The Tory Widow
Berkley, Apr 2009, $14.00
In 1766 in New York Jack Hampton, excited to hear of the appeal of the Stamp Act, kisses Anne Peabody. Although she enjoyed the kiss, nothing can come of it. She has no say as her father Amos saves his failing Peabody Printshop and keeps his son from becoming someone else’s apprentice by selling her. He negotiates a deal with NYC based super printer to the carriage crowd Peter Merrick forcing his daughter to marry his friend, a man his age.
Living in New York, when he dies, Widow Merrick finds herself in dire straits. She takes over her late spouse’s printing business, which spouts support to Tory causes in an attempt to make a living. However, in 1775, the Sons of Liberty destroy her press. Anne reopens as the Liberty Coffeehouse with one of the rebels who devastated her previous store Jack Hampton as her best customer. Having never been in love, Anne is stunned by her attraction to Jack; he believes he is falling for her based on the amount of coffee he consumes.
This is a refreshing look at the early days of the American Revolution from the eyes of a young widow eking out a living. Anna owns the insightful story line with her courage to survive regardless of who controlled the city. Jack is a super patriot, but allows his zeal at times to hurt innocent people like Anna though he insists collateral damage is part of any freedom fight. Christine Blevins provides an engaging American Revolution romance that sub-genre fans who especially value historical tidbits and strong characterizations will relish.