Words, once spoken, can mend a broken life…or cripple it. But words left unspoken can haunt the soul, inflicting a far deeper wound.
Annabelle Grayson has been given a second chance at life, but she can't claim it with the cloud of her past hanging over her in Willow Springs. After her husband dies, she advertises for a trail guide to accompany her to land waiting for her in Idaho—and a most unlikely candidate applies for the job.
Matthew Taylor is a man on the run, with consequences of past mistakes pursuing him at every turn. Meeting Annabelle Grayson the first time was unpleasant enough, but when she crosses his path again, her presence in his life—and what she reveals—is devastating. If given a single wish, Matthew would turn back time and right a grievous wrong. If given a second wish, he would make Annabelle Grayson pay.
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.
Revealed is the second book in Tamera Alexander's Fountain Creek Chronicles series. It is standalone, and does not reveal much about the plot of the first book. I really enjoyed the first book, Rekindled, over a year ago, and the book was memorable enough for me to recall the plot. I even remembered Matthew Taylor, who was a secondary character in it and is the hero in Revealed. Revealed is a Christian historical romance set in 1870 in the Colorado Territory and then in Idaho.
The book begins with Annabelle and her dying husband, Jonathan. Annabelle was a former prostitute purchased into freedom so he could marry her. Annabelle cared for Jonathan, but was incapable of loving him the way she wanted to. Now she is faced with the daunting tasks of burying her husband and traveling to Idaho to claim his homestead, which is now hers. She needs a guide to help her catch up to the wagon train she was originally traveling in with Jonathan.
Matthew Taylor is on the run from gambling debts, and is looking to get away from his troubles. He needs a job to give him income for his journey, and he is also trying to find his brother, Jonathan McCutchins. The way he last parted with Jonathan has weighed on his conscience. He applies for the position, unaware that Annabelle is the one who needs a guide.
I was nervous going into this. I don't tend to love stories about prostitutes, nor stories about very recent widows. But I love Tamera Alexander, whose books I have consistently given five stars to.
What I liked:
*The characters are so very real. Amazingly so. I liked Annabelle and Matthew very much.
*The progression from near-enemies to friends to sweethearts felt very natural.
What I didn't like:
*I had a hard time getting moving with this book. It is more fun and lighthearted at about the halfway point. However, I don't really consider this a flaw, because I think the plot necessitates the more serious first half of the book.
I would recommend this book to adults and teens old enough to understand prostitution and its emotional impact and to fans of Christian Westerns.
I really enjoyed this book and read it fast! I was really curious to read the transformation of Matthew’s feelings towards Annabelle—especially since they first met in the last book…the relationship development was sweet.
Though I did enjoy this story …
The theme of forgiveness of sin and forgiving yourself and others was strong throughout this story and it was solidly written. I hope it ministers to someone who may be struggling in any of these areas.
I really loved Jonathan’s character; what a sweet and patient man.
Annabelle’s character was also someone to be admired. Such a wise and mature women who didn’t let her past cause her to become jaded and bitter. She didn’t treat people harshly even though she was often treated with cruelty. You witnessed the Lord’s transformation in Annabelle’s life and it really made me respect and admire her. She handled Matthew’s harshness towards her with grace and dignity—though he didn’t deserve it!
As always, I loved the sweet romance, character development & rich dialogue that’s always found in Tamera’s books; she never disappoints in these areas!
Revealed, book #2 in the Fountain Creek Chronicles, picks up about two years after Rekindled and focuses on two strong secondary characters from that book. With its unlikely pairing of Matthew and Annabelle, Revealed isn't your typical historical romance. Tamera Alexander excels at thoroughly entertaining readers, while showing how faith and life intersect through her characters' struggles. I found much to personally reflect upon.
Both characters carry baggage from the past. Matthew wasn't all that likeable during the book's early pages, reminding me of the hypocritical older brother in the Prodigal Son parable. Annabelle discovered that God's forgiveness didn't easily lead to acceptance in the eyes of other people... "How quickly the sins that had supposedly been washed clean in Fountain Creek so often crawled back over those muddy banks to slather her again." Annabelle felt so real and I loved her vulnerability. Thrown together in a journey from Colorado to idaho, their relationship gently moves through several stages - from dislike to friendship, mutual respect to much more.
Revealed is a story of redemption, second chances, God's unconditional love and grace. Highly recommended.
Well, I finally finished this series, albeit out of order. I believe I liked this one the most.
Ordinarily, if I’m unhappy with a character, I might downgrade the star rating. Well, I was furious with Matthew through most of this book. What a pompous, pious piece of work! And one who is supposed to be a man of faith. He was judgmental without finding out the truth. He believed something to be true about the woman who married his brother. No matter what defenses of Annabelle's character many loving and kind Christians shared with him, he'd disregard them all and refused to see her as anything other than a loose-moraled gold digger, deserving of nothing. He was horrible. And Annabelle took it. Oh, she gave him what-for once, but then she allowed God to curb her tongue and be considerate toward her angry brother-in-law. She was such an example of a woman of God, despite her sordid past. She faced her flaws, her sin, and knew she was forgiven and given grace. Conversely, Matthew ran from the consequences following his prior troubles.
When he finally saw the light and was able to believe Annabelle wasn’t the wicked person he made her out to be, I was able to enjoy the book a lot more.
I did not reduce my star rating because of that character. That storyline of Matthew's flawed thinking was what made up much of the book's conflict and plot. I gave the book 4 stars because it dragged out too long.
But it was still good. Wonderful faith issues and lessons. I am glad I finally read this.
I read this last fall and never reviewed it. Recently I got my own copy and realized that I hadn't...oops. I'm so bad about that! I loved the quest that the two unlikely companions embarked on, and how Matthew Taylor had to face a lot of issues from his past to fully become the man he'd been portrayed as capable of being in the first book. Annabelle, recently widowed, has the stains of her past to overcome. Both of them are unlikely candidates for true love's strike, but it might just happen...
This book was better than the first in a lot of ways, and I was able to identify with the characters right away. Mrs. Alexander did hit on one of my pet peeves which was having the characters antagonize each other in a mean-spirited way for most of the book. I don't like experiencing arguments in real life or in novels. Her writing style also leaves little to the imagination; she will imply a feeling through a character's action and then spend the next paragraph describing that emotion in detail. I found that somewhat insulting to the readers and a waste of my reading time.
That said, the scenes where the characters were able to come to understand the backgrounds of the other were extremely well-done. The transformations were believable and heart-breaking. The emphasis on forgiveness was woven seamlessly into the story and was processed in a very natural way, not overdone at all.
I give her credit for the improvements and hope to find that the trend will have continued the next time I pick up one of her titles.
Description Annabelle Grayson has been given a second chance at life, but she can't claim it with the cloud of her past hanging over her in Willow Springs. After her husband dies, she advertises for a trail guide to accompany her to land waiting for her in Idaho--and a most unlikely candidate applies for the job.
Matthew Taylor is a man on the run, with consequences of past mistakes pursuing him at every turn. Meeting Annabelle Grayson the first time was unpleasant enough, but when she crosses his path again, her presence in his life--and what she reveals--is devastating. If given a single wish, Matthew would turn back time and right a grievous wrong. If given a second wish, he would make Annabelle Grayson pay.
Review This is the second book in the Chronicles of Fountain Creek series, and the sequel to Rekindled. First, I'd like to say that it's rare I read a sequel and enjoy it even better than the first book, if I loved the first book, and I loved Rekindled. With that said, I'd like to state that Revealed is even better. While it isn't necessary to read these books in order to understand the plot, it will give you an appreciation to see how far these characters have evolved from one book to the next. They are all introduced in the first book and the author has given them such life as second characters that you want to know more about them and discover their individual stories.
In Revealed, Matthew is so determined to think the worst of Annabelle. He judges her by society's standards and doesn't see her through the eyes of God, overlooking God's salvation and redemption. One of the reasons Annabelle is so intriguing is that she has a mixture of God's humbleness without losing her individual spirit. She's great with witty comebacks and the tension of their banter is compelling, making the reader eager to see how Matthew will next react. The internal conflict of this story is so strong that it can almost carry the book without an external conflict, although both are present.
The plot, the characters' behaviors, and dialogue is believable. The flavor for the historical time period is authentic and pulls you into the story, allowing to the reader to get lost in time and enjoy a great read. On a scale of one to five, I give this book five stars. There isn't anything I would change. All my questions were answered, and the ending very satisfying. I would highly recommend this book, in fact, the whole series. I'm eager to read the third book that is now out, Remembered.
This book was interesting to read the middle dragged a little and there was a little more preaching then I like but other than that very good story and characters. This book really got me thinking of how we have a tendency to hold people's pasts against them and sometimes we don't allow people to grow and change in our minds. I love Christian fiction for that reason, it's gets you thinking. This book had many adult themes but was very clean.
This was an endearing story from the beginning to the end.The characters pain is this story was so apparent. Forced into prostitution at the age of twelve as her parents and family died on the trail she found a way to escape after fifteen years in captivity.A man who had a heart of gold bought her and took her away from that life and made her a wife and a mother.But,shortly after being married her husband passes on of a heart condition and once again left alone to fend for herself and child. Her husband has provided her with a home in Idaho which he planned to take her take her but never got the chance. She must forge her way to Idaho by hiring a guide to take her. Once the ad was placed she received a couple of man who applied for the job but, there is a surprise to find out that one of the applicants was her husband estranged brother who hates her and who had a falling out with her husband. Making the decision to hire Matthew to take her is a gamble.Matthew has a past that he is running from and so is his brothers wife both hoping to put it behind them as the reach Idaho.Matthew needs to love and forgive and Annabelle needs to forgive herself for past sins as they we not her fault they both find things out about each other along the trail that lets each other into the other heart and you see a healing of two wounded souls come alive between the pages and develop a slow but budding romance that makes you heart go awe and rooting from them to find a way to become a family after all....Loved it and looking forward to others in the series as well.
I enjoyed the symbolism of the Atonement through out this one. How often do we try to do things, whether it is to pay for a sin or suffer through a trial, alone. The natural man makes us think that we can do it all. I appreciated the glimpse though these characters eyes that showed there are things in life that are bigger than we are.
By the end I really was enjoying the book - BUT I felt like it took a while to get to that point. This edition changes from Kathryn and Larson's story to Annabelle and Matthew's story. Annabelle is trying to get to Boise Idaho and Pastor Carlson has put an ad out to hire a hand to accompany her. It is a long journey but the longer part was just in getting out of town. I don't know if it was because this is a "Fountain Creek Chronicles" book that Alexander felt she had to have half the book take place there or what. Once on the trail - I really enjoyed the adventure and change that these two experienced.
While I was glad to see Matthew change(the Matthew with attitude was so different from the Matthew in the first book), the change was a little unbelievable. Again, Alexander took half the book creating the tension between Matthew and Annabelle and then in one event he was suddenly different. Even as the Atonement changes our own lives and heart - it is a more gradual process than what was depicted in this book.
If you like pioneer, christian literature this is worth the time to read - just hang in there until they get on the trail.
A great companion book, I liked it even more than the first one! It's a very thought provoking story with a lot of lessons about faith and life.
I loved hearing the thoughts of the main characters, seeing how Anabelle was very humble and had a lot of self-control, even when it was difficult for her to hold her tongue. She wasn't perfect, but it was really awesome reading about her after we got to know her in the first book, "Rekindled". I also liked hearing how Matthew changed in his thoughts and learned a lot about life that he hadn't known before.
Not as much of the book kept me impatient for the main characters to find out everything, and I am grateful for that! There was just the perfect amount of that kind of suspense in this one.
This 2nd adaption was as good as the first book! I enjoyed reading about Annabelle and Matthew, they were such interesting characters in book 1 and I was hoping they'd be in book 2! The beginning was sad as Annabelle's husband passed away, leaving her and her unborn child alone. She returns to her old home to bury her husband and hires a guide to lead her to the new home her deceased husband had bought for them. Matthew leads her across the plains and they both learn to be friends during the trip. A surprise ending as Matthew faces his past and Annabelle helps him overcome it.
Tamera Alexander's books smack me rest in the chest. Each of them, this one included, are a satisfying love story, but filled with the realities and struggles of life. There is grace and forgiveness and lessons on living a life of faith that transcend a simple work of romantic historical fiction. I've yet to meet a character in one of her novels that I don't come to both like and that doesn't leave a mark on my heart. I've read five of her books, now, and each of them has continued to stick with me long after the final page has been turned.
Tamera Alexander has penned a beautiful revelation of God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption—His gift of new life to all who come to Him. Showcased against the backdrop of the frontier West, the hazards of the pioneers, and the heartbreak of man’s inhumanity, the story of Annabelle, Jonathan, Matthew, and Sadie takes hold of the reader’s heart. A must-read tale for lovers of historical fiction!
What a great title, as so many things were revealed throughout the book! I love how the author takes two people who don't belong together, and little by little, as things are revealed about each other and about themselves, weaves them together in ways that would not have been imagined. This book, to me, definitely requires reading the previous book in the series first as the characters and situations are connected.
I really appreciate the depth of Alexander's writing. It has a lyrical flavor to it. Annabelle is such a likeable main character. I'd love to be her friend. Humility and lack of pride in herself is her blessing-- silver linings of her traumatic past. Matthew drove me nuts, but wow, the author knew what she was doing and constructed a slow evolution of character development and spiritual growth. I really enjoyed this book. It was subtle and even a little slow, but in a completely appropriate sense. Looking forward to exploring more of Alexander's books.
O carte despre iubirea necondiționată, despre redescoperirea credinței și a încrederii, despre regrete, izbăvire și iertare, încercări dramatice și întorsături ale sorții, și, mai ales despre speranță, o nouă șansă și un nou început. Pe protagoniștii cărții, Annabelle Grayson și Matthew Taylor, i-am cunoscut deja în Flacăra reaprinsă, Matthew fiind vechil la ferma lui Kathryn și Larson Jenning (eroii primului volum), iar Annabelle fiind prietena lui Kathryn. Dacă vă aduceți aminte, Kathryn ajunge la un moment dat, după ce este evacuată din casă, să locuiască timp de câteva zile, printr-o ciudată conjunctură, într-un bordel. Ei bine, Annabelle Grayson era una din locatarele permanente ale bordelului! Vă spuneam de atunci că e o figură aparte și un personaj pe care l-am îndrăgit mult și că aștept să citesc volumul a cărui protagonistă este! Acum, citind Păcate răscumpărate, pot să vă spun că am avut dreptate să o îndrăgesc. O reîntâlnim pe Annabelle mergând într-un convoi de căruțe spre Idaho, acolo unde soțul ei, Jonathan McCuthens, cumpărase o fermă. Jonathan, un munte de om cu o inimă iubitoare și generoasă, o răscumpărase de la patroana bordelului și o luase de soție, văzând în ea nu ceea ce ajunsese prin forța împrejurărilor, ci femeia care ar fi putut să fie. Însă destinul are propriile planuri, iar Jonathan moare în timpul călătoriei, lăsând-o singură, nesigură pe ea și speriată. Și însărcinată! https://www.delicateseliterare.ro/pac...
Revealed had potential to be a 5 star read, it just needed Tamera Alexander to do a little more with it. Revealed has so many great components; characters with great backstories, a "not your typical plot", great flow, and lots of historical information. Our main characters Annabelle and Matthew are both flawed from experiences in their lives, but learn to rise above their past hurt.
After Annabelle's husband Johnathan passes away on their journey to Idaho, Annabelle is forced to go back to Willow Springs where she is known as a woman with loose morals. Upon burying her husband, Annabelle learns that before Johnathan passed, he wished for her to continue the journey to Idaho. Annabelle completes the journey with the last man she ever expected...Matthew Taylor. Matthew is Johnathan's brother, who has made his disgust for Annabelle and her for former profession known. The two come to terms with their true selves in the story.
Tamera Alexander is known for her long detailed novels, but I felt Revealed fell short with the development of Matthew & Annabelle's relationship as well as the ending..it was so abrupt! I was looking for more from the ending of the novel. Even though Revealed is 2nd in a series, the next novel may include our main characters but it is not a continuation of this story. What happened with Annabelle & Johnathan's baby? We need to know!! Overall, Revealed is a solid and enjoyable read.
I will not tell a lie, I was not really cheering for the heroine for majority of the book. I know that God forgives people and gives them a new life, but I confess I didn’t like her. So I found myself silently cheering the rift between her and her brother-in-law (I know it was wrong) but I got so involved in this book I’ve decided to be honest about my feelings right through. Then when I neared the end, it hit me about how my attitude is actually typical of how people react in real life. This was a story of true forgiveness, restoration, redemption and falling in love with someone unexpected. No one is allowed to hold anyone’s past against them especially when God has forgiven them and when God forgives, he truly forgives! Alexander writes quality books, I love how the reader is so well informed about the characters thoughts and emotions (after all, it is supposed to be a romance and not suspense) all of her characters are so deep and can usually read into the thoughts and feelings of the other characters in the book..i know that’s not likely but I recognize its her writing style so that the reader can know what is really going on in the hearts of those she writes. 4.5 stars…
I did NOT expect to like this book so much! Soiled dove being redeemed, handsome but hypocritical and judgemental male love interest, forced together by circumstances - this had all the makings of a typical redemption story that I didn't really need to read again, but it totally wasn't. There were definitely enough things to make it totally different from the boring, overly emotional story I was expecting, and i loved all of the details. It's so strange because there are so many typecast characters and potential weak points (like a conveniently honorable bartender)...yet not only do they not fatally weaken the story, but their inclusions actually strengthen the story. It's really, really well done. A very moving, yet believable story with oddly relatable characters...I liked this one even better than the first one, and that's saying quite a bit!
What can I say, Tamara Alexander is a master at weaving the spiritual and the romantic. I'm almost afraid to pick up her stories for the depth at they which they speak to me. In this book taking a character introduced in book #1 of this series, and revealing her past and her present over time with her husband's brother (who loathed her) who is seeing her safely to Idaho. Watching her change and her efforts to find love with a man who wanted to only keep her where she had been... it was a work of art. How many of us need room to grow and change and how beautifully this was allowed in the writing of this story. It was beliveable and offered a glimpse of how hope works when God gets inside us and stretches outward to consider others more than ourselves. Wonderfully done!
I was expecting hokey fluff material and was pleasantly surprised. This book had substance. I appreciated the author's view that even though we've repented, sometimes the consequences of our sins linger on. As the novel progressed we get to see what drove these characters to sin in the first place. It was a great reminder that it's not our place to judge, only to forgive. There was a over all feeling of peace and hope that resonates even after the novel was finished. Many christian romance authors are over zealous and literally shove all things religious down your throat. I'm please to say that I did not feel force fed at all. Whew.
I really liked the characters in this installment of the series. It was a true eye opener for those who judge people without knowing them or why they do what they do.
Great story of forgiveness, learning how to look at people from God's perspective instead of our own, and also how important it is to think before we speak. Once words are out they cannot be taken back.
I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the Fountain Creek Chronicles.
This was a good book, I loved the descriptive language. The campfire scenes made me want biscuits and coffee! I liked the banter between the two main characters as they began to give each other another chance.