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Chaparral Hearts #2

Sing in the Sunlight

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Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they're married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda's not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

406 pages, Kindle Edition

Published March 2, 2021

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About the author

Kathleen Denly

8 books206 followers
Kathleen Denly writes historical romance to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. She enjoys finding the lesser-known pockets of history and bringing them to life through the joys and struggles of her characters.

Sunny California, a favorite setting in her stories, is also her home. She lives there with her loving husband, four young children, two dogs, and ten cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories.

When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, she spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Kathleen is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the award-winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series.

Always happy to hear from her readers, you can direct message or email Kathleen and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews
Profile Image for Abigail Harris.
Author 25 books181 followers
March 27, 2021
My expectations of this novel were borderline high, yet, I prepared to be disappointed as this was my first book from Kathleen Denly.

Was I disappointed by this new to me author? No!

I was impressed with the way that Kathleen Denly handled the subjects that came into play in “Sing in the Sunlight” such as abandonment, adoption, unwed pregnancy, and family.

The characters were so real that I couldn’t help but be pulled into their lives.

I look forward to more from this author!

I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama.
490 reviews49 followers
March 14, 2021
After reading Kathleen's first book and falling in love with the characters there I didn't know how she was going to top that but boy did she! I completely enjoyed reading about Clarinda and Richard. They were amazing characters. The story line was beautiful, filled with the elements of forgiveness, courage and finding who you are in God. And did I mention Richard?! (insert dreamy eyes!)

Let's chat about these characters. Clarinda has lived her entire life in hiding and in fear of what others will think about her scars. She has lived with this idea that her parents never wanted her near because of her scars. She hides behind veils constantly. I must admit I had strong feelings regarding her parents at first but then as you keep reading you definitely understand that it was all a misunderstanding. There are some characters you will definitely fall in love with like Fletcher! He is the perfect family member. Then you have Arnie who you will despise!! What a spineless jerk! (Trust me you'll have the same feelings!)

Let's not forget about Richard!! He goes through a journey of his own in this story as he finds out who he truly is. He is amazing and understanding especially when he meets Clarinda. He not only sees her but is captivated with her. He sees her like no one else does or ever have. Seriously he is swoony. I won't tell you more because you definitely have to read it and if you want to catch the first one check out my review here. Although this could be read as a stand-alone I highly recommend you read the first book. It introduces you to Richard and it was lovely to see some of the past characters even if it was just for a few minutes.

Kathleen Denly does an amazing job once again. She writes such great romance but its more than that. She weaves God throughout the whole storyline and the research she has done is impeccable. Especially when dealing with adoption and unwed motherhood in that time period. I can't wait to see what else comes from this author!

I received this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Ejayen.
497 reviews7 followers
March 5, 2021
RTC on like March 2. Hold me to it.
It's now March 5. Thank you all for holding me to it, but not to strictly. Something happened and I decided to spend the week before 2 without internet. So on 2 I was updating my Goodreads and I didn't want to review this book for fear it would get lost in the many. Ah, well.
I've written a few reviews for other places, that mainly focus on Fletcher, but I want to do something a wee bit different for this one.
This is a story where the main character has a history of bad communication. This was super well done. Part of me felt like they were communicating to well by the end of the book, but the rest of me was glad.
This book starts with tragedy upon sadness. And as the story moves more towards hope and, we learn more about why it started the way it did.
All told, it is beautiful, and I can hardly recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Faye.
1,692 reviews
March 7, 2021
I wasn't aware that this was the second in a series, and I'm glad that I didn't know that or I might have missed out on this wonderful read.

Clarinda has lived her life hiding behind a veil, a result of a childhood accident and the unkindness of others. She is used to being overlooked and unloved, but is willing to do whatever it takes to give her unborn child a safe home, even if it means marrying a man she's never met. I loved seeing how she slowly comes out of her shell, as she gets to know Richard, and we see her blossom throughout the book.

Richard is patient and kind, I loved how he keeps pursuing Clarinda, and wants to truly get to know her beyond the veil. He is a godly man, I loved how he is open about his faith, sharing what he knows, reading the Bible at night, and living what he believes. I adored how he makes it clear that he wants her to be comfortable in their home, and he listens when she has insights and ideas.

Overall this ended up being an entertaining read, with well built characters and a satisfying love story. It did have a bit of a slow start as the groundwork was laid and parts of the story could be seen as unrealistic, but it picked up quite satisfactorily as the characters were more defined and the story progressed, and culminated into a beautiful ending.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Profile Image for Cover Lover Book Review.
742 reviews54 followers
February 14, 2021
I just love it when I open a book and am instantly swept away. Sing in the Sunlight pulled me in quickly and introduced me to charming and unforgettable characters.

It is so easy to connect with Clarinda. She’s humble, somewhat naïve, and carrying a lot of trauma. I empathized with her physical and emotional scars and wanted her to regain her faith and find the desires of her heart.

I love Richard’s foundation in faith. He’s a good man and is so easy to bond with. He’s understanding, temperate, and Godly. He’s in search of genuine love, and I rooted for him to receive it.

Christian fiction is such an inspiring and edifying genre, and the author does an exceptional job of blending faith into the story without being forceful. Ms. Denly is a new-to-me author and I admire her historical knowledge and her skillful gift of storytelling.

This is an expertly crafted Christian historical fiction story. It showcases flawed, lovable characters and their rewards of faith, perseverance, and acceptance.

Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ.

Profile Image for Melissa.
346 reviews13 followers
March 2, 2021
This story swept me away from the first chapter! I read half the book in one sitting. The characters are relatable, loveable, and charming. The plot gives a nod to the book of Hosea in the Bible, which I really enjoyed. I appreciated that it isn't a retelling, just a nod. The writing flows really well and keeps your attention. And the setting is delightful! I could picture myself on the ranch, enjoying the sunshine. Very well done...and I cannot wait to read the third book in this series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Holly Bleggi.
608 reviews8 followers
February 19, 2021
Great book by Kathleen Denly! I loved seeing the characters grow as they started to see themselves as God sees them. I liked how Richard helped Clarinda to realize that her scars were beautiful and that she was loved just as she was. I thought this was a great historical christian fiction. I loved learning more about the history of California while reading about these characters journey. I like how the romance grew between Richard and Clarinda but how we had to see God start to soften her heart. Great book and looking forward to reading more by this author.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
5,343 reviews
February 11, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight is the second installment from Kathleen Denly’s series, Chaparral Hearts. I had the pleasure reading the first book, Waltz in the Wilderness, and I absolutely loved it. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this one even more. It is so so good. Even though it is part of a series, I believe it can be read as a stand alone. I adored Clarinda right from the start. My heart ached for her at first, but she showed such bravery and courage to continue on. Such a wonderful story to read.

I am giving Sing in the Sunlight five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoys reading clean historical fiction. I look forward to another book from the Chaparral Hearts series, Harmony on the Horizon.

I received Sing in the Sunlight from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.
Profile Image for Kailey.
604 reviews67 followers
February 16, 2021
I really enjoyed this book! I think this is my favorite book by Kathleen Denly! I liked Clarinda, but I loved Richard! He was definitely my favorite character in this book. I loved the whole story! I can't wait to read more from this author!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
December 23, 2020
This is the second book in the 3 book series by the author. The first book, Waltz in the Wilderness, was perfectly combined seamlessly into this new story. I love the small details the author uses to connect the characters and the stories for each book. The heroine in Sing in the Sunlight, Clarinda, is definitely not as strong willed and confident as the other main character Eliza was. The love story of Clarinda and Richard is anything but typical. There are a lot of twists and turns to their story and uncovering of truths. I truly enjoyed getting to know the characters. Richard Stevens is my new all time favorite hero in all the Christian romance novels. He exemplifies what it means to be a Godly husband. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel but also loves historical fictions. The author loves history and she incorporates true and authentic events that happened during the times and places in which her stories take place.
April 11, 2021
Almost nothing and no one in Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is what or who they first appear to be. I’m not talking about some sort of Old West espionage, though. Rather, I mean that through these characters and their circumstances, the author reminds us of how often our own emotions & experiences cloud our perceptions. And, in turn, how those potentially-false assumptions (no matter how true we believe they are) can destroy our peace and damage our relationships.

My heart broke for Clarinda, for how little she valued herself, for how she failed to see her own beauty. Instead, the scars on her body have eaten into her heart and left a different sort of scar, one that leaves her in a prison of her own making. I couldn’t completely relate to Clarinda, as I always knew that my parents were my safe place, but I was bullied for my physical appearance as an adolescent so I definitely did understand her desire to hide what she was insecure about. I think nearly every female can identify with that, though, since society preaches to us from young ages that the only acceptable beauty is the flawless kind.

