Cover Image: Verity


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Lisa T. Bergen’s books always draw me in. I love the story of the sisters in these books. I love the perspectives she presents and her writing style in general. Highly recommend.
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This review is going to be on the lengthy side, and I'm going to say a couple of things that I think many Americans won't like. So some people might wish to stop reading here.

This was a decent Romance story, with plenty of adventure and intrigue, but I'm afraid it also served as a reminder of why I avoid reading novels set during the Revolutionary War. (In truth, I only requested and later purchased this one because it's the second in a series, and I read the first one over a year ago.)

One of these reasons is the oversimplification and, dare I say, jingoistic version of 'history', which reduces it to a simple matter of the heroic Americans verses the evil British oppressors. As seems to be common with such novels, there's very little nuance, and even the moral dilemmas of the characters with divided loyalties just come over as contrived.
Contrary to what he blurb says, Verity is hardly 'conflicted'. (view spoiler)

The second thing, which REALLY grated on me was the character's geographical ignorance.
Basically, their inability to distinguish between England and Britain .
So here's a quick refresher. England and Britain are not the same country and the two terms should not be used interchangeably. Britain (short for Greater Britain), consists of 3 nations, England, Scotland, Wales and the outlying islands of those three nations.
England is one of the three countries of Britain. It is NOT Britain. Britain is all 3. England is one. England and Britain are not synonyms for the same country.

Now, reader's might think I'm being pedantic or something, but having ostensibly British characters who lack such basic knowledge of their own homeland as to be unable to distinguish between England and Britain is beyond absurd, as far as I'm concerned.
It is akin to having characters in a novel set in the mid 1800s who thinks Canada is one of the United States.
It got worse when Ian, in some nationalistic fit of pique says 'Britain is not his homeland'. Er, yes it is. Last time I looked Scotland was part of Britain. It has been politically since the Union of Crowns of 1603, and geographically since, er, before the last Ice Age.

There was also Ian's frankly quite silly belief (apparently shared by Verity) that every British soldier and sailor took their orders directly from the King himself. Seriously. No. Did the man not understand delegation or command hierarchies?
The King did not have the time to personally issue orders to every single one of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the 18th century armed forces. It just doesn't make sense to believe such a thing. It's like thinking that every single US Marine takes orders directly from the President.

Nope. They take orders from their Commanding officer, and he from the officer above him, and so on and so forth. Only the guys at the top have any contact with the actual monarch or President or whoever, and the same was the case for the 18th century British armed forces.

He also didn't understand the Jacobite rebelling, believing like many of his counterparts in Romantic fiction set during this time period that it was simply an English vs Scots conflict, when it was in fact more about Catholics vs Protestants.
I don't think a lot of people today realize that for people in the 18th century, the bonds of common religion sometimes trumped loyalty to one's country.
So people were willing to ally with those of another country who were of the same religion even against their own countrymen who were of a different one. Hence why many Protestant Lowland Scots were against the Jacobites and the Catholic Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Finally, the odd piece of moralizing from the characters about the evils of Empire struck me as hypocritical. They would talk about the Brits having no right to go around conquering territory or establishing territories abroad. OK, fine.
If we're playing at that game, how about the American Empire? How about the way the United States expanded its territory, annexing land that had previously belonged to the Native Americans or Mexico? And its funny, I don't recall any of the characters lambasting the French or the Spanish, in spite of the fact that both countries also had global Empires at this time.

So yeah. That's why I generally avoid American Revolutionary War novels like the proverbial plague 1) Oversimplification and mythologizing of history 2) A total misunderstanding of the history, geography, government systems and military structures of other countries. OK, so every country has its myths, and I can accept that, but in a lot of novels I think it's taken to extremes, especially when it gets to the point that the representatives of the 'enemy' country are reduced cartoonish caricatures to make the 'goodies' look better.
Or the complexities of politics and history are reduced to simply eternally righteous and moral Americans' vs everyone else. In my opinion, Historical Fiction, a genre that tends to shape people's perceptions of history should set the bar higher than than jingoistic nationalism . Or there should be some variation at least.

Verity also seemed quite modern at times. Not like an 18th century woman at all. Although her relationship with her sister was sweet and touching, and the reader could feel the pain of separation.
The blossoming friendship between the youngest Banning sister and a certain Methodist preacher makes for an interesting basis for the final book in the trilogy.

This book does have some good points, and a lot of the above is my personal taste and observations. People are free to take it or leave it, its just one of the reasons why I dislike this particular period, and some of these things are common to most novels set at this time.

