Monday, 5 September 2016

Fall Reads: Where Hope Prevails

Bethany House; 320 pages; $14.99; Amazon

If you enjoy reading Christian romances, then you're probably already familiar with the works by Janette Oke, who has written over 70 titles and has sold over 22 million copies. One of her most popular books is Love Comes Softly and its many sequels. The books have been made into a series of made-for-movies that aired on the Hallmark Channel.

Another one of the author's book series is called the Canadian West series, which started in 1983 with When Calls The Heart. The movie adaptation aired of the first book aired in 2013 on the Hallmark Channel. A television series of the same name debuted a year later; this time focusing on the niece Elizabeth Thatcher, a young woman who is sent to a small town in Canada to work as a school teacher. Around the same time the series started, Janette Oke and her daughter Laurel Oke Logan published "Where Courage Calls," a companion to the new series, which ended up being book one in the Return to Canadian West series.

The third installment of the series, Where Hope Prevails, arrived in bookstores last month, and once again centers on Elizabeth "Beth" Thatcher, who is returning to Coal Valley after a spending the summer visiting her family in East Canada. She is in for the shock of her life when she returns to see that the small town has changed quiet a bit. Many of the beautiful trees have been cut down and all that remains are the stumps, which was done to make room for new buildings.

To make things worse, Beth has to move into the room above Abigail’s Tea House, because all the rooms at Molly's Boarding House are occupied by miners. While Beth as away, the school board approved of a second teacher, Mr. Robert Harris Hughes, due to the increase in new students.

Beth's relationship with Jarrick Thornton seems to be on the rocks and their future is put in jeopardy when he might reassign to a new location by the RCMP.

Final Thoughts: I have never watched the When Calls The Heart television series, though I do own the first season on DVD. I did read the Where Courage Calls back in 2014, but for some reason I didn't hear about the release of the second book, Where Trust Lies. Nevertheless, I had no problems jumping into the third novel, which I presumed is the final book in the series (though I could be wrong).

The novel starts out interesting with Beth returning to Coal Valley after visiting her family out east for the summer. However, the love story between Beth and Jarrick seemed to be lacking. I didn't care for the new schoolteacher, Mr. Hughes, or his storyline.

In the end, I was very disappointed with the Where Hope Reveals; while the book is well written, the romantic plot just didn't work for me. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad read, but I felt the story was too rushed.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my honest review and they are 100% my own opinions. I received no other compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am also not associated with the publisher or author in any way.

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