Thank goodness that’s NOT the only acceptable beauty, however. The Bible teaches us that the heart’s beauty is what really matters and that physical beauty ultimately doesn’t, and Clarinda actually has both in spades. Enter Richard, who falls in love with all of her beauty – inside and out – and perseveres even in her repeated rejections to teach her about the truest of Love. He, too, has a need to grow more confident in his own identity, and I loved how the marriage of convenience aspect to this story allowed us to watch both characters be changed & refined by each other.

Bottom Line: Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is a sweet romance with layered characters and a message of restoration & redemption. The author took me through a gamut of emotions as I read this story – compassion, frustration, anger, dismay, conviction, relief and joy – and one particular set of scenes where my heart stayed solidly in my throat, so vivid were her depictions of a harrowing piece of history. While I wasn’t as instantly captivated by these characters as I was with Eliza and Daniel (from Waltz in the Wilderness), I think I ultimately related to Richard & Clarinda and their story more. Great choice for fans of Tracie Peterson and Misty M. Beller!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)

first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower
Profile Image for Nicole.
719 reviews21 followers
March 2, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is a really excellent Historical Romance. My attention was gripped from chapter one and I hated when I had to put this book down. There is so much to love about Sing in the Sunlight, but if I had to narrow it down to one thing that I loved the most it would be how engaging this story is. There is not a dull moment! I did love the characters, too. Clarinda is a beautiful, strong, independent woman, but she does allow her fears and assumptions to hold her back from the full life God wants her to enjoy. My heart went out to her — her insecurities are some I’ve faced myself. In this, Clarinda is a pretty relatable character. I also appreciate her tumultuous journey to a true faith in and relationship with God. For many of us, getting our hearts on the right track takes some time and a lot of bumps along the way. Richard is a wonderful hero. He is so kind, compassionate, and thoughtful. I absolutely adore how he seems to always know what Clarinda wants and needs before she does. Richard is also noble. This is a character trait that really stands out. He is a good man and he works hard to do right by his loved ones, his friends, and his community. In addition to being thoroughly engaged and loving the endearing characters, I also found the themes thought-provoking and timely. Specifically, I appreciate the discussion in regards to scars and how we can, if we are not careful, make them a mask we hide behind. Truly something to consider as I had never really thought of scars as something I could hide behind, but it is true. All in all, Sing in the Sunlight is a wonderful Historical Romance that I just cannot recommend enough. Definitely purchase yourself a copy today. You won’t be disappointed that you did!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Kathleen Denly, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Profile Image for Donna C.
405 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2021
What I think you should know:
Sing in the Sunlight is a historical fiction by Kathleen Denly, it is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series, this book briefly mentions the characters from the first book in the series, but it does not impact this story. I would however recommend the first book in the series as it was a great adventure!

What you might need to know:
Clarinda was attacked by a dog when she was a child leaving her with scars.
Native Americans are not treated with respect by some people in the book.

What I think about this book:
Denly has written a beautiful book about realizing that you God loves you no matter what value man puts in you, that God uses circumstances for His good even if you as man it does not make sense to us. Clarinda feels abandoned by God and has long allowed her worth to be diminished by her accident, it is heartbreaking how she cut herself off from the world. Richard feels drawn to her and wants to help her to open herself up to the world and most of all to God. However the story is not all about Richard and Clarinda, it features life on a western ranch and dangers that could surround them. Denly created a story that captured my heart and imagination. I really enjoyed this book and hope that there are more in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

1,237 reviews9 followers
February 24, 2021
What a great book this was! From the first chapter, it swept me into a world of California ranchers, miners, native Americans and sweet, Clarinda. Due to an injury in her youth, Clarinda is scarred facially. She has believed all her life that she is horrible to look at and has ruined her parents' lives & business. Therefore, she wears a mask and won't be without it. Richard has a chance meeting with her on a ferry and never forgets her. He happens to see her without her mask and thinks she is beautiful! As circumstances happen, he ends up in San Diego where Clarinda lives and due to Clarinda's unexpected condition, he marries her - although she's not happy about it one bit! One man hurt her so deeply that she'll never trust another man again! I absolutely loved Richard's unwavering patience, love, devotion to Clarinda. No matter what she said or did, he was faithful and kind to her. Some people would give up and leave but not Richard! On the ranch where they live, there are many things difficult happening and Richard & Clarinda must work together to overcome them. I loved everything about this story. Patience, love, faith, endurance and especially, Richard seeing Clarinda for who she really was - inside! A wonderful book!
Profile Image for Ann.
2,040 reviews3 followers
February 24, 2021
What a wonderful read! The author brings the book to life with her words and you feel like you are there. You instantly connect with the characters and feel all of the emotions. I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy and all opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Carolyn Bryant.
481 reviews35 followers
March 3, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight, the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series, is another stellar offering from exceptional storyteller Kathleen Denly. This touching story of betrayal, sacrifice, and overcoming physical and emotional scars features powerful, enthralling characters; a fast-moving, captivating plot with a few intriguing surprises; beautifully described settings; sweet romance that tugs at the heartstrings; bits of interesting history; and meaningful faith lessons. Although it is part of a series, this book works excellently as a stand-alone. It was satisfying, however, to reconnect with Daniel and Eliza from the first book Waltz in the Wilderness. Clarinda and Richard just made the top of my “unforgettable characters list”, and this book is definitely heading to my “best reads” list. I highly recommend this book as a must read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but am under no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Brittany.
2,188 reviews137 followers
March 7, 2021
This is the second book that I have read by this author and, once again, she has crafted an intriguing tale. Sing in the Sunlight is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series, but it is very much a stand alone novel.

I really enjoyed this marriage of convenience story and felt for both of the main characters. Clarinda frustrated me at times, however the things she believed about herself and others were the direct result of the attack she survived as a child. Her experiences and the way she felt that people had treated her made her a very wounded character emotionally. Her faith journey toward total healing was a deep one, spurred on by a husband who had a special kind of love and patience for her.

Richard was a great character. He made so many right choices in how he related to Clarinda. He loved God, learned to love Clarinda, and loved Clarinda’s child even before the birth. I really liked his attitude. However, I also thought the author did a good job of showing that he wasn’t perfect. He struggled with frustration and on one occasion became angry with the way Clarinda kept herself emotionally closed off from him. He also struggled with doubt about whether Clarinda would ever love him.

There was a lot to this book and many interesting characters and situations that arose. Clarinda and Richard had to not only grow in their marriage together, but faced many obstacles due to the wild and dangerous area they lived in.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

You can read this review on my blog:
Profile Image for Nyla.
Author 1 book11 followers
March 9, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight is Book Two in author Kathleen Denly’s Chaparral Hearts series. It is a Christian historical romance that is set in 1850’s California. Even though it is Book Two, it can be read by itself.

This is the story of Clarinda Humphrey. She is a mild mannered woman with a troubled past. I was invested in her story from the very beginning. My heart broke for her when she lost so much.

It is also the story of Richard. He is a quintessential godly man. I immediately liked him. He was on a journey to find himself and met Clarinda.

This novel is exceptional. The writing is smooth and the story flows effortlessly. I love the details that the author has included. They make the story come alive ad easier to imagine. Conversations sound authentic. Expect some twists and turns to keep readers on their toes.

There are so many timeless life and spiritual lessons in this book. It was nice to see a character follow God’s leading. The tale deals with forgiveness, promiscuity, lies, following God, family, and loss.

I highly recommend this book. It has a beautiful story with a wonderful message. I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. These are my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Samantha McCollough.
23 reviews5 followers
April 5, 2021
Great Read!
This book was such a great read for me! I loved every character. Well, almost every character! Especially Richard. Richard had my heartstrings pulled tight ever since he appeared on page. Great plot, the whole story in general was phenomenal and kept me on my toes! Clarinda's character development was very touching for me and the way that Kathleen wrote SITS in general made me feel as if I had been transported into the world of Clarinda and Richard! One thing I always appreciate about Kathleen's books, is that they are always easy to read and will never bore you.
March 2, 2021
I loved Kathleen's love story of Clarinda and Richard. I highly recommend this book.
The way Richard trusted in God and went where God told him he'd find his wife.
All the struggles Clarinda went through and Richard was right there.
Oh it was just amazing!
Profile Image for Cathy Cermele.
708 reviews10 followers
March 2, 2021
This is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series by Ms. Denly, but can be read as a standalone. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Clarinda Humphrey and Richard Stevens. I’ll be honest, it took some time for me to get interested, but once I did, it was hard to put down.

