Title: A Young Widow’s Promise
Author: Ryan Field
Publisher: loveyoudivine Alterotica
Characters: Felecia, Calvin, and John, and Robert, and Johnson
History is often repeated in ways that will protect both the guilty and the innocent.
Felecia Roundtree is thirty-seven years old, she’s already lost her husband in battle, and prays each morning her two young sons live to see another day. With her own two hands, she’s turned the front of her property at remote Locust Point, NJ, into a burial ground for unknown Confederate prisoners of war, hoping someone will return a kind gesture to her own loved ones. Then one morning in August, just after she has a vision of her dead husband, three Confederate prisoners of war turn up at her doorstep begging for mercy. One is near death; the other two aren’t much better. Though she’s reluctant at first to help the enemy, she offers them food and shelter, and then eventually begins the romance of her lifetime with a young old Confederate named Calvin. When she learns a deep dark secret about the other two Confederates, she’s not sure what to think. Felecia has no idea she’s even falling in love. Nor does she realize she’s preserving an important part of American History. But she’s true to her promise every step of the way.
A Young Widow’s Promise is one hell of a fascinating look into the lives of these fictionalized historical figures so much so that I truly didn’t want this particular one to end. Now, I know at this moment you’re wondering wait! This is an MM review site, and there’s a female main character mentioned above, the title gives that much away so what is it doing here? Well, let me answer that first before I get into the review. The other supporting characters in this story are as important if not more so than the main character and they are indeed gay men, with a story of their own.
In talking to Ryan about this particular story I learned that it took him several years to not only write it, but it took him just as long to bring it forth to be published and now I understand why he did that. It had to be all it could be, and the characters needed to grow within their creators head, they needed to fully tell him their story and he listened.
Felecia is a thirty-seven year old mother and widow who is alone during war time at her family’s home in Lotus Point NJ. This story takes place during the Civil war and instead of it being told from the POV of a southern lady as so many historical fiction stories are, this is told in the third person through a northerner’s POV. But not just any northerner. This is Felecia who sees people as people, she does not see them as the ally or foe, and when three men, dressed in Confederate’s clothing showed up in front of her home pleading for help, as a woman living on her own basically in the middle of nowhere she had a quick decision to make while the men begged her as she held a rifle at them. Shoot them to keep from being robbed and raped or shove her fears aside and help them. When she noticed how sincere they were and how injured one was, she opted for the later.
Now, Felecia is one tough gal, I gotta give her that but she’s not tough in the way that men are, she’s not by any means a tomboy, she is all lady and she is not at all prudish, she is who she is. She’s been on her own and had to rely upon herself for many years, what with her husband being killed during the war, and her two sons off fighting in the same war, she had no choice. She even arranged for nameless confederate soldiers to be buried in her yard in hopes that someone somewhere would have done the same for her dead husbands unknown whereabouts.
The three men, Calvin, Johnson, and Robert, are three very gentle souls with families back home in Georgia and they are decent human beings. This is what she saw in them, and then she finds out quite by accident that two of the three men are gay and this lovely woman, no matter what others thought of gay men in this era, she saw them as people and accepted them for who and what they were.
She did all she could to help these men, even hiding them from enemy. And during this time she met the man who would become her husband and a big important part of history. I have to say that this story is so well done that I feel as if this is a true look into the past lives of real people, and who knows? It just may be. Truly believable concept, the characters are well fleshed out, the narrative not overdone, the dialogue smooth and pleasant to read, and the setting is so real that it really paints the picture of what it must have looked like at that time. I love the idea that Ryan created a strong lady to lead this cast of characters in a very ladylike way. And for those of you seeking sex scenes. There is one M/F scene that is necessary for the plot and there are references of MM sex as well but I will say, this story isn’t about the sex, this is a story of people during the civil war and their lives.
And here’s a piece of fact for you. “The places in the book have fictional names, but they do exist. And the cemetery actually does exist, too. You can Google “Finns Point National Cemetery.” Ryan Field
Reviewed By: Michele