Drawn by the Frost Moon: Bitter Eyes No More by April W. Gardner
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Big Spring Press
Genre: Historical / Fiction / Romance
Series: Creek Country Saga, Book 4
If you haven’t read this novel yet, you should. No wait, scratch that. Just go read this entire series. It’s amazingly marvelous. Bitter Eyes No More is book one of the newest novel, Drawn by the Frost Moon. Just like Beneath the Blackberry Moon, this will be one book split into three parts. Unlike the previous book, this will be featuring stand-alone novels about several characters points of views through the Seminole Wars.
About the Book:
(taken from Goodreads)
A man of abiding honor, tested by a woman of ruinous passion. A woman of unspeakable sins, pursued by a God of unquenchable mercy.
Spanish Florida once sheltered Lillian McGirth from her fears. Now, it feeds them. Mercy is for the deserving; for Lillian, an unwed mother accused of treason, there is only battering and defeat, but her fall breaks softly in the arms of an unexpected arrival, a man too beautiful of soul to stain with her lost character.
Captain Marcus Buck sails in on a pledge to save Miss McGirth from herself and from her child’s father, a ruthless don. All the while, he’s to regard her as virtuous and worthy of protection and to guard said virtue from pilfering. But the terms are flawed since he must first guard her from himself. Regardless, he is determined. He will free her, repair her name—simple labor compared to dodging the army’s noose, mending wounds three years deep, and navigating a host of rebel Natives bent on inflicting more.
Through the steady crumble of his pledge, their friendship becomes a consolation, for she knows his pain as no other can or will. Their scars are one; their paths, however, might irrevocably become two…
This is slightly different from what we’re used to seeing from April Gardner. First, this can easily be a stand-alone novel but I recommend reading the saga from the very beginning so you can truly understand Lillian’s character. Also, this newest novel is going to be walking us through different character’s points of views instead of just Adela and Totka. I’m excited about this because we’ve been introduced to some fascinating characters that I have to know more about! More on that later. Let’s get back to Lillian.
Lillian was one of the hardest characters for me to like. We see plenty of appearances of Adela’s sister throughout the series Like Adela, she is a Fort Mim’s survivor. Unlike her sister Adela, she is angry and bitter, hence why Totka gave her the Muskogee name, Bitter Eyes. She is very needy and desperate for male attention and loves a good boo-hoo. When she first appears in the novel, we find that she has had a child with a man who is not her husband. This guy also plays mind games with Lillian which leaves her feeling confused, shameful, and guilty. Not only is she struggling with all of that, but she is accused of treason by the very country that she belongs to and loves.
However, I love how Mrs. Gardner used her story. Many women can relate to Lillian. Some of the situations she was thrown into were dangerous and scary. I don’t think all of us could be Adela’s no matter how much we enjoy reading about strong women. Lillian does have weaknesses and allows fear to get the better of her, but through Marcus and Jesus Christ, she learns to slowly overcome that throughout the book so there’s balance. Through her eyes, I finally have a better understanding and have come to appreciate her character.
Now that I’ve mentioned Marcus, let’s talk about him. He’s the perfect male lead for Lillian. He’s patient, kind, loving, honorable, and respectful. He’s the complete opposite of Diego, the man she thought she loved at one time. He understands the abuse that Lillian has seen and shows her what real love looks like. He’s also not afraid to tell her like it is. He is bold and honest and refuses to let her wallow and make excuses. We need more guys like Marcus in the world today.
I’m so glad that Mrs. Gardner has given her a story because she needed one. We needed to know that even someone like Lillian had hope. That’s the main takeaway from the story that I got at least.
We also get to see quite a few historical forts as well as a bit about the Seminole Wars. It’s fascinating stuff if you ask me. Mrs. Gardner’s thorough research shines throughout the novel and has encouraged me to want to know more about these famous forts and their history.
I’ve also probably said this multiple times, but these books should really be a movie or mini-series. They’re wonderfully done and well-written.
And once again, she leaves us wanting more. I will be sitting here anxiously awaiting the next book to be released. It can’t come quick enough!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.