TJ London’s first book, The Tory, in her new series, The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, is a journey back to the years leading up to the American Revolution; where England’s firm control was slipping under swelling rebellion from the colonists. Caught in the cross-fire were the Native American tribes, who did not want to be part of the white man’s war but understood that their land and livelihood was at stake no matter which side they aligned with. Disgraced and demoted British Officer, John Carlisle, knows the ugly side of war and is haunted by the innocent victims of past activities that led to his demise after incriminating his superior officer, Major DeLancie. Little does he know that a covert opportunity presented by General Howe, Commander-in-Chief of British land forces in the Colonies, and incentivized by the restoration of his rank and honor, will bring him face to face with the literal and figurative demons of his past. Dellis McKesson has demons of her own. In a time of blatant discrimination towards the natives, Dellis is a half-Oneida woman who is struggling after the tragic death of her parents to keep her family home. Her only option is to turn it into an Inn, which becomes fortuitous for John’s plans. While Dellis is grateful for the needed patronage and business of John, who is posing as a trader, and his men; little does she know that a previous encounter with John and his men as soldiers of His Majesties Army, were the source of the most traumatic moment in her life. As the forces for war gain momentum John and Dellis find a connection they never expected.
The Tory is my first audiobook review and actually my first audiobook, I’m a book nerd who just loves reading words. I went into this experience with an excited, open mind about the possibilities that listening to a story would afford; being able to work or drive while listening to a book. While each narrator did an excellent job in the voice of their main character, I found it really distracting went they played the part of the other characters. This was especially true of Shane East, whose smooth British accent was captivating as John Carlisle but who made both his paramour, Celleste, and Dellis sound like chain-smoking drag queens. I’m told that narrator’s reading all parts in a chapter is common in audiobooks, but I found it hard to adjust to and very disruptive to the story.
TJ London’s drama of the early American revolution is well researched and is an interesting piece of historical fiction. But, The Tory is more of a historical romance than historical fiction; for trueists of genre classifications. The romantic scenes, especially when describing body parts, have many of the over dramatic phrasings that my husband likes to mock about women’s romances and are harder to take seriously when heard through the interpretation of the narrators. I’m an avid reader of both historical fiction and historical romance but, whether its due to this being an audiobook or the style of writing, I found it hard not to be side-tracked by these dramatic components of the story. To be fair, the narrators in their main characters are easy to listen to and the story flows easily from chapter to chapter with building tension and anticipation of the climactic ending. I’m interested in giving The Tory another look so I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle, if that tells you anything.