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The Thorn Keeper

(Penned in Time #2)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  80 reviews
With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either.
Paperback, 402 pages
Published February 28th 2016 by Vinspire Publishing (first published February 2016)
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My official author endorsement for The Thorn Keeper:

"Pepper Basham's flawless writing style takes you deep into the heart of every scene with perfectly constructed emotionally complex characters who will capture your heart, as well as your undivided attention. And the love! Oh goodness, if you want an immensely satisfying romance, The Thorn Keeper will have you swooning!"

--Dawn Crandall, award winning author of The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter
Carrie Turansky
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great sequel to The Thornbearer. I love that time period in England, and Pepper Basham did a great job bringing her characters to life. Those who like historical romance, especially English historical, will enjoy this touching story.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved Catherine!! Her sister Ashleigh's story was wonderful, but by the end of it I had become utterly fascinated with Catherine and wanted so badly to spend more time in her head. And after finishing this delightful book, I immediately dived back in to all my favorite moments. Thank you for not giving up on Catherine, Ms. Basham! She snuck into my heart in book one and she's now officially stuck there forever. :)

Don't you just love when characters sink into your heart, especially when you don
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
I didn't think anything could topple Pepper Basham's first book, The Thorn Bearer, from its pedestal as one of my favorites. And while it's solidly still high on the list, The Thorn Keeper exceeded it in every way! No sophomore slump here... not at all. The beauty of Pepper's prose immediately sweeps you into the story where the characters (most familiar if you've read The Thorn Bearer) guarantee you won't be putting down the book until you've savored every last word. Catherine - sassy, sweet an ...more
Courtney | Soul of a Librarian
I recently told a friend that this Pepper Basham book is not a movie–it is a mini-series. Packed full of action, heart, and romance, The Thorn Keeper leaves an impact long after the final words are read. I adored Catherine’s journey of growth, as a person AND in her faith. This story is such a sweet picture of redemption and love. The bittersweet but beautiful romance between Catherine and David will stay with me for a LONG time.

This is just a great book and a fantastic addition to the series.
Just Commonly
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can tell you right now, this book, The Thorn Keeper will be in my year end top lists. I know, a tad bit unfair to all those books I've yet to read, but there's still room for them for sure. I'm just letting you know (ahead of time) the magnitude of how I enjoyed and love this book, and the characters, especially Catherine Dougall (Kat).

Nothing can prepare me with the level of completeness and perception Pepper wrote about Catherine in The Thorn Keeper. Her journey in Christ - her change, her c
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
After reading The Thorn Bearer, I couldn't wait to start The Thorn Keeper! In The Thorn Bearer, Catherine made a remarkable change from a shallow, petty, manipulative woman to a humble, caring servant of the Lord. In The Thorn Keeper, she continues to grow in her relationship with Christ, but she also continues to face the consequences of her prior actions, and she often views herself as unworthy of love and happiness because of her past.

I don't normally highlight fiction, but this quote struck
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
I’m not sure how I missed this wonderful series by Pepper Basham, but I am SO glad that I now have had the opportunity to read it.

This series takes place during the time period of World War 1 and gives us not only an up-close view of those times from a historical viewpoint, but also the sweeping story of the Dougall family and their experiences (especially in the medical field) during the the war.

This particular book features Catherine’s story. She’s been a flirt and a socialite, but has come to
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
After reading Pepper D. Basham’s debut novel, I eagerly anticipated her next book in the Penned in Time series. I knew ahead of time that this second book would be about Catherine, and I was intensely curious to see how the story would play out; Catherine did not get much sympathy from me in the first book, so I wanted to see how the author would bring me around.

And bring me around she did! Catherine’s story, which readers learned part of in the first novel, was the perfect vehicle for sharing g
Savanna Kaiser
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by Pepper Basham. It's the second time I've been swept away by her romantic stories and the second time I've been touched to tears with her words. The Thorn Keeper is a book to read slowly and savor. It is so full of emotion and beautiful, bittersweet redemption. It's not one I think readers will possibly forget.

