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A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War (The Renegade Series) Paperback – August 5, 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An Amazing Read" - Hollywood Book Reviews 
One of the things that people rarely ever think about or consider when discussing the impact of war throughout history is the immediate aftermath. There are many books written about the long-term effects war has on things like the economy, a nation's power on the world stage, and politics as a whole, but the study of how we as individuals interact with one another in the wake of war and the mental struggle which occurs with those who fought in wars is rarely given enough attention. The need to advocate for peace in the wake of war is essential, and as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace."
In author J.D.R. Hawkins's 
A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War, the author brings readers back to the popular A Renegade Series with the third book of the franchise. The protagonist, David Summers, finds himself in a whole other world when he wakes up from his injury-induced slumber. After his dreams of chivalry and heroism are quashed by the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg, a wounded David and his horse are taken in by four sisters in enemy territory who help restore him to health. Deserted by his Confederate brothers in arms, David struggles between his desire to avenge his father's death and the love he begins to feel for the oldest sister, Anna. As she presents him an interesting offer, he must also contend with his identity being revealed lest he be labeled a traitor by the Union while also coming face to face with Anna's longtime neighbor, now a Union soldier, who has been in love with her for years, and will stop at nothing to have her heart, even if it means having David arrested. 
The author crafted a truly beautiful, heartbreaking, and emotionally complex narrative. The balance struck between historical fiction and romance was eloquently written here, as the author brought enough of the historical setting and events happening around the cast of characters into their daily lives without sacrificing the personal conflicts or intimate developments that they made with one another. The concept of two very opposed sides of a bloody conflict such as this coming together to find common ground is something which feels more relevant than ever in our modern age, and the ability of the author to showcase all of the underlying causes of the conflict, and the lies and illusions that many average soldiers fell under from their leadership in the war made this story so fascinating to read. 
This is the perfect read for those who enjoy romantic stories, especially those set in a historical fiction setting and who enjoy, in particular, stories surrounding the American Civil War. As a fan of history, I was fascinated with the authors ability to get into each side's perspective so equally and bring the setting and tone of the era to life so naturally, especially without sacrificing the natural character growth and story beats overall. Powerful, thought-provoking, and entertaining, author J.D.R. Hawkins's 
A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War is the perfect historical fiction romance novel and a great new book in the A Renegade Series franchise. The rich dynamics that are presented between David and Anna especially are great to see, and how these very different groups of people find a way to work through their differences and find common ground in an era filled with untold violence and hatred is amazing to read.
-Reviewed by Jack Chambers

"Holds the Readers Attention from Cover to Cover" - U.S. Review of Books
"The anguish in her eyes broke David's heart. He gazed down at her and, as reassurance, gave her a sorrowful smile."

How one acts in the face of adversity is often a true reflection of one's character. This is no different for the protagonist, Anna Brady, a teenager who harbors a soldier from the Confederate Army as the Civil War is reaching its most pivotal point. Despite fears of being labeled complicit in a crime, Anna finds herself mesmerized by Alabama native David Summers. More than that, though, she recognizes that he is near certain death after being wounded at Gettysburg, and if she doesn't help, his blood will be on her. As the story unfolds, Hawkins does a masterful job of using the Civil War as a stage to highlight the torturous choices faced by those who lived through these times.

Centered around the dichotomy between love and war, the entirety of the premise revolves around a forbidden love story that clashes head-on with the throes of war and egos. Using strong character development to showcase the instant bonds that Anna and her two younger sisters, Abigail and Maggie, form with Summers' horse, Renegade, the author does a commendable job of keeping the plot flowing with energy. The work is largely driven by the developing relationship betwwen Anna and David (a teenager blossoming into a woman and a perceived traitor to his country) and the inevitable chaos that will ensue when the truth comes out.
The antagonist of the story, Stephen Montgomery, ironically a Union sergeant, is a thorn in the side of Anna and David's love story. But in reality, the thematic question that the author tests to its limit is at what point and at what cost can love still reign supreme? That internal battle pits Anna and David against their individual duties. For David, the burden of filling the void left behind by his father and supporting his family weigh heavily against his desire to be with Anna, while Anna is mired in caring for her sisters after the loss of her father.

