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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-18 02:00
Escape To Love
Escape to Love: Banished Saga, Book 6 (Volume 6) - Ramona Flightner

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Escape to Love, a lovely novella and book 6 in Ramona Flightner’s Banished Saga series, was quite the treat. A surprising treat to be sure! I’ve been a fan of this series since I started reading it back in 2014 and the Saga has only gotten better with each installment.

The Banished Saga, when it began, was set on the offset of suffragist movement of Boston 1901. Along the way we met many characters, including our favorite, the first couple of the series, Clarissa and Gabriel in Banished Love. Their story was ongoing in books 2 and 3, Reclaimed Love and Undaunted Love. They still make appearances in the latest installments. We also met Clarissa and Gabriel’s family. Clarissa’s own brothers Colin and Patrick, who wasn’t introduced until much later. Her cousin Savannah and best friend Florence, both avid suffragettes and worked with Clarissa throughout. Gabriel’s younger brothers Richard and Jeremy were also introduced, as was their long lost uncle Aidan.

The story started to veer away from the original couples when it jumped 10 years in book 4, Tenacious Love. The spotlight had shifted onto the second generations of McLeod/Sullivans. New characters and couples their contemporary were introduced. By then Clarissa-Gabriel, Savannah-Jeremy, Richard-Florence were married with children. Aidan had his long lost love Delia back in his life, bonus with a daughter, Zylphia whom he didn’t know existed (he was a sailor and had not been around Boston for years).  Each had come through a long, arduous journey to find their own standing in life and the men or women they loved. I had loved every single moment of it because it always felt like I’m a friend, and not just a spectator of their lives.

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review 2017-04-27 21:54
Banished Saga, Boxed Set 1: Books 1-3.5
Banished Saga, Boxed Set 1: Books 1-3.5 - Ramona Flightner
I've been following this series since 2014, when Ramona debuted with Banished Love... it's been quite a ride since then. Even though it frustrated me that the first book had no HEA, I decided to reserve my judgment and continue on to see where the author takes us. Needless to say, I haven't regretted that decision even once. After reading the first book, I felt that Ramona has a knack for storytelling and every single installment of this Saga will show you just that. They're long, well researched and always had me wanting to find out what's next!

Banished Saga began with our favorite couple Clarissa and Gabriel, then went on to portray many more relationships over last few years since it's release-- their struggle to find love and keep their loved ones together and safe from any harm coming to them. They battle loss, personal demons along the way much like any other family. There's also a shift in later installments where you get to see the second generation of McLeod/Sullivans growing up, taking the center stage. In that sense, this Saga reminded me of Downton Abby. Not exactly similar but there are similarities that you can't overlook. What in Banished Saga reminds me of Downton Abbey is that this too shows the growth and continuation of one family into future generation. You start from one family then you get to learn more and more of this family, their relatives, friends and well-wishers, who also become a part of this journey just as much as you are. You see new faces, romance, marriage, children etc. And it’s an ongoing process.

Banished Saga also emphasizes on the turn of the century Suffragette movement in the US, where you find the author weaving the tale through real events as our protagonists try to find their own place in that volatile time.

Overall, 5 stars for a great ride! Recommended if you're looking for a slow growing Saga detailing the lives of various characters throughout the installments. There may not be HEA in every installment cause they don't always focus on only one couple like usual historical romances. But believe me, HEA is there for every couple somewhere along the way. Honestly, I don't know what I will do when this series comes to an end.

My detailed review of each installment can also be found in boolikes.
 
 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-08 09:16
Unrelenting Love
Unrelenting Love - Ramona Flightner

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

After three years and 5 installments later, I’m so glad that the Banished Saga by Ramona Flightner is continuing on quite strong. Though the Saga is told from many characters who were introduced throughout, it all started with the original couple, Gabriel and Clarissa and their journey for a love that seemed impossible to fulfill at first.

As the name of the series suggests, it indeed, is a saga of the McLeod/Sullivan family which sort of reminds me of Downton Abbey. Don’t get me wrong; even though DA is set almost at the same time as Banished Saga, the storyline, setting and the characters aren’t the same. What in Banished Saga reminds me of Downton Abbey is that this too shows the growth and continuation of one family into future generation. You start from one family then you get to learn more and more of this family, their relatives, friends and well-wishers, who also become a part of this journey just as much as you are. You see new faces, romance, marriage, children etc. And it’s an ongoing process.

