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Borrowed Light (Borrowed Light #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,681 Ratings  ·  322 Reviews
Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it's the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s, this is one romantic adventure you'll never forget!
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Cedar Fort, Inc. (first published January 8th 2011)
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Mar 07, 2011 SheLove2Read rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
This is a tremendously hard book for me to review.

I'm such a fan of Carla Kelly and when I found out she was writing a western I was immediately on board and just knew I would love it. I loved certain aspects of the story, but others completely turned me off and made it hard for me to enjoy. Very hard.

If you don't already know, this book is an inspirational romance written for the LDS (Mormon) market. I don't personally hold with the LDS belief system but I'm not a bigot, and I do not judge anyo
Lisa Kay
I’ve only ever read one Carla Kelly book prior to this one, and it was very good. This one is wonderful. Every once in a while I like to read an inspirational love story or one about a person of faith. I adore a good historical-western-romance and this seemed right up my alley. I naively started this book not realizing that it is a LDS (Latter Day Saints) book. Once I realized that, I had to put it down for awhile, for personally reasons I don’t wish go into here. However, I am glad I picked it ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 15, 2015 Jacob Proffitt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, lds, chaste
While I like romances and have enjoyed a couple of Kelly's books before, I still hesitated to pick this one up. I am so glad I finally got over that. Set in 1909 (an era I know little about and have little interest in) and explicitly LDS, I worried that this book would be less rigorous or careful than Kelly's other work--that Kelly, writing to a (probably) smaller audience, might let her standards slip or rely on the fellow-feeling of people who share her faith to carry her through rough patches ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: arcs-i-own

Oh my heavens. THIS is why I love "my job." I received this book in the mail from Cedar Fort for review and it was a huge step out of my ordinary reads, but what a book! Borrowed Light is the first novel I've read by Carla Kelly, who is a well established regency romance author for Harlequin and recently stepped foot into the LDS market. Apparently her past readers are unhappy about the switch, but I for one could not be happier. I will be purchasing and p
Dec 11, 2011 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This was such a darling story (hehe) it really was with a lot of spunk. Julia Darling lives in Salt Lake City, and is engaged to a man she is coming to find out she does not love. She finally gets up the nerve to call it off and at the same time answers and add for a cook in Wyoming. She meets her boss Mr. Otto, and the ranch hands, they are all a little surprised at their new cook. From here there is one adventure after another on the cattle ranch. Whether with the the ranch hands, stock, weath ...more
Jul 09, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, favorites, lds
I just enjoyed this book soooo much! I couldn't believe it! This is LDS historical fiction but anyone could read and enjoy this book. I have almost stopped reading all LDS novels because the writing is so poor in many of them, but this was nothing like that! It does talk about the Book of Mormon and the early beginnings of the church. The main character grows in her knowledge and testimony through out the book and it was so fun to read! This was just a funny book. I had to hold in my laughter in ...more
Man, Carla Kelly can write! She's a master of showing the story rather than telling it. You'll fall in love with Julia and especially with Paul. I'm thrilled that she's now writing for the LDS market. She talks about things with the same sort of subtlety with which the Spirit speaks. Well done, Sister Kelly!

I just finished reading this again and loved it just as much the second time through. It was as wonderful if not more so as the first time. (June 24-26, 2011) Enduring Light, a sequal, is so
Feb 10, 2015 Tal rated it liked it
I'm not a religious person at all but I love Carla Kelly so much I decided to give it a shot.

Kelly's writing is brilliant and her characters are still amazing so I'm definitely liking this book. But if I'm being honest, the religious part was a little annoying.
I certainly felt Kelly's unique style and that is what kept me going, but I could not relate to the spiritual parts :/

Basically I have nothing to complain about since it IS a Lds Fiction...


