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.
Amanda Cabot has quickly become one of my go-to authors. I can't even count the number of times I've recommended her books to my book friends....they're just that good! Her latest offering is the last book in the Texas Dreams Series, and I'm so sad that my time with the citizens of Ladreville has come to an end.
I enjoyed seeing the town through the eyes of Lawrence and Harriet. I have to confess that Lawrence wasn't one of my favorite characters in the last book. He was too stiff and rugged for my taste, and his infatuation with Priscilla got annoying after awhile. However, he was a completely different person in this book. He said goodbye to the life of a Texas Ranger, and stepped into the dual roles of town sheriff and mayor, two jobs that suited him quite well.
Meanwhile, Harriet stepped in to fill the vacancy for school teacher in Ladreville. Not only was she excited to be teaching in a new town, she was anxious to forge a new life for herself and her siblings. I couldn't help but smile at the friendship that developed between Harriet and Isabelle. Isabelle has been one of the most genuine characters throughout the series, and her sweet spirit in this book is not one that I'll soon forget. If it hadn't been for Isabelle, poor Harriet would have never softened her uptight exterior. She also would've been destined to be a victim of the Fashion Police for a LONG time if Isabelle hadn't come to her rescue!
Even more that the two previous books, I felt like I was a part of the town in Tomorrow's Garden. I wanted to scream at Harriet that she needed to keep her distance from Karl. I wanted to convince the townsfolk how important the bridge building was. And I wanted to cheer with joy at Ruth's gradual growth into a more confident young woman. Who wouldn't want to be part of such a community? :o)
If you enjoy such authors as Lori Copeland and Kim Vogel Sawyer, I would strongly suggest you give Amanda Cabot a try. Each book in this series has been filled with so much emotion, and all of them have been nearly impossible to put down! I don't know how in the world I will be able to wait until next year to read her next offering which will be set in Wyoming. :o)
**Many thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review.
Tomorrow's Garden is the final instalment in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams trilogy, set in the French/German town of Ladreville, a community steeped in European ways striving to make sense of their American home. Amanda infuses her story with a determined heroine and a compassionate hero, both dealing with past tragedies that impact their behaviour, recalcitrant siblings, inquisitive neighbours and danger in the form of a jilted suitor. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to warm to Harriet and felt the book foundered a little in the middle, which impacted my enjoyment of the story. That said, I appreciated how Harriet's defiant brother Jake is drawn, as he struggles authentically with his new found circumstances. While Tomorrow's Garden is not my favourite Cabot story, it may be yours so if you love a sweet romance be sure to look it up.
Harriet Kirk has many fears, fears that control her life. She fears house fires, she fears having her younger brothers and sisters being taken from her, she fears scandal, she is just afraid of so many things, including love. No one will ever want to marry her, she has too much baggage. She hopes a move from Fortune, the small town they grew up in, to a larger town Ladreville, will change things in her life. She will get away from the dreadful Thomas who wants to marry her, but doesn't love her. She will get her brother Jake away from the horrible influences that seem to be leading him astray.
However her plans seem to be falling apart in front of her, if anything Jake is worse than before, committing serious acts of vandalism, another man has his sites set on marrying her, and Thomas has shown up again demanding she marry him, and give him the fortune he believes she has. He will not stop until he has that money, even though there is no money, so now he decides she must pay!
A book filled with drama, excitement and redemption. New friends show Harriet that she does not always have to look like a mouse, with dreadful clothes, that she doesn't have to be strong all the time, and that she can find love. I enjoyed this book, it was filled with action and you could feel the emotion of the characters. 384 pages US $14.99 4 stars.
This book was provided for review purposes only by Revell, no payment was received for this review.
Available April 2011 from your favorite seller of Revell Books, a division of Baker House Publishing.