite book of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. What a great read. 

Lots of historical information and a wonderful romance. I truly enjoyed this book very much.
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I am pretty sure this is one of my favorites so far in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. I read it in one sitting and didn’t want to put it down. I will definitely be looking for other books written by Shannon McNear.
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This series keeps getting better and better! What an adventure this book takes the reader on. The setting, characters and plot are so well written. I could picture everything happening. Details are impeccable. To be honest, it took me a good solid 50+ pages to get into the book. After about page 50, the book came to life and I couldn’t put it down. 
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a review. Receipt of the book had no influence on my review. All thoughts are my own.
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A story about romance, adventure, family, and faith. Taking place during 1794 when settlers are moving into the wilderness to start a new life.  Thomas Bledsoe is the scout to Kate Gruener's family who is traveling west during a time when settlers and natives are highest in conflicts.  Thomas finds himself attrached to Kate and this is not something he wanted.  He never wanted to fall in love and think of leaving them behind.  Kate finds the scout interesting and wants to learn more about his story.  When the natives take them captive truths will come to light and all they will have is faith on their side.

Full of faith and hope a christian romance novel that will touch your heart.  You will be taken on a historical adventure.  I enjoyed reading this book and it was quick read.  If you enjoy books that have a bit of religious flavor this might be the book for you.
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Although the lovely dress on the cover does make an appearance, this story is no tea party, it is a thrilling wilderness tale of survival during a tumulous time.

Kate is a brave and courageous heroine who is unafraid of hard work and adventure. She has a lovely balance of feminity and fire and I absolutely love her for it! Kate has a nurturing spirit and she is also a writer which obviously gives her extra bonus points in my book. I do love writers!

Thomas is a complex and rugged hero who is often broody yet always willing to work hard and treat people with respect and kindness. I admire his ability to protect and defend as well as his restraint and preservation of life. Thomas has a unique and interesting perspective which readers will enjoy.

I highly recommend this story to readers who are fond of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early American time periods. Fans of Laura Frantz and Lori Benton will also be delighted with Shannon McNear’s story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Sweet, sweet story! This was an easy story to read, the plot flows easily! I loved the way Kate was a curious, questioning pest in the beginning, and how Thomas was a stern guide through the journey, up until they were captured by Indians, that is. This is a beautifully written story that I enjoyed reading very much!
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On a positive note, this book is well-written. The historical details appear accurate, and as a Kentuckian I found the plot interesting. I liked the heroine, Kate, very much. However, I did not care for Thomas all that much.  We discover this near the beginning of the book so it's not really a spoiler: your captors let you live, although they killed others, and you become one of them, pretty much forgetting about your actual family? And this takes only 2 years? Plus, you don't bother to tell anybody. Um, no.
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The story in the Daughters of the Mayflower series follows the great grand daughter of the original woman who came over on the Mayflower. Two people who fight the feelings that they feel for each other. Both not realizing what they are until a life or death situations bring them together to find the true love of a life time. 

Kate is sent to post a letter and meets Thomas, Thomas doesn't know why he agreed to be a scout for a trip farther west. A trip home to visit his family has Thomas reaffirming his wondering ways and see more of the west. Kate has been writing down the family history in her journal and is always curious to hear other interesting people's stories as well. As their group journeys west along the newly expanded Wilderness Road headed toward the Cumberland Gap, Kate and Thomas try to ignore each other. Kate helps with her siblings and Thomas keeps a vigilant eye out for danger. When Kate runs into trouble its up to Thomas to save her. She wants to learn his story. Another suitor holds no interest for Kate. She has unknown feelings about for Thomas. He's been trying not to spend time with her. When the head scout holds a prayer meeting Thomas takes off to be alone because of the memories it brings up. Kate's father scolds her about her journal. After rescuing Kate Thomas starts to have his meals with her family. He doesn't want to have feelings for Kate. An injury has her riding a pack horse. Her unwanted suitor tries to capture her attention. Thomas's past haunts his dreams. Kate is awed by the beauty around her. Kate and her little brother almost die in the river and are again saved by Thomas. Their group must spend an extra day so she can heal. Her unwanted suitor finds her journal and her family secret is revealed. Thomas stands up for the family. They are traveling in constant bad weather. Kate's questions aren't received well by Thomas. It's decided that Kate should write down everyone's story. They stop at a large settlement for supplies and rest. Thomas spends the time trying to get information and runs into an old friend, but neither of them receive the answers they want from the other. On a scouting mission he sees his friend and his companions and scares them away from the camp. On his way back to warn the travelers he sees Kate. As he's trying to get her to return to the tents they're captured by the Indians While they're traveling farther from camp a decision has to be made and a promise is made. Kate hopes the kiss she receives means something. She's taken to an Indian settlement, while Thomas heads to warn their fellow travelers. He vows that he'll find her no matter where she was taken. He sets out on the journey to find Kate and ends up where he lived for a couple of years. Kate must make a decision and a meeting to decide what do to takes place. They're urged to leave when the decision is contested. An enemy tracks them down and Kate must make a life or death decision. They get married and head back to their traveling group only to realize that everyone has moved on. They go to the homestead where her family are and have a reunion. A trip to visit Thomas's family is made. Before he makes a decision where to settle and head back to help Kate's family. 

