Publication Date: July 26, 2016
In The Bastard Son (Winds of Change Book) by Jerri Hines, it’s 1780 and the Revolutionary War is raging. Sumner Meador has lost everything and pledges to do what he can for the patriot cause. When he arrives at his farm he finds Jane, a woman who has also suffered a devastating loss. Sumner doesn’t have time for distractions and Jane is determined to remain alone but despite their best efforts, love is in the air. Can their love survive the war? The Bastard Son is the second book in the Winds of Change series.
The Bastard Son is a formulaic piece of fiction. Two damaged people on the run meet up while hiding and fall in love more or less instantly. Both have suffered great tragedies and both are focused on making the people responsible pay. There’s a brutal war raging and a sense of urgency but uncertainty for the protagonists. At any moment either of them could lose their lives leaving the other to suffer the loss of everything.
Sumner is the eponymous “bastard.” He comes from a wealthy family and lived a life of privilege before finding himself running fighting for the patriot cause. He strongly believes in hard work and that a man’s quality of character comes from standing on his own. While on the run, he decides to hole up at his farm and finds Jane, a woman who witnessed the massacre of her whole family, hiding at his home. They’re living in a political climate where anyone they encounter could end them and when forced to separate the hope they cling to is a quiet life together. In the case of Sumner and Jane, absence stokes the flames and their desperation to win the cause and be together.
The key issue with The Bastard Son is its extremely poor craftsmanship. There are too many errors in formatting to enumerate. Word choice is a frequent issue. In many cases, it seemed a word meant the opposite of what the author thought it meant or, perhaps, she simply didn’t know how to use it properly in a sentence. Had I not been planning to review the book, I would have stopped reading it fairly early on because the errors were just so plentiful. Hines does provide a fairly accurate historical context to the story (not wholly accurate, but it’s fiction so excusable in the eyes of this history major). The overall focus is, as happens with a romance novel, the love story, so a lot of the story in which the characters are not together simply reads as stock literary devices to bring them to a point at the end of the novel that is contrived.
I have not read any of Hines work before The Bastard Son and she has a fairly strong rating on this novel which tells this reader that she has fans which mean someone is liking what they read. Some reviewers giving The Bastard Son a high rating call it “in the spirit of Gone With the Wind.” It’s hard to bring sweeping glamor to backwoods fight and there is a “how the mighty have fallen” sameness … but, really, not the same.
Honestly, while I got this one free, I’m going to advise my readers to not take the time. Look at other reviews to see if maybe those that really liked it entice your interest but in my opinion, there are so many other books out there that would be a better mental investment.
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