I loved Catherine and David. These characters cling to your heart long after the the last page. I loved seeing the differences in their pasts and what G
Meghan DeWalt
I did not think I could enjoy a novel as much as I did this novel's predecessor, The Thorn Bearer. But Pepper Basham's sophomore novel blew me away from beginning to the unforeseen end.
We first met both main characters, Catherine Dougall and Dr. David Ross in The Thorn Bearer when he leads her to placing her shattered dreams, heart and life in the hands of the Ultimate Lover of even the most lost souls.
With WWI raging ever nearer the homefront of Ednesbury, England, Catherine and David grow clos
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed The Thorn Keeper! Catherine is desperately trying to overcome her past and is trying to live the life that God wants her to live. And Dr. David Ross is just the person who wants to help her with that. But can this relationship work, with David’s life so different than Catherine’s.

Pepper Basham has created the perfect cast of characters to tell this wonderful story of love, forgiveness and second chances. And Catherine’s story is told so beautifully, I wa
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I have been super busy without a lot of time for reading, but when I started this book, I could not put it down. It is the second book in the "Penned in Time" series and being set during WW1, has many unique qualities. It was amazing!

The storyline is unique by itself, but the historical detail of clothing design, hospitals, and the deep spiritual message sets this book apart from others.

It does deal with some harder topics like unwed mothers, suicide, and healing from abuse, so for that re
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-challenge
My heart went out to Catherine. The drama of her past was overwhelming. Her transformation was so beautiful to watch. Love is a powerful force. I'm left in awe of what the Lord is able to bring out our our brokenness. ...more
Mikal Dawn
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My thoughts:

This book. This author. This couple. This reader swoons.

Pepper Basham has done it again! I think the most beautiful thing about Pepper's writing is her poetic prose. She has such a natural talent for it! The most beautiful thing about this story is how the message of God's mercy, grace, and love is woven so naturally into the story line. The characters are flawed, passionate (let's be honest, Christians experience passion, too, so it's refreshing to see real characters who are not ic
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Thorn Keeper is the second installment of the Penned in Time series. This book is wonderful. Characters learn the lesson of redeeming oneself. Best book written by Pepper Basham to date. Looking forward to more by her in the future.
100 stars.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The Thorn Keeper is the second book in the Penned in Time series by Pepper D. Basham. This book tells the story of Catherine Dougall and her new faith. She has a reputation of manipulation so others judgement of her has her feeling filled with self-doubt. Then she gets pregnant.

Dr. David Ross is a kind doctor but he also feels like Catherine should reap what she has sown. His life has been one of careful plans to help give him
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookworm-mama
If you were to ask me right now, what my favorite book of the year is...I would mumble and grunt for a few minutes and then rattle off a list of at least 10 books. But without a doubt, The Thorn Keeper will be at the top of the list.

The Thorn Keeper posses a certain eloquence that enraptures you from the very beginning. I can't count the number of times that I had tears in my eyes as I read (tearing up right now in fact, thinking about the message of this story), or squealed with delight, or wan
See my full review and a GIVEAWAY on my blog:

Pepper D. Basham has a way of writing that grabs at your heartstrings. Although not quite as intense as the first book, the story of Catherine still has a depth of emotions that will keep you enthralled page after page.