My heart ached for Clarinda for both her physical and emotional scars which are both so difficult for her to overcome. I loved Richard immediately, he’s the reason why I kept reading as fast as I possibly could. I was surprised and happy to reconnect with a couple of characters from the first book Waltz in the Wilderness.

Overall, I thought the premise was interesting, the characters proved to be memorable and the authors writing pulled me into her story.

An e-book was provided to me from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ava.
69 reviews
March 5, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight comes after Waltz in the Wilderness which I read and enjoyed some months back. Even though they are part of a series, each can be read in any order without any spoilers or missing backstory.

I really liked Sing in the Sunlight. The characters were flawed and real - flawed due to very real, believable, understandable hurts in their young lives. Like most good stories, misunderstandings make up a good part of the reason for the hurts. Hurting people don't always see things as they really are because they're too close. It's kinda hard to see the beauty of stained glass when your eyeball is pressed up against it. I loved seeing the development and growth of Clarinda as she learns to accept love. I also loved seeing the incredible patience of Richard as he seeks to show her not only his love but the love of God which she needs more than anything.

Some quotes I like:

He liked the idea of having a name for her that no one else used -- a name not associated with the ridicule and betrayal she'd experienced so much in her life.

They just didn't know how to handle a daughter who'd been far more wounded than her scars revealed.

Most parents love their children and want their best for them. However, parents are very much human and do not always handle situations in the best way or treat their children like they should be treated. If you come from a childhood that was less than ideal, remember what Jesus said on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) I am sure that if parents knew the deep and lasting effects that their actions and words (or lack thereof) had on their children, they would have chosen differently. Just remember that they most likely didn't know or for whatever reason maybe couldn't help it.

"Because we, my darling, were never meant to hide in the shadow. We were meant to sing in the sunlight."

This line shows how the love of God and of her husband touched Clarinda and helped her to heal and to thrive.

This is a story well worth reading. Thank you to Celebrate Lit for the opportunity to request, receive, read, and review this book.
Profile Image for Connie Hill.
1,405 reviews19 followers
March 9, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight by: Kathleen Denly is a Christian historical fiction novel. This is also book 2 in the Chaparral Hearts series. I have read book one. You can see my review of that book:
In this story that is set in California, we meet Clarinda Humphrey. She has had a rough life. Her scarred appearance from an incident in her youth has caused her to lose everything. However, while attending The Young Ladies Seminary she meets a man that she thought she could trust. In return, he betrayed her, defiled her and left her carrying his child. She tends to wear a mask to hide her disfigured face. She rarely goes without it. We also meet Richard Stevens, who honestly was my most favorite character. He meets Clarinda on a ferry. He is so taken back with her beauty. He has seen her without the mask and cannot get her out of his mind (SWOON!!!!) As fate may have it, they cross paths again. This is once Clarinda has been so deeply hurt that she refuses to even think of marrying or being with another man. Richard, is still very taken with Clarinda. He sees the condition that she is in and marries her. He wants a real marriage. Not a marriage of convenience. They live together on a ranch and have their work cut out for them. Clarinda, is so deeply scared from her past relationship, she lashes out at Richard. Richard takes it, and still manages to shower her with love, affection and loyalty. (Do you see why he is my most favorite character?) Over time they have to work through some challenges and I enjoyed seeing their marriage blossom. If you have not read book one (which you should, because it is good) You will see previous characters make an appearance. I am looking forward to book 3 in this series.
The author has done great research to ensure that the book is historically accurate. I don’t know a whole lot about California ranchers, but her descriptions and storyline taught me a lot. Her writing flows and you will be drawn into the story within the first few page.

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Kendra Neal.
916 reviews17 followers
March 12, 2021
Historical Fiction is a favorite genre of mine and in Sing in the Sunlight,
Kathleen Denly takes us back to 1858. Sing in the Sunlight is Book 2 in
the Chaparral Hearts series. I was blessed to read Book 1 in the series
and I was very excited to be able to read the latest book in the series.

