Book Review: The Magnolia Duchess

27 Apr

UnknownFiona Lanier is the only woman in the tiny Gulf Coast settlement of Navy Cove. While her shipbuilding family races to fill the demand for American ships brought by the War of 1812, Fiona tries to rescue her brother who was forced into service by the British Navy.

Lieutenant Charlie Kincaid has been undercover for six months, obtaining information vital to the planned British invasion of New Orleans. When a summer storm south of Mobile Bay wrecks his ship and scatters the crew, Charlie suffers a head injury, ultimately collapsing in the arms of a beautiful mermaid who seems eerily familiar. As Charlie’s memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide. But when political loyalties begin to collide, they’ll each have to decide where their true heart lies.

313204_b8f0fbd6de603d031772f89385f2f7f1-jpg_srz_p_268_398_75_22_0-50_1-20_0-00_jpg_srzAbout Beth White (from her website) — I grew up in the South, specifically North Mississippi, which has a rich tradition of fostering writers, storytellers, and musicians. I’m fond of both music and literature, so I amuse myself by teaching chorus and piano in an inner-city public high school by day, while conducting a secret life as a romance writer by night.

Anyway, I find myself, after more than half the years I’ve been alive, still married to my last college boyfriend. He still makes me laugh, he still gives me the warm fuzzies, and he still checks my tires, so I guess I’ll keep him. We somewhat successfully raised two young adults, who are both married and have begun producing amazing grandchildren. My cup runneth over.


My Impressions:

Beth White continues the saga of the Lanier family in her latest offering in the Gulf Coast Chronicles, The Magnolia Duchess. I have enjoyed learning more about this fascinating time and place in our nation’s history. With a mix of cultures, races and nationalities, independent and determined men and women shaped the region from Mobile to New Orleans. With meticulous research, a mix of historical and fictional characters and just the right amount of romance and intrigue, White deftly brings it all together. As delicious as gumbo, White’s books are perfect for those looking for historical romance. Reviews of the first two books in the series — The Pelican Bride and The Creole Princess.

While her family has sought to tame Fiona Lanier, much of their efforts have been in vain. Young Fiona is as spirited as the horses she trains. Charlie Kincaid is a British naval officer with a past, he just can’t remember it. When their paths cross again after years of being apart, sparks fly. But family loyalty and patriotism get in the way of their romance. Both are determined to risk all for love and country.

White’s scene setting is excellent. The reader gets a great sense of the Gulf Coast of 1814, especially Mobile and its environs. The author’s portrayal of the commerce, society and the military presence is spot on. The characters, too, are well-drawn. And while Fiona and Charlie are the focus, supporting characters and their story lines are interesting as well. Three romances flourish in The Magnolia Duchess — fans of the genre rejoice! My favorite part of the book is the dialog — a natural mix of teasing and flirting, but with a dose of serious conversation. There’s never a dull moment with Fiona and Charlie, so if you like a bit of adventure, suspense, and danger, this book will fit the bill. A faith message is naturally woven throughout the novel with characters seeking God’s presence and guidance.

A delightful addition to the series, The Magnolia Duchess is a recommended read.


Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)




2 Responses to “Book Review: The Magnolia Duchess”

  1. Iola Goulton April 27, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    I haven’t read any of the books in this series, despite the lovely covers. It sounds like I really should check this one out. Thanks for the review.


    • rbclibrary April 28, 2016 at 5:34 am #

      Of the three I think this is my favorite. Despite having lived in the South all my life (and grew up in Floria) I knew nothing about the region’s role in American history. That has been a big draw for me as well. Our history books dwell on New England and Virginia. I’m hoping there is another in the series too.


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