Honeysuckle Review
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Seth Bridges is a preacher on a mission—except he’s not really a preacher. The FBI sends him to Lofgren, not to win souls but to find out who’s bootlegging liquor to a small, dusty town in Illinois. And the only way he can keep his cover is to pose as a man of the cloth. Only Pastor Newton knows who he truly is, and Seth hopes to keep it that way. Still, on his first day, he runs into two major snares. First, he’s called to the deathbed of a dying man who wants to get right with God before he leaves this world. Then he meets beautiful and willful Aurora Long.

Aurora has big plans for the rest of her life: marry a man with enough money to get her off the farm, get a job of her own, and become a modern woman. She’s even picked out her husband—Clyde Stergons, the local banker’s son. But when Clyde returns from college, he’s not interested in Aurora anymore, and there seems to be something going on with him that frightens her.

  
 
Seth develops feelings for Aurora, but she lets him know right from the beginning that she won’t marry a preacher. To Aurora, that’s worse than marrying a farmer. Seth can’t tell her who he really is—and, if he did, would it even matter? An FBI agent’s life isn’t safe, and he doesn’t feel right dragging a woman into it, no matter how much he might love her.

Set in the Depression era, Honeysuckle brings to life the people of a small Midwestern town, where life is harsh and farming doesn’t always pay. Prohibition is enforced, and the casualties of bootlegging have become a real problem.

Though Aurora asserts her will, she doesn’t do it in an unpleasant way, which made me admire her determination to get out and make a better life for herself. She knows what she wants, but she doesn’t realize that the way she plans to get there isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it—though that’s something she learns by the end of the book.

Meanwhile, Seth is an engaging male lead who gives Aurora the freedom to be what she wants to be, even allowing her to learn how to drive, which would have been a shocking thing during the time in which the story’s set.

I absolutely loved the wholesome tone of Honeysuckle, which is mixed with a splash of intrigue. The older I get, the more I feel as if I belong in an earlier time period. Of course, I would have been like Aurora—stepping outside the boundaries, but not so far that I’d compromise my morals.

Honeysuckle is a most delightful read from start to finish. It took me back to a cleaner, simpler time, when the lines between right and wrong weren’t so blurred. I wholeheartedly recommend this highly captivating story to anyone who’s looking for something with a softer edge, yet with enough intrigue to keep it interesting.

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