A Devil of a Time

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
471 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hello Friends! Thank you for your interest in my novels.

I ​live and work in Chester County, Pennsylvania, an area rich in Revolutionary War and Colonial American history. My enduring interest in 18th Century America began at a young age, inspired by the novels of Dale Van Every and Allan Eckert, whose timeless tales of adventure and romance capture the essence of early American lore. Eager to read more such stories, to my disappointment I had trouble finding them on bookshelves, so I decided to write one of my own. Thus began a journey fueled by my passion to breathe life into history through believable characters, plots woven with adventure, romance and suspense and, of course, plenty of derring-do.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

A Devil of a Time by Gretchen Jeannette is fiction with powerful characters that are capable of seducing readers and owning their hearts. Yes, I mean just that! Captain Niall McLane might think he has survived the worst that could happen to any man, but his captivity is just the beginning of his woes. There is a killer on the loose and it just happens that Niall becomes one of the prime suspects. To make matters worse, the killer seems to target those closest to Niall. Now with suspicions against him, Niall has to use his wit and skills to stay out of jail while working hard to find the killer before he strikes again. This could sound like an ordinary story; a cliché in crime fiction, but there is a gorgeous twist that will take readers by surprise — there is a woman who changes the plot entirely.

I adored this book, and there is no overstatement in this! Gretchen Jeannette is an author with the rare skill that allows her to combine fiction with historical references to weave a tale that will mesmerize readers. Niall is a character that readers will love, and the presence of a drunk with a gorgeous wife in the story will create a lot of suspense and interest. The writing is graceful, somewhat evocative, and absorbing; the narrative voice is clear and tantalizing. I enjoyed how the author uses suspense to toy with the emotions of readers. I enjoyed the perfect development of conflict, which escalates quickly. A Devil of a Time is a page-turner, really hard to put down. Great storyline, compelling characters.

Chris Fischer

Author Gretchen Jeannette, in A Devil of a Time, offers her readers an exciting and adventurous tale of love, mystery and intrigue; one that many will find difficult to put down once they start it. Protagonist Captain Niall McLane, a man with a dark past, filled with his days battling in the Revolutionary War as well as his time as a brutal Indian fighter and scalp taker, finds himself in a fight for his life that he never could have anticipated. He's being accused of a savage murder, and has few willing to stand up for him. His only friends, drunk Andrew Wade and Andrew's wife, Clarice, whom Niall secretly loves, are willing to help him, but Niall soon realizes that they will likely come to harm from the real murderer if they remain close to him. Niall is willing to do anything he can to keep Clarice safe, and knows he will need to find and confront the real killer before it's too late.

A Devil of a Time is truly a great work of historical fiction, and this comes from a reader who reads a lot of it. Author Gretchen Jeannette has done a great job of providing well researched and historically accurate details to make her story feel very authentic. Her characters are vividly drawn and very compelling, especially lead character Niall McLane. Readers who enjoy historical fiction will really enjoy this book. Other readers who like mysteries or exciting reads will also find that this book has a lot to offer. I can easily give this book my highest recommendation and will look for more work by author Gretchen Jeannette as well!

Tracy Slowiak

In an excellent work of historical fiction by author Gretchen Jeannette, A Devil of a Time is a story that will suck readers in from the very start and keep them obsessively turning the pages all the way through to the very end! Follow the story of Captain Niall McLane, a man who has been scarred by his experiences in the Revolutionary War, including that of being held captive. When he survives all that only to be accused of a murder he didn’t commit, he’s left feeling that all might be lost. His background as an Indian scalp hunter certainly doesn’t help his cause, and few stand with him, especially when the real murderer appears to be targeting those he holds closest. The only allies that Niall has left are Andrew and Clarice Wade. Andrew is tormented by his own demon, namely alcohol, and Niall lives with a secret love for Clarice, complicating their relationship even more. When Niall realizes that the murderer may be setting his sights on Clarice as his next victim, he’s determined to solve this mystery, save his beloved, and exonerate himself once and for all. Will he succeed in his mission or die trying? You’ll need to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed A Devil of a Time. Author Gretchen Jeannette has done a fantastic job in creating characters that her readers will connect with, relate to, and truly come to care about. If that isn’t a hallmark of a great author, I’m not sure what is. Her settings are realistic and believable, and history buffs and the average reader alike will appreciate her attention to detail. Any reader who enjoys historical fiction, action, adventure, mysteries, romance, or just a great read of fiction in general should definitely grab this book. I am very pleased to highly recommend A Devil of a Time, and look forward to reading more from the talented author, Gretchen Jeannette, as soon as I possibly can!

