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When the Splendor Falls

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  33 reviews

The epic New York Times bestselling Civil War era romance by Laurie McBain

Virginia, 1860. For Leigh Alexandra Travers, life at her family's Virginia plantation is a paradise of summer picnics and sweet tea. The daughter of a wealthy Southern horse breeder, Leigh has no interest in the outside world. Until

Kindle Edition, 706 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published January 1st 1985)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  372 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Does that cover scream sex on every page, or what? Don't let that scare you, 'cause there's a whole lot more to it than that.

Virginia, 1860. Life at Travers Hill is still idyllic and genteel, as it has been for generations. Leigh Travers is young, beautiful, spirited, rides horses like the wind (well the family does breed the best), the darling of her family and plans to wed the *right man* just as soon as her father gives permission. Everything seems just perfect until one day Neil
Regan Walker
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Sweeping Saga of Southern Life Before the Civil War and New Mexico Territory After

Regrettably for lovers of historical romance, this was McBain’s last novel. I have read, reviewed and loved all of them (see list below). And, they can be found gracing my best lists on Historical Romance Review (this one is on both the Western and Patriotic lists). McBain was a part of the seminal group of authors who ushered in modern historical romance in the 70s, and she stayed for the booming 80s to give us
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Laurie McBain is the absolute best writer of Historical Romance that ever lifted a pen. The only writer who even comes close is Diane Gabaldon McBain has a masterful grasp of the period and details bringing to the reader an experience unlike any other. Epic and sweeping are just two mere words I can use to describe "When the Splendor Falls". This expansive tale of the Civil War
The book begins prior to the civil war and continues on through and after, beginning in Virginia and then heading out west.

Laurie McBain wrote some really engaging stories. This is one that still works today.
Exceedingly loquacious to the point of tediousness. Too many characters and their overly long conversations, during which detailed background explanations are given about other characters. These dialogues appear forced and solely for the purpose of information and some of the details we can do without. While I appreciate a well researched book and well sketched characters, it should not be to the detriment of the development of the main protagonists and their relationship. At a third of the way ...more
Originally Reviewed For: Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

Once again I am honored to share with you all a book by Laurie McBain. One of the last books written by Ms. McBain. A book that takes us from the innocence of the Antebellum South through the ravages of war and the cost of survival. It isn't pretty and it doesn't romanticize the war.. Instead Ms. McBain focused on what it takes to survive..

Another powerful sweeping saga that covers time and sweeps us along through the triumphs
Kathryn Redmond
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Memorizing. Rich. Fulfilling. Devouring.
Leone (She Reads too Much Romance)
Novels such as When the Splendor Falls, are the stories that cause me to unwelcome the thought of sharing my thoughts with fellow readers. In theory I don't believe that any book should be labeled as "foul," often times it is just the author's writing that needs a little work and this is certainly what I feel the story needs more of, a rewrite of selective sections.

Sadly, both the plot and the romance suffered unpleasantly and caused me to have a great struggle with just pushing through in my
Sissy's Romance Book Review
This is the second release of this book.. the first being in the late 80's. I am glad that it is being release again as this is another one that I missed. I also like that with the new book they have updated the cover some which to me helps when getting a better picture of the couple. This is a long book about 700 pages so it is well worth the money not to mention that it was a really good read. Our hero is Neil Braedon who had been captured by the Comanches as a child and raised in that ...more
Aaron Blair
This is the best romance novel I ever read. Granted, the first time I read it, I was about twelve. I was a voracious reader and my mother had a huge paperback romance novel collection. I would borrow the books and read them, usually skipping over the steamier parts out of embarrassment. I knew the books weren't written all that well, but they were something to read. This book, however, is one that stood the test of time. I reread it several times as I got older and it never lost its appeal, even ...more
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012, 2017
The level of detail in the descriptions in this novel is impressive.

A Civil-War-set novel probably shouldn't be one of my go-to-for-humour novels but this one is. All of the characters in this story make me laugh.
Sharon Bishop
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read

A hauntingly beautiful story of love, loss and grief during war between the states. This is the second time I have read this book. Ms McBain is truly a gifted story teller although it took me a while to realize all the characters during the first chapter. As far as I am concerned is better than Gone With the Wind. It certainly had me both laughing and crying, even the second time around.
Christine Allen
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not her best but still a lovely story.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When the Splendor Falls by Laurie McBain was first published in 1985, and is now being re-released. It's an epic novel, which although I didn't get to read first time around, I have had the pleasure of reading now.

