Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
What do you think of when you hear “debut author” or “debut book”?
I have to confess that my thoughts have changed this year. I used to think a debut novel meant that it might be okay and that hopefully, the author would probably improve with time. Yet this year, I have read debut novels from several authors and have found that just because it is the first book, doesn’t mean it can’t be great.
Cynthia Herron has proved that a debut novel can be well worth reading.
Her Hope DiscoveredWelcome to Ruby #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date January 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Missouri Contemporary
Written for: Adults
Is the sure thing worth risking for the possibility of maybe?
Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery. Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course?
Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents.
Nestled in the Ozarks’ hills and hollows is Ruby, Missouri, a quaint, cozy town where “neighbor” is merely another word for “friend.” Ruby will charm and delight as will her quirky, lovable characters who will steal your heart, but hand it right back—with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Savor your new friends’ sorrows and successes in the community where offbeat is perfect and mishaps and mayhem never tasted so good.
I would like to thank Cynthia Herron for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series:
Reading Her Hope Discovered is like sitting down at the fireside with a good friend and your favorite hot beverage for a cozy chat. The writing is fantastic and very interesting. It is compelling and creative with beautiful descriptions appropriately sprinkled throughout the story. It is so easy to visualize the beauty of the Ozarks as you read.
I was so quickly invested in the characters, caring deeply what happened to them. And not just Charla and Sam, the main characters, each of the people in the town of Ruby became friends I want to know more about. It almost makes me want to pack up and move to a small town. . . Almost!
Sam is a widower who has two adorable little girls full of life and energy. The great love he has for them is so touching. Despite his strong faith, he struggles with guilt over the argument he had with his wife the last time he saw her and feels responsible for her death. His inability to accept forgiveness for this has alienated him from at least one person he needs in his life and that of his daughters. This hard-working man has a heart of gold, though he is not without his flaws.
Charla is a newcomer to the Ozarks, having moved to Ruby from a suburb of Boston – fleeing from the hectic life that was consuming her. She has dreams of being independent and having a chance to actually live her life making choices that are not designed to please others, especially her mother. Her heart is quickly captivated by the handsome carpenter and his precocious daughters, though she is afraid to trust it to anyone.
The fun colloquialisms used and the quaint speech of the “locals” are not overdone. They are mixed in at a very appropriate pace to give a sense of place to the story but not overwhelm.
Through a fair amount of the story is a hint of supernatural activity that had me a little concerned. Because this is a debut novel by an author I don’t know personally, I was a little concerned that the theology was going to be “off”. I was so pleased to find out that concern was unwarranted.
Her Hope Discovered is a lovely story of faith, hope, love, and forgiveness. It is a fantastic debut novel – not because it is a debut novel – it is fantastic by any standard.