About the Book
Author: Lorri Dudley
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: June 23, 2020
A ring is her only tie to a distant homeland, until a marooned Englishman anchors her heart.
Hannah Rose Barrington is the island misfit. Orphaned at a young age, Hannah struggles to provide for her future, while her guardian, a weak-hearted island drunk, bleeds Hannah of her father’s inheritance. Caught between the classes of elite planters and white beggars, Hannah yearns to find a place to belong.
University life has never been Bradlee Granville’s forte. His only hope to graduate is to impress his professors by documenting his travels. After claiming unforeseeable circumstances, he delays his final exams and sets out early on his Grand Tour. However, when his ship wrecks off the coast of the Leeward Islands, Bradlee is left without means to return to England, a mounting deadline, and ruined journals.
When Hannah rescues passengers from a ship breaking apart in the bay, she’s unexpectedly drawn to the witty charm of one of the men. Helping him settle into island life will be a pleasure. However, as creditors, like sharks, begin to circle and her guardian’s desperation becomes life threatening, Hannah finds herself in need of rescue. Will Bradlee look past her pitiful situation to see who she truly is—the sugar baron’s daughter?
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About the Author
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.
More from Lorri
The Sugar Baron’s Ring is the third book in the Leeward Island series. My heroine is caught between social classes as the daughter of a sugar baron and an impoverished white beggar since her guardian sold her inheritance to pay his debts. To generate the feeling of being a misfit, I delved back to those awkward years of middle and high school, where we often struggle to discover where we belong. Before my senior year, my family and I moved to New England for a job change. I’d had a great group of friends at my old school, but at my new school, I was a stranger—an outsider—trying to find acceptance, much like Hannah.
Bradlee, the hero, on the other hand, was fashioned in a completely different manner. At my house, the slang terms “bruh” and “noob” are tossed around by my three boys, along with constant fraternal teasing. A lot of their sarcastic wit and camaraderie are portrayed through Bradlee and his grand tour companion, Colin. Their light-hearted banter depicts the tight bonds of a deep relationship where faults may be mocked, but offenses are overlooked, and if ever in trouble, they have each other’s backs. Hannah is drawn to Bradlee, craving a similar connection but loses her heart to him in the process.
The first opening scene came about because my family loves Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. After binge-watching practically every episode, I knew my hero and heroine would meet under the duress of a shiny, steel-gray fin plowing through the water. (Queue the Jaws theme song.) However, our resourceful heroine contains the strength to rescue the hero as opposed to the other way around.
All these things, being a misfit, teasing, and shark attacks, playout in a grander scheme to show how God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He’s laying out the pieces of our happily-ever-after while developing our character and purpose. The Sugar Baron’s Ring demonstrates how God’s light shines bright even in the darkness.
To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com or click here to watch The Sugar Baron’s Ring book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWRQr3drZY8&feature=youtu.be
Had I not taken a chance on the previous book in this series, I would have missed out on two worthy Christian historical fiction novels, because “The Sugar Baron’s Ring” is just as well-written and entertaining, if not more so. Ordinarily, this type of novel would not appeal to me simply because I do not particularly like the beach or islands in general, and this is also not my favorite time period. However, I have to give author Lorri Dudley credit for writing an intriguing series that mostly features elements I do not care for and making me love the stories anyway!
One aspect of “The Sugar Baron’s Ring”, and Dudley’s writing in general, that stands out is the list of characters. What impresses me as a mark of successful historical fiction is having relatable characters who are timeless in the sense that readers can connect with them regardless of how long ago they lived. This novel accomplishes that. The endearing banter between Bradlee Granville and his travel companion Colin Fitzroy is delightful and laughter-inducing. It becomes more poignant when contrasted with the isolated Hannah Barrington, whose guardian restricts her social life and loses himself in intoxication. Hannah has felt, and has been made to feel, like an oddity since coming to the island at a young age. She does not belong anywhere, it seems, because she is a sugar baron’s daughter but considered a white beggar due to her guardian’s financial mismanagement. Especially considering the situations happening in America and around the world today with people of different skin color, racial identity, etc., books like “The Sugar Baron’s Ring” serve as a wake-up call that everyone is free to accept Jesus’s free gift of salvation, regardless of how old you are or where you live or what you’ve done.
Similarly, the theme of a homeland features prominently in this novel. From Bradlee who is, in a sense, running away from his homeland of England due to his insecurities, to Hannah, who feels a calling to find her relatives and to fulfill her sense of belonging. Interestingly, they both rescue each other in a different sense, and the overall imagery is comparable to how Jesus has already rescued us from our sins and how He will one day rescue us for eternity if we remain faithful to Him. As Hannah remarks, “Lots of children were orphaned. It didn’t make her anything special. It had taught her at a young age to lean on God.” The message resonates clearly throughout this novel: Trust Him, and remember Whose child you are!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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