I loved the first two books in this trilogy, and could not wait to get my hands on Christopher’s story. He is a real character, and knowing a bit what twists this book might take, I was hoping for a great conclusion to this saga. Boy did Miss Holmes deliver!!!
Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.
This book had a slightly different feel than the first two books in the series, as it starts of on a great journey towards a new beginning for Christopher. We see him saying goodbye to Grace and Helen, and it is a sad goodbye indeed!
As Christopher sets of on his great adventure, he is determined to start anew, in a place where the name Thatcher does not drag along all the unfortunate disaster he has had to deal with his whole life. He is also set on not having to rescue anyone, but think of himself for a change. All of that changes almost instantly, as his is introduced to Miss Marsali Abbott even before the ship sets sail for America. Instead of having a carefree crossing, he is troubled with worry over Miss Abbott’s lot once she sets foot on American soil. His instincts kick in, and he soon realises he cannot continue dennying the blosseming attraction he feels for Miss Abbott.
Together with the captain he comes up with a great plan to help Marsali, but tragedy hits harder than anyone could suspect, and they are torn apart.
What follows is an unravelling of events in which fate seems to play a horrible trick on Marsali and Christopher. Yet their undying love an devotion to each other migh just be strong enough to conquer all.
Christopher is a colourful character. He is full of spirit, yet a real gentleman. He has gone through so much, but come out with such humour, love, devotion, and depth. He is a real catch, even if he has a hard time seeing it himself. His undying dedication to Marsali is what every woman dreams of, and had me rooting for their HEA throughout the whole book.
Marsali is a wonderful lady. She reminds me of Grace in certain ways, yet she is her own unique self. She has buckets full of spunk, is quick with her comebacks, keeps Christopher on his toes at all times, yet she has the poise and elegance of a true lady. I loved her frankness and kindness. She was someone I could truly relate to.
The supporting cast were really great. They were very divers, and added such a great dimension to the story. Often times you can read a book and find the supporting characters to be boring, underdeveloped, or to involved in the story. Miss Holmes gave just enough attention to make them important, yet didn’t take any of the main attention away from what really mattered. I found it a great mix.
I loved having another dose of Grace and Nicholas and Helen and Samuel. They are true favourites, and parting with all at the end of the book was hard for me. I have grown to love these characters, and will miss them greatly. As with good friends, I’m sure I will revisit them often in the future. I’m excited to see which works Miss Holmes will release in the future.
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.