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The Artisan's Wife #3, in the Refined by Love series, by Judith Miller
Ainslee McKay's twin sister has eloped with a man she barely knows. Now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at the family's new tile works, keeping it profitable, so her brother will help her sell the business.
Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles. She is impressed by his skill and passion for the tile business. How can she tell him her intent is to sell?
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Refined by Love
Ainslee McKay's world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business.
When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he'd be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?
Bookish Bakes4 Stars Out Of 5Charming ReadNovember 28, 2016Bookish BakesQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I received The Artisans Wife a while back from Bethany House to read for an honest review. I was excited to read this book, since it takes place in Weston, WV not too far from my own hometown. I have read a good deal more of historical fiction this year, and I was thrilled to find a book taking place in my own state. However, I did not realize that it was the third book in a series. The book could be a standalone, and its not hard to keep up or put two and two together as you read. I just might go back and read the first two to see things from the other characters point of view.
Ill be upfront and honest. I had a really hard time getting into this book. It could possibly be that I wasnt invested in the story like others that have actually read the first two books. At times, I really wanted to give up on the book all together. However, after reading close to halfway in did I actually start to feel caught up in the characters lives. As an artist myself, I could relate to Levi and his passion for creating beautiful tiles. I have been to Weston a few times, and I could easily picture a big building full of tile workers. After visiting museums and old homes around my state, I have this vision in my head of what their homes and small town looked like. For me personally, it was very easy to imagine the boarding house, the hotels, and above all the asylum.
Though I have never been inside the asylum, I have seen it from afar, and heard all the stories revolving around the old historic building from family and friends. It was hard to read the story, knowing what would eventually happen to the people living inside the building. For those of you who dont know, it is now used for haunted tours during Halloween and offers overnight stays for ghost hunters. The thought of people living inside of it was very interesting and intriguing. It made me wish to see what it looked like all those years ago. I felt my heart break every time someone treated Levi differently because of his brothers mental problems. I was touched by the way he and Ainslee reached out to those in the asylum with love and compassion. Ainslee learns compassion, and I was moved deeply to see her reaching out to family members as she stood her ground against the stereotypes of mental disorders.
The story does lag at times, but makes up for it, with lively scenes and touching dialogue. The relationship between Levi and Ainslee felt a bit odd. Dont get me wrong, I could picture them together. Im not sure if the author not focusing on their growing relationship made it seem all of a sudden and out of character. Im not sure how much Ainslee grew in the past books, or if she even was a side character, but I feel like her confidence in certain things keeps her character from evolving and growing as the story progressed. While Levi seemed pretty stable and founded from the start, it was Ainslee that made room for improvement. Yet, at times she seemed too confident and perfect. Still, the story line itself was decent and enjoyable.
Overall, this book was a good and easy read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something different in the typical historical fiction genre. The characters are sweet and very adorable. The way they acted and socialize back then never ceases to amaze or surprise me. It made for a wonderful little read, and I plan on reading more of Judith Millers work in the future.
AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The refining work of God's loveNovember 7, 2016AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0The Artisan's Wife by Judith Miller is apparently the third and final book in the Refined in Love series but is easily a stand alone read. With themes of family, faith and forgiveness entwined throughout, Miller has given her readers a strong and captivating story about Ainslee and Levi. Ainslee's twin and best friend abandones her to take on a challenge and change her life completely. Can she ever forgive her for leaving her? Levi has a dream and moving to be near his brother may mean the end of that. Will he be able to overcome the obstacles and reach that dream? Miller writes a love story that brings history alive as she writes of the workings of the tile making industry and life in the 1870s America. The Artisan's Wife is another inspiring work from a favorite author.
Kav5 Stars Out Of 5A sweet romance rich in heart and faithSeptember 27, 2016KavQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A satisfying conclusion to the Refined by Love series. It reads beautifully as a standalone but fans of the series will be thrilled with the involvement of Ewan and Laura in this book -- including a wonderful plot thread that brings them full circle.
I love the way this author steeps her novels in history. Fascinating details make up the very fibre of the story and there's some awesome gems in The Artisan's Wife. Details I can't share without posting spoilers but just know I was riveted by the historical content...and it would make great book discussion fodder for a book club read.
I enjoyed the unique perspective of a woman managing a 'man's' business in the 19th century. Ainslee has grit and stamina and an abundance of ideas, even though she's very reluctant to carry them out without her sister by her side. She has spent her life content to hide in the shadows of Adaira's outgoing persona and her twin's abrupt departure has left her forced to stand on her own for the first time. But Ainslee has a talent for business and has no intention of failing. Levi is just as committed to the enterprise...and his lady boss. The result? A sweet romance rich in heart and faith.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous5 Stars Out Of 5Enjoyable!September 16, 2016AnonymousQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is the third book in the series and I enjoyed each one but this may have been my favorite! Also, I liked how the author answered some questions at the end of the book regarding the history surrounding the story. I will definitely read more books by Judith Miller.
cmwinnerHalifax, Nova Scotia, CanadaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Good ReadSeptember 10, 2016cmwinnerHalifax, Nova Scotia, CanadaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Ainslee McKay finds things not going the way she had planned when her twin sister elopes and she needs to move to Weston on her own. Something she didn't want to do in the first place. However, she knows she is obligated to fill her family's role in the tile works factory they have purchased. She makes it clear to her brother Ewan she will only stay until a new owner can be found to purchase the the business.
Levi Judson moves to Weston in order for his brother Noah to receive the care he needs as the asylum. It is something he hopes to keeps secret. He goes to the tile works to look for a job and hopes to share his designs for new tiles. While Ainslee hires him on and wants to put his designs to work for them, she wants to keep it secret about her plans for the business.
While Ainslee is injured, Levi works with her more closely with her to help with do the work she needs to get done. As they grow closer to each other will the secrets each of them carry come out? When the secrets do some out will it draw them closer together or will it drive apart the growing closeness between them?
I feel as if Judith Miller did a great job at writing the history into this story. I loved how they explained how the tiles were made and how strong they could be made. I also enjoyed reading about the asylum and the work that was done in there and to try to help people. It's sad to think wives were put in there by their husbands, simply because they didn't want to deal with them anymore! The history that was written in this book was reparable.
***** SPOILER ALERT *****
I found the title in itself was a spoiler. At the beginning of the boom they don't even know each other let alone are married! It's not until the end when they are engaged, that he refers to her as the "artisan's wife". I think a different title should have been chose as the title gives away that she gets married.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.