The Cumberland Bride

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

At first this the book felt like it might be a slower read, but it quickly won me over with the never-ending adventure and action and needing to know how things would turn out for Thomas and Kate.  The difficulties they experienced in the Wilderness was exciting, yet concerning and scary.  The author kept me wondering what she would through in the path of these characters next and by the 60% mark I didn't want to put the book down.

I loved the interesting names of Thomas' sisters and the interaction between the siblings. Kate was also a very interesting main character and I enjoyed seeing her thoughts and feelings.  The romance was also sweet and not overpowering to the historical richness of this story.

This book was also a great representation of what the consequences are if we hold on to our bitterness, anger and hatred and allowing that to dictate our next steps, allowing it to break down relationships instead of bringing reconciliation.

I'm loving this series and highly recommend this to fans of historical romance.
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As a girl, I loved reading books about Indians. There was one in particular I liked about a girl who was taken captive and adopted and how much she grew to love her Indian family. 

I appreciate books that show how there were good and bad people on both sides. There were mistakes made by both sides. 

I'd say this was one of the more exciting books in this series. The setting lent itself well to a level of suspense and urgency. 

This series is nice, sweet, and fun. I am thoroughly enjoying all the books.
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Another installment in the Daughters of the Mayflower series.  In this book the year is 1794 and we join Kate and her family for the journey west into unknown territory, dangerous enemies, and a beguiling guide that captures the attention of our Kate.

Reminiscent in feel of The Last of the Mohicans, but unique in style and writing.  Definitely for fans of historical, Christian romance.  Doesn't disappoint in pulling the heart strings.
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4 stars- This is the next installment in the “Daughters of the Mayflower” series and tells the tale of Kate Gruener and Thomas Bledsoe as they travel the Wilderness Road in the late 1700’s. 
	I was not very familiar with this part of history so it was interesting to read more about settlers heading over the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky. At first, I admit, I found this story a bit slow but as the characters continued on their journey, I grew more and more drawn into the story and the growing relationship between Kate and Thomas. I found it to be a very touching story. Kate and Thomas’ sincerity in their interactions with their families (both biological and adopted) and each other was well written and heart warming. Their relationship didn’t seem forced but a natural progression of their time on the trail.
	Thomas’ faith questions were valid and thought provoking and poor Kate seemed to be a bit accident prone but kept her chin up and looked for the positives. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing where the Lytton family goes next. This was one of my favorite books in the series so far. 
	I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I’ve been following and enjoying the Daughters of the Mayflower series, so I was excited to read The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear, which is book 5 in the series. This book is very well-researched and rich in historical detail. I learned much about the places, the time period, and the daily life of the people who helped settle along the Kentucky Wilderness Road. The characters were vividly drawn and engaging, and I was immediately drawn to them. Kate was an intrepid and courageous heroine, and Thomas was a tender and protective hero. For me, the first half of the story dragged a bit and had my mind wandering, but the second half was much more intense, and I was able to become much more invested in the tale. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and learning more about the settling of America.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
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The Cumberland Bridge by Shannon McNear is book 5 in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. In this book, Kate is headed deeper into the West.  Thomas is their guide.  But the adventure is way more than they anticipated when danger soon arises from among the Natives.  Thomas and Kate have to rely on each other to survive.  This book is set on the Wilderness Road and at the time of Daniel Boone.  It is a fascinating time period, and readers of historical fiction will enjoy the setting as it comes alive in this story.  Overall, it is a good story.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.
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This book is written by Shannon McNear and is part of The Daughters of the Mayflower series. Katarina Gruener is a descendant of the main characters in the previous books, most recently Faith Lytton. I felt an instant connection with her because our names are pronounced the same, only spelled differently, and we each have a parent coming from Germany. Her love story with Thomas is very long and drawn out due to the detail the author includes in the description of setting and events. Even though I felt like it was a slower read than others it was more relatable and easy to make sense of their affection toward each other at the end.
It did annoy me that the plot seemed to be over long before the book was. The author includes a great dialogue between the main characters and their families, yet seems to make their love a plot on its own when it is evident that the events, such as discoveries of family secrets and Indian slayings and abductions are the plots that drives the characters to each other. Once that was all said and done I questioned why the book kept going. I love long books, by all means! This book had nothing left to say though and though their love was written sincerely, I found no emotion to getting to the end because it was more drawn out than it should have been.
I give the book a 4 out of 5.
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This was my first read of the author's work and I was duly impressed. She writes in such a way that you can visualize the setting and the people. You can tell she has researched this time period and the tensions with the Shawnee; this story felt the most "realistic" out of the series thus far. Although this story follows a descendant of the original Mayflower Lyttons, you don't have to read the other books in the series to enjoy this one. Admittedly, the first half of the book felt more descriptive as it follows the settlers' daily trials as they journey to Kentucky. However, it was building up the tension as you just know that trouble will come eventually. The second half of the book ratchets up the action and danger as Kate and Thomas are forced to fight for their lives. The romantic tension between Kate and Thomas felt like a simmering pot about to overflow, I couldn't wait for it to be out in the open. I also appreciated the spiritual content, especially for Thomas as he had to wrestle with whether God really saw him. The author mentions in her notes that Thomas's sister has her own story in a previously published anthology (A Pioneer Christmas Collection) so I look forward to reading her story, too! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and think it might be my favorite thus far!
* I received this book free of charge from NetGalley.
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The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear (Daughter of the Mayflower, book 5)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Story Notes

Shannon McNear presents Daughters of the Mayflower readers with a love story that takes its characters on a journey beyond what they expected –  learning courage, faith and love can be found if one is willing to seek after it.

Shannon McNear is a new author to the world of historical christian fiction but I’ve definitely added her to my list of authors to read more from. Her quiet way of writing this story while also including real danger and situations lends credence to the publisher’s assertion that this debut author is on her way to winning awards. I loved the characters she created and their growth along their spiritual and physical journey to Kentucky. Ms. McNear begins her story with a young woman named Kate who is hoping that her own life story will be as adventurous as her father’s. But women are not allowed to be soldiers so she will have to make her mark on the world in another way. She loves to write the history of her family and those who live near them but some history is too dangerous to be recorded without consequences. So she keeps her writing hidden, adding new stories a little at a time. When her father announces that their family will be moving to his newly purchased property in Kentucky, Kate is hoping for a chance to experience her own adventure. Learning that her father has hired a scout for the party of settlers traveling together, Kate also hopes to find the courage to ask him his story given his well-known name. Thomas Bledsoe has been a post rider and scout for the past few years and his ability to deliver news and letters without incident gives him a sterling reputation in the Gap and along Wilderness Road. His capture and subsequent years spent with the Shawnee as a teenager provided him with an understanding of many Indian dialects, a skill that has proven useful over the years. But those years and the ones to follow drilled the untruth that he doesn’t deserve or need a wife’s love deep into his heart and soul. And the faith he held so dearly growing up has been walled up inside his heart. After all, God wouldn’t have let him suffer all those years of loneliness if He really loved Thomas, would He? As Thomas leads the settlers deeper into the territory and further south, he will come to discover there is more to life and people that just what they can take from each other. Finding friendship with Kate’s family and other families of the group, and unwillingly falling in love with Kate will have Thomas searching his heart to determine if his long held beliefs are still true. Kate will learn much from the quiet but skilled scout as well as finding courage to speak her mind. She has been an obedient daughter, willing to help and serve but she will have to learn to accept help and advice when it is offered too. Both Thomas and Kate will find themselves facing their greatest test of faith and courage when they are captured by rogue Indians who take them back to Thomas’s former home with the Shawnee. Fighting the assumptions of some and the anger of others will require them to reach out in love and compassion if they are to make it out alive. But making it out of the Indian camp causes more trouble and they will both have to decide what they are willing to do for the love of the other. This story does not present a new idea, rather it takes an old idea – one of courageous love – and gives it a wonderful refreshment. There are many stories about those settlers who braved the threats of violence to make a home in a new land. And while there were instances of selfishness and greed, the majority of people sought to exist peacefully alongside the Indians who had long traveled those lands. Ms. McNear shows both sides of this story which gives the reader the understanding that one side was not better than the other. She also made it clear that the stealing of land was wrong and that those who participated in it were the cause of much discontent and violence. I was very pleased to see that Ms. McNear gave enough page time to her characters to let them develop well. There was a clear path of learning that each main character walked and it really allowed me to get inside their mind and understand their actions. Both Thomas and Kate grew spiritually as well and Ms. McNear carefully crafted these parts of the story so they were not awkward or unnatural. I was glad to see Thomas’s realization that God had not abandoned him and had been leading him on a path that would bring him to Kate and a life filled with love. Kate moved from a timid young woman to one who would do whatever it took to defend the lives of those she loved. The courage that God grew in her would give her the chance to know both of Thomas’s families and love them. I will certainly recommend this book as well as the series to others as it has been a wonderful journey through history with each successive story. Each book does stand alone but there are some ties that are interwoven that give each book connection to the previous one. I am also looking forward to Ms. McNear’s next story, hoping it will be a wonderful as this one was.