Clarinda Humphrey has lived her life behind a veil/mask She was a victim of a dog attack as a youngster, leaving her scars all over her face. She doesn't want to let her future be ruined and she attends The Young Ladies Seminary, Clarinda meets someone who she believes loves her for who she is. The relationship ended and Clarinda finds herself with child. Richard Stevens is on his way to San Francisco to discover whom he really is. He has found a letter that leads him to travel to San Francisco as he believes he has been lied to about who he really is. Along the way, he runs into Clarinda and he sees her without the Veil. He believes she is AMAZINGLY beautiful. Richard asks Godfor guidance in finding his perfect Bride and he believes Clarinda is the one. Clarinda isn't interested in a relationship, she just wants someone to help care for her child. Although, she has told people that she and Richard are married. Richard doesn't want a marriage of Convenience, he wants a real marriage. Will Clarinda allow Richard into her heart and find real love? Will Richard be able to show Clarinda that beauty is not only on the outside, but look inside for deep
love? Ohhh, the mystery is great. Grab a copy of the book to find out.

I was hooked on this book from the first Chapter. Clarinda spent so much of her life in hiding, and feels like a failure. She sees hope for the future and decides to let her veil down for love, but that love ends. She remains strong for her child and Richard comes along. Richard is an AMAZING character and his faith is really strong. He is also amazingly patient and kind, and really helps Clarinda come out of her shell even more. I also liked the Christian aspects of the book. Trusting God and forgiving the past and letting go, are very prominent in this book! A GREAT Love story!!
Profile Image for Blessed & Bookish.
231 reviews14 followers
March 10, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is the second book in her Chaparral Hearts Series. This series keeps getting better! The author is wonderful at painting the landscape of the California countryside as well as sprinkling in all the interesting historical details. I’ve enjoyed this aspect of her writing in both books in the series.
I hate to pick favorites, but I am enamored with Clarinda and Richard’s story. Sing in the Sunlight may have its fair share of heartache, but the healing and restoration that comes from Clarinda and Richard learning to trust each other really make this story lift your heart.
Clarinda is a wounded woman--inside and out--but I loved how God used her mistakes and flaws to mold her into the woman He always meant her to be. Ah! I love redemption stories, and Clarinda’s is now a favorite!
Richard is the dreamy, tall, handsome hero, but his love for God and his determination to follow God’s will are even more attractive. Combine that with his gentle affection for Clarinda and the buckets upon buckets of patience the man must possess, and he is beyond swoon-worthy. Sigh.
Overall, I loved this story. I was hooked from the beginning, and could hardly force myself to put the book down until I’d reached the end. Kathleen Denly is a great, new author for those who enjoy Christian historical fiction--especially stories set in the western United States. I foresee her books only getting better from here, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
I was given a copy of this book by the author with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Iola.
1,316 reviews
July 4, 2021
The first few chapters of Sing in the Sunlight were awkward reading, because it was pretty obvious Clarinda was being strung along by her "betrothed" even before we met him. Once we met, it was even more obvious.

And yes, he turned out to be exactly the slimy creep I expected him to be. Worse, in fact. The story gets properly started when Clarinda leaves her boarding school in northern California and travels to her family home in San Diego, escorted by her cousin. On the way, they meet mine owner Richard Stevens, who has just inherited a shipping company.

When she arrives home, rather than telling her parents the truth—that’s she’s unmarried and pregnant—she tells them she is now the widowed Mrs Stevens, and that dear Richard died in a mining accident. It’s a convincing lie, until Richard Stevens appears on the scene … having dreamed they were married.

So starts an entertaining yet thought-provoking marriage of convenience story.

It’s easy to see why Clarinda got scammed by the slimy creep: she has facial scars that have left her believing no one will ever love her. She’s even convinced her own family can’t deal with the sight of her, so it makes perfect sense that she’d fall victim, then run away to the family ranch where no one will see her.

It’s great to watch her come out of her shell and open herself up and befriend her new husband, even if she doesn’t want to stay married to him. As such, it’s a unique marriage of convenience story, and one I will probably re-read.

Recommended for fans of Christian historical fiction.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.
920 reviews
March 3, 2021
Sing in the Sunlight is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series by Kathleen Denly. This story takes place in California in the 1850s. Clarinda's parents have sent her to the Young Ladies Seminary in Benicia where she met Arnie. They take off late in the night to go away and marry. When he gets tired and stops to rest she allows herself to give into temptation. He decides he can't go through with defying his father and marry her. When she finds herself alone and expecting a baby, her cousin comes to take her home with him. On their trip he meets Richard, a wealthy mine owner. Her cousin convinces her to go home to her parents and pretend to be married to Richard. What they don't expect is for Richard to one day go to the town her parents have a store. Nor do they know he has had a dream that he feels is God leading him to find Clarinda to be his wife.This is a well written story with twists and turns that kept me wanting to keep reading. Having not read the first book in the series was not a problem as this is a good stand alone story. The parts in he story that stand out for me are the feelings that Clarinda have of how her parents treated her after the accident that left her with facial scars. I especially enjoyed her parent's feeling on why they did what they did and how they wanted to move forward with her. I also enjoyed how Richard took the dream he had so seriously that he would go to extreme lengths to find her.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Deana Dick.
2,454 reviews61 followers
March 3, 2021
This story has so many wonderful messages tucked in among the pages. Clarinda is easy to relate to because so many of us feel like we aren’t good enough. Her scar on her face has kept her afraid to go out in public. I know exactly how it feels to feel shame. You think no one will ever want you and you are destined to be alone forever. It was heartbreaking to read how a man took advantage of Clarinda and then abandoned her when she needed him most.

Richard is such a great character because he sees past Clarinda’s scars and see the beauty within her. He is determined to come to her aide and I loved how faith filled he was. His belief that God sent him to rescue Clarinda is similar to the story of Mary and Joseph. God told Joseph to be with Mary and raise the child as his own. Richard hears the same from God about Clarinda and obeys Him.

The story has danger as well as a reminder that our scars are, “a symbol of courage and survival.” Some of us have physical scars while others have emotional scars. God doesn’t want to be ashamed. He wants us to hold our head up high and know that we are over-comers. Clarinda is a great example of letting down the veils she hid behind and having confidence in herself. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Her husband showed her unconditional love and made her feel beautiful inside and out. We aren’t meant to hide in the shadows. God says we were “meant to sing in the sunlight.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Profile Image for Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective).
1,124 reviews55 followers
March 19, 2021
Every now and then you read a book that has a character that you cannot peel your eyes off of. A character that you connect with on such a deep level, that the book just moves you, and you kind of find yourself growing right along with the character. That was me with this book. Clarinda is just someone I immediately fell in love with. Kathleen did an amazing job writing her character. You can feel her insecurities, her fears, her growth, and her wins. For me, it was almost like reading about myself and my own insecurities, so I’m a little biased. But in all honesty, I think a lot of readers will be able to connect with her.

Aside from the character gushing, Denly has brought history alive in this book. She has such attention to detail, not just making sure the story is true to the time period, but even the setting and everything about it. I appreciate authors who really take the time to dive in, research like crazy, and bring authenticity to their novels. Denly is one of these authors.

This combined with a wonderfully written hero, Richard. So sweet, compassionate, tender, and more. He does the right thing. No, he’s not perfect, but then no one is. Through the eyes of Richard and Clarinda, Denly not only gives readers a story they will devour, but a story that will inspire, share invaluable lessons, and touch your heart. I highly recommend this beautiful novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Robin E. Mason.
Author 10 books72 followers
March 3, 2021
I didn’t connect with Eliza Brooks in Ms. Denly’s last book, Waltz in the Wilderness—but I sure related to Clarinda in this story! I never felt the need to hide my disfigurement, but I sure felt like I should be hidden away.
Oh, how I longed for Clarinda to let herself be loved! Page after page I urged her to accept not only Richard’s love and affection for her, but our Savior’s as well.
Richard! Oh, what an image of Christ he gave. Living his conviction to the fullest—almost too good to believe. But doesn’t Father God use each of that way? To display His love?
Two disparate people in the most intimate of relationships. Oh, Ms. Denly, what a conundrum! What a story! What are the odds?
The depth of understanding the author has to her characters, to the nature of a wounded soul, to the painstaking process of healing. And the patience of our Savior as we resist and buck His tender ministrations.
I read greedily, turning page after page, waiting to see if Clarinda ever received all that our Heavenly Father has to offer.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Sing in the Sunlight, Kathleen Denly, Chaparral Hearts, Waltz in the Wilderness
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