Sarah’s Smile by Dawn Kinzer – Book Review, Preview

Posted September 14, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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There he sits, patiently watching. Waiting. Hopeful. Confident.

This affectionate cat knows that I don’t feed him first and he is okay with that. Despite having to be second, once I’m done feeding Felix, he hurries over to me and rubs and rubs and rubs. And boinks his head against me in the way that cats do. And then rubs some more.


In many ways, the behavior of this cat reflects the kind of love God desires from us – the first Corinthians 13 love.

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Not jealous, proud or rude
  • Not demanding
  • Not irritable
  • Not keeping track of wrongs
  • Rejoicing in the truth
  • Never gives up
  • Never loses faith
  • Always hopeful
  • Enduring

Am I saying that Casper loves with agape love? No. But I am thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can learn a bit about what love can look like from a cat.

Sarah’s Smile by Dawn Kinzer – Book Review, Preview

Sarah's Smile

by Dawn Kinzer

Series: The Daughters of Riverton #1
Series Rating:
Published by Morningview Publishing
Publication Date October 14, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Wisconsin Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 394


Inspirational Historical Romance Novel

Romance. Heartbreak. Scandal. Secrets. Second Chances.

In 1902, Sarah McCall is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.

Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.

When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life. Will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?

BOOK CLUB MEMBERS – You’ll also find 20+ questions included for discussion and reflection.

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

Also in this series: Hope's Design, Rebecca's Song

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Sarah had thought that Peter loved her with the marrying kind of love. Her Grandmother thought she was loving Sarah in the choices she made for her. Rebecca thought she loved Peter enough that she should have him. Peter had thought that he loved Lily. And Will…

Sarah’s Smile is such a touching story. As I was reading about the pain Sarah experienced when Peter announced his engagement, my chest constricted and my heart ached. I found myself caring deeply for Sarah and cheering her on as she persevered through her trials. Sure, she made some bad decisions and some good decisions for the wrong reasons but that was part of what made me like her.

Peter was quite interesting. He had a tender heart towards the Lord and desired to serve Him and not let anything get in the way of his ministry. Because of that determination and fear that he would repeat past mistakes, he made new mistakes and caused almost irreparable damage. Fortunately for us (and Peter!), God is able to repair what we cannot.

Rebecca’s jealousy and the actions it prompted were such a great example of why perfect love is not jealous. Not only does it display a lack of trust, envy can drive people to do some terrible things. Like she did. And, nope, I’m not gonna tell you what it was. I happen to know that she is going to get her own book – the third of this series. I’m super excited to read the next two books to see what happens to convert her from the nemesis she is to heroine material.




About Dawn Kinzer

Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor and author, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She also co-hosts and writes for the Seriously Write blog, which is devoted to encouraging and equipping Christian writers.

Her passion is fiction because she believes in the power of story to comfort, challenge, and inspire. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

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