This is the third book in this series, and I've enjoyed my return visit with these sweet people. Although it would be great to read all of the books, and I recommend that you do, it is not necessary to in order to enjoy this one.
I enjoyed this journey with Sofia and her brother Andy, and of course, Dr Eli Trent. Loved how Sofia reacted and tried to keep her head up, especially with the gossip that followed her. She is pregnant, and won't tell anyone what or how it happened. She is trying to protect her brother, who has been in her care since their parents were killed in a train accident.
Enjoy how the faith of these people bring joy to desperate situations. We travel along through floods, acts of violence, and mental instability. You hope things will turn out ok, but in the back of your mind you wonder the whole time.
The book is a fast page turning read...once you start you can't stop!!
I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
This story was not what I expected. It was better! Not having read the previous books in this series, I was afraid I might be lost and not know what was going on, but that was not the case. I thought I would casually read a few pages/chapters over the course of several days (it's a hefty sized book at 432 pages) but I was so taken by surprise at the depth and subject matter, that I read it in less than two days.
The characters' spiritual battles are real, their decisions weighty and costly, and the humor that is interspersed in just the right places is tremendously enjoyable. Sharlene is a master story teller and this one is big!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes getting thoroughly immersed in a meaty story but be prepared to let the laundry pile up and dishes go unwashed because if you're not already a fan of Sharlene MacLaren, you will be!
Whitaker House graciously supplied my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book, which I have done.
Sharlene MacLaren in her new book, "Sofia's Secret" Book Three in the River Of Hope series published by Whitaker House takes us into the life of Sofia Rogers.
From the back cover: An independent young woman shouldering a heavy burden_
Ever since her parents died in a tragic train wreck, Sofia Rogers has worked a job, managed a household, and brought up her little brother, Andy-and all on her own, because she prizes her independence. But that is not to say it's been an easy road. As if she didn't have enough burdens to bear, through circumstances beyond her control, Sofia gets pregnant-and becomes an overnight pariah. Worse than the whispers and stares of others is the bewilderment she feels, knowing she may not be able to provide for her baby.
An ambitious young doctor with lofty aspirations_
Dr. Elijah Trent moved to Wabash to take over the medical practice of his grandfather, "Doc" Trent, as he is affectionately called by the locals. Moved by a sense of compassion, Eli maintains a hectic schedule, striving to meet all his patient's needs. Just when he feels as if he has bitten off more than he can chew, he meets Sofia Rogers-and his world is turned upside down by this enchanting yet perplexing young woman, who rejects any apparent acts of charity.
A troubling secret that demands discovery_
Even more frustrating, Sofie refuses to participate in an investigation that might bring her attacker to justice and thereby restore her reputation. Never one to mind his own business, Eli gets involved, anyway-and a world of trouble ensues, from arson to death treats. Nevertheless, Eli is determined to break down the wall of silence behind which Sofie hides her deep, dark secret, and to make her realize that trusting him-and her heavenly Father-is the only thing that make sense.
Honestly I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to read "Sofia's Secret". I guess I thought it was just going to be a typical romance drama. Well was I wrong! " Who knew so much could happen in a little town like Wabash, Indiana? Sofie is raped but she won't tell anyone who the attacker is. When Dr. Eli gets involved the death threats and fire bombings begin. Add in that Sofie is trying to raise her younger brother by herself as their parents died in a train accident. And then on top of that there is the romance-not just any kind of romance but a real, gentle romance that only springs from God. Ms. MacLaren does an outstanding job with all the characters and it is a sad thing when we get to the end of the book and we have to say goodbye to them. Doubly sad because this is the last book in this series. However the good news is there is sure to be more from the pen of this outstanding author, Sharlene MacLaren.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Whitaker House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Sofia's Secret was a very pleasant surprise as it was the first Sharlene MacLaren book I have read.
I really love the character of Sophie, who at a young age overcomes many trials and is a hard working young women who knows God and continues growing her faith as the book progresses. Doc Trent (Eli's grandfather) made my laugh and I like how the relationship between Eli and Andy continues to grow throughout the book. Will Sophie realize she has friends who love her and want to help lighten her load?
This was the third book in the River Of Hope Series, but can easily stand on its own. I am really happy to have discovered a "new" author to me and intend to go back and read the the other books in this series as well as other books by Sharlene.
I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book through First Wild Card and was not paid to review the book. I always give my honest opinion of each book I read.