I received this E-book free of charge from Barbour Books/Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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I enjoyed this historical adventure story.  This book is the next book in the Daughters of the the Mayflower series by Barbour Publishing.  Each of these stories has been unique and focuses on a different time or place in history, but follows a family lineage.  This book followed Kate Gruener and her family as they travel to settle in the Cumberland Gap area of Kentucky.  The story really highlighted the real life experiences and struggles of traveling as a family to a new settlement area. I loved that the author highlighted difficult situations, but didn’t solely focus on the tragedies and heartbreaking things that could easily have made the story heavy and hard to read. I really enjoyed the slowly built relationship between Kate and Thomas as the journey progressed.  I am not usually a fan of pioneer type stories, but this one was well written, held my attention, and was driven by the characters more than just their circumstances.  This book is a great addition to this series!
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I’ve been following this series and enjoying the journey through time and generations. It’s pretty cool to see how our country has changed over the years.

This book takes place as people are moving west. I always enjoy an inside look at this time in our history.

For me I never really connected with this story. My mind was never fully enveloped in this plot and it was very easy for me to walk away. I can’t really explain why, I don’t know. But as always, this is my opinion only and I encourage you to read it for yourself if it sounds interesting to you.


A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
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Kate and Thomas’ story was excellent. It was my favorite so far of the Mayflower Bride Series. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Kentucky and Cumberland areas. The struggles the settlers faced are unimaginable to us today. I’m so glad the way the author portrayed the Indians as well. It seemed like a well written, well researched book. The love story woven within the pages was very sweet. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All views expressed here are my own.
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Why can't I give this book 10 Stars?! It's SO good!!!

The Cumberland Bride (2018) by Shannon McNear is the fifth novel in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 256 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy six-year old at home, this novel took me three days to read. I received a copy of this book in eBook form from the publisher, Barbour Books. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give The Cumberland Bride 5+++ STARS. This novel is Historical Christian Romance at its BEST!!!

I have greatly enjoyed the Daughters of the Mayflower series. The Cumberland Bride is one of the BEST stories in this series to date! The Cumberland Bride is beyond good. I was so thoroughly engaged in this fabulous story that in those moments I was interrupted in any way (darn you empty tea cup!!!), I was frustrated to have to put the book down. The Cumberland Bride is without a doubt a must-read for 2018!

I genuinely loved everything about this story. The writing is flawless — pages just flew by. The plot is highly engaging and I felt like I was right there with Kate and her family as they were traveling into wild lands untouched by civilization. It was exhilarating, stunning, and scary. The setting of The Cumberland Bride is gorgeous. I had to stop often to do Google searches so I could visualize the landscape McNear describes. After all my Google searches, I have realized that “gorgeous” isn’t a strong enough word to describe the Wilderness Road. And, by far, the best part of The Cumberland Bride is the relationship between Kate and Thomas. It is one of the best romantic relationships I’ve read in a while. I won’t say more than this so I don’t spoil a thing, but Kate and Thomas’s road to love filled my reader’s heart to near bursting. I am left thoroughly satisfied by the genuineness, sweetness, and passion between the hero and heroine. The Cumberland Bride is a superb Christian Romance.

What I really like about both Kate and Thomas’s characters is their propensity to ask God the tough questions. It’s very realistic to me because in my lifetime there have been many moments where I’ve cried out to God and asked Him some really heavy-duty things. My favorite moment involves Kate asking God, “Why? What profit was it that [I] had been spared?” I appreciate this line of questioning because there was a moment in my life when I was near death, but God spared me. I have asked God why He felt the need to spare my life when I know for a fact that the illness I suffered from has taken the lives of many women. What made me so special that my family was spared the pain of losing me, but other families have not been?

Sometimes, these tough questions go unanswered, or are given a response later on in life. And, in Kate’s case, her questioning goes unanswered. I think this is because these are the wrong questions to ask. God wants us to focus on something else. And, Kate realizes this a short time later. Just one page over, Kate’s baby brother crawls into her lap, which reminds Kate that, “Circumstances could so easily be different, and every breath [is] precious.” God has our steps planned and knows the day of our return home to heaven. We have to trust God on this fact and let it be. What we should be focusing on is not “why am I spared,” but on how precious a gift every moment of our lives is. We should not squander a single second of our lives or the lives of those we hold so dear. We all need to remember that Time is a major blessing from God.

The Cumberland Bride is such an excellent read that I cannot recommend it enough. This story is such a blessing. I am sad that my time with Kate and Thomas is over. If you are looking for a book that has a great plot line, an amazing historical setting, and endearing and well-written characters then this is the book for you! I highly encourage you to purchase a copy to enjoy today.
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I really love historical fiction and I love the time and setting for this book.  It was such a time of turmoil and unrest as white settlers continued in their westward movement, pushing into the lands inhabited by the Shawnee and other Native American tribes.  Tensions were high and I could really feel that in this story.  

