Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review for To Ride a White Horse by Pamela Ford

To Ride a White Horse
By Pamela Ford

Publisher: Aine Press
Release Date:  January 3, 2015
Genre:  Historical Family Saga/Romance
Format:  Print/eBook
Length:  374 pages
ISBN: 978-0990594215
ASIN: B00OT271O8

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About To Ride A Wild Horse:

Ireland 1846.

The potato crop has failed for the second year in a row and Ireland is in famine. When Kathleen Deacey’s fiancé doesn’t return from a summer working in the Newfoundland fisheries, she faces a devastating choice—leave Ireland to find work or risk dying there.

Despising the English for refusing to help Ireland, she crosses the Atlantic, determined to save her family and find her fiancé. But her journey doesn’t go as planned and she ends up in America, forced to accept the help of an English whaling captain, Jack Montgomery, to survive.

As Jack helps her search for her fiancé and fight to save her family and country, she must confront her own prejudices and make another devastating choice—remain loyal to her country or follow her heart. A love story inspired by actual events, To Ride a White Horse is a historical saga of hope, loyalty, the strength of the human spirit, and the power of love.

A captivating historical romance, To Ride a White Horse by Pamela Ford combines the best of both genres.  Filled with facts and descriptions that transport you to both a small town in Ireland and Boston, Massachusetts, Ms. Ford’s novel grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go.  Reminding us of the best and worst of humanity, Ms. Ford covers heavy subjects such as ethnic prejudice, freedom, and indentured servitude, grace and forgiveness without weighing her story down.  Filled with plenty of emotional angst, twists and turns and the redemptive power of love, this is a story romance lovers will definitely enjoy.

Forced to leave her Irish homeland behind due to another potato crop failure and devastating country wide famine, Kathleen Deacey boards a ship headed to Newfoundland, Canada with the intention of finding her fiancée and sending money home to help support her family.  Only nothing goes as planned and Kathleen, who is washed overboard during a storm, finds herself on an American whaling ship headed in the wrong direction.  Forced to accept help from Jack Montgomery, the ships English captain, Kathleen relies on the hope that when the ship lands in Boston, she’ll be able to find lodging, find employment and eventually find her fiancée and help her family financially.  She never thought she’d fall in love with an Englishman or find herself having to choose between her country and her heart.

Ms. Ford does an excellent job developing Kathleen’s character; I understood her despair when her fiancée didn’t come home as promised, her anger over how her country and its people were being treated by the English government and its people, and her fear as she is forced to leave her home and travel someplace new by herself.  A strong, yet occasionally superstitious woman, Kathleen Is grounded in the love she grew up in and is generous when she has the opportunity.  Raised a Roman Catholic, Kathleen Is also a firm believer in God, in the power of prayer and has a strong moral code she’ll need to rely on when she is tempted with several choices.  I really liked her and enjoyed watching as she develops even more as the story progresses. 

An Englishman who himself fled England due to lack of financial opportunity, Jack Montgomery has been making a good living as a whale ship captain and looks forward to an even brighter future when he returns to port in Boston with a ship full of oil.  He never planned on rescuing a woman in the middle of the ocean with a ship full of men who hadn’t seen a woman in six months, or on finding himself attracted to her.  Bringing her to America as quickly as possible is the only thing he can do. 

Ms. Ford also does a good job developing Jack’s character and I found him to be an excellent romance hero.  Attractive, intelligent and generally decent overall, Jack has no intentions of taking advantage of Kathleen or on letting anyone else take advantage of her either.  When they finally make it to Boston, he refuses to let her leave the ship without his escort and even takes her to his home, where he lives with his cantankerous grandfather, so that he can make sure she is safe.  When it’s clear that even in Boston the Irish have problems finding jobs and decent lodging, Jack insists on hiring her and giving her lodging in his home.  Something that doesn’t exactly make his grandfather a happy camper.

The secondary characters are well developed and make important contributions to the story.  I really enjoyed getting to know Jack’s grandfather, even though he was a crotchety and at times mouthy older man.  I also enjoyed getting to know Sean, Kathleen’s brother, her mother and her father and even the Montgomery’s cook.  Ms. Ford does an excellent job setting up the historical aspects of her story and while I knew a little bit about the potato blight, and famine that occurred afterwards, I didn’t realize the extent of the damage, horror and the hostility it lead to between the Irish and the English.  Ms. Ford also gives us a realistic sense of what life on a ship in the 1840s was like and reminded me about the evils of whale hunting – something I’m vehemently opposed to and have never understood the need for.  The author  does an excellent job setting up what Boston would have been like at the time and how even in this new country, founded on the principal of  open arms toward newcomers, ethnic issues had crossed the ocean. 

Will Kathleen find her “missing” fiancée?  Will she realize her future lies in America and maybe with Jack instead?  Will Kathleen’s family somehow survive the horror of what’s taking place in Ireland?  You’ll have to read To Ride a White Horse to find out.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Ford’s work.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclossure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review.  


  1. I'm so glad you liked the book! Thank you for the wonderful review!

  2. Secondary characters can make or break a book in my opinion and it sounds like these definitely help make the book. Thanks for being a part of the tour!