There might be areas in our life, issues that we have to deal with individually that need work, such as a trust issue, or maybe a difficulty to accept love. Or to open up to another person enough to be in a relationship with them.
Now there are a million self-helf books out there you can read and be confused by to your heart's content. You can also choose to read a story instead, a story that deals with some of the things that are troubling you, but not through talking. Through showing. Through living.
That's why I loved this book.
It is a deeply romantic novel set in the time of cowboys and girls with bonnets, and the main characters are a family of a wodowed mother raising five sons. And Bert, of course, our heroine.
First of all there is the whole girl-in-boy's-clothes thing, that personally is a theme that I only need to hear about and by that alone I want to read the book. It was very elegantly done, I have to say.
The characters in this book are well-fleshed and complex. I particularly liked how each of the brothers had his own personal coming-of-age story, and how they were disinguished from each other, since they were completely different characters. And then we have John and Bert.
Bert with her fear, and her emotional scars and her trust issues.
And John, who can't even let himself laugh, so much does he feel the weight of responsibility of his brothers and the ranch.
They are brought together, each with the herculean tast of rescuing the other, loving and being loved by each other.
The romance was slow-building and I was able to savor it. But it wasn't the main plot point of the novel.
Its focus was God and how He is the only One who can held and rescue and restore.
I liked this book because I learned a lot about myself from reading it, and about how God works with broken, fragile people who need Him.
It amazed me to see how the author portrayed His love for each and every character, shown in a different way for everyone, according to their needs and character.
I completely recommend this book.
I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
Not the best I've read from this author, I really enjoyed her first book A woman named Sage much better. I struggled with finding the fire in Ember, as well as the lack of chemistry between John and Ember. I felt there was so much more that could have been done with Ember posing as a boy and that was revealed to early on.
On the other side I really enjoyed Leah's character. She was wise and had self control and was such a loving person.
When Bert is captured by Deputy John Timmons as a horse thief, he pays the debt for the horse with the expectation that the scrawny lad in front of him will work on his family ranch to pay off the debt. As the oldest of five brothers, John feels responsible for caring for his widowed mother, his brothers, the ranch, and now this additional mouth to feed. What John hadn't bargained on was the scrawny lad scrubbing up into a pretty young woman who catches his eye and his emotions - and the eye of one of his brothers.
Ever since the death of her older brother, Bert has been physically and emotionally abused by her remaining three brothers, cattle rustlers and horse thieves. She has never known a family like the Timmons's, who work together, look after strangers and go to Church on Sunday. Even in this safe place, her fear of her brothers remains, meaning she is unable to trust John and his family with her secrets. But the past always catches up with people, and before long, local ranchers find they are missing cattle, and Bert's secrecy about her name and her past makes her a suspected accomplice. She must learn to trust John and his family, and to work with them to clear her name, catch the cattle rustlers, and find out who is behind all the troubles in their small Colorado town.
The Fire in Ember is the sequel to A Woman Named Sage, but can easily be read as a stand-alone historical romance novel. It contains DiAnn Mills' trademark style, a fun quick read with a group of believable and likeable characters, some romance, an underlying Christian theme that prefers to practice Christianity rather than preach (and an underlying plot device that she has used several times before, and that I really wish she would abandon. To say anything else would be a spoiler). However, The Fire in Ember remains an enjoyable 4-star read from a popular author, one of the few who can write convincing historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.
With The Fire in Ember, DiAnn Mills has crafted a fast-paced historical romance her readers are sure to enjoy. John Timmons isn't perfect, but he's the perfect romantic heroâ€”noble, manly, responsible, and endearingly flustered by his gentler emotions. And Bert Farrar is a true survivor who doesn't realize what a strong and admirable woman she's become as a result of her family struggles. When these two people cross paths on the ranch lands of 1880's northern Colorado and face increasingly dangerous circumstances together, the reader will be hard pressed to find a place to stop reading and put the book down.
All Christ needs is for one ember to burn for His light to shine. Family, faith, and over coming great obstacles is what the Timmons family is all about. John is the oldest brother who has taken over the family ranch, in Colorado, after the death of their father. Having younger brothers is not always easy, especially if love for the same girl comes between them. Out of no where, Bert, shows up. Beaten, bruised, and ready to hang. After being saved, Bert, comes to live with the Timmons and quickly understands the real meaning of family. Something, Bert, never had. There is much to Bert. Throughout the story we gather more and more. I must say, I had a hard time keeping this book out of the hands of my husband, long enough for me to read it for review!
This Historical/Romance is so much more. It is has adventure, as cattle rustlers are up to no good and all people are not quite what they seem, even if we attend church together. Going to church does not make one a Christian.
One of my favorite characters is Leah, the mother, of all these boys. What an honorable woman. A woman full of wisdom and laughter. A woman serving the Lord in all she does. She takes, Bert, under her wing and leads this young person to believe there are good in others.
I cannot wait for DiAnn's next book, A Woman Called Sage, to come out. DiAnn makes the 1800's look adventurous and her attention to detail brings us to know and understand the heart of each character. I absolutely loved this book!!
This book was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.