Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: When Love Blooms by Robin Lee Hatcher

From the back cover…

“From the moment Gavin Blake set eyes on Emily Harris… he knew that she would never make it in the urged high country where backbreaking work and constant hardship were commonplace. She would wilt there like a rose without water. He’d be sending her back to Boise before the first snow. He’s be willing to bet on it.She could say what she wanted, but Emily Harris didn’t belong in the hard life of the Blake’s. Beautiful and refined, she was accustomed to the best life had to offer. Heaven only key why she wanted to leave Boise to teach the two young girls on a ranch miles from nowhere. He’d wager it had to do with a man. It always did when a beautiful woman was involved.Emily wanted to make some sort of mark on the world before marriage. She wanted to be more than just a society wife. Though she had plenty of opportunities back East, she had come to the Idaho high country looking to make a difference. Gavin’s resistance to her presence made her even more determined to prove herself. Perhaps changing the heart of one man might make the greatest difference of all.”

Generally, I lean toward the contemporary side of fiction, but this book caught my eye… and then my heart. Emily’s journey with the Blake’s is both joyful and heartbreaking as she cares for two young girls and their sickly mother far from the usual comforts of home.

Her will power to prove herself is strong, but her gentle spirit and kind words remind me of 1 Peter…  
"... let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit..."
Small deeds done with great love prove to be the common thread throughout the novel while Emily travels from the Stanley Basin, nestled in the valley of majestic mountains, to the Lucky Strike Ranch miles outside of Challis.

Her story is one of laughter and tears – a new start and a tender romance winding through everyday chores.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book – set in the 1800’s. The heartwarming story played out against cold winter’s nights brings feelings of family and faith and perseverance. I decided at once that I would not get attached to the cancer-stricken Dru, but found myself, instead, enjoying her company. Emily’s determination alongside her loving nature weaves a character much like a life-long friend – both honest and loving. And the gruff Mr. Blake takes his turn at your heart as his story unfolds in to one of integrity and kindness. 

A quick read that captures your heart, Robin Lee Hatcher writes words of hope that rise from heartache and words of love that spring to life.

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