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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Noble Cause by Jessica James

This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy. 

Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Andrea: born, raised, and educated in the South but whose loyalties lay with the Union
Hunter: a Southern gentleman who is fighting against government incursion and for states rights for Virginia

Although they seem like polar opposites, they are quite similar than they realize; both take extreme and probably stupid chances with their lives during war.  So when events and circumstances cause Hunter to take Andrea away to his Virginia home to recuperate from injuries, the situation is tenuous and dangerous.  Hunter and Andrea are both highly principled, smart, witty, and stubborn as mules.  Both come with personal histories that define who they are and their beliefs, thus their side of choice in the war.  However, over time Hunter and Andrea come to see the war from the other's point of view, and respect and admire each other even more.

The majority of the book takes place at Hunter's ranch with Andrea and Hunter verbally sparring with one another at almost every occasion.  It is these discussion that not only demonstrate the change and growth in each person, but the various reasons and thought patterns of those involved in the Civil War.  Although the abolition of slavery was the impetus for the war, it wasn't the sole reason for the war.  States rights versus the Federal government was another, which was Hunter's main concern.  Abolition was Andrea's.  As the war dragged on, the reasons for the war changed as the people in the war changed.  The more trauma and savagery people experience the more ruthless they become.  War is not a game.  It changes people for better or for worse.  Hunter and Andrea were lucky because not only did they survive, but because the changes in each were positive, and they found each other during one of the most ugly times in the United States.

Jessica James did a wonderful job conveying the war.  There are a few battle scenes within the story, and the horribleness and brutality of the war is palpable.  There was one scene towards the end of the book that had me reading so fast, I was skipping over words to find out what happened. As for her characters, Hunter and Andrea, I thought they were drawn quite well, for the most part.  Both were easy to understand and very, very likable.  Opposites attract they say, but these two were so well matched, that I couldn't wait until they finally got together.

I do have two quibbles with this story.  One: Andrea's reasons for being against slavery, mainly her history, are told here and there in the story.  However, I felt as though I was still missing something from her back story;  like there had to be more to it than that.   My other quibble was that towards the end of the story, the verbal sparring got to be a bit much for me.  I realize that last big chunk had to be there for the plot, but I felt the discussion went on too long.  Otherwise, the story finished up wonderfully.  

I have not read many Civil War stories due to a bad experience many years ago, and I must admit that this book has me changing my mind.  I enjoyed this book immensely and would certainly read something else from Miss James again.

For more information about the author, Jessica James, please visit her website:

My Rating: 92/100

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for s guest post by Jessica James about the true life Civil War figure who was the inspiration for Colonel Alexander Hunter in Noble Cause.

Publisher: Patriot Press, April 2011
Genre: HF, Civil War
Hardback 384 pages
Book Source: the author
2011 Challenges Met: HF