by Lori Wick
These are Christian romance novels. Now I have to admit that I was bit sceptical at first. I mean, to me, a romance novel is full of juicy love scenes. And Christian fiction is not. So how could the two really successfully merge without seeming fake and contrived. Ah but they can. These books are set in England in the 1800′s. Status was important, and men and women behaved in a very proper manner. This was the era of courting, and it couldn’t be a better setting for Christian romance. I will say, these books are laced with Christian values and conversations about God, so once again, if that is not your cup of tea, these will not be for you. But overall, these were very nice to read.
Lori Wick writes beautifully. I was caught up into both books right away, and I was unable to put them down until completion. Literally. These were one-a-day novels for me. They were a quick read, and completely enjoyable. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the people of Collinsborough, England. The first book, The Proposal started off in such a fun, albeit a predictable manner. We meet Jennings, a proper Englishman who has a sister he’s estranged because she “found God” and he is alone. For the first time he finds himself lamenting the fact that he hasn’t had children, and sadly feels that he is past the years of having them. Surprise, surprise, a distant relative dies, leaving him the sole guardian for three children. While amazed with the turn of luck that could afford him children without the inconvenience of a wife, he quickly realizes that he is in over his head.
Jennings turns to his sister Lydia, a married mother or 4 of her own. She is very welcoming to her brother who she thought she’d never see again, and a friendship quickly blossoms between Jennings’ wards and Lydia’s children. What ensues is a wonderful friendship among family members, and it doesn’t take long for Jennings to realize that he needs to be near to his sister, and so he befriends a community. Along the way, he finds love in a most unexpected place and bungles a proposal twice before getting it right the third time. Along with the love story is the story of Jennings finding God and determining to give these children the love they deserve.
The Rescue continues the story of this community, only this time we meet a single woman Anne, who is caring for her elderly father, The Colonel. The Colonel has a mental disability that makes him forget things from day to day, and he doesn’t always process what he sees or hears. So when he stumbles upon his daughter Anne in a precarious position with a new-to-town Mr. Weston, he insists upon an instantaneous marriage, and orders Mr. Weston to a wedding by sword point. The story that ensues is wonderfully written. Anne comes under scrutiny for behaving as a woman of her position shouldn’t- and is a victim of careless and untrue gossip. While an entertaining love story, it is also full of lessons that you can take away with you.
These are the first in a series called The English Garden series, and I’m looking forward to reading the remainders. Although they are a bit predictable, they are still fun stories full of heart and real-life lessons. A definite thumbs up from me, and a great light read for a lazy Saturday afternoon.