Format: Trade Paperback
Fiction - Romance - Historical - General
This was a charming story. I haven't read the first three in this series, and while it's not necessary to do so, I think it would have added to my enjoyment. The first three books are about Willow's sister-in-law and her sisters, who are all featured prominently in the story, along with Miss Hattie, who's quite the character. While the story focuses on Willow, it does have some parts told by the sisters and Miss Hattie. Willow, a widow of 6 years, has moved to Cripple Creek to live near her brother and his wife. She has just buried her father and her family is worried that she will become catatonic again, the way she did after her husband died. She's determined to not let that happen, however, and focuses on finding a job. She loves to paint and takes a job painting portraits from photographs and colorizing them for a new photographer in town, Trenton Van Der Veer. There's a bit of confusion with each thinking the other is married, but the truth is found out soon enough. Meanwhile, the Sinclair Sisters' father is supposed to be coming for a visit, but a train derailment and a couple surprise guests throw them and Willow for a loop. Not to mention how Miss Hattie and Mr. Sinclair get along! There's also another tragedy early in the story, but this isn't a sad book, by any means. There are a lot of joyous occasions throughout the story.
I liked that we get Trenton's perspective in the story. He's been badly burned by a woman and doesn't know if he'll ever get married. He also avoids church because of a bad experience he had as a boy when his parents took him to a pastor because of his stutter. Meeting Willow and her brother, a pastor in town, makes him question his beliefs about God and pastors. I also liked that both Willow and Trenton had things in their lives that had to be overcome. God and Jesus are mentioned a lot in this story, as a comfort, a Savior, a guide. The author does a good job of interweaving faith into these characters' lives as a part of who they are, and not an afterthought.
I definitely want to read the first three books to find out the stories behind the other three couples. This book made me feel like I was visiting old friends, even though I had never met them! If you like sweet historical romance, this book's for you.
Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for my free copy in exchange for my honest review.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General