If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too....moreIf I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too. There is something about mail-order bride stories that I really enjoy reading. It probably has to do with a newly married couple -- essentially strangers before the wedding -- discovering their love for each other.
This is the best mail-order bride story I've ever read. Ironically, the second best one was also in this series. I think Ms. Brendan has a gift when it comes to writing about romantic love between newly married couples. Add to that the tender heart the heroine has for animals and rescuing them from abuse and you have an intriguing book.
The hero was a sweetheart. Yeah, he had a pretty rigid personality at first, but as his love grew for his new bride, his strict boundaries became blurred and he learned to be spontaneous and not take life so seriously that it's predictable and boring. I loved experiencing the softening of his heart as he fell in love with her. The heroine's desire to please her husband while remaining true to herself is a good lesson for young women to learn. This novel illustrates that beautifully.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It's heartwarming and sensual at the same time, as newly married love should be. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year, if not at the top of my list!(less)
I love Philippa Gregory's novels. So far every one that I've read has held my interest to the end. This one was a bit more challenging than others for...moreI love Philippa Gregory's novels. So far every one that I've read has held my interest to the end. This one was a bit more challenging than others for some reason. It took me a lot longer to read than usual, despite the interruption in my life and routine that made reading anything challenging. I did identify with the heroine and loved how the story ended with the White Princess finally understanding what Queen Anne went through when she -- Elizabeth, the White Princess -- was the apple of King Richard's eye. I liked how it tied to the other book, Lady of the Rivers, which I found very hard to put down.
The element of the missing York princes and the legend of what may have happened to them - which no one knows for sure - mingled with curse Elizabeth made with her mother on whoever killed prince Richard, became a subtle, yet integral part of this novel. I loved that element of intrigue. Also, the fear and trepidation that Elizabeth's husband went through as long as the people of England wanted to replace him with a York Prince made this story tie into others I've read as well. I felt for Elizabeth and hurt for her being forced into a loveless marriage with a king who essentially raped her in the beginning. There was no love in their marriage, and if she had been anyone other than a York princess, the fate of being matched with the usurper, pretender Tudor King would not have taken place.
All in all, this was a good story about what it may have looked like during the time when the Tudor's feared that their throne would be taken over by a York. The ending left me feeling a bit sad, and I agree that the guilt felt by the king was well-deserved. The coolest part is that the next segment of the story follows history. Arthur marries Kathryn of Aragon and dies, thus she is remarried to Henry, who becomes the famous Henry VIII, who is well known for his many wives and lack of a legitimate male heir, resulting in the Virgin Queen. I would recommend this book for history lovers and for people who enjoy books that tie together, even if they release out of order. (less)
This story was more of a historical novel than a historical romance, but it was still a good book. There were two different stories that came together...moreThis story was more of a historical novel than a historical romance, but it was still a good book. There were two different stories that came together at the end. This story had its sad moments and it's enthralling ones. It wasn't my favorite book by Melanie, and I love many of her books, but it was still worth reading. If you love fiction set during the Revolutionary War and tales of bravery, spying, and such, you will enjoy this book. (less)
I enjoyed this story. It's not my favorite book by this author, but I loved the abolitionist themes as well as the bad boy turning good plot the story...moreI enjoyed this story. It's not my favorite book by this author, but I loved the abolitionist themes as well as the bad boy turning good plot the story was based on. What the love of a woman will do for a man...sometimes that can turn the hardest of hearts toward God. Fortunately Jack was one of the better in the bunch... maybe the only good guy in his family besides his sweet little sister. I really loved her character. She almost made me cry several times. I'm sure she smiled at the end of the story even if it's not included in the book.
Ellie, the heroine, is everything I wish I could be myself. Tender and passionate, yet demure and sweet at the same time. But she is also honest and true to herself and she loves with her whole heart. That's a great heroine. The way the author described her feelings whenever she was around Jack was well done and my heart melted a few times when they were together. The same with Jack. A few times I almost cried. This author really knows how to pull at a reader's heartstrings. I am looking forward to the third book in this series. (less)
I adored this author's writing style and "voice." The story came alive to me and all I wanted to do was read this book. It was tragically beautiful an...moreI adored this author's writing style and "voice." The story came alive to me and all I wanted to do was read this book. It was tragically beautiful and passionately written. The lessons Bess learned were priceless. Her longtime friend, Gil, was truly heroic. One couldn't help wondering what might have happened to the Tudor Dynasty if Henry VIII had married Bess Blount instead of Anne Boleyn. Though not Christian fiction, the story went deep and explored the faith of the characters, which was sincerely experienced despite being a bit misguided. The religious parts of the story were genuine to the time they lived in.
The emotion between the king and Bess felt genuine to me. I actually liked Henry VIII and his seemingly impossible position in this book. What may have started out as a selfish pursuit by Henry ended up sparking frightening emotions he hadn't allowed himself to feel with any of the other women in court. I have always wondered about the life of the first and only living son Henry VIII had produced outside of wedlock. I felt badly for him and the constraints his role as king put on him. His way of working around the system set in place for centuries had ultimately cost his son Harry his very life. Quite sad, but true to history.
Again, this novel was well-written and heartfelt. I absolutely loved this book. I am glad I discovered this book at the store and purchased it because I am now a devoted fan of Ms. Haeger's. (less)
I haven't read a book by Sarah Sundin yet that I haven't loved. This one is no exception. While over 400 pages, I still devoured it. She is a master a...moreI haven't read a book by Sarah Sundin yet that I haven't loved. This one is no exception. While over 400 pages, I still devoured it. She is a master at storytelling and always has an interesting slant to things. In this case the hero was a pharmacist hoping to earn the recognition he felt his profession deserved. The heroine battled fear that often paralyzed her. She was also dealing with emotions surrounding the loss of a friend, and thus, her reason for being there as a flight nurse. I really liked Hutch, the hero. He had his issues, but what man doesn't struggle with human weakness, like the tendency to become proud? He also sounded pretty dreamy. I loved the way his inner dialog sounded so masculine.
This story pulled me in and held my attention to the end. The facts about pharmaceutical compounds and how the hero created medicines was all quite fascinating. The characters had natural emotions and genuine spiritual struggles. Nothing felt stifled or sterilized. The whole issue of rank had to jab at poor Hutch's masculinity. A secondary character, Lucia, was delight to get to know through her interactions with the hero and heroine. I could see why they were so fond of that sweet girl. Georgie, the heroine, had spunk and probably blossomed the most in this story. I admired her wanting to break free from the dependency that her family and the southern culture encouraged. She had guts that emerged from her trials. She had to change the way she thought about herself. It was a great example of God's perspective renewing our minds.
All in all, this was a fabulous story. I was emotionally engaged and loved watching the characters grow stronger in their faith through their many trials. I think one of the things I enjoy most about Sarah's books are the different ways she slides faith-related issues into the story so naturally. They never feel forced or like they were inserted as an afterthought. The author did a great job in the way she showed humility bringing peace and pride bringing nothing but bitterness and discontentment in this novel. Great job! I can't wait to read the third book in this series.(less)