2013 COTT Laurel Award Winner!
2013 Inspirational Readers Choice Award Finalist
2012 Grace Award Finalist
It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia soon finds employment with a local doctor, and settles into a quiet life, thanking God every day for her freedom. Still, she lives in terror that her owner will come looking for her.
Born into one of Charleston’s prominent plantation families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, charming, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. His persistence, however, finally wins, and soon Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society, a world of luxury and opulence she never knew existed.
But her new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is Adalia willing to go to win the approval of society and the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is discovered, will that love be enough or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?
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What Others are Saying
MaryLu Tyndall can bring a character, a scene, a setting to life as few others can. This is more than just a nice historical romance. This is a story that will prick your heart and call you to examine your own conscience, as the heroine asks herself just how far she is willing to go to please the man she loves. Will she betray her roots, her ancestors...her very faith...to keep from losing the one who has captured her heart and introduced her to a life she never imagined possible? Aren't we, as readers, tempted to do something similar at times? MaryLu Tyndall does more than entertain us in this well-written novel; she challenges us...and I applaud her for that.
***Kathi Macias (boldfiction.com) is the author of nearly 40 books, including Deliver Me From Evil and the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year and Carol Award finalist, Red Ink.
One can expect two things when they pick up a MaryLu Tyndall novel--endearing characters and a plot that sweeps you away. Hiddenwithin the entertainment is a spiritual message that whispers to the corners of your soul. Give yourself a treat by losing yourself in one of her enchanting stories.
Kim Vogel Sawyer--Bestselling author of My Heart Remembers
Oh my! Seldom has my heart ached more at the turn of a last page. MaryLuTyndall is simply one of the best in Christian romance today and Veil of Pearls, her finest work yet. A pearl beyond compare, this is a love story that transcends era and class to race your heart and soothe your soul,leaving you breathless and longing for more. Absolutely one of my favorite reads ever!- Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series.
4 1/2 Star Review & Top Pick from Romantic Times--You'll be instantly transported to the sights, sounds, and smells of 1812Charleston, S.C., in Tyndall's latest. Adalia, Morgan and their friends come alive, and you will experience their joys and sadness along with them. It will take a moment to remember this is 2012, not 1812, when you put the book down. (Cheryl Hanson Romantic Times 2012-06-21)
Veil of Pearls is beautiful. It is a magnificent love story that manages to make your heart ache and sing in one sitting. It takes an unflinching look at the realities of slavery and the assumptions of its morality and permanence present at that time. (Farrah Sayyed Imagine a World 2012-05-31)
A well written, jaw dropping, enlightening, frustrating, on the edge of your seat read. I'll have to ponder on this review. It must be worthy of this read. I LOVED it! (Tawana Faciane GoodReads 2012-07-08)
I loved this story of opposite worlds colliding, and it was the first novel from the author that I had read. Based on the writing skill demonstrated here, it won't be my last. Highly recommended! (Marie Burton Burton Book Review 2012-07-06)
Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall is a wonderfully complex, romantic love story about forbidden love and racial prejudice. At the heart of the tale is a strong, courageous woman who risks all for love. It is a poignant portrayal of the prejudices of slavery and its effect on white and black people alike. The characters have depth; Morgan and Adalia both experience inner struggles to shed their past. This is an enduring novel of great depth. Beautifully written, it explores how far the human spirit will journey for freedom and love. This story was a real pleasure to read. Highly recommended. (Mirella Patzer Historical Novel Review 2012-07-04)
A light historical that doesn't weigh the reader down with too many historical references, this novel has a familiar fairy-tale feel that brings a smile. Veil of Pearls is something of a Cinderella story that, while it doesn't necessarily land the Prince and his True Love in the castle, ends with them heirs to their own humble kingdom just the same. (Serena Chase USA Today's Happy Ever After 2012-07-24)
MaryLu Tyndall has given me one of the best books she's ever written. After several years of waiting, she has given me what I've been waiting for, a book that makes me remember why I love her as an author so much. If I have to wait several more years to get a book this good or better from her again, I will do it, but I feel like she has found her niche and will stay in it. I have loved seeing her improve and grow as an author and look forward to watching her grow and improve more. (Danyelle Hunnicutt The Christian Manifesto 2012-08-02)
I loved this book. I had never read anything from MaryLu Tyndall before,but now I know I have to read more of her books. Everything about this book was fun and entertaining. The twists, the danger, the love - I found myself easily absorbed in the story and it didn't take me long to finish at all. I loved Adalia. The courage she demonstrated and the fact that she stuck to what she believed is such a great example for us all. I would highly recommend this book to anyone loving a good historical romance. (Jen Whitney Radiant Lit 2012-08-06)
