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Karen Witemeyer’s More Than Words Can Say

More Than Words Can Say (A Patchwork Family Novel Book #2) by [Witemeyer, Karen]

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

Review

Whenever Karen Witemeyer has a new book out, I grab it. And I was super excited about this one because Zach was my favorite character in the first book of this series. My thoughts:

What I liked

Good writing. In spite of the simple premise of the book, it was unputdownable. I read it in hours. Immediately, we’re introduced to Abigail’s problem and her possible solution. You would think that what with everything explained right away that there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. But you would be wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Zach and Abby learn each other and learn to deal with each other’s problems and concerns.

Theme of family. The whole series is about patchwork families (duh), but I loved that when Zach married Abigail, he made her sister his. And her sister has quite an issue to deal with.

The romance. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I love romances based on friendship. Witemeyer presents us a lovely one. Zach and Abby really take the time to get to know each other. Even though they both have a history, it is fortunately not used as a weapon to wield against one another. Instead, they learn and grow and they work together.

Spiritually, the novel deals with putting your trust in God rather than in yourself or in things…and what that in effect looks like.

What I didn’t like

The only thing that I didn’t like was that Zach kind of didn’t feel like Zach from the first book. He’s still firm and strong, but he lacked that gunslinger-feel from the first book. I get it, he was turning over a new leaf, but I loved the roughness of Zach in the first book and I wish some of it had carried to the second one. The if-you-look-at-me-wrong-I-might-just-shoot-you aura he had. He’s a lot sweeter in this book.

Romantic scale: 7.5

Overall, so cute. I really enjoyed this book and if you want to read a lighthearted western romance, than this is the one for you.

**I received a copy from BethanyHouse through Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

 

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Jody Hedlund’s Searching For You

Searching for You (Orphan Train Book #3) by [Hedlund, Jody]

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

Review

Jody Hedlund has written some really lovely books, but every now and then, I run into one I’m not a huge fan of. And for me, that was the second book in this series…which is why I delayed reading the last book. My thoughts:

What I liked

Reinhold. I loved him from the first book. I’ve wanted him to get his happy ending so badly. He’s a very complex hero for a romance novel because he’s not rich and he’s not charming and life rarely ever seems to go his way. And yet, he still manages to wheedle into the reader’s heart. I found him to be a hero that was trustworthy and likeable.

Well-written. The book does manage to pull you in and get you involved with the characters. I found it to be very well-written–from the historical aspect of city life in that time to the well-developed secondary characters. Some of those characters were really fascinating and I found myself wanting to read a book about one in particular.

Spiritually, the novel deals with the concept of grace and how we don’t get what we deserve.

What I didn’t like

Everything happened too fast. We are told that Sophie’s presence makes things better for Reinhold, but we don’t really get to see that. And while I knew she was physically attracted to Reinhold, I wasn’t sure what she really liked about him as a person. Her sudden love for him seemed like it was based on the fact that they had known each other as children and thus felt safe with him. I was a bit confused.

Also, if you look past the surface, Sophie. First off, the way she deals with the two children in her care confused me. For years, at her own expense, she kept those children close. And then she makes a sudden decision that didn’t jive with her personality at all. I understood why she made her decision. I didn’t understand why she didn’t take more care in making said decision. And then there was her refusal to contact her sisters. It was just beyond selfish to me. Her whole behavior towards them really made no sense. Any of her sisters’ successes or failures were somehow made all about Sophie and so Sophie just came off as strangely selfish, needy, and entitled.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, it was a very quick read. Almost, too quick, but still enjoyable.