Monday, August 15, 2016

Where Hope Prevails Return to the Canadian West (Book 3) by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Do you remember that first book that you read that made you fall in love with a particular genre?  For me it was Janette Oke.  I remember looking through my school library searching for something different that I could hide inside my boring math book.  Love Comes Softly caught my eye.  I grabbed it, checked out and snuck it into class.

Even though I got caught and my book was confiscated I was hooked on Christian Fiction.  I've read all of her original books.  Bethany House graciously gave me a chance to review Where Hope Prevails and I was super excited!

 From the back: When Beth Thatcher returns to Coal Valley, she has much to be excited about. She anticipates Jarrick's proposal of marriage and perhaps a spring wedding. The mine is expanding, and there are more schoolchildren than ever.

But the town's rapid growth brings many challenges. A second teacher is assigned, and Beth finds herself going head-to-head with a very different philosophy of education--one that dismisses religion and rejects God. Fearful for the children who sit under the influence of Robert Harris Hughes, Beth struggles to know how to respond.

At the same time, Beth wonders if Jarrick is considering a position at her father's company simply for her sake. Should she admit her feelings on the matter? Or keep silent and allow Jarrick to make up his own mind?

Change isn't something anyone likes and when Beth returns to Coal Valley a whole lot of change has happened.  A new teacher, different living situations, and a wedding.  This is the first book in the series I have read and I must admit, I came into a very busy story line.  Which has it pros and cons.

The things I really liked about the book are Christianity is right there woven into the story line. Christian values and morals are important in all of Janette Oke's books and I'm never disappointed in that.  I also like how well Jarrick was developed as a character.  Sometimes only the female characters are thought out, but in this case for me, Jarrick stole the show in every scene he was in.  I thoroughly enjoyed him!

So there were some things that I felt could have been improved upon.  I felt that Beth and Jarrick's romance needed a bit more oomph.  It's kind of like when you are cooking and you just need that extra dash of salt to bring things together.  I also think the ending (without spoiling it for people who haven't read it) focused a little too much on one character and maybe there could have been less of that and more "salt".

All in all it was a pretty good read and I will be going back to grab the first two books in the series so I can catch up with what I missed!  I have a feeling that will tie some things together for me.  So grab your copy today!  Happy Reading!

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