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Title: Romance Under the Oaks
Author: B. J. Robinson
About the Book
Jacques dreams of living the quiet plantation life, but Celina, the Creole beauty he fell in love with, loves New Orleans. She’s a socialite, loves high society, the ritz and glamor of old New Orleans, adores grand balls, and loves being the belle of them. Jacques wants to give her the belle of the ball when it comes to plantation homes, and he buys a prime piece of real estate from her brother to build her the grand dame of them all on River Road in Vacherie, Louisiana. Nothing is too good for his little Creole beauty, his cher bebe. He hoped he wasn’t building his plantation in the wrong place by choosing the banks of the Mississippi River, the hub of transportation with talk of a Civil War.
How would Jacques convince Celina to move fifty miles? He’d have to build Live Oaks Plantation before he brought her there. Otherwise, she’d take one look at the place and run for the city she loved. He didn’t think an alley of oaks would be enough to persuade her. He hoped the dazzling white splendor of his dreams would capture hers, too. Only time would tell.
Celina loved the French Quarter and her home on Royal Street. She’d envisioned a grand home in the city, and she’d be the mistress of the manor. How could Jacques expect her to move fifty miles away into swampy bayou country where there were no stores to go shopping? Couldn’t he have found a superior piece of real estate in the city she loved? Didn’t he realize she was born for the city? Even if he planted her in the bayou, she’d never grow to be a sturdy oak there. Her roots were in the city.
As the Civil war rages and gunboats steam up the Mississippi River, Celina must escape in a buggy through the woods before the shelling begins. Both her husband and her brother told her not to worry her pretty little head about a Civil War, she had the entire Confederate Army to protect her. Now, she has only a Colt. Will it be enough?
Visit the beautiful antebellum plantation home on the banks of the Mississippi River with an alley of shaded live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. Journey with Jacques and Celina, the plantation’s first owners, through their fictional historical love story and rediscover old New Orleans. Diseases run rampant, tuberculosis and pneumonia among many others, but despite the Civil War and a disease-ravaged city, Jacques and Celina romance under the oaks and find love on the banks of the Mississippi. Love endures all and grows and flourishes like the sugarcane. Even when life as planters knew it is gone, romance under the oaks lives on.
Romance Under the Oaks by B. J. Robinson is the story of Jacques Roman who loves the quiet country life and his wife Celina who loves the glamour of New Orleans, especially the grand balls and the shopping. Jacques buys a choice piece of land and builds a magnificent home near the banks of the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana. There are twenty-eight live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss that form a walkway from the river to the house that is named Live Oaks Plantation. Celina is not completely happy living in the bayou and she travel to New Orleans to attend balls and shop and leaves her two small children at home with the nanny. To be fair she did shape up during the war, even helping at the Union hospital that was located in one of the plantation homes very near her home. She also cared for her slaves and treated many of them like family, even teaching some to read even though it was not legal. But when her life took a tragic turn, she tried to make life better by going on a shopping spree in New Orleans which brought the plantation to the brink of bankruptcy.
The author brings the characters to life and in fact Celina was so real that I really did not like her all that much but she did become more likeable later in the story. I liked Jacques from the very beginning for he was such a laid back man who just wanted to enjoy the simple life in the country with his wife and children. All the characters came to life in the story and I could almost feel all the emotions that ran through the entire story. B. J. did an excellent job in the description of all the action scenes. I was right there in the middle of what was happening, especially when the characters were dealing with the Yankees. The author put a date at the beginning of each chapter which I like in a story but this one drove me crazy. The first chapter was 1858 and the last one was 1866. The dating is correct concerning the war but since the son was born in 1862, four years later he would not have been an adult and running the plantation. I still gave the book 5 stars for other than the time line it was a great story.
I recommend this book to everyone that likes a good romantic and historical novel that takes place during the Civil War. I would suggest that the reader ignore the dates that begin each chapter.
Thanks to the author, B. J. Robinson, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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This review was submitted by: Deanna Gottreu – please visit her website at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog