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Noble Cause: A Civil War Novel of Love and…
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Noble Cause: A Civil War Novel of Love and War

by Jessica James

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Talky but nuanced romance - longer review to follow ( )
  CeliaHayes | Dec 30, 2017 |
My first exposure to this title was actually through the first one, Shades of Gray. When I found out how that book ended, I was very upset to put it lightly and dropped it like a hot potato. Sorry to say, but I like my romances to have some happy resolution. So I was happy to learn that the author had written an alternate with a happier ending, Noble Cause. So I dove in.

I've got to give the author this, she definitely did her research into the horrors of the Civil War, the divisions it caused in families and in people’s psyches, and the small details of 1860’s life. I found myself transported onto the battlefields, into the parlors, and into the hospital tents; I experienced them vicariously along with the characters.

Her characters are also very vivid. I cried when some of them died, and I flew on the wings of romance when Alex and Andrea had their little interludes. There were a few background characters that slid into stereotypes (thinking Victoria here), but for the most part, everyone was strong and had very distinct personalities. I got to know the individuals portrayed in this novel. I got to feel connected enough that I became very concerned for all their fates.

The romance is just beautiful. I loved how bound together Alex and Andrea are, how much they balance each other out and appreciate the other. I don’t think many men in this era could appreciate the strength and courage that Andrea has other than Alex. He also provides the cherishing and utter devotion that I think Andrea desperately needs in her life after the tragedies of her past. Let’s just say more than once a huge grin was gracing my face as I read their interactions.

The one real downside to this novel is a lot of the dialogue throughout these pages. There are passages that feel extremely archaic and just downright awkward. Some of the exchanges between Alex and Andrea when their arguing or having confrontations also seem extremely awkward, for lack of a better term. They seem to repeat the same ideas again and again, just phrased differently, sometimes in the exact same conversation. The words and phrases seem overblown for what the novel really is. I’m not sure if the author was trying for a feel of maybe an older, more classic of a novel. But it didn't work out that way. I just found myself skipping some exchanges to get away from the uncomfortable word exchanges.

Overall, this novel is definitely an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed the characters, romance, and setting. I could tell that the author took some serious time in her research of the time period and in her development of the characters and their relationships. Now if only the word and phrasing choices had been a bit different, this book would have been a 5 stars, no problem. But it’s still a very respectable 4. Definitely recommended for Civil War enthusiasts and those who enjoy romances from the time period. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
A forbidden, but captivating romance blooms between a Confederate cavalry officer and a women who was deeply dedicated to the North as a Union spy. Multiple points of view are drawn as the author brings to life a unique aspect of the Civil War - a perspective of both sides, North and South.

Captain Alexander Hunter, a confederate officer, is a man the North feared. He kept the Federal army on constant alert and in a continuous state of panic. In battle Hunter had no equal, being the epitome of force and strength. Hunter found Andrea to be the most unpredictable, infuriating woman he'd ever known and her courage amazed him.

Andrea Evans's (aka-Andrew Sinclair) earlier years were filled with pampered elegance, but the aristocratic child of the South was gone, and along with it her loyalty. Now Andrea's whole heart and soul were entrenched in a war that had no end in sight. And now, disguised as Andrew Sinclair, a Union spy, she was sent into the heart of the confederacy, away from Union defenses. Andrea had a defiant spirit, and vengeance was part of her being, but she carried a lot of hurt inside. She was within the Confederate lines for the purpose of securing information, and she would be arrested as a Union spy.

Both Hunter and Andrea were stubborn, fearless, and fiercely independent as any two people could be. They were both fighting for what they believed in, and the story unfolds as they struggle to overcome a myriad of obstacles.

The author was able to bring history to life with meticulous detail. The complex characters, with their vivid personalities and riveting dialogue, made it a story you'll not soon forget. This book has it all - a complicated plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

My only negative comment - at times the scenes were too drawn out, making the book rather long, but the tempo really picks up in the second half of the book.

Noble Cause is powerful and piercingly real and I highly recommend. My rating is 4.5 stars. ( )
  wrbinpa | Feb 20, 2014 |
I felt very torn about this book. I had really been looking forward to reading it, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting and I can't say it lived up to expectations.

I read a lot of reviews about this book and Shades of Gray (SOG being the original version that was published - Noble Cause was published for the 150 year anniversary of the war as a shorter book with a HEA ending) and expected something that was a little heavier on the historical than the romance, but I often felt that the plot unfolded more as a romance, just without the sex scenes.

It felt that certain passages were missing - that the author jumped from one part to another and that important plot developments had been excluded or glossed past (whether or not this had to do with the shortening of SOG to NC, I'm not sure), but I found myself having to double back a few times to make sure I hadn't somehow skipped an entire chapter or something.

Certain aspects of the relationship between Andrea and Hunter also didn't feel right to me. I would agree with one other reviewer here that the arguing got a little tedious at times. I also didn't feel that it always followed a natural progression. I.e. when Andrea bought Zeus for Hunter despite the fact that she was supposed to be hurt and angry with him after his behavior after they slept together. I also thought a lot of their miscommunications during this part could have easily been overcome if Hunter, instead of continuing to say "listen to me" "let me explain" "please wait" - he had just explained - there were too many opportunities for resolutions that just didn't happen - it just didn't make sense. It also didn't feel in keeping with Andrea's character when she basically turned her back on the Union and fought for the South when she spent the entire first 300 pages aggressively and vociferously espousing the principles/beliefs of the North.

However, despite all of this, in the middle I got so absorbed in the book that hours flew by at one point without my being aware of it. And I do appreciate the ability to get so drawn into a book that everything falls away for a while, and therefore, I'm giving the book a 3, rather and a 2. ( )
  emmytuck | Sep 27, 2013 |
This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy. Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever

Received in ebook format from www.netgalley.com Read on my ipad using kindle software.

This is both a civil war story and a romance but as other reviewers have pointed out suffers from a few issues at the beginning: Their constant arguing takes up too much time at the beginning and by the time you find out more about why either of them keep to the sides they have chosen, it's too late for the reader to really care. Andrea also goes through this weird phase in the middle of providing some alliterative cursing that is, thankfully, never repeated beyond those few chapters. On the plus side, the latter stages of the book provide both a good example of the horrors of war, plus a reasonable romance. However, it really comes too late to recover the book as a whole.

In the edition I read, the book was also let down by the formatting - words were split across paragraphs and page breaks. 3, 4 and even 5 words were pushed together without a space to separate them. Each formatting error slowed down the reading, as the reader has to stop and translate the text into something readable. What should have flowed smoothly was a jagged spiky read
  nordie | Jul 21, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979600049, Hardcover)

Winner of numerous national awards and an Amazon bestselling author, Jessica James has received critical acclaim for this page-turning story of honor, self-sacrifice, and enduring love. Praised by both historians and romance readers since its original release in 2008, the award-winning historical fiction novel Shades of Gray now has a new ending in this special 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Commemorative Edition entitled Noble Cause. James uniquely blends elements of romantic and historical fiction in this deeply personal and poignant tale that, according to one reviewer, “transcends the pages to settle in the very marrow of the reader’s bones.” This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy. Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever. Destined for an honored place among the classics of the America Civil War, Noble Cause is a book to read, and keep, and remember forever. 2011 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction 2011 Next Generation Indie Award for Regional Fiction 2011 Finalist in Next Generation Indie Award contest in Romance and Historical Fiction catgories

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:51 -0400)

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