THE MERCHANT’S YIELD by Lorri Dudley
SERIES: The Leeward Islands #2
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Wild Heart Books
RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2020
It was a marriage of inconvenience, but life has a wicked sense of humor.
Charlotte Amelia Etheridge has cowered to her mother’s sharp tongue and endless demands for the last time. In a fleeting moment of rebellion, she recklessly asks a foreigner from the Leeward Islands for a dance. But her one courageous act lands her in a compromising position. Forced to wed a stranger, Lottie leaves the only home she’s ever known to reside on the isle of St. Kitts.
Nathaniel Winthrop’s troubles are mounting, and the rumors of him being cursed are spreading. Due to the dwindling sugar crop, he risks everything to start his own shipping company. The last thing he needs is a wife, especially one with a weak constitution. Yellow fever has already claimed the lives of his mother and siblings. He must guard his heart against falling in love with this gentle beauty, knowing island life will be a death sentence.
No longer under her mother’s scrutiny, the newfound freedom of the island rejuvenates Lottie’s spirit. If her days on this earth are limited, then it’s time she lives life to the full. Now it’s up to her to prove that even though Nathan was coerced into marrying her, she’s the one he can’t live without.
Other Books In This Series
“Pain is unavoidable, but misery is optional.”
Lorri Dudley has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors, giving such names as Julie Lessman, Pepper Basham, and Jody Hedlund some friendly competition when it comes to the leave-me-in-an-incoherent-puddle kissing scenes! Her debut novel The Duke’s Refuge is one of my top reads of 2020, and The Merchant’s Yield undoubtedly will be joining it.
Returning to the Leeward Islands, this time we arrive at St. Kitt’s (though we look over and wave at the island of Nevis & enjoy a brief mention of Georgia and Harrison from book 1). As with her first book, I was again struck by Dudley’s mastery at setting a scene so vividly that I can taste the tropical salt air and see the breeze rustle the sugar cane and hear the screeches and squawks of the island wildlife. Yet at the same time she is equally skilled at not over-describing with needless details.
I liked Lottie right away, though Nathan took a bit for me to warm up to him. Both hero & heroine struggle with a skewed view of themselves – of assumptions that are keeping them in bondage to fear. For Lottie, it is her fear of falling short of expectations, created in large part by her mother’s overbearing ways. For Nathan, it is his fear of the island’s superstitions – particularly the curse he believes he and all those he loves are under. As you might imagine, both sets of fears are obstacles from the beginning in the sudden marriage they find themselves forced into, the circumstances of which don’t help any. Yet, the story of their falling in love is also the story of their finding freedom from those fears – and both aspects are equally beautiful. And have I mentioned the toe-curling, breath-stealing, fan-needing kisses yet? Whew!
The message in The Merchant’s Yield is one of redemption, of grace, and of the power of prayer. Watching Lottie’s transformation – and the impact it has on those around her – is truly touching and inspiring.
“Jesus said we will have trouble, but to take heart because He has overcome the world. Living in fear isn’t living. I should know.”
Especially in these days we’re currently living in, her ability to overcome her fears with God’s help speaks right to each and every one of us who has ever struggled with the same.
Bottom Line: The Merchant’s Yield is an emotional, thrilling, and romantic tale that’s so much more than two people falling in love. Not only are there delicious kisses and swoony scenes, but through the author’s skilled pen you’ll also experience the sometimes harrowing voyage across the ocean, the lush and exotic sights, smells, and sounds of the tropical island, adventure, danger, miracles… it’s all here. Along with well-timed dashes of humor that will leave you chuckling and moments of grace that may bring a tear or two to your eye. This is definitely a journey you don’t want to miss!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / love it!
KissingBook Level: 4+ / read with a fan and a fainting couch … maybe nearby the freezer 😉
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.
The Merchant’s Yield is the second book in the Leeward Island series. The idea for my heroine, Lottie Etheridge, stemmed from a writing prompt—Pretend you are a relative from your past. My family has often speculated where the bright red hair that pops up every other generation (my dad, my cousin, and my niece) originated, since my grandfather was adopted. My opening hook at one time was Lottie’s mother stating, “Red hair is for opera singers and ballet dancers. You should have powdered your hair.”
In my research about the island of St. Kitts, I came across a French-American pirate named Jean Lafitte, educated at the military academy on St. Kitts. The concept of my hero, Nathaniel Winthrop, a merchant who could have schooled with a pirate, set my creative juices flowing, especially after reading about Lafitte’s outlandish and quirky behavior. I couldn’t resist interlacing the lives of my main characters with the daring pirate.
I enjoyed writing Lottie’s struggle between pacifying others, yet trying to stay true to how God made her. Also, I can relate to her attempts at rebellion backfiring, for I too could never get away with anything. Lottie’s soft heart contrasts nicely with the guarded hero, Nathan, as she peels back each painful layer of his thick façade to reveal the devoted and ardent love he holds beneath.
To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com or watch The Merchant’s Yield’s book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQLKqJfMf0o&feature=youtu.be
To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
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What about you? What interests you most about The Merchant’s Yield by Lorri Dudley?