When I read Keturah, the first book in The Sugar Baron’s Daughters series, I was impressed by Lisa T. Bergren’s ability to blend the historical details with the relevant and relatable struggles of a modern audience. With Verity, Bergren does much the same, emphasizing a message that focuses on following one’s heart, no matter what others may say.
**Due to this being the second book in a series, there may be slight, unintended spoilers for Keturah included below. Read at your own discretion.**
Since arriving in the West Indies, Verity Banning has set her heart and mind on opening her own business to import horses and other goods for the residents of Nevis. She sets out toward the Colonies to find a supplier and about Captain Duncan McKintrick’s passing. As she grapples with this news, she becomes acquainted with Duncan’s brother, Ian, who has sided with the Patriot cause. Falling hard for Ian leaves Verity torn between the peaceful resolution of the Loyalists and the impassioned freedom of the Patriots. As tensions between the crown and the Sons of Liberty increases, Verity must choose between following her dreams and following her heart.
I’m a huge fan of historical stories. I love reading stories woven with details of the past, so I love that Verity takes place during the beginning of the American Revolution and that Verity and Ian take action alongside the Sons of Liberty. While most historical romance isn’t action-packed, this book does include a few thrills—from blazing fires and bar fights to spy codes and ship chases—which I think gave the story an extra edge that drew me into the narrative.
As with Keturah, I love the depiction of the three Banning sisters. Verity is different than Keturah, but she has her sister’s stubborn and determined spirit. Despite taking place during a time where women were supposed to get married and settle down, the Banning sisters step beyond the norms of society to chase their hard fought dreams and follow their hearts. I also like that this story continues Keturah and Gray’s story and we get to see what happens to them after the events of the first book. While the book focuses mainly on Verity, the other Banning sisters are not left behind and play an intricate part in the plot as well.
While I was sad we don’t get to see what would have become of Verity and Duncan’s relationship, I do like Ian a lot. Even more than I like Gray. There’s just something about a man who smuggles goods for the rebellion that gets my heart pumping. Plus, that Scottish accent is swoon-worthy. Ian is an excellent heartthrob for a historical romance novel.
I was also impressed that this book doesn’t shy away from focusing on issues that are often seen today. Like Keturah, there are moments of racism, sexism, and oppression throughout the story. The way the characters handle these issues and stand above the people who inflict harm upon others is truly admirable. I can see how these issues will easily flow into Selah’s story and hopefully resolve with the Banning sisters victorious.
This book is published by a Christian publishing house and the characters do discuss and pray to God often throughout the story. The depiction of faith, however, felt genuine and accurate, not coming across disorienting for the time frame or the story. The inclusion of faith in the story did not impede the story in any way, but instead, added to the characters and their actions and attitude toward the events that occur.
Overall, Verity is an excellent sequel to Keturah, full of suspenseful action and heartbreaking moments. There are a lot of truths explored between these pages even though it’s heavily focused on the whirlwind romance between Verity and Ian. If you’re a fan of Bergren’s books or you like historical romance, I would definitely recommend you add Keturah and Verity to your list.