On the brink of the Revolutionary War, a plantation known as Washington’s Woods which borders the Ohio River, becomes a center of controversy. Forbidden romance crosses racial lines and a family secret is left hidden in the symbols of a star sampler. Generations later, the truth emerges as best friends, Nicole and Kate realize they are actually related through a newly discovered biracial bloodline. This painful revelation tears at the heart of their friendship, but in the end a renewed understanding of family comes to light. Thus begins the journey to find true freedom and hope for a promising tomorrow at the place where two rivers meet.
Londa Hayden is a native Texan now living in beautiful Tennessee with her husband and three sons. She studied music at East Texas Baptist University. Where Two Rivers Meet is the first historical romance in the Washington’s Woods series. The idea for this novel was conceived while Hayden lived in West Virginia and began researching her personal genealogy. She discovered ancestral involvement with George Washington and his tobacco plantation during the Revolutionary War Era near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Thus, the title Where Two Rivers Meet came about while overlooking the confluence of the Kanawha River and the Ohio River. Two more books are expected to follow.
Her experience in the medical field gave her the opportunity to volunteer during the Katrina crisis, which inspired Candy Moon, the first in a children’s book series. Candy Moon Choo Choo is the sequel and offers a touching tribute to veterans. Londa is the founding president for Bartlett Christian Writers and a staff writer for Southern Writers Magazine. Her memoir, Date Pray Wait offers Christian dating advice. Londa is happily married to Steve, her first and only husband, for almost three decades now. She enjoys spending time with her family. Other interests include volunteering for non-prophet organizations to help the homeless and teach Christian values to youth, theater, movies, music, crafts, the arts, exploring the outdoors and other cultures.
Londa Hayden has written an intriguing novel with roots in the past and a hope for the future. In Where Two Rivers Meet, racial tensions, forbidden romance, and suspense-filled action combine in a dual story set in the present day and in the early years of our nation’s history.
Two parallel stories are explored in Where Two Rivers Meet. Two young women are connected by family and common experiences across the decades. Constance is a young white woman, daughter of a landowner in the colony of Virginia. Her family is sympathetic to the plight of slaves and helps many achieve their freedom. Nicole is a modern day high school student in love with the wrong boy — she is biracial and his father is a powerful man with ties to the KKK. Both experience the depths of man’s prejudices that can be overcome through love, faith and forgiveness.
While Constance’s story has a definite adult feel to it — some heat-filled, though not explicit scenes, Nicole’s story seems written for a YA audience. This disparity threw me off a bit, and makes it hard to label it for a particular audience. Both stories are told in the first person, allowing the reader to get into the minds and hearts of the two main characters. Emphasis is placed on the historic with the inclusion of historical figures, places and artifacts (journals, samplers, etc.), but the latter part of the book is action-packed suspense. A Christian novel, much of the faith message is shared at the end of the book after the characters have experienced loss, grief, and danger. Although there were times when I felt like the story dragged, Where Two Rivers Meet, was an interesting read with enjoyable characters.
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(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)