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

In America's early days during the Revolutionary War, more battles emerge outside of the battlefield. Niall McLane escapes Shawnee Indian captivity to fight in the war, only to have his post-traumatic stress get the better of him. While wandering through Virginia in search of life after his discharge, he runs into an old friend from the battlefield: Andrew Wade, a plantation owner who turned into a drunkard after abandoning the battle and later losing his son. He hopes that Niall can bring him back to life and save his crumbling marriage to Clarice, his beautiful wife. But when murders take place in the town, Niall is immediately suspected because of his dark past. What unfolds is a tale of the darkness of the soul, redemption, and recovery. A Devil of a Time by Gretchen Jeannette is an exciting historical tale of mystery, intrigue, and romance.

This is the first historical novel I've read in a long time, and I was greatly impressed. Gretchen Jeannette weaves an intriguing tale that's not only historically accurate, but interesting and captivating. Clarice and Andrew are especially interesting as their attempt to cope with Andrew's injury and the loss of their son spirals them in different directions. Niall provides an interesting contrast as he attempts to conquer his demons not through drink (as Andrew does), but through rebuilding his life, despite the expectations of others. The romantic tension created by this triangle against the backdrop of the struggling owners and plantation provide a mesmerizing tale of intrigue. A Devil of a Time is a great novel that will keep you reading through the last page, and wishing for more.

Susan Sewell

A Devil of a Time by Gretchen Jeannette is an intriguing historical fiction novel set at the end of the Revolutionary War era. Captain Niall McLane had a gruesome past with the Shawnee Indians. He has devoted his life to making them pay for the savage and sadistic acts they committed against his father. Niall has made a name and reputation for himself in regards to his fierce and ruthless pursuance of his enemies. With his combat experience and his innate abilities for tracking, hunting and capturing his prey, Captain Niall McLane is an asset to the Continental Army. However, after a battle is won and Niall temporarily loses his reason, he resigns his commission from the Army. His reputation behind him, Niall is considered slightly unbalanced and dangerous. Andrew Wade, a veteran of wilderness warfare waged along the Ohio River in Kentucky, and one of Niall's comrades, knows better. Andrew hires Niall as a foreman for his failing tobacco plantation. While helping Andrew and Clarice, Andrew's enchanting wife, get their plantation back on its feet, a grisly murder is committed, and Niall is the Sheriff's chief suspect. Clarice and Andrew are two of a few who really know Niall, but with evidence pointing at Niall and in light of his murderous reputation, how can they prove that he is innocent?

A Devil of a Time by Gretchen Jeannette is an intoxicating historical fiction novel that will fascinate the reader from the first page. Seduced by the irresistible characters, the reader is caught and held ensnared by the developing intrigue of the storyline. As the story unfolds, the plot builds to a dramatic and stunning climax and comes to an impeccable conclusion. It is a suspenseful and thrilling story filled with drama from a pivotal era in history. It contains twists and turns that include murder, seduction, loyalty, and romance. It is an excellent portrayal of heroism shown in trying times by moral characters. This is an exceptional historical fiction novel that will delight adult readers who love intrigue. It is more suited for those over the age of sixteen due to the sensual content and a few indelicate words.

Ellie Midwood

Another amazing, highly compelling story from Gretchen Jeannette! I became Ms. Jeannette’s fan after I read “The Devil Take Tomorrow,” but after reading “A Devil of a Time” I can say with certainty that I will read everything she writes – it was that good!
“A Devil of a Time” takes place during the American Revolutionary War, and from page one it was obvious that the author put an immense amount of time into her research. The setting, the atmosphere, the costumes, lifestyle and dialogue were presented with impeccable authenticity, and with such vividness that I felt myself immersed into the novel and almost saw the events unfold right in front of my eyes.
As always, the main protagonists – both Niall and Clarice – were presented in such a way that a reader instantly feels connected with them. Both fight their own demons: Niall is haunted by his horrifying past of captivity of the Indians, after which a true beast had taken a root inside of him with an insatiable greed for revenge; Clarice is struggling to put the whole tobacco plantation on her shoulders while her husband Andrew drinks himself into oblivion and becomes more and more abusive day by day. Andrew and Niall share a common past; the two men meet again and Andrew offers him a position of an overseer on his plantation, which eventually changes the lives of all three of them. Soon a vicious killer strikes near the plantation, and suspicion falls onto an infamous “Shawnee killer” – Niall…
Incredibly suspenseful and impossible to put down, “A Devil of a Time” is definitely a must read for all lovers of historical fiction genre. Five huge stars!

Cary Jackson

This story grabbed me from the first chapter and never let go. It’s a dark tale of vengeance woven into the climax of the American Revolution in Virginia. The hero, Niall McLane, a former Continental Army officer suffering the emotional scars of a brutal past, sets out to begin a new life in the aftermath of the war. But a vicious enemy has plans for not only Niall but also anyone close to him, including the woman Niall loves.

The originality of this story fascinated me. I’ve never read anything quite like it. The author expertly captures the time period, in both dialogue and narrative, so that I never felt I was anywhere other than 18th Century Virginia. The intriguing characters, the complex plot, the thrilling blend of action, adventure, suspense and romance left me wanting more once the book ended. This hard-hitting tale will not disappoint even the most selective reader of 18th Century fiction.