Review: Breaking Ties by Jo Grafford — If you love history and romance, don’t miss out on this read–sure to be an exciting series.

BreakingTies_200x300Title: Breaking Ties
Author: Jo Grafford
Genre: Colonial Historical Romance
Story Setting: Portsmouth, England April 26, 1587; Roanoke Island (presently part of Virginia) – Croatoan Island (presently part of North Carolina)
Pages: 404
Published By: Astraea Press (October 16, 2013)

About the Story: A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, Skype or Twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue – hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum – that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.

Here’s a clip about discovery

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.


Our sails caught the wind. We slowly picked up speed. I tasted the bitter thrill of success as the coastline grew smaller. I was leaving with little more than my integrity and the clothes on my back. Donnen would give our parents my love, and they could continue working on the tenant farm – none the wise about my true reason for leaving. Da would be proud that his only daughter had ventured off to see the world, after of course, he got over his rage for my failure to travel home and bid them farewell in person. Alas, I’d not had the time to pay them one last visit.
I blinked back tears. I would begin a new chapter wherever we landed. It was almost too simple.
My interview had been a hasty event three days earlier. Lady Dare had not batted an eye when I declared my sudden interest in becoming a colonists. Nor had she asked for a letter of reference. The only emotion on her plain features was relief at my willingness to hire on as the ship’s clerk. Apparently the last one had abandoned his post, giving neither advance notice nor an explanation.

My Thoughts: I have just started looking for historical novels with settings during the colonial days of North America. I have not been disappointed in the caliber of writing, historical research that has gone into what I’ve read to date. This particular series I will delightedly follow. I wish we had something like this to read when we were in high school–to read either in English or American History class. If I had I believe I would have been more engaged and eager to learn about the history of the United States. I often hear that we don’t have history. We are too young of a nation. But I certainly disagree. Only now that I’m older I appreciate the events of our history.

Even though a fictitious story, names of colonists who were aboard that fateful ship were characterized by the author and came alive to the reader. Knowing now what I know about what really happened to the lost colonists I’m eager to sit through another reading.

The story and plot were extremely well-written, a page-turner if there ever was one. The pages were full of adventure, love and hate amongst the colonists, romance, suffering and intrigue. Even though the colonists survived crossing the Atlantic through raging storms and depravity, they encountered further grief, hardship and death once landed at Roanoke Island.

The story blended dialog and actual events based on Jo Grafford’s research in an appealing manner. It gave us a very good description of the hardship and terror the colonists dealt with when trying to settle North America. I would not hesitate to recommend this book as well as the series to those who want to understand the colonization of North America, history buffs and anyone else who just loves a good love story mixed with adventure, suspense and intrigue.

For further reading about the Lost Colonists, drop by fellow wordpress blogger

Jo Grafford

Jo Grafford

Jo is a mega reader of all genres and loves to indulge in marathon showings of Big Bang Theory, CSI, NCIS, and Castle. Her favorite books are full of rich history, strong alpha males, Native Americans, and creatures from the otherworld – an occasional dragon, vampire, or time traveler.

From St. Louis, Missouri, Jo moves a lot with her soldier husband. She has lived in the Midwest, the deep South, and now resides in Bavaria. Jo holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.

Jo writes historical and paranormal romance. She is currently writing a series published by Astraea Press, which is based on the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island – one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries.

Twitter: @jografford
YouTube Book Trailer:

Barnes and Noble:
Astraea Press:!/~/product/category=662245&id=28863116


About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Romance and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review: Breaking Ties by Jo Grafford — If you love history and romance, don’t miss out on this read–sure to be an exciting series.

  1. I love historical fiction that is well-researched and this one looks like an excellent example.


  2. It was wonderful. After I read the book I did my own research. She’ll be following up with another book soon, so I’m glad I read the first one. Those colonists were pretty hardy people. Thanks for your comment and your read.


  3. Jo Grafford says:

    Thank you for stopping by. Believe me, researching Breaking Ties was as exciting as writing the book. I read old sailing journals, browsed original ship manifests, dug through church registries and other archives, and took a road trip to visit the island itself. Originally, I started writing the story from the perspective of fictional characters. After nearly five years of research, however, I become so heavily invested in the fate of the individual colonists, that I realized the only way to do their story justice was to tell it from their perspective.


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