With one obstacle after another continually in their way, the couple's resolve is almost endlessly tested, whether it is by Anna's aunt, Sarah, who encourages David to understand the ramifications of his and Anna's union, or Maggie, the sister who refuses to accept David. In the story, readers are exposed to the perspective of the Confederacy, how they would have viewed President Lincoln, and the ruthlessness of Union soldiers toward captive soldiers. As historical fiction, Hawkins' work is especially intriguing because of the raw, authentic settings and tension that is being created. Conjuring the palpable feeling of a nation divided amongst itself is downright harrowing, and the contentious dynamic between Stephen Montgomery and David Summer is simply the epitome of that.

While Anna and David are front and center, numerous other storylines are simultaneously heartwarming and gut-wrenching, such as Claudia and Abigail's expression of childhood innocence and exuberance and the genuine friendship formed between David and Patrick, a neighbor in whom Anna confided wholeheartedly. Above all else, what makes this story so intriguing is the purity of a love story grounded in the faith of the human spirit and unwavering resolve, come what may. Acceptance, or the lack thereof, is a strong theme that resonates universally in Hawkins' work. Against the backdrop of the Civil War, the duality of war and love create a riveting environment that holds the reader's attention from cover to cover.
- Reviewed by Mihir Shah

"A Captivating Story" - Pacific Book Review

Sometimes a book comes along and catches you completely off guard. A Rebel Among Us seems, on the surface, like a run-of-the-mill period romance novel, but it is so much more. By the time you finish this book, you will have a vested interest in it and its characters.

When Confederate soldier, David Summers, shows up on the Brady Farm wounded and weak, there is no way he can imagine how much his life will change. Anna and her sisters nurse David back to health, but with the Civil War raging, they know trouble is right around the corner if anyone ever finds out they are harboring a traitor. While their intentions seem generous initially, the Brady girls have a secret that spurred their kindness and generosity toward their enemy.

What starts as a relationship of convenience grows and changes, and Anna and David fall in love. As their forbidden love grows, the couple faces trial after trial until a scorned would-be lover threatens to tear the two apart forever. While the two face the most challenging times of their young lives, they learn a lot about themselves, but their happily-ever-after may not be meant to be.

Hawkins is an extraordinarily talented writer born for this work. The character building in this book is second to none. By the end of the story, you will find yourself rooting out loud for characters in a book. One of the many aspects which makes this book so appealing is, while it is a work of fiction, there is a certain realism to it, thanks to her knowledge of the Civil War era.

A Rebel Among Us is a captivating story that will capture your imagination and your heart. The attention to detail in this story will subtly draw you in and not let you go until you've read the last word. This is far from the traditional romance story, as Hawkins trades in cheesy romance scenes for a relatable story with actual substance. Although this story takes place almost two hundred years ago, it will still resonate with readers today. A Rebel Among Us is easily a must-read title that will entertain, tug at the heartstrings, and ultimately leave the reader satisfied.

- Reviewed by Arthur Thares

About the Author

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Her nonfiction book, Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses, has been published by Pelican Publishing Company. She is currently working on another sequel for the Renegade Series. Ms. Hawkins is a member of Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the International Women's Writing Guild, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Learn more about her at http://jdrhawkins.com.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Westwood Books Publishing (August 5, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 493 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1648030793
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1648030796
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.58 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.24 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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J.D.R. Hawkins is an Amazon, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her "Renegade Series" includes "A Beautiful Glittering Lie," winner of the 2013 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion. The sequel, "A Beckoning Hellfire," is an Amazon bestseller and winner of the 2022 B.R.A.G. Medallion. "A Rebel Among Us," the third book in the series, is the recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and winner of the 2022 B.R.A.G. Medallion. "Double-Edged Sword" is the newly-published, fourth book in the series. These books, published by Westwood Books Publishing, LLC, tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins has published a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, titled "Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses," with Pelican Publishing. She is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women's Writing Guild, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. Ms. Hawkins is also an artist and a singer/songwriter. Learn more about her at http://jdrhawkins.com.

Customer reviews

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