Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"Ripples Along the Shore" Review
Caroline Milburn lost her husband in the Civil War and has spent the last few months living with her sister in St. Charles, Missouri. Many people from the town are preparing for the wagon train that is to depart for the West in just a few short months. But Caroline feels caught in the middle. Should she stay and help her sister deal with a wounded husband who has grown bitter and angry or should she join the other travelers and get on with her life?
Garrett Cowlishaw is the wagon master for the train that is heading West out of Missouri. He takes his job very seriously, and it doesn’t help that he keeps getting distracted by the pretty young widow, Caroline Milburn. When Caroline shows interest in joining the wagon train, Garrett is torn. He desires to protect Caroline from the harshness of the trail by having her stay in St. Charles, but he can’t deny that he would love having this spirited redhead on the trip right by his side.
As the date for the departure of the wagon train grows ever nearer, Garrett and Caroline, along with the other travelers, prepare their minds and hearts for the trip – and for the parting that must take place with the ones left behind.
Ripples Along the Shore is the third novella in the Quilted Hearts series by Mona Hodgson that is leading up to the new full-length novel series, Hearts Seeking Home, the first of which is due out in August.
Since I had been introduced to the character of Caroline in the previous novellas in this series, I was interested to continue her story in this book. I was also interested in finding out more about Garrett and about the organization of the wagon train.
The romance between Caroline and Garrett in this story is sweet. I liked how the two of them thought about each other throughout the day even as they were trying to convince themselves that they didn’t need a romance at this point in their lives. I would have liked for the spiritual side of these two characters to have been more deeply explored. Caroline experiences a bit of growth as far as her faith is concerned, but it was somewhat abrupt.
There are tons of additional characters in this novella, and I especially enjoyed meeting Boney Hughes from the Cripple Creek series. If you have not read the first two novellas, though, it would probably be pretty hard to understand what’s going on. I think it will be nice to start the next series of novels with already having a clear understanding of all of the people who will be travelling on the wagon train.
That being said, I was a bit disappointed that things were not really wrapped up with all of the characters in this story. I realize that their stories will continue in the full-length series to come, but I was hoping that the main storyline of this novella would be wrapped up more than it was. In the first two novellas, the storylines with Maren and Rutherford and with Emilie and Quaid came to some semblance of a conclusion. In this one, some things were settled, but not quite enough for me to have a sense of completion. I am looking forward to the next series, though, so I guess these novellas did the trick!
I will give Ripples Along the Shore … 3 BookWorms.
Ripples Along the Shore
by Mona Hodgson
Novella #3 in the Quilted Hearts series
Publication date: May 21, 2013
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."