Harmony on the Horizon by Kathleen Denly – Book Review

Posted January 20, 2022 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Harmony on the Horizon by Kathleen Denly – Book Review

Harmony on the Horizon

by Kathleen Denly

Series: Chaparral Hearts #3
Series Rating:
Published by Wild Heart Books
Publication Date January 4, 2022
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: California Reconstruction Era – US – 1863 – 1877
Written for: Adults
Pages: 409


Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.

On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.

After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.

As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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My first Kathleen Denly book, Harmony on the Horizon was a pleasant treat. Full of characters I cared about, historical situations, danger, and faith. It kept my attention and left me wanting to read more from her. I was fascinated to discover the circumstances Margaret and Everett faced in San Diego were based on a historical event, though the names and details here were fictional.

There was darkness tempered with hope all through. While revealing some of the evils of the Barbary Coast, no inappropriate detail was given. The prejudice. The corruption. The “crimping” (also known as shanghaiing.) The evils perpetrated on women and children… The gospel message was proclaimed loud and clear and often, by a character that had, according to popular thinking, every reason to be angry at God.

I admired Margaret’s determination to right those things she knew were wrong. Her pluck almost got her into quite a bit of danger from the start! I especially loved the lessons she taught the school children under her care. Her ability to turn a lesson about nature into a depiction of the nature of the Creator was spectacular. The lesson of the symphony of the ocean was beautiful; particularly the way God used her own lesson to remind her that sometimes she is called to be a crashing wave, and sometimes one peacefully lapping at the shore. I enjoyed the way the children reacted to that lesson and could just picture them there at the shore!!

Everett believed in God and was determined to do the right thing. Though when he was plagued with trouble after disaster after calamity, his faith wavered. Until he realized he lacked an actual relationship with God – calling on Him in trouble but not learning to spend time with Him and actually listen to His answers.

Katie and Fletcher were also introduced. Their story was entwined with Margaret and Everett’s. Fletcher may have been my favorite…

Readers who enjoy Christian fiction based on history will be fascinated by Harmony on the Horizon. And will probably be left wanting to read the earlier books of the Chaparral Hearts series, so you might want to read them first! I’m hoping for a fourth book in the series about Pears. I’m dying to know more about him!!


In celebration of the release of Harmony on the Horizon, Kathleen Denly is offering the following to one (1) winner:

  • 1 handmade tag-style bookmark – Beauty
  • 1 pair of earrings – Pink Carnation
  • 1 Lavender Sachet
  • 1 Sing in the Sunlight bookmark
  • 1 Harmony on the Horizon sticker

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post and sign up for Kathleen’s Reader Club here.

The deadline to enter is 11:59pm, January 30, 2022. The winner will be announced in the comments for this post and contacted via email.

*Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.


About Kathleen Denly

Kathleen Denly writes historical romance to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. She enjoys finding the lesser known pockets of history and bringing them to life through the joys and struggles of her characters.

Sunny California, a favorite setting in her stories, is also her home. She lives there with her loving husband, four young children, and three cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories.

When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, she spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Kathleen is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the award-winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series.

Always happy to hear from her readers, you can email Kathleen and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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3 responses to “Harmony on the Horizon by Kathleen Denly – Book Review

  1. Audrey Stewart

    I just love Kathleen Denly as a writer. her books are all great! Her book ‘Chaparral Hearts’ has to be one of my favorite series.