Thanks to Bethany House and Netgalley for allowing me to read this title. I was not required to write a positive review, and later purchased the ebook of my own volition.
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I have to admit that I had a very slow start to reading this book and probably because I had not read the first book in the series, Keturah ( based on the firstborn Banning sister). Nonetheless, by the time I reached the 40 per cent mark, I was keen to find out what happened next.  Aside from the romance that heavily features in the book,  readers will get a glimpse into British-American-Carribean relations that led to the American revolution.  
 I am looking forward to not only reading about Selah in the last instalment of the Sugar Baron's Daughters Series but to also know how the Banning sisters and their loved ones survived the revolution.  This is the perfect book for those who want to give Netflix a chill pill and  still get some drama and action in their lives.
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Another amazing book in this series by Lisa T Bergren.  I loved book one along with this one.  The picture of life on the sea, on an island, and on the mainland of the states was well painted.  The war depicted quite the historical suspense and intrigue that makes a great plot.  I just had to keep reading!  The romance was lovely.  Bravo to this one!  I can’t wait to read it again.  I highly recommend this one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review.

***Also posted on CBD and B&N
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Those who founded the New World had to be strong courageous people. Verity is about a strong woman with sisters just as strong. This is the second in a series by Lisa T. Bergren, The Sugar Baron's Daughters. 

Verity has been awaiting the return of the man she loves, a sea captain, expecting to become engaged on his return. After, not hearing from him, and needing to restock the store she runs on her island home in the West Indies, she sails for New York to see relatives, restock her supplies, and find news of Captain Duncan Mckintrick. However, she finds Captain Mckintrick in jail--but it's not Duncan but Ian his brother and Ian has tragic news for Verity.

Ian has pledged to find those responsible for his brother's demise. In the meantime, he finds himself drawn into the Rebel's cause in the colonies and against his home country of England.

Having met Verity, he finds they are mutually grieving his brother and his brother has left horses intended for Verity so he takes his ship to help Verity ferry her goods home. He begins to have feelings for Verity and she for him and return but they both feel guilt because of Duncan. At home, Verity and her sisters have their own troubles with an abusive man who disagrees with their stance for freed men versus slavery. This same man has come into power and has no qualms misusing it.

Ian sails back for the colonies and finds trouble waiting for him while Verity runs into her own share of trouble. When will Ian return? Will it be too late? Will their love be torn apart by the looming Revolution for freedom? A very satisfying read. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read this book through Netgalley. The views and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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Nice sequel in the series. Full of action, history, and adventure with a little bit of romance on the side.
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The second book in "The Sugar Baron's Daughters" series, this book focuses mainly on the second daughter, Verity Banning. There is something about the Banning sisters that are different from most women in their station of life and time period. Independent with a strong sense of justice, these women are determined to follow through on what they believe is their mission in life. 

Verity loves horses and wants to have her own store. She also loves a sea captain that's disappeared. And she's on a mission to start her store and find the man, but will she succeed. A lady store owner isn't looked on kindly by most people on the island of Nevis, so will she succeed?

I am not going to say much more about the storyline, except to say that there isn't as much romance as there is intrigue, or at least that's my opinion. The story is loosely historical fiction set at the start of the Revolutionary War and loyalties are tested. To be found wanting is to receive the hangman's noose, so secrecy is at a premium. 

I found the story captivating and quite interesting and I look forward to the third book in the series. I am assuming it will be called Selah, but I don't know when it will be out, but I do want to find out how all the loose ends from book two get tied together in book three. 

I love the sister bond that the three Banning sisters shared, the family ties in the midst of uncertainty portray a closeness that is enviable among most families. 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review.
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I've seen Lisa T Bergren's books for years. There's been no real reason that I haven't picked one of her books up until now besides not having a specific opportunity to do so. Well, that all changed when I saw Verity for review. I wish that I had realized Verity was the 2nd in a series. Somehow I missed that. I truly don't think Goodreads had the series listed when I decided to request it for review. I definitely felt like I was missing out for not having read Keturah, but nothing was missing that was crucial enough not to be able to read Verity as a standalone.

The Banning sisters aren't above going beyond what society expects of a woman--or just society's expectations in general. Yet I did wonder what Verity was thinking at times. Specifically her decision to follow Ian without a guardian. I mean things worked out okay, but she had no guarantee that they would without completely ruining her reputation. Strong as she may be, that seemed a little out of character for her--or maybe just out of character for me.

Similarly, some of the decisions that Ian and Verity made concerning the Sons of Freedom were hard for me to support. I mean they did hard things that did a lot of good, but they didn't seem to make the smartest choices at the same time. I guess those things were necessary for conflict and tension within the story, but I was kind of bumping my fist against my forehead in frustration at these two sometimes. I mean they kept creating enemies at just about every port they stopped at. I guess I felt they could have been a bit better at being two-faced if that makes sense without giving too much away.

