Veil of Pearls by M.L. Tyndall

19 Aug


Veil of Pearls

Veil of Pearls

Paperback, 312 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Barbour Books
Rating: 5/5 Stars
She thought she could outrun her past…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 finds employment with a local doctor and settles into her quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her.Born into one of Charleston’s prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan’s persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.

But Adalia’s new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is she willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?


By land or by sea, MaryLu Tyndall never fails to deliver an exceptional love story full of romance, danger and adventure. Veil of Pearls has all this and more! This Cinderella story set in early nineteenth-century Charleston, South Carolina, whisks readers off to high society balls and horse races, brings them inside a southern plantation and sails them away on a merchant ship under attack.

As a fan of Ms. Tyndall, I love her settings, but it is her unique characters who give heart and soul to her stories, and I found Veils of Pearls’ brave heroine her most admirable of all. Adalia Winston has endured many hardships in her young life, the most horrifying being forced into slavery by a licentious, evil man. She manages to escape and find a new life in Charleston as an assistant to the local doctor. Yet she hides a dangerous secret among this prejudiced, southern community–her one-quarter Negro ancestry is undetectable in her light skin.

Adalia soon catches the eye of handsome aristocrat, Morgan Rutledge. Though born with every advantage, Morgan is enslaved in a different way. Trapped by the expectations of his position and wealth, second son to an overbearing, disapproving father, he escapes to the only place he feels a sense of belonging–the sea. Yet life as a mariner is as much of an impossible dream for Morgan as being accepted into Charleston society is for Adalia when Morgan brings her into his world.

How can these lovers from two vastly different worlds ever find a way to be together? Especially when there are those who conspire to tear them apart? And how long can Adalia hide her secret? The answers will keep you turning the pages. I agonized with Morgan and Adalia in their challenges and emotional struggles and sympathized with their fears. I loved their journeys of discovery in getting to know a loving God. Veil of Pearls is an engrossing, heart-wrenching and inspiring read. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! 



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