This is the third book in the Sapphire Brides Series
Widow Clara Vesper has had it with people running her life. First her mother, forced her into a loveless marriage, then her husband who made almost all the decisions regarding their lives, and now that her husband has passed on, her mother is back and determined to procure her another marriage regardless of what Clara wants. Packing up her two children, she sneaks out of the house one night to catch a train out west to her aunt and uncles ranch in Montana.
With the loss of the only woman that he has ever loved, Curtis Billingham has not led a life that he could be proud of. In fact regret has become a word that haunts him daily. Following a mining accident, he now has nothing but time on his hands, but that is when God begins to pursue him.
I have to say up front, out of the three books, this was the one that I struggled to get through. The storyline seemed to drag in the middle of the book, but I could have been me, because I got easily tired of Curtis' "poor me" routine.
While the first two books centered around the Sapphire industry, how they are found and/ or mined, and how they are cut into quality gems, this book didn't seem to center any part of the industry. In the first couple of chapters we find that Clara the jewelry designer for her husband's company, but for the rest of the book, that doesn't seem to come into play and I was really kind of disappointed about that.
Overall I found it to be a decent book to end the series. The things I had a hard time with are more of a personal preference, rather than anything to do with the book itself. I would still recommend it.
A Love Transformed is Tracie Peterson's third novel in the Sapphire Brides series and one I'm sure you'll love. Used as a pawn her whole life will Clara Vesper find the courage to step out and claim the love and life she desperately wants?
Clara Vesper has known a great love. True it wasn't to her husband, Adolph, but to a man named Curtis Billingham, who she met when she was a teenager. Her mom, who isn't known for her loving kindness, flipped out and demanded Clara marry a man who would promote her up the social ladder. Adolph Vesper doesn't love Clara, but he decides she will make a suitable wife. He didn't realize how suitable until he discovered her ability to design jewelry thus launching his family's highly coveted line of Vesper Yogo jewelry, line. She doesn't take the credit of course, she leaves that to Adolph, she's just happy to have something to fill her time since the nanny takes care of the children.
When Adolph Vesper is murdered Clara is speechless. Who on earth would want to harm her husband? While still reeling from the shock of his sudden and gruesome death Clara learns that her husband, who is normally very savvy with his finances, incured massive amounts of debt and her brother in-law had to bail him out. Basically she's a penniless widow at the mercy of her brother in-law, Otto. She's not too worried, she's always had a pleasant relationship with Otto but when he declares his intent to marry her, after a reasonable amount of time of course, she knows she needs and escape plan. Her mother would be all to happy, not to mention eager, to marry her off to the next eligible, rich man who comes along, brother in-law or not. Her mother has never heard the word no, well she has, but she refuses to accept it.
Curtis Billingham met and fell in love with Clara when they were just teens, on her aunt's farm in Montana. He loved her something fierce and fully intended to marry her until her mother got involved. He wanted to fight for her, he tried but it seemed like it just wasn't meant to be. Losing Clara and then his parents a short time later, Curtis made some decisions that were less than honorable. He was a drunk and a womanizer and if it weren't for Madeline and Paul, Clara's aunt and uncle, there's no telling what would've happened to him. They took him in and cared for him and shared their faith. Curtis will be forever grateful to them for being his surrogate family.
A Love Transformed will draw you in and keep you guessing until the very last page. Clara has known her share of hardships, her mother being one, but she never lets it make her bitter. I was glad she was such a strong and determined woman, especially for her four year old twins, Hunter and Maddie. It would have been easy to marry Otto and live the life in which she became accustom to, but something told her that wasn't the right thing to do. She also could have given in, like she did last time, and let her mother call the shots, she found a suitable husband the first time, who's to say she couldn't do it again? Clara knows in her heart she'll never love another man other than Curtis and she feels like the only place she feels free is the ranch her aunt and uncle own.
Clara's mother, Harriet Oberlin, is a real piece of work. I kept hoping deep down that she loved Clara and was truly concerned with her well being. As it turns out, she sees her merely as a pawn to boost both of them up the social ladder. How can someone be that cold and calculating? Maybe it was just a different time but I found myself feeling so sorry for Harriet. Clara at least had her Aunt Madeline to fill in where her mother was lacking. Harriet had no one and she could only blame herself.