This is a thought-provoking read about the perils of slavery. Tyndall doesn't just write about human slavery but how we are all slaves to something in our lives. We are slaves to our positions in society, to our looks, to our money. Not surprisingly, Tyndall portrays these slaves as the non-Christians in her book. It's an interesting thought and perhaps we need to take a look at ourselves and our own lives. Ultimately, although this is a book about slavery it comes across as a swash-buckling romance with hints of Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady and Pirates of the Caribbean. The opening description of Althea's escape hooks the reader and the novel is a pleasant enough way to pass an afternoon. (Sally McComb Proverbial Reads 2012-07-25)
Veil of Pearls is much more than a historical romance. It is a love story with wonderful depth and a reflection of real-life society. The characters are deeply human. They are flawed and imperfect. But they are likeable. You will find yourself cheering for both Adalia and Morgan, hoping for them to find happiness together and within themselves. (Helena Frank Romantid Historical Lovers 2012-08-13)
Wow! I have read many of MaryLu Tyndall's books, but Veil of Pearls is by far the best! MaryLu Tyndall is a Christian writer, so the reviews bashing the Christian theme throughout the book are really silly. This book is not preachy. It is an addictive, inspiring read that I recommend to all historical romance lovers. (Stephanie Rollins Book Reviews R US 2012-10-20)
What a riveting plot! From the very first page I was invested in Adalia'sstory and sympathetic to her situation. The characters were very wellwritten and complex, I completely understood why they did what they didand the struggles that they had to overcome and the dangers they faced. (Faith Oygard NetGalley 2013-07-01)
Adalia Winston (AKA Althea Claymore)
Brief Description: Adalia Winston has a secret. It’s a secret that could ruin her life. She is a runaway slave from a plantation in Barbados. Yet at nineteen years of age and with only a quarter of her blood Negro, no one can tell by looking at her. In fact, she’s quite stunning with her long ebony hair, deep sparkling onyx eyes, and golden skin. So stunning that she attracts the attention of quite a few men in Charleston, one of whom is a slave owner named Morgan. Yet, there’s more to Adalia than meets the eye. Born into a loving family, she was educated by her noble father and trained in medicinal herbs by her Negro mother. She uses that training now to make a living for herself in Charleston, while hiding from her former master, a man who would give anything to possess her again. Everything is going according to plan as she settles into her new life. That is, until she meets the handsome, charming, and spoiled Morgan Rutledge who sweeps her off her feet into an opulent world she only dreamed of before.
Strengths: Courageous, Wise, Kind, Good listener, Self-sacrificing, Strong faith
Weaknesses: Stubborn, Opinionated, Insecure
Quirks: Adalia bears whip marks on her back that she feels brand her forever as less than human. She carries a string of black pearls around with her that belonged to her mother.
Inspiration: I drew Adalia’s character from my own past as a young girl and from the lives of many young girls I see around me. Let’s face it, we all want to be liked. We all want to be popular and fit in. We all want to be a part of the “in” crowd. But how few of us ever make it. I never did. In fact, I was teased profusely throughout my school days. But, oh, how I wanted, how I dreamed, of being popular. I realize now as I look back that there would have been a huge price to pay and I thank God He didn’t answer my prayers. Because Adalia has been a slave and very mistreated, she has a low opinion of herself, so when the Charleston elite begin to accept her as one of their own, it becomes easy for her to get caught up in the “popular” crowd, in their parties and plays and events. In the process, however, she loses a part of who she is. She loses her interest in God and the things that are really important in life. I wrote this story to help young women see that very often the price of popularity is far too high and could end up destroying their lives.
Brief Description: At age twenty-two, handsome, rich, and charming, Morgan Rutledge has the world by the tail. What he doesn’t understand is why he is so miserable. As the youngest son of a wealthy cotton plantation owner, he has nothing to do with his time but chase frivolous pursuits, gamble away his money, and attend parties. Every man’s dream, is it not? Yet Morgan is bored with it all. He’d much rather become a merchantmen or privateer and spend his days at sea. But his father would disown him for dishonoring the family, and Morgan had no idea how to live without his wealth. Muscular, with sandy-colored hair and eyes the color of jade, he has no trouble attracting his fair share of comely ladies, yet even their delectable delights offer no relief from his misery. That is, until Miss Adalia Winston comes into town. It isn’t so much her stunning beauty that draws him, but her sharp tongue, fascinating wit, intelligence and the fact that she wants nothing to do with him. Ah, a challenge at last!
Strengths: Charming, Courageous, Honorable, Chivalrous, Smart
Weaknesses: Spoiled, Arrogant, Rash, Shallow, Foolhardy
Quirks: Fingers whiskers on chin when uncomfortable.
Inspiration: Have you ever met someone who knows exactly what they want to do with their life and it would be perfect for them, but they don’t do it because of other people’s opinions or the loss of something they believe they must have? That is Morgan. He wants to sail ships. He feels alive while he’s sailing. It’s what God created him to do. But his father’s dominance over him, along with society’s strictures force Morgan into a box that smothers him and makes him miserable. He could leave the box, but he doesn’t because he fears what people will think and he fears being poor. He’s been wealthy his own life and has no idea how to make it on his own. His fear cripples him. God is calling him to sail.. to trust Him, but Morgan no longer believes in God so his ears are closed. That is until he meets a certain X-slave who opens up his eyes to a world of possibilities!