Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Christian - Historical Fiction
270 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Victory: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way is a work of fiction penned by author Mayra Barry in the historical, romantic drama, and Christian fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. The story unfolds with Joe Smith, a young man whose life takes a dramatic turn after betrayal, captivity, and laboring on a plantation. Despite the hardships, Joe's resilience and skills make him indispensable to the Kemet family, particularly catching the attention of Victoria Kemet. The novel weaves together elements of action, romance, and a hidden message of finding blessings in adversity.

Author Mayra Barry really knows how to captivate an audience and immerse them in history, taking her readers on an adventurous journey to explore faraway places, turbulent storms, and moments of betrayal and forgiveness. The narrative is well-paced, with great rise and fall in the action, and the structure of the carefully crafted scenes makes it rich with suspense and thrills whilst the overarching themes of faith, hope, and love gently simmer and build in the background. The central character of Joe Smith is penned with sincere emotion and deep resonance, and Joe soon becomes a symbol of overcoming challenges and creating a new legacy that makes him more heroic as the novel goes on. The story delivers a Christian romance in a richly-developed historical world that was perfectly in keeping with the morals, attitudes, and lifestyles of the time, and it had some really strong, atmospheric dialogue to keep that sense of period alive throughout. Overall, readers seeking a story of resilience, love, and the triumph of the human spirit will find Victory a compelling and uplifting read indeed.

Asher Syed

Victory by Mayra Barry begins in 1592 when James Smith's joy at the birth of his son Joe is marred by the passing of his wife Rachel. As Joe grows up, he proves himself on his father's ship, facing a conspiracy by his own brother Blake that leads to his abduction by pirates. Despite the betrayal, Joe perseveres, ultimately catching the attention of Alexander Kemet and forming a connection with his daughter, Victoria. As Joe rises to prominence in maritime expertise, his destiny takes a pivotal turn, culminating in a significant encounter with Victoria. Their growing relationship faces challenges, personal storms, and the lashing of the sea, but Joe's leadership and care for Victoria earn him respect. However, when Joe is injured, a period of convalescence has him waking up to a changed landscape, including the disappearance of the woman he loves.

Victory by Mayra Barry is a well-written and engrossing work of historical fiction, founded on its nuanced exploration of Christian values. There can be no question who Joe is reflective of as he embodies humility, servitude, and a spirit of selflessness. I most loved how Barry's themes of trust and faith surface when Joe is appointed a ship's captain based on his expertise, illustrating the concept of relying on divine guidance. The writing is engaging, and Barry's skill at balancing a clean and respectful approach to romantic relationships without losing the flutters a reader craves while reading romance is perfect. Overall, Victory delivers well-crafted interpersonal conflict, character development, strategic pacing, thematic richness, and the adept handling of multiple perspectives in a pitch-perfect storyline. Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Victory: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way is the first book of the Kemet Island Series by Mayra Barry. It's the year 1609, and seventeen-year-old Joe Smith, the youngest son of tradesman James Smith, is eager to prove his worth as a sea captain to his father. But on a trading voyage, Joe is caught in a web laid out by his older stepbrother, Blake, and finds himself kidnapped by the notorious pirate, One-Eyed Ganiff, who later sells him to plantation owner Alexander Kemet of Kemet Island. Now, three years later, Joe has proven himself to be an indispensable worker, and he slowly rises in the ranks to become Alexander's most trusted tradesman and captain. Meanwhile, Alexander's eighteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, catches his eye, and soon the two begin to fall in love. However, Joe must now compete with a young man named Pierre for Victoria's hand in marriage.

Historical fiction romance readers are in for a treat with Victory. Author Mayra Barry weaves a delightful yarn filled with romance, drama, and mystery in this engaging novella that takes you on a romantic voyage at the dawn of the 17th century. Keeping a brisk pace within the narrative, Barry tells the story of a young man who conquers everything life throws his way with an unyielding devotion to his faith and integrity. The plot is full of surprises, and Barry manages to build a believable and immersive 17th-century setting featuring brave sailors, ruthless pirates, beautiful maidens, and stormy seas. The love story between Joe and Victoria drives the narrative and was one of the highlights of the book for me. I recommend Victory to romance lovers and historical fiction readers alike.

Essien Asian

For years Blake and Ruben had been alone with their father. They had lost their mother some time ago and did not expect that their father would marry again but then Rachel came into their lives and with her soon came young Joe. Concerned that their father's love for his new wife would push them out of his long-term plans, they strived doubly hard to prove they were capable of running the seafaring business their father maintained. Unhappy with the turn of events, one of the brothers took it upon himself to find a permanent solution to their problem. Find out what he did in Mayra Barry’s Victory: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way.

Fear of the unknown aided by a good dose of jealousy pushes a young lad to do the unthinkable to his brother in Mayra Barry’s novel Victory. The characters are put together well enough for the reader to immediately grasp that this is sibling rivalry at play with a hint of something dangerous. Barry’s approach to telling the story is direct, making it easy for a reader to follow as well as decipher the motivation of each of the characters. The conversations between the characters are lively as she captures the essence of the difficult situation Joe is born into from his clashes with his siblings. The developing romantic triangle between Joe, Layla, and Victoria will certainly interest romance readers while Joe’s exploits while in Alexander’s employ will do the same for adventure enthusiasts. Barry infuses just the right amount of historical lore and Christian morals into Victory to make it an enjoyable reading experience.