Set in the year 1888 in California , a world and time where women were to be courted in a correct fashion, a world where women were to marry once they became of age, a world where I just loved the whole ritual of their courtships . One of the things that I love most about Martha Roger's books is that they all feature a strong female character , someone who despite what they come up against they are not afraid to speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in, they do not waver. It's the type of characters that we need in today's society as role models. Strong women who weren't exactly feminists as they followed correct protocol and procedures , but women that knew what they wanted and they didn't let anyone stand in their way or treat them disrespectfully.
These woman show us how to be strong women of God and that no matter what happens or circumstances arise as long as you always believe in him, he will help you in your time of needed.
In Summer Dream , we meet Rachel Winston - her father is the minister of their small church in Connecticut. Coming up for the right age for what is known as "The Season" , Rachel is being sent to stay with her Aunt in Boston in order to prepare the search for a suitable husband. Rachel has her heart set on marrying a Christian man with good morals and values, but it seems that God may have other ideas in stock for Rachel as she meets Nathan Reed when he arrives in her hometown just before she is due to leave for Boston. Rachel , can't help but wonder - is he the One , the one she is to pledge her life to forever and ever ?. It seems though, that Rachel is caught at a cross-roads as Nathan isn't a Christian and he is dead set against courting anyone who is , though he feels as we learn also attracted to Rachel.
When a tragedy occurs in the small-town and Nathan is found left to die near the Winston Home . Rachel and her family take Nathan in , to nurse him back to health. As the story progresses we read as Nathan's heart starts to soften after being around the Winston family and learns the importance of family, friendship, forgiveness and Love. Will Nathan find it in his heart to forgive those who hurt him in the past and will it be enough for Nathan to reconsider following the Lord ?
Can Nathan make the decision needed for Rachel before it's too late and she is packed and travelling to Boston for the upcoming season ?
Find out all this and more in a "Summer Dream" , Book #1 of Martha Roger's new series Seasons of the Heart and readers, while you are waiting for the rest of the books in this series to be released check out her other awesome series "Winds Across the Prairie".
What does the daughter of a minister do when the man she is attracted to has no place for God in his life? This is the quandary facing Rachel in 1888. Nathan arrives in her hometown of Briar Ridge, Connecticut to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman. While there Rachel and Nathan are attracted to each other, but they know nothing can come of it. Rachel because Nathan is not the kind of husband she needs, Nathan because he doesn't want to associate with a Christian woman.
Caught in a sudden spring snow storm (the White Hurricane of 1888), Nathan stumbles across Rachel's youngest brother in the snow and is credited with saving the boy's life. Passing out due to his own cold and exhaustion, Nathan finds himself recovering at the home of Rachel's family. The family has been praying for his recovery and speaking to him of the love God has for him. As a result he begins to return to the faith of his childhood and comes to the realization he has to return to his childhood home to restore relationships with his mother and sisters.
Summer Dream is book one of the Seasons of the Heart series. Chapter one of Autumn Song, the second book, gives the reader a chance to follow Rachel's minister brother and her cousin and spouse as they minister and live in Texas.
I recommend this series to readers of Christian historical fiction.
Although Martha has published many books, Summer Dream is the first book of hers that I've read. I really enjoyed it. I found the characters likable and the plot believable. It was a bit slow in some places for me, but I think that was because I was reading it in the middle of my daughter's birthday preparations (ie: cleaning the house for grandparent company)! :-)
Rachel and her friend Abigail were portrayed as sweet young ladies on the verge of finding the right husband. No overt flirting, no games, just nice girls. Of course Rachel, a minister's daughter, has to fall for the one man who appears out of reach.
Although the author doesn't share the reason for supposedly unsuitable Nathan's bitterness until nearer the end of the book, I never disliked him or felt like he was a 'bad boy,' having done something terrible. As I read, I just hoped he could resolve the issues with his family, whatever they were, and have a chance at courting Rachel.
I also enjoyed the friendly family scenes at the apple orchard and the girls' trip to Boston. I'm looking forward to book 2, Seasons of the Heart, which is coming out in October. By the end of Summer Dream, I had an idea that Martha might continue the story of Daniel, Rachel's brother, as he heads west to Texas. Looks like I'm right! I'll be looking for its release and checking out Martha's previous books!
*I was sent a free review copy through FIRST blog tours. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*