It took reading 39% of the book for me to really become hooked on it. From that point until I finished it, I could not put it down. Fascinating story, I've been looking forward to this series since reading about it on MaryLu's blog awhile back. The characters and the storyline do not disappoint, I would rate both of those 5 stars.
I am rating the book as a whole as a 4 star book however. There were a couple of, what I felt were historical errors, in the book. in an early chapter of the book, a character stated he'd been in a battle in '84. As the Civil War took place between 1861 and 1865, I did feel this was likely a typo. Also, Eliza's (the main female character) father was stated to have worked for President Jefferson Smith. My assumption is the author was referring to the President of the Confederacy, who was Jefferson Davis, not Jefferson Smith. Although neither of these issues stopped me from completing the book, they did impede my enjoyment of it.
I liked the secondary characters and hopefully will see their stories continue in subsequent books in the series.