Love Though the Seasons by Tracie Peterson – Mixed Impressions

I looked forward to reading this release of four short stories, Love Through the Seasons by Tracie Peterson, which will be published February 1, 2023.  Once I started reading the book, it was obvious that some of the stories must have been written a few years ago.  Things that are common today, like cell phones, weren’t mentioned in the stories and there were no time references.  Stormy Weather was written in 1999, King of Hearts in 1997, Falling for Love is a new release for 2023, and Silent Nights was written in 1998.

I enjoyed a couple of the stories, Stormy Weather and Falling for Love, but wasn’t too keen on King of Hearts and Silent Nights.

Stormy Weather takes place in the spring and is about a widow, Gina Bowden, and her young son, Danny.  Danny’s Cub Scout leader, Gary Cameron, is a widower.  This is a sweet story and the characters are very likable.  Gina tries to make up for being a single mom, but finds that she needs help when her son has been assigned a project for Cub Scouts.  Gary is willing to help and they develop a comfortable and caring relationship.  I appreciated the faith and trust that both Gina and Gary had in the wake of losing their spouses. 

I found King of Hearts to be an odd story.  Elise Jost received bad news that she was just shy of having the credits she needed to graduate from college.  As a result, she would need to take one class during summer school.  The one class that fit her schedule was Renaissance Appreciation taught by Dr. Ian Hunter.  Elise is less than pleased about taking the class, partly because of a required assignment at the end of the semester.  Elise’s attitude was crummy and there was very little in her behavior that displayed Christian faith.  This story may not have aged well.  Back in the day, Renaissance fairs were very common and folks had an interest in them.  Today, this story come across as kind of weird and at times almost creepy.  One character was introduced that seemed to be there for no other reason than to put a damsel in distress that needed to be rescued.  Overall, I found the story very odd.

Falling For Love is the newest story and was very likeable. Nice characters who were kind and caring.  Karen Jacobs, a widow, owns the old family farm and lives there with her mother Meredith.  Karen is contacted by her cousin Marlene who hopes that her mother, Lettie, might be able to come and live with Karen.  Over the coming days, Karen’s two other aunts, Helen and Rachel, contact her to see if they too might be able to come live with them.  Thankfully the house set up where the downstairs area would work well as a home for all four sisters.  Work needs to be done to make things ready for the aging family members.  Karen contacts someone from church, Dan Polk, who can help with the project.  This was one of my favorite stories.  The sacrificial love and kindness Karen demonstrates by inviting her family to come live with them is refreshing.  The developing relationship between Dan and Karen was sweet.  The characters demonstrated their Christian faith.  I very much liked this story.

Silent Nights was the story I liked least.  Lynn Murphy and her attitude and actions did not display Christian faith, nor did her husband Frank.  They have issues in their marriage which need to be worked out.  While acknowledging that God does not like divorce, Lynn leaves home because her husband heading out of town again on business trip and their anniversary trip will need to be rescheduled.  Lynn goes to stay with her grandfather Omar Lewiston, but doesn’t even leave a note for her husband to let him know where she is at.  I liked the grandfather, he was kind, caring and displayed some wisdom.  The characters’ change and development was not really handled well.  I did not like the characters, nor their attitudes and the Christian faith was not evident in their lives.  Then suddenly, things changed and the story ends, but how and why they changed wasn’t well developed.  Perhaps this story would have been somewhat better as a full-length novel where the characters could have been better developed. 

A couple of the stories, Stormy Weather and Falling for Love, were enjoyable and had likable characters and the characters displayed more mature Christian faith.  King of Hearts and Silent Nights fell short. 

Would I recommend Love Through the Seasons by Tracie Peterson?  If you like Tracie’s writing you may want to read these stories.  It was nice to read shorter story format and some of the stories were enjoyable.  But the short story format may not work well for some of the storylines. 

I would like to thank Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Love Through the Seasons by Tracie Peterson.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.