Have you ever read a book, and it was just so amazing that you couldn’t put your thoughts into words? I have two of those lingering right now. Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green, and The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli. I read both of these books weeks ago, and yet I still haven’t written the reviews. Not because I didn’t enjoy them, but because I adored them! So here is my attempt to put my thoughts into words on The Tea Chest. Preview – it’s a must read!
Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer’s assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancée, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her―as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.
After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel’s wife.
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.
Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.
Simply put, The Tea Chest took my breath away. Once again Chiavaroli has managed to pen a stunning, captivating, and poignant novel. It not only transports readers back in time, but takes them on a riveting present day journey as well. Readers will find themselves drawn to the vivid settings, welcoming characters, and extraordinary story lines.
I found Hayley’s story to be quite fascinating. First of all, I now realize that there is no way I would make it as a Navy SEAL. Chiavaroli’s ability to research, and put her findings in a story always astonish me. Watching Hayley go through training, and the rigorous regiment of daily life in a SEAL-in-training was something I couldn’t tear away from. But then as she started her journey in learning about the chest, I found out so much more about her character. She seemed to come alive, in ways that even surprised Hayley.
The romance factor was there, but that wasn’t what intrigued m in Hayley’s story. It was more of Hayley finding herself and what she wanted from the world. I think quite often people have this dream, that might not truly be their own dream, but something to yearn for. Only to discover that perhaps there is a little something more to life than that one goal.
Emma’s story just blew me away. The whole family versus beliefs story was one that really struck a chord with me. I can’t say I would have reacted the same as Emma. I’d like to think I would of course. But how many people are faced with that decision? If you think about it – everyone who has lost family members. You have to decide whether to follow the Lord, or follow your family. Reading Emma’s story reminded me how important it is to follow what you know is right.
To add to the depth of this already amazing novel, Chiavaroli effortlessly weaves a faith theme that will speak to your heart. You see a character relying on the only One who can truly help them in a situation. Not only is this encouraging, it’s enlightening. It reminds readers of how important it is to go to the Lord first. I love reminders like this in the novels I read.
The Tea Chest is a must read for 2020. It gives readers romance, adventure, history, second chances, and faith. Highly recommend! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“Then again, I’d acted so much in my life it was hard to tell where the real me ended and the fake one began.”
“This man who was nothing but riffraff in my father’s eyes, yet who to me was tenscore worthier than Samuel Clarke.”
“Something that sounded so simple but was in fact the most complicated feat I could imagine. Because to find my voice meant to speak against my parents – to speak against my world.”
“‘Twas the weakest of prayers, but it came straight from my soul.”
“Noah, ’tis not your legs that make you a man. “Tis your heart.”
“It’s not weak to let someone see your heart, Hay.”
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. Both her debut novel, “Freedom’s Ring” and her sophomore novel, “The Hidden Side” are Romantic Times Top Picks. “Freedom’s Ring” was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
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What was the last book that just took your breath away? Share in the comments!