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For Love or Honor Bound    by Derek Hart order for
For Love or Honor Bound
by Derek Hart
Order:  USA  Can
Xlibris, 2001 (2001)
*   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

Countess Sophia Bario is bored with her life. A solution to her hum-drum existence presents itself in the opportunity to spy for the Confederate States. She is to do this under the pretext of gaining permission for the Brazilian government to trade with the Confederacy unhampered. After delivering a ship to the Bahamas, destined for the South, the Barios collect their money and then head to Boston to begin their undercover adventure.

Sophia is described as being 'young, rich and strikingly beautiful', with eyes 'dark with passion'. Whenever I read these kinds of descriptions, I always wonder what on earth 'dark with passion' means. Sophia is also described as being religious, though hers seems a strange type of Christianity. We're told that she would 'read from her Bible and pray. But something was missing ... While Sophia was not virtuous in her heart, it would take a special man to make her commit sin. Only love could offset such adultery ... So, she prayed in earnest for insight and wisdom, along a path of righteousness.' Hmmmmmm.

This story is rich with historical details, drawn from extensive research by the author, who has ancestors who fought in the Civil War. This historical background helps, but cannot wholly save the book from faults, which include inconsistency on the part of its characters, too many 'she flounced, he snarled, she purred' dialogue choices, and some pretty graphic sex scenes. Overall For Love or Honor Bound is for devotees of historical bodice rippers.

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