Naomi Sherer reviews...

Misleading book cover
a novel patterned after the life of Lucy Stone,
early advocate of women's rights


Unlike what the sexy cover implies, this story does not indulge in page after page descriptions of copulation. Nor does it use expletives that distract from the action, emotion and history of runaway slaves before the Civil War.

I don't usually recommend romances but this one shows a real lesson in history. Many times romance plots remain a series of conflicts between the main characters that is sweetly resolved on the last page with love ever after.

Collins' story does not follow that pattern. The part of the suspense is in the emotion of lovers all right, but the action centers around events that shaped history. This woman lecturer speaks from the heart and changes events. This story uses antidotes from the life of Lucy Stone well put into fictitious characters whose backgrounds parallel historic reality.

The heroine here is Caroline Harlowe and she faces the criticism of people of her day when she insists that women should have a right to vote in public hearings.

And speak in public? Heaven forbid! She fears marriage because of the laws that subjugate wives. As a paid lecturer, Caroline faces crowds that jeer and throw garbage. She insists that men are not to blame for the laws that make women property, but she also insists that men must become political and change the laws. Although she began as an abolitionist, she quickly saw that the plight of the slaves was also the plight of women.

After heart rending years of soul searching, Caroline marries, as does Lucy, but does not give up her maiden name. Women who followed the practice in the later years were called "Lucy Stoners".

During Stone's era, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought the same battle and fought against the Fifteenth amendment which gave newly freed male slaves the right to vote.

History is easier for me to comprehend when formed around characters with meaningful dialogue. Better than reading history in an encyclopedia. The determination of our forebearer's to defend rights of women is detailed in the main characters.

In that context I think you should read it.


Laurel Collins
Zebra Historical Romances

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Naomi Sherer


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