The Cumberland Bride gives the reader insight into what life was like back in the late 1700s and that emotions were still mixed about people who helped the British. How dangerous it was just to live in that time as well as traveling Shannon McNear makes you feel the emotional pull of the two main character and how family were big influences in their members life. The next generations of the descendants is the original Mayflower Bride continues.
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Kate Grueners and her family are getting ready to leave Spring Tennessee for a new life in Kentucky.  In order to go her dad hires a scout named Thomas Bledsoe.  Thomas is there to help look out for Indians and any other trouble that may come up. They also have other families traveling with them.  One of the families in the group is the Hughes family.  Jacob Hughes is one of their sons.  He has a strong attraction for Kate and is always trying to be near her.
During their travel Thomas is trying to focus on his job watching for trouble .  But his mind wanders to Kate a lot.  He doesn't want to deal with a woman at all.  His childhood had lots of sadness and loss.  He lived with the Shawnee tribe for almost 2 years.  He was adopted into the tribe and then felt loss when he was rescued and taken back to his sisters.  His Mom and Dad had both passed away.  
Kate has injuries to her feet after walking in a creek bed,  Thomas suggest she ride a pack horse for a bit to let her feet heal.  Thinking they are almost healed she decides to walk and her toes start to bleed again.   She is back on the pack horse with her little brother.  As they cross a creek that has risen because of rain.  The horse loses its footing and rolls on her and her brother.   Thomas is panicked at the site of her and her little brother struggling in the water.  He rushes to their rescue and realizes she has a head injury and suggest they stop for a couple of days.  Not everybody is happy with this and threaten to leave.  He is fine with that if they want.
When they are back on the trail his gut tells him things are not as good as they seem.  Kate comes out and finds Thomas.   He is trying to get her to go back but its to late .  They are captured.   Thomas leaves her to go back to warn the families and get help to get her back.  When he comes back for her he sees his Shawnee father and he helps them while the rest of the tribe tries to figure out what to do with Kate.    Along the way they both open up about their feelings and decide to get married.   I love this series.   I enjoy the historical parts of these stories .
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Wow! This was an emotional and adventurous epic journey! I've been reading the Mayflower Bride series and every single one is fantastic! This incredible journey begins in 1794 Tennessee and ends in Kentucky as the group travels along the newly expanded Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap. Kate Gruener's father is taking his family to settle in new and unclaimed territory where he plans to build up his farm. To protect him and other local families, he hires Thomas Sledsoe as a scout. Thomas has a mysterious nature and Kate inmediately feels compelled to get to know him and his family history, which is the last thing Thomas wants. He tries to keep his distance from Kate, but her inquisitiveness and adventurous nature leads her into so much trouble and danger, and he can't help himself in his desire to protect her. The whole journey is full of adventure and danger, with the Shawnees renegades stirring up trouble very near. The plot will keep you totally engaged. And I liked how the characters, especially Kate, grow throughout the story. There's also a message of faith in God that felt natural. I liked how Thomas grew in his faith and trust in God along the story. The story was inspiring and uplifting. The romance is sweet and clean, and there is even humor. I loved how the author portrayed the time period, with her descriptions of the scenery and the customs of the people in that era. It seemed accurate and well researched. i was really impressed with all that people had to endure to make a decent living in those times! A very recommendable read! truly enjoyed it! I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley. This is my voluntary and unbiased opinion.
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