Book Review: Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot

I needed a riveting story to escape into and historical fiction author Amanda Cabot has just the book! Today I’m reviewing Out of the Embers, the first of a new series for author Cabot. It had a little bit of everything to offer, and I loved it!

Read on to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway brought to you by Lone Star Book Blog Tours. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced review copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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OUT OF THE EMBERS
MESQUITE SPRINGS, BOOK ONE
by
Amanda Cabot

Historical Fiction / Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 336

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Cover Image for Out of the Embers


Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.


At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.

PRAISE FOR OUT OF THE EMBERS:

Out of the Embers is part prairie romance, part romantic suspense. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a book more. Amanda Cabot has written an intriguing, chilling mystery and she winds it through the pages of a sweet romance in a way that made me keep turning the pages fast to see what was going to happen next. An absolutely excellent read. And now I’m hungry for oatmeal pecan pie!” 

— Mary Connealy, author of Aiming for Love, book #1 in the Brides of Hope Mountain series

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in the Texas Hill Country in the mid-1850s, Out of the Embers is a lovely historical fiction novel that offers a little bit of everything. A brave, independent heroine, well-drawn characters, gentle romance, and mystery and suspense all come together to make this a page-turner.

Confession: I was very distracted when I first picked it up and wasn’t sure if it would be the book for me. The next thing I knew, it was midnight! I should have known better, as Amanda Cabot writes both captivating characters and strong storylines. Evelyn Radcliffe is brave, loving, and independent with rather modern thoughts for a woman living in this period – her new friend Dorothy even more – and I’m here for it.

When I started the story, I thought it was a historical romance with a mystery, but it’s really equal mystery and romance. It’s also not just Evelyn’s story. Out of the Embers is also the story of Wyatt, a handsome horse rancher who is anxious to raise enough money for his sister and mother that he can leave Mesquite Springs and explore the country. Both Wyatt and Evelyn appear dead set against getting married, ever, so of course, it makes sense they would fall for each other.

The beginning chapters introduce the individual storylines that will intertwine. First, there is Evelyn and Polly’s quick escape from Logansville and the orphanage, looking for a place to stay. Next, we meet Wyatt, who is unfulfilled by horse ranching and has an itch to find something greater. Then we meet Rufus Bauman, clearly tortured by something in his past, but we don’t know who the “she” he and his wife are referring to. Equally curious is a mysterious and nasty cotton baron who is up to no good, but who is the “she” he had killed?

Intrigued yet?

The first two chapters initially felt a bit disjointed as so many characters and stories are introduced, but are seemingly unrelated. From there, the tale unfolds quickly. The tension in the story is palpable, adding to the page-turning quality. Cabot manages not to show her hand until the very end, keeping the tension high throughout.

She fisted her hands, then released them in an effort to calm herself. There was no one else on the street, but the Watcher could be in one of the buildings, peering out from behind the curtains. No matter how carefully she’d studied the streets of Gilmorton, she had never been able to identify the Watcher’s location. It would be no different here. All she could do was try to ignore the prickling feeling and the fear that though she had thought she’d be safe here, Mesquite Springs might not be the haven she’d expected.

Cabot does a lovely job of world-building, from the description of the new town to the fields of Texas bluebonnets. We get a solid feel for the way of life these Texas settlers lived – the town, its surroundings, the generosity of its people and the way they go about their day. Mesquite Springs is growing, leaving the door open for many future stories of the residents of this town.

The tension is lightened by the budding relationship between Wyatt and Evelyn, and by Wyatt’s own voyage of self-discovery. (Which, admittedly, leads to a little tension on its own.)

Ultimately, this is a story about trust. Evelyn and Polly arrive in town pretending they are sisters. Evelyn assumes a different last name. She doesn’t even KNOW Polly’s last name. Evelyn and Wyatt learn to trust each other, and earn Polly’s trust in them.

Revell is known for its Christian fiction, and elements of the genre are expressed via biblical references. Thankfully, these fit the characters and context. It does not feel preachy, but instead, complements the storyline.

In addition to the plantation owner we meet at the start, there are two additional characters who add their own layers of conflict. As this is part of a series, I hope they both get their own stories. The sneak peek at the end reveals that Dorothy is next in line to have her story told. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what is in store for her!

Readers who like their historical romances served up with more than a dash of suspense will not be disappointed with Out of the Embers. Five stars for this book.

Amanda Cabot, author

 


Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.





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OUT OF THE EMBERS GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS

One Grand Prize Winner
Copy of Out of the Embers + Special Hill Country Sweets Cookbook
+$25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 

Next Two Winners:
Copy of Out of the Embers + Special Hill Country Sweets Cookbook 
+ $10 Starbucks Card

March 10-March 20, 2020
(US ONLY)

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Comments

  1. Fantastic review! I really need to read this book — hoping for an audio version so I can sooner than later. Thanks for the post!

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