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The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

The Cumberland Bride

by Shannon McNear

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2813601,774 (4.43)None
Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage. A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road In 1794, when Kate Gruener's father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas's job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But nave Kate's inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas's story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster? Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear. More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse - set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo - set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep - set 1760 during the French and Indian War?(June 2018)The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse - set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018) The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear - set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall - set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018) ?… (more)



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Reading tales of the perils that many of the early settlers faced is always unfathomable to me. The bravery and heroism that it must have taken to leave everything, travel under the most difficult of circumstances, all in hopes of a more prosperous life is commendable to say the least. Kate and the young Gruener family, along with several other families, leave the only life they've known in hopes of a brighter future. Kate's faith throughout the journey is inspiring and her craving to document everything she can makes her a woman after my own heart.

Thomas is hired to help lead, and protect, the expedition all while at a crossroads of his own. The attraction between Kate and Thomas is noticeable to everyone, no matter how much each of them try to deny it. Poor Kate is accident prone throughout the entire novel yet somehow Thomas is always there to help, making your heart swoon for both of these characters.

This dynamic, paired with their characters growing in such a short amount of time, the obstacles throughout the journey, and a beautiful backdrop of uncharted Tennessee territory, made for a sweet and enjoyable story. My only negative is that there are parts of the book that do tend to lag but other than that The Cumberland Bride is a superb historical fiction and another wonderful installment in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. ( )
  cflores0420 | Jun 26, 2019 |
The Daughters of The Mayflower saga continues with the western expansion of the young American nation in The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear. The latest book following various branches of a founding family traces the journey of Katarina (Kate) Gruener along the Wilderness Road, through the Cumberland Gap, and into the wilds of Kentucky. Fans of historical romance will love the adventure and danger that awaits Kate and her family.

While the romance between main characters Kate and scout Thomas Bledsoe is sweet and satisfying, I was most intrigued with the historical details that the author includes in The Cumberland Bride. I have such limited knowledge of this era in American history, that the entire journey of the settlers was fresh and intriguing to me. The author does a great job of capturing the treacherous trail, the privations of wilderness travel, and the real dangers that the settlers faced in their quest for a new life. She also presents the other side — the frustration of native peoples who faced encroachment of their lands. The clash of cultures and interests detailed was eye-opening. A faith thread runs throughout the novel. Faith in God’s provision and goodness is contrasted with loss and hardships His people face. I loved the message that God is always present even when we don’t feel His presence.

The Cumberland Bride is the 5th book in the series, but is easily read as a standalone. If you are a fan of the historical novels of Laura Frantz or Lori Benton, you definitely need to check this one out.


Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Oct 22, 2018 |
I love this time period in American history. I loved the romance and the little bit of intrigue. I enjoyed how this story portrayed the Indians. It shows that they were nice and mean. I did not want to put this book down. I loved how Kate and Thomas met and then learned to love each other. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Oct 17, 2018 |
As the Daughters of the Mayflower series unfolds, paralleling America’s history and English colonization, the stories become more compelling and thought-provoking. Several readers have commented on not caring for the first book in the series, but I would encourage them to try the books that follow because they were, in my opinion, more interesting. Also, any of these books can easily be stand-alones. “The Cumberland Bride” takes place in 1794 along the Wilderness Road that ran from northeastern Tennessee to the western Kentucky frontier. That fact in and of itself was enough to garner my interest, since literature focusing on this specific time period and region seems few and far between, at least in Christian fiction.

The story itself is captivating and full of complexities that embellish the plot. McNear does not shy away from supplying details that immerse the reader in the experience, which I appreciate; it is refreshing to read a Christian story that acknowledges the rough side of life and does not hide behind rose-colored glasses, yet remains clean content-wise. The threat of Indian attack and the horrors of such are discussed, but not graphically. Likewise, the deprivation and difficulty of traveling and living in the wilderness forms a large part of the narrative, a stark reminder as to what our ancestors survived. The conditions seem unbelievable now, and I find myself wondering if people 200 years from now will look back and think the same of our lifestyle.

Another aspect of this novel that really shines is the presentation of the characters. Katarina Gruener, the heroine, has obvious flaws and fragility, which makes her truly come to life on the page. I felt added kinship with her in her affinity for writing and recording stories. Her naivete enhances her relatability, and the awkwardness of the burgeoning romance throughout the novel is endearing and true to life. Indian-settler relations are explored from both sides, with Thomas Bledsoe playing a leading role due to his shadowy past, and I valued how the Native American perspective is respectfully offered. The character dynamics are excellent. For anyone who enjoys a historical jaunt full to the brim with adventure and faith, “The Cumberland Bride” is not to be missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. ( )
  Stardust_Fiddle | Oct 16, 2018 |
The Daughters of the Mayflower series keeps getting better with each story. The latest one, "The Cumberland Bride," by Shannon McNear, follows the Lytton family lineage focusing on Katarina Gruener. Katarina lives during the late 1790s in Tennessee with her family. Her father has decided the family will move to Kentucky using the Wilderness Road that crosses over the Cumberland Gap. Katarina's family and others in the group travel by foot with Thomas Bledsoe as their travel guide. Trials and tribulations that awaited the people who traveled into the American frontier are addressed. Shannon McNear creates strong characters using actual historical events to support the story line. Many of the characters had faith grows, but it is tested and strengthened as the story unfolds, particularly Thomas. I found the novel a fascinating read due to the historical backdrop. Historical romance fans will not want to miss reading this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. ( )
  gcclibrary | Oct 16, 2018 |
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