Clarissa and Gabriel met on the onset of the suffragist movement in Boston of 1901 in the first book, Banished Love. Clarissa, a budding suffragist at that time, has suffered more in her life than she ever should’ve. She had a well-educated background so her romance with a “lowly and poor carpenter” Gabriel had all the thorns provided by the judgmental society. They both suffered and conquered hardship and after 2 long years when they finally marry, life has changed drastically for both. But their love for each-other kept them going.

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review 2016-12-24 21:56
Pennies for Elephants
Pennies for Elephants (A Banished Saga Short Story) - Ramona Flightner

Pennies for Elephants just reached my email and I can’t tell you how excited I was to read it because I knew Ramona was going to write a short story for Richard and Florence’s family. I needed that while I wait for the 5th book of Banished Saga, out sometimes next month. Once again, Ramona does an excellent job of not only giving us a glimpse of some of our favorite characters from the Saga but also incorporating a historical event with the storyline of the Saga quite seamlessly. Then again, because I’ve been a part of this journey since the beginning, I know she’s capable to doing just that. :D

 

Richard, the second (and the handsomest if I might add ;) ) McLeod brother had married the love of his life Florence Butler long before his brothers Gabriel or Jeremy could marry theirs. It seemed like these two had their HEA and that was all there is to it. They were seen on and off in the installments but never really been the focal point of any of the stories. Pennies for Elephants tells us all that and much more.

 

Richard and Florence have been very happy with their big, beautiful family. Their 5 rambunctious boys, Ian, Victor, Thomas, Gideon and Calvin are their world. But all wasn’t as it seemed; there indeed have been some tragedies that had cast a pall in the recent years. Even though life had thrown challenges at them, Richard and Florence knew they could weather anything as long as they stick together. Love and support each-other. So when their boys wanted to raise some funds for welcoming the first ever Elephants for the Franklin Park Zoo, Richard and Florence not only encouraged them, but also helped them to the best of their abilities.

 

Ramona, in the beginning of the story, explains how and why the idea of this story came to her so I will refrain from repeating it. It takes place in 1914, after book 4 Tenacious Love, so I’d suggest reading all the books from 1 through 4 to avoid any confusion and spoilers because this story is not a standalone. And if you’re already a fan of the Banished Saga, you should really read it ASAP!!

 

Interested in meeting the REAL Mollie, Waddy and Tony? Here they are!

 

For anyone interested in signing up for Ramona's newsletter, Click Here.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-04 20:32
Tenacious Love
Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book Four): Banished Saga, Book Four - Ramona Flightner

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

 

WOW! Has it really been 2 yrs and 4, rather big, installments since I started my journey of Banished Saga? Tenacious Love is #4, which I just finished and all I can say that I’m so glad this series is continuing on beyond the first couple who started it all, Clarissa and Gabriel.

 

As the name of the series suggests, it indeed, is a saga of the McLeod/Sullivan family which sort of reminds me of Downton Abbey. Don’t get me wrong; even though DA is set almost at the same time as Banished Saga, the storyline, setting and the characters aren’t the same. What in Banished Saga reminds me of Downton Abbey is that this too shows the growth and continuation of one family into future generation. You start from one family then you get to learn more and more of this family, their relatives, friends and well-wishers, who also become a part of this journey just as much as you are. You see new faces, romance, marriage, children etc. And it’s an ongoing process.

 

Banished Saga started with the couple, Clarissa and Gabriel, on the onset of the suffragist movement in Boston of 1901. That was the first book, Banished Love. Clarissa herself was a budding suffragist who has suffered more in her life than ever she should’ve. Though her father was a blacksmith, and Irish, she comes from a well-off, educated background. Her romance with Gabriel, a “lowly and poor carpenter”, was no bed of roses. In all, they both suffered to conquer the hardship put in front of them by their enemies. After 2 long years when they finally marry, life has changed drastically for both. But their love for each-other kept them going till they were reunited.

 

Along the way, we’re introduced some new faces like Clarissa’s cousin Savannah and Lucas. Her brother Colin who has been a part of her journey since the beginning, though, Patrick, the older brother, hasn’t been seen much as he left his family suddenly a long ago. He’s been out of contact so the family didn’t even know if he was dead or alive. We also meet some vicious and nasty characters like Gabriel’s Aunt Masterson and Clarissa’s step-mother, Mrs. Smythe. Both made their lives miserable any way they could until Clarissa and Gabriel fled Boston and had to be reunited in Missoula 2 long years later.

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