I have to admit, it took me a while to get into this book. I just didn't find myself enjoying it right away. After the plot developed and more of the story was uncovered I coudn't put the book down, but it took half of the book before that happend. When it was over I felt like I had just started enjoying the story and would have loved to keep reading. I would read more by this author but wouldn't recommend this book to someone that is looking for a fast, "can't put down" kind of book. I recieved a review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.
I have joined a mailing list and received free books from Bethany House publishers to review. Love's First Bloom is one of the books I have received. Love's First Bloom is a book full of lies. Its amazing how a little lie to protect yourself and others you love can really turn out to be so harmful. Ruth and Jake lie and lie about who they are, its really for the good though, right? As they relationship builds as the outside world intrudes on them the lies continue to grow. It is not without heartache and despair that the truth is revealed and worlds are rocked. Can their love find a way through the lies and survive?
This is the second book I read from author Delia Parr. I read Heart's Awakening last year and enjoyed the story Parr crafted. Parr gets major points for following up her first book with a good second book.
Love's First Bloom is the story of Ruth Livingston, daughter of Reverend Livingstone. She is sent to New Jersey under an assumed name to raise a child who is not hers. Because of her father's case, the public clamors for information about her whereabouts, and one newspaperman, Jake Spencer, is determined to find her.
I think the best part of this book for me was Parr's exploration of clergy in the media's eye. Even though the book is set in 1800's, it has a very modern ring to it. It portrayed how cases are tried in the court of public opinion even back then. Parr did a great job of showing that the media doesn't always share the whole truth.
Ruth proves to be a great character. She is tough but tender towards her Lily. And the romance that develops between she and Jake provides the perfect balance for the tragedies that Ruth faces. Jake's drive to please his brother also adds to the emotional fabric of the story. As a reader, you feel torn between wanting Jake to be free from his brother's torment but realizing that the only way he will hurt Ruth if he does.
The pacing of the book is good and the plot was believable and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to Parr's next book.
Ruth Livingstone is the daughter of the well-known and controversial Rev. Gersham Livingstone who is currently on trial for the murder of a local prostitute. In order to protect herself and the prostitute's toddler daughter Ruth must travel away from her father with the child and hide her identity behind the story of a newly saved prostitute.
Asher Tripp wants his reputation and career as a newspaper reporter for <i>The Galaxy</i> back. The only way to win his brother's trust and approval is to pose as the recently injured Jake Spencer and get Widow Ruth Malloy to confide her true identity in him.
While I loved reading Delia Parr's <i>Heart's Awakening</i> I was sorely disappointed in this novel.
<i>Love's First Bloom</i> is a tough book to review because of the story. I found this to be a good story, but I have so many ethical problems with it I'm not sure I really care for the book. This book was too easy to put down and walk away from for long periods of time. It also doesn't help that the characters got to know each other only through the lies they were spoon feeding one another. Yes, there was a turn around and there was a re-finding of God and his glory as most Christian novels do. However, I cannot in good faith recommend this book.
In this beautiful piece of historical fiction young Ruth Livingstone's life is dramatically changed when her father, a minister to fallen women, is charged with murder. Though a woman of faith, her father uses the network he has in place for rescuing women leaving a life of prostitution to send his daughter away with a small child.
Ruth humbly assumes the role of the Widow Malloy, staying in the home of one of the couples who helps rescue these women, with a rambunctious two year old to care for while waiting for her father to be acquitted.
No one knows her true identity, but a few newspaper men are determined to find her, including a man known to her as Jake Spencer.
This book is a beautiful story of a daughter's love for her father, of forgiveness, and of true faith that is evidenced in good works.