The Civil War left its mark on Dr. John Turner. He turns his back on medicine and sees his unexpected inheritance in England as an opportunity to start over. But he never imagines how God intends to use his new role as lord of Ashford Hall or the beautiful woman he finds there to ease his troubled soul.
A tragic loss led Penelope Howard to bury her heart and dreams in her work for the Hall and the village of Woodley. But the arrival of the new heir stirs not only her discarded longings but her compassion as well. What burden does he carry that he can’t accept that grace covers the darkest of sins?
A deadly epidemic sweeps through Woodley revealing secrets which threaten everything. The doctor faces a choice: leave or dare to believe what the Lord whispers through the woman John has come to love.
No one is beyond redemption.
The first thing that captured my attention was the gorgeous cover! The mysterious castle ruins in the background the beautiful dress with the waterfall lace cuffs. Then I read the back cover copy and I was hooked! I absolutely had to read about these characters.
I enjoyed the twists an turns, and the internal struggles. I struggled the first few chapters to connect with the characters and their story. Once I got a little further into the plot the characters took hold. The ending is strong, filled with emotion and left me with a smile on my face.
The heroine, Penelope Howard, is a strong female lead. She takes on a leadership roll in her community, even when some of the older ladies feel that she oversteps her bounds. The secret that Penelope carries has the power to potentially destroy her good standing, and while she recognizes that God has forgiven her for her past mistakes, she struggles to fully internalize and own that knowledge in her outward expression.
Dr. John Turner struggles with his past. The horrors he witness during the American Civil war, as well as the after effects. He feels that his sins are too big to ever be forgiven, and thus he has decided to give up his medical practice and keep people at arms length. Things don’t go exactly as John plans. John’s character growth was slow, but satisfying and by the end of the story he became my favorite character.
I really appreciated the strong core of faith throughout this story. The reminders of God’s forgiveness and His love for us right where we are. A beautiful picture of redemption.
This is an excellent debut for this author. The story is strong, with a great plot, dynamic, likable characters and an emotionally complex story. I give this 4-stars and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author:
Jennifer has been writing stories since she got an A++ on her ninth grade creative writing assignment. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a graduate of The Ohio State University, she makes room to write in between being a busy wife and mom and despite the fact her cats like to walk in front of her keyboard.
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