This story has a really slow start and I was beginning to get impatient but I'm glad I stuck with it because once I reached about halfway through, things really began to pick up and I was completely engrossed.  I loved Thomas and his unique upbringing that gave an inside look into the Shawnee and their point of view.  There was such a feeling of adventure and danger throughout the whole story, especially in the last half.  Kate is an interesting character with her desire to document people's lives and stories.  She is brave, uncomplaining, and kind.  She compliments Thomas fantastically and it was awesome when he finally realized it.

I would give the first half of this book 3 stars, the last half 5 stars.  So, I guess that makes it a solid 4 stars from me.

Content:  some violence, mild peril, kissing.  This is a Christian fiction book, a bit heavier on the Christian elements.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the fifth book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. Another descriptive, historical, romance, this one set in 1794, around the Cumberland, Kentucky area. Once again the author does a very good job of letting us know the characters, and their surroundings, as they traveled the cumberland mountain pass, through to their destination in Kentucky. And the romance never stops from page to  page. Throughly enjoyable.
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This is book five from the series called Daughters of the Mayflower.  I have been hooked on this series from book one.  I can read these books within days as I can't put them down.  They take me back to a time when Americans really struggled.  Each book is written in a different time period in American history.

This book is based in 1794.  Kate and her family are moving to western Kentucky.  Their journey and what Kate discovered about herself and others is detailed in this book.

I highly recommend this book as well as the others.

Great job!
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I cannot say enough good things about the Mayflower Brides series! This is the first book I have read by Shannon McNear, and it did not disappoint! The research was thorough, and the book was full of action-packed adventures and tender moments. Absolutely outstanding!  I received a copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
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Kate Gruener and her family risk traveling on the Kentucky Wilderness Road and cross the Cumberland gap to get to their promised land. . No wagons used on this trip. The trail was too dangerous for that. They sold everything. They only took what was necessary to survive. These were courageous people with a strong faith in God. Kate’s dad says, “’Tis true. But truth is truth, no matter who speaks it. And God’s mercies are new every morning.”

Kate’s father hires Thomas Bledsoe as a scout for their journey. Kate is fascinated by this man and the stories he didn't share but held them kept tight inside.  Kate was a bookish type of girl that liked to journal. She asked everyone lots of questions about their life. She says, “It always seemed the more willing a body was to share their story, the more likely that story wasn’t worth hearing….Each person has their own story…What makes folk who they are.”

Soon after they head out Kate finds herself injured through not fault of her own. It’s the last thing she wanted to slow down their group. I liked Thomas and how he prayed for the people he guided, “If You’re there…I ask mercy. Not for me, but for those I’m tasked with protecting. Protect them, at least. Turn away whatever is out there.”

The book was a little slow in the beginning as the author takes her time in introducing characters and their situation but around chapter 20 the story enters a whole new dimension that reflects the dangers of life in the wilderness. The story takes a surprising turn. I couldn’t get enough of this entertaining and believable tale. It kind of reminded me of an old movie called Dances with Wolves where the first part of the movie was about the war and then the second part was about Kevin Costner going to the Indian Reservation. He discovers things he was told about the Indians weren't true. That’s how Kate feels as she ponders how she and Thomas could stay alive another day. As they contemplate their future Thomas shares the story he finally feels compelled to tell. She was fascinated to learn how he became the man she saw today. They face unimaginable dangers as unexpected events suddenly pull them apart.

This is book number 5 in the Daughters of the Mayflower series that can be read as a stand-alone. I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series written by different author. I haven’t read anything by this author before it won’t be the last.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher/Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine https://www.bookfun.org/page/past-issues-book-fun-mag
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The Cumberland Bride is set between The American Revolution and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Some families were already traveling west to claim land of their own and forge a new life.  

Kate Gruener is traveling to Kentucky with her family.  Their guide is Thomas Bledsoe.  In the pages, readers get a sense of the difficulties of traveling on little traveled parts of the country and areas where the threat of Indian attack was very real.  The author did a nice job of showing how there are good people in a variety of allegiances.

My favorite part of the novel was the sweet and slow romance that developed between Kate and Thomas.
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The Cumberland Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 5 is a book you must read! Loved every part of it! 
Favorite character: Thomas! So loved how his story developed!
I love the storyline which involved the Native Americans. 
Truly couldn't find any reason to put the books down! You'll love it, too!
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All thoughts and comments are my own!
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