It is still a well written and a heart warming sto
Unlike Carla Kelly's other books, this one is not her usual regency romances.
It starts out in Salt Lake City in 1909. Julia is uncertain about her engagement that she went to Boston to the Fannie Farmer School Of cookery. Home again after completing the course and still uncertain about her impending marriage, she runs across an ad asking for a cook on a Wyoming ranch. She answers the ad, breaks her engagement and takes the train to Cheyenne where she meets the love of her life. At first religio
Katie W
Feb 28, 2012 Katie W rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story about a lady, Julia Darling, who passes on an engagement to a respectable LDS man to go cook for a rancher in wild, desolate Wyoming in 1909. After graduating from cooking school in Boston, Julia is raring to get cooking on that wonderful, albeit greasy, Queen Atlantic stove. I love all the talk of the delicious things she cooked up. I loved her spunk, determination, and her decision to really study and come to know her religion. My only problem was that this book is ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Mindy rated it really liked it
This is an LDS romance set in Wyoming in the early 1900s. It is a predictable romance, but I am finding something out about myself. I don't mind predictable endings if the story is good. And Borrowed Light was a feel good, sweet love story. I rated it four stars because it was a great escape read. I could pick the story apart in a lot of ways if I wanted to, but I don't. If you are looking for a deep story line or basically anything other than a happy, good old romance, I wouldn't read this. But ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
My Aunt is the author of this book. I found it at Deseret Book in Pocatello. I am really into it & can't wait to see what happens to Julia because of the choice she made to work as a ranchers cook in Wyoming!

This was so great. I'm usually not into LDS novels, but this didn't read like your standard, predictable LDS novel. Carla is such a great writer. I could visualize the whole book. I can't wait to see if she writes a sequel. I could just ask her... she is my aunt. :)
Dec 03, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it
I've always liked Kelly's regencies, so when I heard she had written an inspirational romance, I was naturally curious as how that would work. Now, I'm not Mormon, so the Mormon-y bits of this book were a bit over my head, but the underlying spiritual development of the characters in the book is probably common in any religion.

This is the story of Julia Darling of Salt Lake City, graduate of the Fannie Farmer cooking school of Boston, who dumps her calculating fiance and goes to Wyoming to be a
Jan 18, 2012 TJ rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet Christian read with a Mormon twist! Kelly has become a beloved author through her mainstream romances so this, her switch to inspirational, will either be a delight or disappointment depending on ones point of view.

Her easy, engaging style, lovable, believable characters and down to earth warmth are wonderfully present in this Western romance. The character of Julia Darling is a graduate of Fannie Farmer's school of cooking in Boston and prides herself in being able to co
Nov 20, 2012 Dorothea rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I am not exactly in the target audience for inspirational romances, but I was curious to see how Carla Kelly would write one. My conclusion -- well!

The good:

+ Very, very funny.

+ The characters are so competent. I love stories that get into the details of what the characters are good at; Borrowed Light does this very, very well, especially for the heroine, Julia. She is a graduate of a Boston cooking school and cooking is basically her superpower. She's also excellent at all kinds of housekeeping
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Dec 21, 2011 Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) rated it really liked it
I recently read the book that follows this one and realized that I was missing pieces of the story. I purchased this as a kindle edition, I am glad that I did. All of my questions were answered and I feel comfy and cozy with the second story now! :0)

Julia is in an engagement that she is not excited about. She finds an add placed in the paper for a cook. The rancher is desperate. She packs her bags and heads to the frontier of Wyoming. Happily breaking her engagement in the process.

She discovers
Dec 25, 2011 Colette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, kindle, 2011
From what I have read in reviews, this book is a departure from what Ms. Kelly used to write for Harlequin and I think that has garnered some criticism from her former fans...BUT now that she's writing for an LDS audience (according to her "About the Author" info at the end) I think I may become a big fan! Usually LDS fiction makes me squirm. I always feel a little uncomfortable with the "commercialization" of religion but this story of self-discovery and of the main character discovering her ow ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
I enjoy this authors writing but can't recomend all her books as I have learned that it depends on the publisher as to the amount of sexual content. I'm really glad to have her writing for a publisher that I can comfortably read and enjoy. Her heroines talk to themselves and have a sense of humor.
Now this book. A young woman breaks her engagement and answers an add to be a cook (after all she had attended the Fannie Farmer Boston School of Cookery) on a ranch in Wyoming. Facing her trials there
Mar 03, 2011 Margali rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance_novels
This Mormon-inspirational romance was a better book than Kelly's last Regency Romance, The Admiral's Penniless Bride. Interesting characters and a lot of fun, historical detail. (Although I find it hard to believe that, even back in 1909, someone might think that warm liver salad was worth cooking!) The end of the book is going to be a lot more meaningful for someone who is Mormon, I think, but the book is full of Kelly's usual warmth, humor and historical detail and is definitely worth reading.
Mar 01, 2016 Kennedy rated it really liked it
I really liked how this book was written, it made me long for how the days were back then. This is about a great young lady who lives in Salt Lake and engaged to a wealthy banker, named Ezra. Her heart longs for something more and isn't ready to marry so she dissolves the engagement and answers an ad that is in the newspaper for "Desperate Rancher". This ad wants a cook that has graduated from a cooking school and to be in Wyoming in the next week or so. She meets her boss, Mr. Otto, and his ra ...more
Jul 28, 2014 Patti rated it really liked it
Carla Kelly is one of my favorite authors and I have read nearly all of her books. “Borrowed Light” is a historical fiction novel that takes place about 1910, centering in Salt Lake City and the wilds of Wyoming.
The main character, Boston Fanny Farmer Cooking School grad Julia Darling, decides to break her engagement to a young man that she really doesn’t love or respect. On a fluke she answers an ad for a cook to a Wyoming Rancher. Paul Otto sends her train tickets and welcomes her to his remo
Mar 08, 2011 Jennie rated it really liked it
So far I'm loving it. Kelly has a great sense of humor.