The story is set out in 3 parts, a necessity I think because of the length of the book. The book covers many years. The first part is where we learn about the characters of the story, especially Leigh Travers, and Neil Braedon. They are the main couple in the story. Leigh isn't your
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this tale of the antebellum and Civil War south. One of my first romance novels, it started me on an antebellum southern romance kick.
Angel Hatfield
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leigh is the favored one of the family. Leigh is beautiful and loves to ride horses - her family breeds the best horses. Leigh was soon to become engaged. Then the war hits and Leigh ‘s fiance as well as her family go off to war. As some return home from war life was very different for Leigh and she struggles to try to keep her family together. Leigh gave up happiness for her family as family always came first with Leigh. Then Leigh and Neil meet and he doesn’t look like someone from the ...more
Debbie Glenn Brown
When The Splendor Falls is an epic book and a deeply emotional saga of a man and a woman whose choices and actions are dictated by the winds of war and family obligations. Ms. McBain is known for her layer upon layer of character and building of her story line. Our hero is Neil Braedon who as a young child he and his sister were captured by the Comanche’s and raised by them. Neil was later rescued and sent to school where graduated from Yale. He should be a genteel gentleman, but his early years ...more
I really love this book. The characters are well drawn and don't end up in bed within the first 100 pages (although it came close). It does overly romanticize the antebellum South but it does also subtly point out the problems with the system. The hero (Neil) and heroine (Leigh) are gorgeous, strong-willed and perfect for each other (naturally) but it's a romance novel so the course of true love does not run smooth. I actually enjoy the book much more after the story moves to the hero's home in ...more
Vero Stro
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a real classic. First issued in the 80's, now it is released again with a new cover. Before reading the book you must have the frame of mind when it was written. If you enjoy historicals from that time, you will enjoy this one!

This book is about Neil Braedon who was captured and raised by the Comanches until he is rescued and sent to school and later he graduates from Yale. Although he mingles perfectly in society, the Comanches left an indelible mark on him. He meets Leigh
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
This is a Gone with the Wind style saga of a man and a woman whose choices and actions are dictated by the winds of war and family obligations. Choices made out of loyalty keep them apart in the begining. War keeps them apart later but will pride keep them apart or will they chose the love that has survived everything else?

Laurie McBain does a masterful job of bringing the reader "up to speed" on the tangled history of the characters. Without that scene we would be lost trying to figure out how
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I have read over and over. This time, I skimmed a lot and dug into the good parts - i.e. the romance. Still, this is an epic romantic story, full of descriptive settings, fleshed-out characters (some more FLESH than others - lol), and nostalgic imagery. They don't write historical romance like this anymore!
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read or should I say re-read this one like for the millionth (is that a word?)time. Classic !!!!! Someone needs to make this a movie. On second thought nevermind , a movie would just ruin one of my all time favorite books.
Krista Pratt
I thought this was a great book, however, I could of done with some of the details. Details are good, especially when it's background to understand the characters, but felt too much was offered on Neil.
Lynn Smith
An absolute favourite novel by Laurie McBAIN and is a keeper on my shelves. I loved this tale which took us through the American Civil War and the impact of the war on the 2 families. It was emotional dramatic and a sweeping romance in the historical romance style. I loved it.
Oh gosh .. read it so long ago. But I remember I was hooked. I went through a historical romance phase. LOL
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago. Loved it! I still have this book, and every couple of years, re-read it.
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book swept me off my feet. I love history, the south, and Civil War. I've read it at least a dozen times.
Mary Beth
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Laurie McBain!
P Karr
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rich story for fans of the Civil War era. If you like Gone With the Wind, you will love this.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 01, 2016 10:14AM  

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Laurie McBain was born on October 15, 1949. She was always passionate about art and history, and her father encouraged her and helped her write her first historical romance. At twenty-six, Laurie became a publishing phenomenon with her first historical romance. Her first novels "Devil's Desire" and "Moonstruck Madness" each sold over a million copies. She was one of the pioners of the new romance ...more