Friday, September 24, 2010

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


Love's First Bloom

Bethany House; Original edition (September 1, 2010)

Delia Parr

Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.


Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime.

But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist.

Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for.

Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's First Bloom, go HERE.

Review from Brenda Risner: To protect her, a minister accused of murder sends his daughter, Ruth, into hiding with a false identity. As she tries to survive the blemish on her father's name, the lies weigh heavily upon her. Comforted by the love and acceptance of the young girl placed in her charge and the family who took her in, Ruth manages to hold onto a thread of hope and faith. When tragedy strikes and Ruth realizes that she may never be able to return home, she doesn't know who she can trust. With reporters trying to locate her, she lives with constant fear of discovery. One of those reporters, Jake, is trying to redeem himself and hides behind a false identity as well. As he gets to know Ruth, he faces a difficult choice.

More entertaining than challenging, this historical romance was an enjoyable read. Navigating the many complications surrounding the main characters kept the story fresh and intriguing. The characters were well-developed and likeable. Though I did keep waiting for the "truth will set you free" message, Jake and Ruth eventually knew the truth about each other. A little romance, a little mystery, and enough minor character revelations to lend itself to a stand-alone sequel, I would recommend this book.

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