I'd awaited Tomorrow's Garden, the final book in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams trilogy, eager for Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood to find peace and the right woman for him, and I was rewarded with a heartwarming story. Cabot's a gifted writer who creates endearing characters. Harriet Kirk, the town's new teacher, is a handful at first: strong-willed, determined, and saddled with responsibilities that have caused her to give up her dreams of marriage and a family of her own. Patient and perceptive Lawrence is able to see past Harriet's sometimes-prickly exterior to the warmhearted woman within. Their journey is fraught with difficulties and danger, requiring them to face their fears and cling to their faith. The story is peopled with characters from the previous two books in the series, which is fun for the reader, but this book can stand on its own. If you enjoy a sweet inspirational historical romance, I recommend Tomorrow's Garden.
It's 1857 and Harriet Kirk's hands are full teaching and caring for three siblings after her dysfunctional parents are killed in a fire.
The beautiful young woman wears drab clothing because men keep pursuing her. She gave up her dreams of a husband and family and knows it's out of the question. Men don't want ready-made families and she's not going to divide up the children.
Thomas wants to marry her because he thinks she's rich and he desperately needs money because gambling thugs want the money he owes. Harriet's parents were rich, and if Harriet won't marry him so he can get at the wealth, he decides to steal it
Jake, the oldest of Harriet's siblings, constantly causes troubleâ€”even as far as breaking the law to keep his sister from marrying.
So she quits her job and moves to get away from Thomas and Jake's rebellious friends.
Her new teaching job is in Ladreville,Texas, where she soon tangles with Lawrence Wood, temporary sheriff, mayor and a former Texas Ranger because she doesn't want to live in the wood house. Although he lives in a stone house, he lets her know she'll have to live in the one provided. She's not much impressed with the school being made from lumber, too.
He labels her a picky old maid with unrealistic expectations, but as part of his job he stops by the school to welcome her to the community. She gets to digging and discovers he hasn't read anything much besides wanted posters since his school days. So she challenges him to read one of her favorite books. He returns it and they discuss it. He takes another, and soon they are meeting frequently to discuss books.
It doesn't take long for an immigrant farmer to be affected by Harriet's beauty and Karl Friedrich decides it's God's will for Harriet to be his wife. An added bonus will be the two boys to work his fields.
Jake , her brother, continues to give Harriet grief, slitting the seats of Karl's new buggy.
Lawrence, as the sheriff, tries to help Jake, but the boy is bent on rebellion. Lawrence also is attracted to Harriet now, but when he jails Jake, her fury explodes on him.
The old suitor searching for money comes to town and complicates everythingâ€”bringing disaster with him.
This book will keep you reading. I commend Amanda Cabot for creating a story that will bring many hours of reading pleasure. I highly recommend it.
Note: Revell Publishing provided me a review copy of this book.
If you've read any of my book reviews over the last two years, you're probably aware that historical settings are not my favorite. And yet, every time I read a book written in a historical setting, I love it.
Such is the case with "Tomorrow's Garden" by Amanda Cabot. "Tomorrow's Garden" is the third book in a series titled "Texas Dreams." I was privileged to read the first two books "Paper Roses," and "Scattered Petals," and enjoyed them both! But "Tomorrow's Garden" will pull on your heartstrings. There is action and adversity, heartache and hope, loss and love. Throughout it all, God's message of redemptive love is evident.
Pour yourself a glass of lemonade, head for your favorite comfy chair and read "Tomorrow's Garden." You'll be glad you did.
In Tomorrow's Garden, Harriet Kirk is the new schoolteacher in Ladreville, Texas. She takes the job as a means to escape past secrets, but doesn't realize that Ladreville possesses a few secrets of its own.
As she struggles for acceptance in the community, she also has the daunting task of mothering her younger siblings, some of whom resent the move to a new community. When did teenagers ever feel happy about being uprooted? In her efforts to parent her siblings, and gain respect among the children in her classroom, Harriet comes across and strict and unbending.
Ladreville's mayor/sheriff is former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood, who was a minor character in the previous novel in this series, Scattered Petals. He's made it clear to the community that his tenure there is only to last six months. His early encounters with Harriet leave him thinking that six months is too long.
Tomorrow's Garden is a heartwarming story of a woman who needs to learn to love. Although this is the last book in the series, it isn't necessary to have read the first two in order to enjoy every moment of this powerful novel. Amanda Cabot has skillfully woven in bits of backstory without stopping the forward motion of Tomorrow's Garden. That's not to say you shouldn't read the first two books! I recommend the entire series.
My thanks to Revell for providing my review copy. My opinions are my own.
Amanda Cabot's stories transport me to her well-developed settings and bring me into the hearts of her characters. In her latest book, Harriet Kirk is a dedicated school teacher who also has responsibility for raising her four siblings while she shields herself from anyone who wants to care for her. Self-sufficient, she suppresses her feelings of love for Sheriff Lawrence Wood and definitely does not think he could care for her. Lawrence withholds his feelings for Harriet, cautious not to scare her fragile heart. A compelling story that shows how feelings can become misplaced when people cannot leave their past behind and reach for happiness.