For her sixteenth birthday, Damita De Salvado receives a beautiful slave girl, Rissa, but mistreats her, revealing Damita's prejudice and hardening Rissa's heart. When her family experiences financial hardships, Damita grudgingly sells Rissa to a mysterious Christian doctor, Jefferson Whitman, who is Rissa's adopted brother. Now the tables have turned: Rissa is a wealthy, free woman, while Damita's family struggles to keep the plantation. Will both women find the love and security they long for?
What do Baptist college professors do when they retire? If they're like Morris, they crank out more than 170 novels for the CBA market and create a huge fan base for their genre fiction. Here, with his coauthor and daughter, the Christy Award winner once again dashes off exactly the type of formula fiction that is the bane of the literary crowd and the joy of his devoted readership. This first book in the proposed four-volume Creoles series is set in Louisiana in the 19th century and follows the lives of one of four girlfriends at a Catholic boarding school. The protagonist of this first volume, Chantel Fontaine, encounters catastrophes that unfold relentlessly: neglect by a gambling, adulterous father; the accidental death of her mother; the supposed death of a sibling; a dashing but unworthy suitor who loves her for her money; an indifferent stepmother; a shoot-out in the bayou; and, of course, romance with a boy-next-door type. Along the way, Chantel discovers that Catholicism does not offer her the hope of her friend Neville Harcourt's Protestantism, and she predictably converts. The years pass quickly (approximately 20 years in less than 300 pages), which makes for sketchy character development. Like cotton candy, this novel's substance is thin, the plot line is treacly and the dialogue is sometimes stiff. Yet all the elements of successful light adventure romance for evangelical Christian readers are here, and Morris's faithful following will likely devour this new series.