Just as Lauren believes that her trials are at their hardest, they become harder still. Will her faith survive the circumstances thrust upon her once she arrives in America? Will she and Malcolm ever be free to love each other completely and forever?
Since I have never read anything by this author before I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by For Love or Loyalty. The characters felt realistic for the most part. Lauren was almost too good to be true when she was kidnapped by the MacGregor and forced to set sail on a ship with Malcolm MacGregor. From the moment she realized what happened to her she was thinking of forgiving him for what he was doing. This was entirely unrealistic. It seemed as though she didn’t have to work very hard in order to achieve forgiveness for him. However, a part later on in the novel made Lauren’s faith look more real than it did at the beginning. This redeemed the beginning somewhat but not completely.
Malcolm and Lauren were the only two characters who were developed. I felt as though perhaps three other characters could have been better advanced, lending a deeper quality to the book. The story coming from just these two characters’ point of view made it, if not drag, at least slow down the pace of the story overall. At one part another character’s point of view was added, but only because it was necessary to reveal more of the plot.
The author did a creditable job of capturing my attention at the beginning. Fire, grief, and kidnapping were great attention grabbers. The action does smooth out somewhat after that, though there are many places in the book where Malcolm fights for some reason or another. I really liked Lauren and how she selflessly served others while in the process silently showing Malcolm her faith. Also, I could see Malcolm's own faith in God building mostly because of Lauren’s influence.
The romance between Lauren and Malcolm was pure and sweet. I felt as though perhaps they could have been married earlier in order to add more interest to the story. But I enjoyed how they got to know each other.
There were two discrepancies in For Love or Loyalty. Reading through the other reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I was surprised that nobody else caught them. However, since I received an ARC( Advanced Reading Copy)of this book, that may be the cause. The first discrepancy was the color of Lauren’s eyes. Usually, they were blue. The author referred to them as azure blue a lot. But about three or four times Lauren’s eyes were mentioned as green. This would not bother most people but it did me. The author is responsible for knowing her characters better than the reader ever will. If the author didn’t even remember the color of Lauren’s eyes then the author probably never made a character sketch of Lauren to begin with. A book should always give the reader a feeling of there being more than what is written in the book. For Love or Loyalty never gave it because the author never thought of more.
The other discrepancy is minor but also reveals a major flaw in the author’s way of writing. The captain of the ship that sailed Malcom and Lauren across the ocean kept changing names. He introduced himself as Captain Edward Shaw. However, half the time he was referred to as Captain Edwards. I believe the captain possessed great potential. I wanted to know him better. I wanted to see if he was a good captain or a bad one. A moral man or an immoral one. However, the author barely knew him herself so she could not introduce him more fully into the story.
Despite the flaws I caught, I did enjoy Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s writing style. I will read more of her work in the future to see if this book was abnormal or not. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars
*I received an e-book copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine alone