Book Summary (Goodreads): In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again--this time for love...and to someone safe
As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can't help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of "what if" at bay?
My thoughts...This little excerpt really shows all the reasons I enjoyed this book...and Dawn Crandall's writing in general:
“I can tell what you want, Mr. Hawthorne.” My gaze willingly scanned his face as he continued to draw nearer, and I had to admit, if he meant to kiss me, I wasn’t nearly as disagreeable to the notion as I should have been. In fact, I was shocked by how much merit the idea had. Suddenly, I was unable to keep my mind off the clear image of all of him pressed to all of me against that wall, hidden away in the leaf-and-stone alcove, right there in the middle of Riverway Park.
When he reached me, he stood about a foot away and placed his hand against the wall above my shoulder. “It would seem you have quite the knack for reading my intentions, Mrs. Everstone. But I can assure you, they are much more complicated than what you’re thinking at the moment.”
I need the fire emoji right now ; ). We've got a "go!" on romantic tension! Dawn Crandall really knows how to write these romantic scenes while still keeping things clean. These books are considered Christian historical fiction, as there is a spiritual aspect. I do appreciate the balance of both of these aspects in her novels. This book in particular is a pretty lengthy novella, which I appreciated. I'm not a huge novella fan, but I really liked this one as well as the other that were included in the Timeless Love set that I reviewed earlier this year.
Dawn Crandall writes each of her books from a different female character's first person perspective. You do miss some of the details from the other characters and what is happening with them, since you're only seeing through the eyes of one telling the story, but one is really able to get into the main character's head. I love that. In this story we are able to go deeper with Nicholette, who appeared in one of Crandall's earlier books, and see what happened to her right after her marriage and husband's murder shortly afterwards. Through faith and trust, she's able to move forward in her life and explore the possibility of experiencing true love. I would definitely recommend it as well as Crandall's other novels!
Personal Takeaway...Don't be afraid to step out in faith. God can bless you beyond what you could imagine!
**Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novella in order to share my honest opinions, which I did**