I particularly enjoyed the beginning of Ian and Verity's relationship. The common ground that binds them instantly. The growth and the journey the two must go through to choose each other. But of course, love stories are my favorite. These two were a little cheesy at times once they left Nevis, but I don't mind a little cheese.

The subterfuge had me anxious while reading. I found myself holding my breath until I could find out their outcomes of each moment.

My first experience with Lisa T Bergren was enjoyable. I loved how Verity brought history to life. The love story was really good. And the missions had me anxious to see how it would all turn out. Verity gets 4 Stars. Have you read Verity? What did you think? Let me know!
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I love books with strong female leads and this series has had some fantastically independent women!  Verity has a soft side for animals and her compassion makes you fall into her as a reader almost instantly.  There is tragedy at the beginning of the book that is quite unexpected and brings depth to the story.  The descriptions are beautifully woven among a setting filled with history at the start of the Revolutionary War.  The plot is a little slower moving, but this allows the reader to really get to know the characters and their hearts.  I enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series!  (Plus, the covers are absolutely gorgeous!)

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
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Will not be giving feedback bc I had trouble downloading this book. Plus it had been archived prior to download
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I enjoyed book one in this series but book two was even better. The hostile environment continues to get worse. The setting is during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. I am fascinated with this time period and Ms. Bergren does a marvelous job of giving us insight into the events.

Looking forward to book three!
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I really enjoyed this book! Lisa Bergren's 2nd Book in the Sugar Baron's Daughter's Series was full of excitement and intrigue. There were a few times I had to hold my breath... wasn't sure how things were going to turn out.

 I can't wait to read Selah's story and more about Keturah and Verity and their spouses.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher Bethany House and was under no obligation to post a favorable review.
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by Lisa T. Bergen

Bethany House

Bethany House Publishers


Pub Date 02 Apr 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Verity through Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley:

Verity Banning wants something to call her own, she’s left England behind and began a life in the West Indies with her sisters.  Her love for animals leads her to setting up a business importing horses as well as other goods the island residents may need.  When she arrives at the Colonies to purchase the goods she needs news of Duncan Mckintrick awaits her as does the Captain’s handsome brother Ian whose sympathy lies with the Patriots.

The Great Granddaughter Of a British General and a friend to many Loyalists Verity believed all she wanted was a peaceful resolution. Both the Patriots and the impassioned Ian McKintrick are steadily claiming her heart. When faced with the decision of what--and for whom--she will fight, can she set her feet on a new path despite the danger that awaits?

If you are looking for a good book that will transport you back in time to the Revolutionary War I give this book five out of five stars! 

Happy Reading!
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Verifying the second installment from the The Sugar Baron's Daughters series. I thought it was great! I cannot wait to read book three, Selah.
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This was an enjoyable adventure about a brave young woman who left her home to independently create a living for herself. Despite the place of women during this time period, Verity bravely left home and with diligence and hard work, carved a place for herself in the world. Along the way, she met Duncan’s brother, Ian, who helped her in her endeavour. Their relationship was sweet and slow; although, at times I found there was too much thinking about the other. 
The author did a lovely job of creating the setting -it was a colourful and exciting world. However, the plot had some valleys. There didn’t seem to be that forward drive that gives a novel its energy. Verity’s journey and shop opening were too easy for me - there was no conflict that generated intensity.    

Lastly, this was a clean read which made it all the more enjoyable.
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"Everything was about to change."

I love the girls in this series! Talk about strong women. 1775 West Indies and America.  Verity decides to go out on her own and start her own business. She's family oriented, so of course it ties into the family business.  At one point Verity says for herself and her sisters, "No one, either Tory or Loyalist, male or female, shall see my vulnerabilities, she decided. I will be strong."  I can identify.

This takes place at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, and they are still fighting slavery on the Island. This is one of those books where you become deeply entranced and involved.  And hold your breath a lot. Many dangerous and heartfelt situations. Good Christian message. I find this a particularly interesting time in history of the United States, probably because I had relatives who were in the thick of it. So well written, I believe in these characters, their abilities and where their hearts are. Excellent tale - can't wait for the continuation!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. 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.”
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This is the second book in this series. I forgot how much I liked these sassy sisters.

In this book we get to know Verity more. She is a strong young woman, how doesn’t always follow the rules of how a young lady should behave in that time period.

Ian is a wonderful hero bent on revenge for his brother. The two are drawn together, yet forces and past wounds keep them apart.

This isn’t a fast moving book. although it is never boring, it’s just a longer book that takes a bit more time to get through. And I wanted to savor every image the author put on the page.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
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Book Summary (Goodreads): After leaving England behind for a new life in the West Indies with her sisters, Verity Banning wants something to call her own. Her affinity for animals inspires her to set up a business importing horses, as well as other goods in demand by the island residents. But when she arrives in the Colonies to purchase her goods, unexpected news of Captain Duncan McKintrick awaits her—as does the captain's handsome brother, Ian—whose sympathies lie with the fledgling Patriot cause.

