First Line Friday: Mountain Laurel

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am happy to be featuring Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton. This poignant story set in North Carolina is sure to wisk you away to a bygone era. With vibrant characters that are sure to charm and hold a place in your heart, you won’t want to miss out on this new release!

Mountain Laurel
September 1793

At the creek that marked the boundary of his uncle’s plantation, Ian Cameron paused his horse. The creek’s water ran clear, chattering over a pebbled bed, no more than ankle-deep, yet for all his balking to cross it, it might have been the Red Sea.

Okay, you caught me. I just couldn’t help myself, I had to give you more than the first line. I do hope that you get the opportunity to read this wonderful book soon. It really is a true delight!

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

About the book:

North Carolina, 1793
Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again–into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona–beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.

My Thoughts:

I have been a fan of Lori Benton’s books since her first book, Burning Sky in 2013. I don’t even read the synopsis on the back of the books anymore because I know that if Lori Benton wrote it, I’m going to love it!

Reading this story was like taking a trip back in time. I felt like I was in North Carolina in 1793. These characters wrapped themselves around my heart, flaws and all. This story has unapparelled depth, both in the characters themselves and in the very fabric of the story. I took my time reading this story, and I loved every moment. My heart may never be the same after finishing this story, and I am really excited to see what will happen in the next book!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists and/or authors, including netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:


  Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.

Burning Sky, Lori’s debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

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