Sunday, January 24, 2021

My review of The Woodsman’s Rose (Donovan Family Saga, Book 2) by Gifford MacShane #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance @AuthorGMacShane @maryanneyarde


The Woodsman’s Rose
(Donovan Family Saga, Book 2)
By Gifford MacShane

1880s Arizona

Daniel Donovan wants nothing more than to get married, unless it's to restore his friendship with his closest friend, Alec Twelve Trees.

Alec is raging about his mother's murderer, whose identity Daniel knows but will not reveal, as the killer is dead and the family he left behind would be compromised if the knowledge became public. But Alec cannot recognize any needs but his own, and the rift between the friends grows wider every day.

Daniel's fiancée, Annie, is a delicate girl, her health frail and her future uncertain. Prone to vicious headaches that at times rock her to her knees, she’s accepted Daniel’s ring but is hesitant to name their wedding date, worried that marriage and possible pregnancy will exacerbate her physical problems.

Annie inherited the gift of insight from her Welsh mother and digs into the past, searching for a way to help Alec and Daniel mend their relationship. But when she discovers the secret behind the murder, it’s more horrifying than she could have imagined.
It may take more than Annie’s small strength and inherited skills to bring the friends together again. And that’s before a new enemy shows his face.

Publication Date: January 25th 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 329 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Western Romance


What an evocative story Gifford MacShane has penned. This novel really does have it all—it is a sweeping family saga as well as being a beautiful and tender romance. I honestly lost all sense of time when I read this book.

Set in Arizona in the 1880s The Woodman’s Rose tells the story of the Donovan family, but in particular, this story is centred on Daniel Donovan and his courtship of Annie. Daniel is a very honourable, very gentle man who has been in love with Annie since he was a little boy, but it is only recently that Annie discovers she has feelings for Daniel. Daniel’s patience, his unrequited love of Annie was heavenly to read about - talk about a dream man, I would have married him in an instant! However, I can understand Annie’s fear. She is plagued with ill health, and she also fears the marriage bed and what it could mean if she were to become pregnant—her mother died in childbirth. Annie is also gifted with the sight, which made her a really interesting character.

This story was filled with fascinating insights of the historical period it is set in, and it is also filled with a few plot twists, which is something I love in a book. I enjoyed reading about the everyday life of this family as well.

I thought the author has penned not only a very realistic story, but one in which you cannot help but fall in love with the characters. This story is a historical romance’s lover’s dream.

I now intend to go back and read book 1 of this series, because I really want to know more about Jessie’s and Adam’s courtship!

Grab a copy of this book HERE!

Gifford MacShane

Gifford MacShane is the author of historical fiction that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Her novels feature a family of Irish immigrants who settle in the Arizona Territory in the late 1800s. With an accessible literary style, MacShane draws out her characters' hidden flaws and strengths as they grapple with both physical and emotional conflicts.

Singing almost before she could talk, MacShane has always loved folk music, whether it be Irish, Appalachian, spirituals, or the songs of the cowboys. Her love of the Old West goes back to childhood, when her father introduced her to the works of Zane Grey. Later she became interested in the Irish diaspora, having realized her ancestors must have lived through An Gorta Mor, the Great Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. Writing allows her to combine her three great interests into a series of family stories, each including romance, traditional song lyrics, and a dash of Celtic mysticism. Having grown up in a large & often boisterous Irish-American family, she is intimately acquainted with the workings of such a clan and uses those experiences to good purpose (though no names will be named!)

MacShane is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and is an #OwnVoices writer. A self-professed grammar nerd who still loves diagramming sentences, Giff currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Richard, the Pied Piper of stray cats.

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