As the great-granddaughter of a British general and friend to many Loyalists, Verity believed all she wanted was a peaceful resolution. But both the Patriots and the impassioned Ian McKintrick are steadily laying claim to her heart. When faced with the decision of what—and for whom—she will fight, can she set her feet on a new path despite the danger that awaits?

My thoughts...I would highly recommend reading the first book in this series, "Keturah," before reading "Verity." It explains the events leading up to the Banning sisters traveling to the West Indies as well as all the things that have happened before Verity's story. 
     I have really liked this series because of its unique setting and interesting plot lines. There are a lot of twists, but it keeps the plot intriguing and at a great pace. I have never read books that were set in the West Indies until this series, so I have enjoyed the mental imagery that Lisa Bergren has created through descriptive language. Not only is this book set in the Indies, but also the shores of a young America. This made an interesting contrast. Both settings played a part and were affected by America's fight for independence, which was also a learning point for me. 
     There was a lot going on in the plot of this novel. Verity is one who is dedicated to her sisters, but also wants to make her own way in life. As she branches out pursue her dreams of owning her own business, she also searches for Duncan McKintrick, her lost love. In the process she meets his brother, Ian, and they become business partners. Their partnership takes them from one shore to another and into situations that helped them grow in courage and faith. There were also moments of suspense when Verity faced a villainous man bent on revenge in the Indies, as well as British soldiers who suspected Ian and Verity of treason. 
     I would definitely recommend "Verity." Exciting plot, interesting characters, suspense, and romantic tension come together to make a very interesting read!

**I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley to give an honest review, which I did.**
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Wow! wow wow wow

Lisa T. Bergren is truly an amazing storyteller! She writes the most amazing characters and the most vivid settings.

What an intriguing part of history that, though well know, has more layers than one might first know of.
I`ve loved traveling from England to the Caribbean in the first book. And now, to get a glimpse of revolutionary America and the islands, not to mention the ship scenes!

Verity Banning is surely one of the most interesting characters ever written! And, sure, because she`s a horse whisperer and falconer. But also because she is organically fierce, loyal, and a hard worker, though it might be struck as unusual for the time period. And these characters that capture Ian McKintrick completely by surprise, undeniably growing an attraction to the woman who once belonged to his brother.

I loved Verity and Ian's interaction. They truly for a kinship from common grief from the beginning, but a surprise to both of them is the depth of romance that, though tentative, can't be denied. However, Ian has been harboring revolutionary ideas of late, and for Verity to link herself to him might mean putting on wavering ground the once steadfast relationship with her sisters.

How can Verity continue, though, to just sit and watch the king who, yes, she once called hers but now gives orders that can't be denied, even if it takes all the comfort or little food one might have, even if it leads to death? Nevertheless, can vengeance be the way for closure? Or can a balm for a hurt soul be found somewhere else?
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After leaving England behind for a new life in the West Indies with her sisters, Verity Banning wants something to call her own. Her affinity for animals inspires her to set up a business importing horses, as well as other goods in demand by the island residents. But when she arrives in the Colonies to purchase her goods, unexpected news of Captain Duncan McKintrick awaits her--as does the captain's handsome brother, Ian--whose sympathies lie with the fledgling Patriot cause.

As the great-granddaughter of a British general and friend to many Loyalists, Verity believed all she wanted was a peaceful resolution. But both the Patriots and the impassioned Ian McKintrick are steadily laying claim to her heart. When faced with the decision of what--and for whom--she will fight, can she set her feet on a new path despite the danger that awaits?

This is the second book in The Sugar Baron's Daughters.  It is not necessary to read the first book in order to know what is going on.  Although, it would probably be helpful in understanding the sisters' history on how they came to the island.

Verity sets sail to the colonies to purchase supplies for her new mercantile store.  She is also wanting to find out what has happened to Captain Duncan McKintrick. The news is quite a shock to her.  Captain Ian McKintrick, Duncan's brother,  helps her secure her supplies as well as agrees  to transport for her.  Ian is focused on revenge against the pirate who killed Duncan and the English who took over Duncan's ship.  As the book unfolds, Verity has some decisions to make.  Does she stay loyal to the English or does she support the Rebels.  Either way she is in for a hard time.  There is also trouble back on the island.  Supplies are getting low now that the English have set up blockades into the colonies ports so that no ships can enter or leave. 

I recommend this book for those who like adventure.  We were given a glimpse into what the next book will be about.  Looking forward to reading it.

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.
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