I truly hope you will give A Love Transformed a chance. Even if historical romance isn't you normal genre of choice I believe you will fall in love with the characters and the story. Tracie Peterson has a way of bringing places alive and crafting characters who manage to worm their way into your heart and become friends.
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.
An early 20th century novel about the victim of an arranged marriage. Clara is a wonderful example of accepting what you can't change. She was in a loveless marriage although she lived in luxury. She made the best of her circumstances by concentrating on loving and raising her precious twins and continuing to pray and trust God. A story of faith and forgiveness proving that money doesn't bring happiness but prayer changes things.
I won't give away the plot except to say that God is faithful and the tale comes full circle with a most satisfying ending of justice being served and true love prevailing. A must read! I love Tracie Peterson and I think I have every one of her novels.
Clara Vesper finds herself penniless after her husband is murdered. Intrigue surrounds his sudden death. She is concerned about how she'll take care of herself and her two children. She flees to the only place she has ever experienced love, her aunt and uncle's ranch in Montana.
Curtis Billingham has never gotten over the loss of his childhood sweetheart. Her mother snatched her away from him before he was able to propose. He's been whirling from disappointment since then. Not sure what to do with his life, he's considering enlisting to fight in the Great War. When tragedy strikes, will he be able to let go of the past and embrace something new?
This book is a page turner full of excitement, intrigue and romance. Tracie Peterson has such an incredible grasp of the time period. This is a book and series I highly recommend.
I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Sad to see this series end, but what a wonderful conclusion!
October 18, 2016
"Sometimes the most valuable things are hidden away like that. I think sometimes God just wants us to have to work for them because then we'll really know just how valuable they are."
In the latest of the Sapphire Brides Series from best-selling author Tracie Peterson, A Love Transformed is the third and final novel to make its debut.Set in New York City in 1917, Clara Vesper wasn't anticipating the news that came to her that her husband Adolf had been shot and is dead. Not only that, she learns from his twin brother Otto, that he has mismanaged his financial affairs and has left her penniless despite the lucrative jewelry business the three of them have partnered in. Even the very home and furnishings now belong to Otto and he has agreed to let her live there as a ways of helping her deal with this shocking blow.
It should come as no surprise that Clara feels very little about Adolf since their marriage was more of a business arrangement and not one of love even though it lasted over 14 years and produced two wonderful children, twins themselves Maddy and Hunter. What does surprise her is the freedom she now feels that she is no longer bound by marriage and can make amends for what happened 14 years ago to the only man she loved, Curtis Billingham. They parted ways in Montana after her mother forcefully removed her and ended their love affair before it could go any further. Now she has a chance to make it right and since she has no claims over anything in New York any longer, she is free to journey back to the only place she has known as home and love in Montana.
Now if she can manage to pack a few things before her mother arrives to upset her plans and find other suitable arrangements for Clara to find a wealthy and prosperous husband after a suitable mourning period. Clara knows if she is to find love and freedom again, she must leave while no one suspects where she might go and take the children with her. She only hopes that when she arrives at the bank later there will be enough money in her account to buy them train tickets to Montana. She'll have to figure out the rest when she gets there. She doesn't expect to find quite a bit of money and her husband's journals tucked away in a safe deposit box but she will deal with those later.
After a mine cave in, Curtis is lucky to be alive. But now he is under the care of Madeline and Paul Sersland, Clara's aunt and uncle, he has no choice but to spend his countless hours praying for the strength not only to get better physically, but spiritually with God as well. His past is something he can't quite come to terms with, even though Paul has reminded him that when you confess your sins to God, and trust in Him, you are a new creation and all that has happened in the past in God's eyes is wiped clean. If only he could believe it in his heart, and the last thing he expects is Clara to walk into his life again. If only God could transform his life and make it new again.
I received A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley. I have had the wonderful pleasure of following this series all the way through and while it does make the entire novel better by understanding the back story of the sapphire mine's success, you can read this one and enjoy it as a stand alone as well. For me, it was such a wonderful conclusion and to see the outcome of Clara's future truly was worth waiting for. Even though I could sense where this story was going, I still loved the journey along the way of watching Curtis fall in love with a new Clara and her delightful children. For me this was worth 4.5 out of 5 stars.