Standing on Stolen Ground


By Barbara Westbrook

Publisher : Secret Cravings Publishing

ABOUT Barbara Westbrook

Barbara Westbrook
Barbara works as a teacher to pay for her writing habit.  She loves to write and has penned three titles in the series, Brides of the Blue Ridge.  She's also uncomfortable talking about herself in third person, so--I love to connect with people who love romance and reading.  I love to t More...



The year is 1934.  In the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia Lila Bruce, a young woman nearing the age when she might be called an "old maid" marries handsome Joe Jennings, a man she has loved since she was a young girl.  He’s made it clear to her that this is a marriage of convenience, but she still has hopes that she can somehow make him love her. Their lovemaking is 
passionate and steamy, right from the start, but can she connect with his heart? Their lives threatened by forces beyond their control, they share an absolute passion, but can they find love before it’s too late.  Set against a backdrop of conflict and danger, this is a novel of great love and great courage.

This story is so close to my heart. It's the true story of my grandparents and their struggles against the US government, but it's also the story of their courage and love. Lila is a remarkable character who will find her way into your heart.

Ms. Westbrook weaves the story of the fears of the owners of small homesteads in the mountains and valley of the Shenandoah area as the government came in with offers to buy them out in order to put together the park. On top of that, the nation’s grinding poverty of the Great Depression had so many people out of work that the Civilian Conservation Corps was established to build the nation’s infrastructure and national parks.

In this book we come face to face with what people do to just survive. Joe loses his wife at childbirth. He now has to care for an infant while still working in the mountains. There is no child care. The baby needs milk, which Joe has no money to buy. His sister-in-law has recently had a baby so she takes Joe’s infant home to wet nurse her until she can be weaned and returned to Joe. Joe asks his late wife’s friend to marry him, not because he loves her but so she can take care of him, his baby and his home. And she agrees, for many reasons.

So far, we’ve got the story of the development of the national park system and an impoverished couple trying to make a life together in spite of the fact that Joe can’t forget his beloved first wife. Add in to the mix a series of seemingly unrelated murders. Plus there is sex in Standing on Stolen Ground that it is sweet, urgent, and passionate.

Ms. Westbrook deftly weaves the plotlines together into one intriguing tale. I find no fault with this book other than wishing it were longer and we could continue to follow Lila and Joe for a little while. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more historical dramas and romances by Barbara Westbrook.

Rated 4.5 Delightful Divas by Maggie B!