Kelly has graciously offered to give away a copy of this book (US: hard copy or ebook; International: ebook). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends July 13, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.)
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
Loudoun County, Virginia
Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.
He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.
Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.
Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and...
He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.
Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May...”
Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.
Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?
“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light...”
Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.
Ruth Ann Sutton is a teacher at Freedman’s School in Loudon County, VA. It’s 1873, and many people frown upon Ruth’s career choice. Her mother fears it could prevent her from a proper marriage proposal. Will Ruth Ann ever find love if she follows her heart, or will she change in order to adhere to society’s norms?
This is a strong debut from Goshorn, and there is so much to love about it! Ruth Ann was a character I could relate to in many ways. She is crafted in a way that the reader can feel her pain and empathize with her struggles. She is stubborn, intelligent, and feisty. I loved her determination to stand up for her beliefs (such as educating freedmen and their families). The raw emotions in this tale will likely resonate with readers. Benjamin has his own realistic trials. At times, he comes across a bit too judgmental, until the reasoning is revealed. He makes a great hero, and James is a character the reader will likely love to hate. Vivid detailing and historical details bring the story to life. While this is historical fiction, the issues addressed are still very relevant in this day and age. Numerous scenes reinforce the power (positive and negative) that words have in one’s life. I enjoyed how the characters look to God for guidance. There is strong character growth, as well. Some unexpected twists along the way help keep the reader engaged.
Some of my favorite quotes include:
· “God wants you to value His opinion above that of man.”
· “There are no guarantees. Love is a leap of faith.”
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
Kelly weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever- after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 27 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
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