Heather Graham is a new-to-me author that I’ve heard much about but have never gotten around to reading. Glory is the sequel to Surrender, which I have not read. If I had, perhaps I would’ve had a better understanding of the events that took place in Glory, but, unfortunately, I was lost through most of this book. I felt like I had turned on the TV in the middle of a movie – I had no clue as to what was going on.
This book revolves around Dr. Julian McKenzie, who is initially with the Florida militia, and then with the Confederate Army. He meets Rhiannon Tremaine when he brings one of his wounded men to her home for medical care. Rhiannon has been branded a witch because of her second sight and healing powers. She “saw” the death of her husband, Richard, on a battlefield, and has been in mourning ever since. In addition, she is a Southerner who sympathizes with the Union.
First of all, I was completely turned off that these characters ended up in bed the first night they met – never mind that it wasn’t even passion that got them there. Rhiannon is addicted to the opiates she grows in her garden, and has been using the drugs as a way of drowning her sorrows at the death of her husband. Being a doctor, Julian attempts to stop her from taking anymore drugs. She eventually passes out and he stays with her in her room to ensure she will be all right. Rhiannon begins dreaming about making love with her husband, and one thing leads to another, and they become intimate. Rhiannon doesn’t even remember it the next day! I found this whole scene to be in very poor taste.
In addition, the issue of Rhiannon going through withdrawal from the opiates is introduced briefly and then dropped completely, which I found to be totally unbelievable. I found it absurd a person could go through withdrawal one night and then seemingly “forget” about the drug addiction thereafter.
Julian decides he needs Rhiannon’s help (to save his cousin who has been injured in a battle), so he kidnaps her. Rhiannon and Julian are obviously enemies only brought together due to the circumstances of war and their common talent for healing. I found passion to be sorely lacking between them. I know there is a fine line between love and hate, but I really took their relationship to be mostly hate.
This story was hard to follow because of the massive introductions of several of Julian’s relatives. A lot of the time, I wasn’t sure who the main hero and heroine were since Julian and Rhiannon spent a lot of time apart (being on opposing sides of the war, of course) and the story seemed to jump the focus from Julian to a brother or a sister or cousin quite often.
I liked the characters, but they lacked passion. They eventually discovered their love, but it seemed forced after everything that had gone on between them. Add to that the fact they didn’t spend much time together, and I wondered how they could even know they were in love since they really didn’t know each other. There was also too much focus on the war, especially the Battle of Gettysburg. If I wanted a history lesson, I would go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love history and historical romance, but the author focused more on the war – military maneuvers and the like – than she did on the romance.
The book also left a lot of loose ends. With all of the characters roaming through Glory, this reader was left with a sense of “well, what happened to…?” Readers looking for closure will be disappointed by the number of sub-plots left unresolved.
Who should read this book? Die-hard Heather Graham fans, readers who love lots and lots of history, and those who read Graham’s earlier Surrender. Who should take a pass? Readers who prefer “historical wallpaper,” those who don’t enjoy lengthy hero/heroine separations, and those who need to understand why two people fall in love.
|Review Date:||February 8, 1999|