So thankful for the weekend! It’s been a long week…This week I had the honor of reviewing Stacy Henrie‘s A Christmas Hope, a novella from her Of Love and War series. Though a little longer than your typical novella, it is perfect for those of you that enjoy clean romance and historical fiction (my vice).
I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.A Christmas Hope by Stacy Henrie
Series: Of Love and War #1.5
Published by Forever on December 2, 2014
Length: 160 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Tis the season for second chances...
Having experienced the heartache of unrequited love, Maria Schmitt desperately seeks a new life. Landing a position as a clerk in a Sioux City bank is just what she needs to get started on her journey toward healing. But a dashing stranger soon puts her job-and her heart-in jeopardy. Saving lives was all Dale Emerson ever wanted to do . . . until a fateful day in France shattered his career as a surgeon. He lost everything that mattered, and the last thing he wants to do is resign himself to a life without medicine working at his uncle's bank. Then he meets Maria, a compassionate woman who can see past his scars to the man he once was-and the man he could be again. With Christmas right around the corner, these two wounded hearts may find that hope and a little holiday cheer are just the ticket to letting go of regrets-and embracing a future full of love and possibility.
What’s not to love about a sweet story during the Christmas season?! Stacy Henrie‘s A Christmas Hope follows the evolving relationship between Maria Schmitt and Dale Emerson. Maria is a character that I fell in love with during Hope at Dawn. She was hopelessly in love, or I guess infatuated with, Friedrick and is heartbroken when he chooses Livy over her. But the willful girl leaves her hometown and remakes herself. She finds a job at a bank and puts her heart and soul into it. You have to admire her! She is strong-willed, full of faith, but guards her heart and why wouldn’t she?!
Dale has just returned from the war (WWI), injured and insecure. He lost an eye which means he can no longer be the surgeon he trained to be. He broke off his engagement with a girl that had been his since college. Though thankful for his life, he mourns the life he dreamed of having. Is he bitter? No, not really. Is he unhappy? Yes. He takes his uncle’s offer of managing the bank so he can retire. Although he is good at it, it feels stifling to him. With Maria’s help though, he begins to accept the hand fate dealt him.
What I love about this story is that Dale and Maria do not instantly like each other. It’s a slow, creeping up on them type of love and it’s utterly heart-warming! I loved reading the progression of their relationship. Their own insecurities hinder them, but each makes the other a better version of themselves. And isn’t that what a spouse/significant other is supposed to do? Make you the best you? Their relationship starts simply when Maria offers to help Dale in his new role at the bank. It’s professional, but evolves to friendship. You know the kind of friendship that you feel comfortable being with him/her, the kind that when the day is over you’re already planning your next excursion.
The emotions that come through tied with the historical setting are beautifully written. The characters come alive as does the scene of a Northern Christmas where electric lights on the tree is new and something to still wonder at. I lost myself in this short novella and really didn’t want it to end! The story was romantic with a hint of Christmas magic and like Hope at Dawn some Christian influence as well. Even though this is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel without any interference with the plot. If you are looking for a good, faith-based, historical romance for your quick weekend read or maybe just something for the holidays, I highly suggest you check this one out. It is not to be missed!
Don’t Miss Of Love and War, book one available now!
Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Love & War, #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2014-06-24
Genres: Christian, Fiction, General, Historical, Religious, Romance, Sagas, Western
Source: Netgalley, Publishers
IN A TIME OF WAR, LOVE IS THE INSPIRATION.With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents’ farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . . More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country’s struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what’s right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.
Preorder Book Two Now!
Hope Rising by Stacy Henrie
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Of Love and War, #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2014-12-16
Genres: Christian, Fiction, General, Historical, Romance, Sagas
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • IndieBound
FROM A GREAT WAR, SPRINGS A GREAT LOVE In France at the height of World War I, American nurse Evelyn Gray is no stranger to suffering. She’s helped save the life of many a soldier, but when she learns her betrothed has been killed, her own heart may be broken beyond repair. Summoning all her strength, Evelyn is determined to carry on-not just for herself and her country, but for her unborn child. Corporal Joel Campbell dreams of the day the war is over and he can return home and start a family. When a brutal battle injury puts that hope in jeopardy, Joel is lost to despair . . . until he meets Evelyn. Beautiful, compassionate, and in need of help, she makes an unconventional proposal that could save their lives-or ruin them irrevocably. Now, amidst the terror and turmoil of the Western Front, these two lost souls will have to put their faith in love to find the miracle they’ve been looking for.