Book 2 in the Hearthfire Romance
Released Feb 2015
Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him.
But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace.
In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancé, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever.
About the Author
Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children’s literature.
Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.
In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, will be published in summer 2015, with another historical to follow later this year.
Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.
When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.
I loved this book. I don’t read historical romance often, but fell in love with Miss Holmes’ style in the first book Saving Grace. It was an excellent read with enchanting characters.
In this second book we get more of the wonderful Mister Samuel Preston, and his journey to loving Helen. Helen has always seemed shy, a wallflower in comparison to her sister Grace. She has preferred to stay on the sideline, and not shine in the spotlight. She has very valid reasons to be so apprehensive around people, especially men. Grace always protected her as a child, but considering the upbringing these three children endured, there is only so much protection you can give.
This book takes you on a journey of getting to know Helen for whom she really is, the complex, caring, compassionate, fun, adventurous and funny person she really is, but rarely reveals to just anyone.
Beth, Samuel’s 3-year-old daughter immediately sees all of this in Helen, and the two form a deep bond. Beth also possesses the ability to bring out all of these qualities in Helen. It’s as if with Beth Helen lets all her guards down, and is the person she really is. It makes for a very interesting read.
Samuel goes on a journey of his own, recovering from Grace’s refusal to pretending to be besotted with Helen, to maybe, just maybe seeing what is in plain sight. He has to determine if he can truly open his heart up after losing his wife.
Then there is Christopher who plays the matchmaker, and gives us all the impression he is the happy-go-lucky kind of guy. In actuality he is a lot more cunning and clever than anyone, even his sisters give him credit for. I cannot wait to read his story, which will release later this year. I hope to do a feature of that book also.
This book is exactly what a historical romance should be. It give you the impression you are in a Jane Austin fairy tale, with all the complexities of the typical characters, a slow-paced yet exciting read, and a wonderful happily ever after!
Buy Loving Helen on Amazon