March 15, 2016

Review: The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham

Having heard nothing but rave reviews of this book, I had been looking forward to reading it for myself. And it did not disappoint me in the least! Ms. Basham's skill with the pen became quickly apparent as I got swept up into the life of Ashleigh and all her heartbreak. I wanted to put my arms around her and tell her it would be okay so very many times. The girl has been through a lot! And Ms. Basham had no qualms about putting her through a bit more. Ah, my poor heart.

As I was drawn into Ashleigh's story, I loved that it felt like I was getting a first hand look at history. Ms. Basham clearly did her research and it shows. I didn't remember much at all about the Lusitania and its fateful crossing, but consider me intrigued by the story now! My one small complaint is how quick events happen. There were a few times where I felt that more detail would have better served certain moments because we move so quickly past them that I couldn't seem to get as invested in the seriousness of the tragedy as I wanted. I felt more like a neutral observer (which, yes, I know that I am as a reader, but it kind of pulled me out of the emotional moments too fast). And the transitions between points of view weren't as smooth in some places. But don't let that deter you! Because those are things easily overlooked when you have characters who you're rooting for.

Ashleigh, in particular, made me admire her strength and hurt for all the pain she's been through. I was so glad she had friends to look out for her, especially as her family wasn't there for her as they should've been. Speaking of her sister and their relationship, it's a difficult one. Catherine was a character I didn't like right away because she's perfectly awful to her sister! But there was just something about her that made me sit up and take notice. Watching as the two of them work through their individual circumstances and slowly, maybe strive for understanding broke my heart, then mended it.

And Sam. Dear, befuddled, swoony Sam! I loved his friendship with Ashleigh, he was so, so good to her. I admit that he frustrated me a bit in the beginning, what with his inability to realize what was staring him right in the face. But he won me over and he and Ashleigh.....ah, I have no words for just how perfectly they worked together! They fit and that's all there is to it.

Romance on the high seas! Kind of. Secrets to be searched out! Yep. Historical events and drama mixed delightfully! Most definitely. A story worth reading and swooning over! Without question. Read this one, my friends!

Softness flickered over her countenance. Tears formed in those coffee-colored eyes, drawing him closer. Her eyes had always been his downfall - round, dark, pleading. When she was little, he'd caved into giving her a treat or taking her along on an adventure. Unguarded, they glowed with a million emotion.
"Mrs. Ragan doesn't know you. I do." His thumb pulsed a squeeze. "And I have no intention of letting you sail alone."
She slipped her arm free from his hold and the familiar transformation began with each step she made up the gangway. That infuriating emotionless glaze cloaked her expression. If he didn't hate it so much it might have been a fascinating study, but she walled herself in with it: Protected herself from something, but he'd never figured out what. He'd rather she burst into tears or slap her hand against his jaw than distance herself with that confounded look.


  1. Oh Kara!! Thank you!!! What a wonderful review for my debut!! (I'm guessing there's one coming for TTK in the future? - grinning with expectation over here)

    1. Pepper: You are so very welcome! I'm just happy you were able to share your delightful story with us! My decision to start this one was one of my best ever. :D

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Courtney! It's a wonderful story, isn't it? :)


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