I finished it and for the most part it was great. I was only disappointed that she went back to her Harlequin roots to put the main characters in bed together for the important final scene. The scene isn't R rated, but it lost its impact because of the poor choice of setting. Except for that scene I would give the book five stars.
Jan 26, 2013 Marlene rated it really liked it
This book piqued my fancy. I thought the main character had a lot of strength and courage to leave her home and learn to stand up for herself rather than wilting under extreme pressure. She met her goals with her resolve and found a new life and love in the process. Recommended to anyone who likes romance....and it is a romance book, pretty predictable, but I liked it anyway.
Oct 22, 2012 Tausha rated it it was amazing
Oct. 2012

I loved this book. I just reread it because I wanted to read the next one and had forgotten a lot of what had happened. I was glad I did...I enjoyed it just as much this go round. :) I thought the author did a great job at leading the characters to their own testimonies and to each other. Never hurts to throw in a handsome cowboy and some Indians, fun story.
Apr 05, 2014 Dad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lds-fiction
My wife and I read this book together. I would drive as she read on our drives to Salt Lake or Logan. This book was also read over the phone by my wife's dad and his friend. She loaned it to us so it was special.
This was an exciting story with two souls very different coming together to make an awesome love story. Julia left a secure fiance, whom she didn't love, to travel by train to the Double Teepee Ranch to cook for a cattle rancher in the wilds of Wyoming. She is soon helping everyone to
Apr 12, 2014 Margaret rated it liked it
This book had a lot going for it according to my tastes. It takes place in the early 1900's with Julia who ends her engagement to a man she doesn't love and answers an ad in her Salt Lake City newspaper for a wanted cook at a cattle ranch in very rural Wyoming. She takes the train to Wyoming and goes to work on the ranch making meals for a bunch of ranchers. Julia's boss, Paul, and Julia have a bumpy start. Julia is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Paul is not. Jul ...more
May 11, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
I can not put this book down. Great story telling & a great story. I just hope she writes more, because I don't want Paul & Julia's story to end.
So now that I have ended the book, I'm hoping Carla Kelly will write another one to continue their story. It was just a spiritual uplifting love story.
Mar 17, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it
After a slow start, I ended up liking this Western, LDS, Romance. My favorite character is Paul Otto. You won't find this novel, too preachy, but there is a lot to cheer about as you read. Nice connection between the couple Julia and Paul.
Aug 30, 2011 Michele rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it in a few hours because I just couldn't put it down. So much information about farming in the early 20th century in Wyoming, mixed with a terrific love story. Loved it!
Jenni C
Jan 14, 2014 Jenni C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clean-romance
(Warning: No NOT read the sequel to this book before reading the reviews!!!) This review ONLY applies to this book...not its' sequel.)

This book is now in my top 5 favorite stories list of all time. Already bought it too :)

Pros: Strong plot, excellent characters I immediately got attached to - the heroine was awesome, strong, funny, and cute!!!- , and just enough conservative romance to make the reader happy. I LOVE the plains and this book talks a lot about ranch life and culture. Personally, I
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National P
More about Carla Kelly...

Other Books in the Series

Borrowed Light (2 books)
  • Enduring Light (Borrowed Light #2)

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