Saturday, March 8, 2014

Eliza's Home by R. Herron

Eliza's Home is a sweet little novella by Rachael Herron. It's currently free for kindle (March '14). Ms. Herron does a great job in a short space of making you love Eliza.

It's 1945 and Eliza is a spunky woman who is running from an abusive husband. She's been married for three years, but was only with her husband for a short time before and after the war. She married him because her sister told her it was time to settle down. But knowing she can't take him any longer, she flees north through California where her car breaks down after all her money flew out the window.

Her rescuer is the handsome Joshua Carpenter, who - wouldn't you know - is building his own home. He hires Eliza to help him and she plans to use the money to get further from her husband. While the storyline is a little predictable - of course they fall in love - it's still a story of hope.

Eliza has made herself at home with Joshua and the community of Cypress Hollow (there's a whole series of books, apparently, I will need to check them out!). But she feels she's not good enough as a divorcee and leaves. She goes back to her sister's house and tells her everything.

As it turns out, Joshua doesn't give up so easily. He followed Eliza to her sister's home and confronts Eliza's husband and tells him to give her a divorce immediately. It was a little unbelievable that he agreed so quickly, but it's a novella - sometimes things happen quick! Joshua reveals that no place is home to him without Eliza there and of course she is overjoyed! Who wouldn't be?

This novella is amazingly sweet. It's not a Christian work, but aside from a little language it could be. I highly recommend it for those times you know you have an hour to kill or you're on the beach!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Loving Eliza by Ruth Ann Nordin

It's been a while since I've been active here, but my life was consumed by our newest family member! And while I've read many books in the last 2 years, reviewing hasn't been a priority. But I'm hoping to get back to reviewing a little more regularly!

I read Loving Eliza last week and it was a quick, easy read. Ms. Nordin does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in quickly and endearing Eliza to us.

Eliza was a prostitute in the bustling city of Omaha, but now she's in South Dakota to work for the sister of a pastor friend of hers. Except the woman has passed away unexpectedly, leaving Eliza unsure what to do next. She's approached by the town mute, John, who mistakes her for his mail-order bride. Once Eliza explains she is not the bride and it seems the bride is nowhere to be found, Eliza agrees to work for John until she can find another job and his actual bride arrives.

Over time the pair grow comfortable together and John is obviously in love with Eliza, even to the point of trying to take her to the local church whenever they are in town. But Eliza's past is a secret and she says she is unworthy of marrying such a wonderful man.

John's brother, Troy, tries in vain to court Eliza, much to John's dismay and Eliza's attempts to dissuade him. And as soon as Eliza admits her feelings for John, his mail order bride arrives! Eliza leaves and works for the town's grouch who eventually discovers her secret past and threatens to tell everybody.

I won't give away spoilers except to say that this is a story of true love - so you can imagine what happens in the end, but it's not without some twists and turns.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, sweet love story. Ms. Nordin is a fabulous writer!