Goddess Born by Kari Edgren
Published by Carina Press on May 19, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
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Pennsylvania, 1730 Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal. A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it's Selah's sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there's no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed. When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope--that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch. But when news of Samuel's death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice--forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?
I was looking for a change, needing a reset after reading so many contemporary romances lately. When the opportunity to read Goddess Born by Kari Edgren came across my email, I jumped at the chance. I happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. This suspenseful book was exactly what I needed, accusations of being a witch aren’t taken lightly in 1730 Pennsylvania after all.
Selah, our female protagonist, is a direct descendant of a Celtic goddess. Selah finds herself in quite the predicament. Her father is ailing, she’s set to marry her cousin from Ireland in order to order to preserve her secret, the Quaker minister in her town wants to marry her oh and she’s essentially alone in the colonies having no relatives in the New World. When her father passes, she’s in Philadelphia anxiously awaiting the arrival of her cousin only to find that he’s passed away during his travels. Poor Selah is left to make some difficult decisions.
In Selah’s haste to marry she convinced Henry Alan, an indentured servant to marry her. And thus the story sets forth. There was an awful lot going on in this book and I have to be honest, I had no clue what was really afoot. The author does a great job of leading us in one direction only to completely turn us around and send us another way. There were many things I liked about Goddess Born, I think the suspenseful nature of the story took the lead though. I had a feeling that some of her problems from Philadelphia would ultimately make their way to Hopewell. I did not however, see some of the other obstacles. And just when I thought I’d figured out which servant was gossiping about, another would act suspicious and I would change my mind. Turns out I was wrong in the end lol.
Henry isn’t totally innocent either and he remains somewhat mysterious for the majority of the book. I would have liked to seen more of a relationship develop between Selah and Henry however, the story itself doesn’t really allow for that and it’s understandable. I think perhaps the real romance between these two will come forward in the next book. The ending of this story does lead you to believe there is another book coming. I definitely appreciated the subtle tone the author took with addressing how people from different backgrounds could fall in love. Religion was a major player in the lives of people back then. Selah refers to herself as half catholic. She’s living in a Quaker community and married to Henry who appears to be loyal to the Church of England. Needless to say there are many obstacles these two will need to overcome if they’re going to get their happily ever after.
There were many times I was frustrated with Selah’s character and when I thought I couldn’t handle anymore, she would do something that erased my misgivings. It’s hard to explain but as times I was confused by her lack of expressing her emotions, yet several pages later she would finally break down. I waited for those times, so that I could connect to her character. She was alone and I understood her need to be independent and strong. I also appreciated her ability to accept her wrongdoings and make them right. She had a difficult time being deceitful and I found that her character was inherently good which makes her more endearing. You’ll love her character as a result and you’ll be rooting for her in the end.
Although Goddess Born had a bit of a slow start for me, I quickly became enveloped in the plot. I was eager to finish so I could find out how Selah would fair with supernatural abilities in a Quaker community. I honestly can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. Obviously I’m rooting for a happy ending for Selah and Henry.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*