About the Book


Book: Lawfully Innocent

Author: Robin Helm

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: August 31, 2019

Benjamin Beckett, a handsome young English lord, lacks purpose in his life of privilege. After learning the truth about his heritage, he decides to leave unbearable boredom behind, making drastic changes in his too predictable life.
Adventure awaits Benjamin across the ocean, and he embraces the challenges before him. Can a man who’s not yet thirty be strong enough to impact the New World? Will he find a cure for his loneliness and ennui?  
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About the Author


Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.
Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth; and More to Love. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine.
She plans to publish Maestro, Lawfully Innocent, and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3 in 2019.
Her life in (usually) sunny, small town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching and performing music, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game? And she’s writing a book about it?)

More from Robin


I grew up in South Carolina during the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. South Carolina did not comply immediately, so I remember my doctor’s office with two waiting rooms, two water fountains, and two doors, both leading to the same doctor and same examination room. It seemed very strange to me even then. I did not know any African American children, because schools, restaurants, churches, the town pool, the public health center, our neighborhoods – everything – was segregated.
When I was in high school, that began to change. At first, only a few African-American students came to my school. I really didn’t notice, because we all worked together. I have since looked back and realized the bravery of those students. They left their newly built high school, which was much nicer than the very old one I attended, and came to a place where they knew almost no one.
My junior year, our schools and all public buildings were desegregated. Our town handled it very well. Three high schools combined, but everyone kept doing the things they had done. That year, three sets of cheerleaders combined and three of each sports team came together. It was wonderful! We had cheerleaders all the way down the sidelines, and the captain’s position was shared. The school buses were desegregated as well, and I drove a route.
I have no bad memories of that time. There were no fights, no arguments, no violence of any sort.
This story is set in the mid 1840’s in South Carolina, and it addresses what sorts of things had to happen before we could get to The Civil Rights act and desegregation.

My Review


Set in the 1840s, Robin Helm’s “Lawfully Innocent” begins in England but takes place mostly in South Carolina. An antebellum novella, it interested me because of the unique perspective of the hero, Benjamin Beckett, raised as a member of the upper class in a country that had already abolished the importation of African slaves and passed an Emancipation Act, then immigrating to South Carolina to run the Magnolia Heights plantation. This is an interesting viewpoint to consider, and although I appreciated it in this story, overall I felt that the novella fell a bit flat.

“Lawfully Innocent” is a nice, short tale and can easily be read in one sitting. And that’s part of my problem with it. In my opinion, Helm covers too many events while simultaneously not giving readers much in the way of conflict or tension, resulting in a cursory story that is quaint but not memorable. For a young audience, I think that this would work well, but the young adult/adult target audience here doesn’t seem to be a good fit. The plot is very idealistic and unrealistic for the time and place, almost harkening back to the nineteenth-century sentimental novel. Lack of a central conflict leaves readers adrift, and while there are a few brief dramatic episodes, these are easily and quickly resolved.

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy this novella, because I did; I was just looking for more. Moses was my favorite character, and what little we know about him comes through Benjamin’s reflections and two fleeting scenes. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters; the way in which they are written is impersonal. They were one-dimensional and superficial and therefore difficult to relate to. I also found them to be too picture-perfect; it would be wonderful if life was really like this, especially prior to the Civil War, but sadly it wasn’t and still isn’t.

In that regard, I think that “Lawfully Innocent” offers a beautiful portrait of Christ-like behavior, to which we should all aspire. As Benjamin remarks early on, “He [God] may use me to make life better for an oppressed people.” Benjamin also realizes something that the rest of the nation misses, for the large part, until decades later (and in some cases, even longer!): “People who are independent and responsible for their own advancement make better employees”. Indeed, the points that Helm makes throughout this novella are prudent and encouraging, demonstrating the positive difference that we as Christians can make in our own families and communities, fulfilling our Savior’s call.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.