He had fallen in love with the enemy.3.5 stars. There were two reasons I wanted to read Traces of Mercy :1. It was co-written by Michael Landon Jr. who had a hand in bringing the Love Comes Softly books to television.2. I am fascinated with tales of memory loss.She found her own eyes in the glass again. "Who am I?"But this wasn't like any other amnesia spin I'd seen before. The woman in question started out (known to the reader) as a soldier in the Confederate army at the tail end of the Civil War. She was posing as a man in order to fight for the South. She lost her memory shortly after showing mercy to a Union soldier. This is where the prologue ends and the real story begins. Taken in by nuns and left to fend for herself, Mercy has to start over - to carve a new path in the world - without any memories of the life she had before, or if she even belonged to anyone.Of course life is going to hurl at least a few obstacles in the way of a young woman trying to start life anew. I liked this book, but... We'll get back to the 'but' later. First things first. I loved the way I was thrown right into the midst of the war. That prologue was intense.The bullet hit the man dead center in his forehead. He didn't even have time to blink before he died. One hundred fourteen.It would have been great to have gotten to see bigger glimpses of the "before" Mercy. We got some of her memories and revelations later in the book, but I was interested in knowing more about what drove her to war. The time period is one I haven't read much of recently. Most of my Civil War reads were school-related, and I haven't sought out much fiction from this time period. I'm thinking that I should, since this was such a huge turning point for the country that I live in. Shows like Hell on Wheels have made me take more notice of just how tough it must have been for everyone, free men and newly freed slaves alike, trying to carve out a new life in this rapidly changing world. I had a few moments of feeling uncomfortable at the obvious speech differences between black and white characters, but since I don't know enough about the time period to know how everyone spoke in the different regions of the country, I am assuming that the authors were going for some sort of historical accuracy when it came to this.So we had two guys who crossed paths with Mercy. I (big surprise here) never warmed to the one we are supposed to like, but I was swooning over the other guy. There were a few unexpected events and even a couple of moments which got me emotional. I love those random emotion checks because they always add something extra to the story. Some of the time spent with the sisters and Rand's family probably could have been cut back or reworked, but overall this was still a sweet little book/novel/whatever - and this is probably the right place to transition over to the 'but' I mentioned earlier.And now for the but... I'm so confused now about the ending. I almost want to go back and re-read to see if I am positive about what's going on here. Is there a book 2, or are we readers left to our own devices to imagine what comes next? I'M CONFUSED, PEOPLE.I'm starting to loathe when I see books with the words "A Novel" on them because :1. Duh. We get that it's a novel. If those words weren't there, would we think we were reading a phone book or something that wasn't a novel?2. You'd think these words would mean that the book reads as a stand alone, but I've been seeing it on first-in-a-series books lately. If this was the end of the line for the story, that was one heck of an open ending and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if there's going to be a book 2 for a while because galley copies aren't always labeled as 1 of a series, even if they are. So now I get to sit and wait and see if we're getting more or not. I almost assumed we'd get a Love Comes Softly type of series in which all of the characters were connected and we'll see cameos from the book 1 characters in future books, even though the story has moved on to other people. But I don't know. And won't know for a while.Waiting to find things out kind of sucks. How spiritual is the book? It's fairly low-key. Readers of non-religious fiction should be fine with this book. There are a few mentions of prayer and God but it doesn't overwhelm the story.This book provided from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes have been taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy.