Saturday, August 24, 2019

Book Review: Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

About the Book:

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

My Thoughts:

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson piqued my interest from the first chapter and carried it through the novel. The story was easy to read and entertaining. At first it had a Mulan-like vibe with Cassie disguising herself as a man to join the army, but the story really moved into its own as it progressed.  As expected, there is a substantial amount of violence and blood. The author does not gloss over these aspects of war as experiencing the war and fighting is part of Cassie’s character development.

I appreciated the deep character development in both Cassie and Gabe. Forgiveness, gender roles, and deception are a few of the themes that both characters wrestle with as they find themselves drawn to each other and, ultimately, toward their God. Though their romance is off and on throughout the story, somehow the author wove in a pleasant level of romantic tension that I enjoyed.

A favorite quote: “We learn who we were to decide who we want to be.” (Page 47) 

I recommend Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson to fans of historical romance, especially readers who like Civil War fiction. 4 Stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book through the publisher’s My Reader Rewards Program. I was not required to write a review and all opinions in this review are my own. 

If you are interested in earning free books, use my referral link to join the My Reader's Reward Program!


  1. I was on the Launch team for this book and I loved it! It was such a great story.

  2. This story line intrigues me. The Civil War is one of my favorite time periods in historical Christian fiction to read.