Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Bitter Eyes No More by April Gardner

October 25, 2017 April W Gardner, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance 33

about the book

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…

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SERIES: Creek Country Saga #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Big Spring Press
RELEASE DATE: February 7, 2017
PAGES: 453

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“In Him will I trust…”

Can we pause a moment to just appreciate that gorgeous cover?? So exquisite … just like the story it heralds.

I have heard many wonderful things about April Gardner’s Creek Country Saga series but until today I am ashamed to admit that the books remained orbiting somewhere in my TBR galaxy. Well… no more. My first formal introduction to this breathtaking series may have been the 4th book but it easily stood on its own.

Lillian is the kind of heroine that you love in spite of her flaws. Fierce and vulnerable all at once, she has an inner strength that has endured the unthinkable and still retained the ability for deep love and passion. Marcus is a dashing hero with his own unthinkable scars, and while Lillian tests his sense of honor he remains a gentleman with his heart tuned to the Savior.

The history woven through Bitter Eyes No More is intriguing in its own right and, for that matter, unique to Christian fiction. It whet my appetite to learn more about the period of the Spanish Floridas and the interaction with the freshly-minted United States.

But more than the characters and more than the history – even more than the vivid setting – is the soul-stirring message of hope for the tainted and the captive, redemption for the tarnished and the sin-weary, and enduring love for those who have settled for a weak substitute. This, my dear friends, is the book’s crowning glory and the reason it will become a lasting favorite of mine.

Bottom Line: History, faith, adventure, and romance all intertwine at Gardner’s skilled hand to give us a story we can’t put down. Bitter Eyes No More will hit you in all the feels, yes, but more importantly it will settle in your heart with a tender song of redemption, healing and hope. While this can be read as a standalone, there are treasures to be mined more deeply if you’ve read the other books in the series.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic !

KissingBook Level: 4 / keep those fans handy!

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about the author

APRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

April loves to hear from her readers at: and at

I’ve never needed one of those spiritual gifts tests to know I score a big, fat zero in the mercy department. When God impressed on me the themes of Bitter Eyes No More—mercy and justice—I figured I was the least qualified person to broach the topic.

However, in His perfect way, He knew exactly where I needed to be stretched, and over the seven months He used me to craft the story, He poked and prodded at my flaws, making them large in my mind and reminding me that no one is deserving of any quantity of mercy, grace, or forgiveness, and that He alone is righteous enough to wield the gavel of justice.

Captain Marcus Buck, the hero in Bitter Eyes No More, learns the same lesson. Because of a horrifying stint of slavery on a British frigate, he drives through life seeking justice—all in accordance with the law, of course, but swift, fierce justice nonetheless. Lillian, the same story’s female lead, knows beyond a doubt she deserves the most righteous justice there is—an eternity apart from God. Mercy is only for the deserving, she says, but there can surely be none for her, an unwed mother with the label “traitor” hovering over her head.

Marcus, a surgeon and splendid swordsman, has engraved his sword with a passage from the prophet Zechariah. “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’” (Zech. 7:9) It’s a beautiful piece of advice, but Marcus is blind to the second half.

What neither of these characters realizes at first is that God doles out mercy and justice as a packaged unit and in bountiful, equal measure. In our finite human minds, we tend to separate these two qualities, but God cannot give one without the other. More than that, He cannot be one without the other. He is all mercy and all justice in one perfect being.

Aren’t you glad? I sure am!

In honor of her tour, April is giving away a grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and four of her books in paperback, signed by her! Click to enter!

Click here to view this promotion.
This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!


33 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Bitter Eyes No More by April Gardner”

  1. Kay Garrett

    You can’t top a book by APRIL W GARDNER and a five star rating from Carrie.

    I am so anxious to read Bitter Eyes No More!

  2. Bhriv

    What an Awesome review! Soooo thrilled that you enjoyed this book! I’ve loved reading each in the series and can’t wait for her to finish the next book!

  3. April Gardner

    Carrie! What a beautiful and uplifting review! I’m SO glad you like Bitter Eyes. Thank you so much for trying one of my books and for this gorgeous review!

  4. Haley Resseguie

    Carrie, you have to read Beneath the Blackberry Moon! The others are wonderful as well but that one is my absolute favorite! It really makes Bitter Eyes No More even richer when you have seen Lillian’ s journey up to this point.

    • April Gardner

      Haley, you make my day! Always a thrill to see reader love being passed on to others. Thanks for being a faithful reader!

  5. Caryl Kane

    Fabulous review, Carrie! I’m adding this series to my Goodreads shelf.

  6. Anne L. Rightler

    I really enjoyed the book and am hoping to have time to read the rest of the series too. Thanks for the great review.

  7. emilee

    I love April’s books! I would love to win the paperback set! Nice review Carrie!

  8. Audrey Stewart

    I always enjoy what April writes. I even love the title of this book. I can’t wait to read it.

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