So, the disliked Catherine of the first book has found her way to brokenness and repentance and is striving to be what God is calling her to be. She is facing the consequences of her sins and has
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham is a delightful Christian historical novel and the second book in the Penned In Time series. I would recommend reading book one first as this one follows on immediately afterwards.
It is still 1915 but the focus of this novel is on older sister Catherine. God has redeemed her and called her by name. Her past no longer defines her as she is a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes we fear that we are not ‘good enough’ to be used by God but “I can use you right whe
Alice Stanford
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'll start with the negatives:
This book started slowly for me, and as it is a long time since I read the first novel in this series, there was some confusion about the characters.
Initially I was annoyed as it seemed that an American woman came marching into an English town to fix all of there problems, as being American she could obviously had so much more insight into their situations than anyone else could. I found this more than a little patronising, but something kept me reading.
The positiv
Dana Michael
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in her Penned in Time series and I loved it just as much or even more than the first one. I fell in love with the hero, David. I mean, what's not to love about him. He is a faithful follower of Christ who seeks to put others needs above his own and he is a handsome doctor. I also felt that the heroine, Catherine, would be the best friend a gal could ever have. I definitely would love to be just like her. In fact, I felt a little convicted. She became a Christian and it ra ...more
Hallie Szott
Apr 16, 2020 marked it as reviewed
I’m reading Pepper Basham’s Penned in Time series all out of order… A few years ago, I loved The Thorn Healer (Book #3), and despite my intentions, I only recently made time for The Thorn Keeper (Book #2). Here’s to hoping that it won’t take me another few years to get to The Thorn Bearer (Book #1)! Luckily for me, these books are perfectly enjoyable on their own (though I’m sure they’re even better in order).

In The Thorn Keeper, a tender and charming romance unfolds amidst the hardship of World
Becky Smith
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book even more than the first book The Thorn Bearer! Again, Pepper's opening words draw you in: "There is a distinct difference between a heroine with a promised happy ending & a prodigal who must design her own." While I didn't like Catherine in the first book, she was endearing in this book. This captivating book about brokenness, redemption and second chances is full of precious gems! I have 2 favorites: "We are protected by His grip in such a precious way that the good & the bad ...more
Toni Shiloh
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Y'all Ms. Basham knocked my socks off with this read! I cannot begin to articulate the beauty of Catherine Dougall's story. It's a book that EVERY believer needs to read. To know that God can turn your old self and ways and refashion them for a new self and skills to glorify Him in the Kingdom.

*I received a free copy through SLB tours in exchange for an honest review.
** Full review at:
Sadie VanderKodde
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. David is a swoon-worthy character of epic proportions. And I loved witnessing Catherine's transformation as she came to understand and accept grace. This is one of the steamiest Christian fiction books I've read, so if you're averse to that you might want to skip this one. It was nothing untoward, and the couple is married, but it still surprised me a bit.

Again, I'm disappointed with the publishing (as I was with the first Penned in Time book). The formatting is terrible and
Pepper D. Basham is a gifted story teller. She writes in a way the characters come alive off of the pages and it feels like you are right there with them : ) One line in the book that I enjoyed....... We are never promised the next breath, but we are expected to do what we can with the breaths that we have.....
Jul 31, 2018 added it
I loved the book and the story line. It really helped me take a good look at myself and how I treat others. I loved following the characters in the book.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Dougall has found peace and meaning, working as a nurse alongside David Ross, helping him to put back together hundreds of men torn apart by the battlefield.

David struggles to provide care for those in need, not only those wounded on the battlefield, but those in town from less reputable backrounds, and those who cannot afford to pay the town doctor. He is dependent on his grandmother for funds, which makes his difficult job even harder.

Can Catherine and David overcome their obstacle
Lindsay Rankin
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
Every time I read another Pepper Basham book, I decide that THIS, this is my favorite one. So for now, this book is my favorite, until I read the third book in the series. ;)

I love these books so much. From the characters, to the lessons learned, to the setting, every part of it wove together to make a beautiful story that I just couldn’t put down.

When I read the first book, I had to confess that I didn’t like Catherine very much (though I don’t think we were supposed to for a good bit of the
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 25, 2015 10:01AM  

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Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction whe ...more

Other books in the series

Penned in Time (3 books)
  • The Thorn Bearer (Penned in Time, #1)
  • The Thorn Healer (Penned in Time #3)

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