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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Review of a Good Read: Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

Long before I began writing, I was a voracious reader of romances. I still love a great story, and there are many wonderful authors writing them. I invite you to check back on Saturdays when I share my reviews of some books I've enjoyed recently, both historical and contemporary.

The Review

Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

by Lauralee Bliss

My absolute favorite read is a mail-order bride story, so when I discovered Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, I was eager to get a copy. I read the back cover blurb and was even more intrigued. The artist who placed the advertisement, Thomas Haskins, takes one look at Sara McGee and realizes he can’t marry the penniless, uneducated and unkempt woman who steps off the train in his posh resort town. Being a man of honor, he befriends Sara, who, under his chaperone sister's tutelage, learns how to be a lady. However, Tom’s caught the eye of a cultured and determined socialite who wants him as her husband and entices him with a promised trip to study art in Italy, an offer that sorely tempts him.

Lauralee Bliss has created two characters I liked, although at times I was none too pleased with Thomas’s choices. A kindhearted man who’s decided it would serve his career to marry--and ease his lonely heart--his initial prejudice and aloofness toward Sara troubled me. However, I loved watching the change the Lord worked in his heart. Sara is a sympathetic character. I felt for this young woman who’d lost everything and everyone, forcing her to live on the streets of New York City. She shows inner strength and a strong faith, which come to her aid as she deals with those who’ve misjudged her. Can two people from such different worlds ever find happiness?

Bliss turned the tables on the traditional mail-order bride story, and I like what she did. There’s plenty of emotion and tension between Thomas and Sara. I enjoyed getting a look at the affluent Gilded Age through the eyes of characters from such diverse backgrounds. Bliss brought the setting to life. And I liked the fact that Thomas is an artist, a profession I’ve rarely encountered in a romance but works so well in this one. If you’re looking for a sweet, traditional romance or a mail-order bride story with a twist, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

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Question for You

Do you enjoy mail-order bride stories? Why or why not?

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Your Chance to Win a Book

If you enjoy reading inspirational romances, leave a comment for your chance to win my gently-read copy of the title I just reviewed. Be sure to include your email address when prompted, so I can contact you. (I don't share this information.)

I'll choose a winner from all those who leave a comment by the Friday after the post and will post the winners' names this coming Saturday.

Last Week's Winner

Congrats to Cindy and Edna, winners of my two copies of Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus.


Jessica said...

That does sound a little different than usual. Girl, you are flying through these books, aren't you? LOL

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessica, I like the Love Finds You series. It's a great way to sample different author's work.

I try to read a book a week. I like seeing what is out there. Plus, I've long been an avid read of romances. I write 'em cuz I love 'em.

Jody Hedlund said...

You are giving such great book reviews! Sounds like another good read! Hope you've had a great week!

Keli Gwyn said...

Jody, thanks for the compliment. I enjoyed the story, although it ended up being a thwarted mail-order bride story as opposed to the traditional ones that are my all-time favorite romances. I'd not seen an artist as a hero before or read a story that brought to life the Gilded Age as well as this one did.

Carla Gade said...

I enjoy mail-order bride stories. This sounds like one with a twist. I'd love to read it and would like to read a novel from the "Love Finds You" series.

Keli Gwyn said...

Carla, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

I'm enjoying the Love Finds You series from Summerside Press. I've read and reviewed several titles and have more in my TBR mountain. My favorites are the historicals, which is no surprise, since that's what I write.

Do you prefer reading contemporaries or historicals?

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I love any book that is well written! Thanks! Marissa


mez said...

I love mail-order bride stories, these ladies step into so many interesting adventures! Having an artist and an Eliza Doolittle character draws me right in. Please include me for this one, Keli. Thanks!

mez said...

Oops, forgot to add my e-mail!


Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for stopping by, Marissa and Mez. You're entered.

Keli Gwyn said...

It's time to choose a winner.

Congratulations to Carla. You'll be receiving my gently read copy of Love Finds You in Bethelem, New Hampshire. I'll be in touch.