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. 

Ever Constant by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse – Likable Characters, Living Faith and An Interesting Setting

Recently, I rediscovered Tracie Peterson’s writing and really enjoyed it.  That’s why I was excited to read her newest book Ever Constant, co-authored with Kimberley Woodhouse.  This is the third book in The Treasures of Nome series.  The story is set in the early 1900s in Alaska and is historical fiction.  I did not read the first two novels, but this book works well as a standalone.

Ever Constant tells the story about the Powell family, and this book focuses on Whitney Powell, the oldest daughter.  The family has not had an easy life, but they remain steadfast in their faith and commitment to each other.  The Powell family lives on their grandfather’s farm, including Whitney’s two sisters, Havyn and Madysen, and their husbands.  The family has experienced change and loss as their mother has recently died.  Whitney has always been the strong sister that everyone relies upon, but difficult circumstances have taken their toll on her.  Her faith is not what it used to be, and in her pain Whitney is vulnerable. 

Judas Reynolds has been a friend-of-the-family for years and is trusted by their grandfather.  But Judas is now looking at Whitney in a different light.  Dr. Peter Cameron has been there for the family, and his friendship with Whitney has grown.  Will true love finally come to Whitney?  Will she have the courage to take a closer look at herself and acknowledge how she has changed?  Will she recognize her need for God and be open with those who love her?

In some respects, this was a painful book to read.  Painful because of the downward spiral that Whitney is in.  But it was also heartwarming because of the love and support the family had for one another.  The family was gracious and kind.  I love the relationship the sisters had with one another.

What I appreciated most was how the characters were portrayed in living out their Christian faith.  It was wonderful to see prayer modeled and the Gospel of Christ was shared.  God’s love towards sinners and how one can be forgiven was part of the story.  I wish a loving warning to an unrepentant sinner about what happens if you reject God’s forgiveness had been emphasized too.  I only recall one time where that was mentioned.

I really liked this book and enjoyed the characters.  I appreciated how grace, kindness, and forgiveness were lived out by the characters.  An important element of repentance was also part of this story.  I liked learning about Alaska and what it was like during the gold rush in the early 1900s.  I very much recommend Ever Constant by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Ever Constant by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson – Characters Refreshingly Honest with Integrity and Faith

I am grateful to have rediscovered Tracie Peterson’s writing and her recent book Waiting on Love which is part of the Ladies of the Lake series.  This book is very different from what I usually read, but it was the storyline and characters which drew me in. 

Elise Wright is very different than her sister Caroline.  Both girls grew up sailing the sea with their father Captain Bill Wright and mother Mary, on their ship the Mary Elise.  Caroline has chosen to marry a wealthy high society man she met through her aunt and uncle.  But Elise loves the life she has on the sea.  She will fulfill the promise she made to her dying mother, to continue to take care of her father and the ship’s crew.  The ship will be taking on two new sailors, Nick Clark, a man who is haunted by his past, and Booker Duran a man who is on the run.  Captain Wright sees something in both men and he wants to give them a second chance.

I absolutely loved this book!  I read a lot of books by Christian authors and publishers and most of them have very little about faith.  Not so with Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson.  The Christian faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are front and center in the lives of the characters and how they live, what they say and do.  The Gospel and Bible verses are shared as part of the storyline and development of the characters.  I appreciated and enjoyed the honesty and integrity of the characters, their graciousness, mercy, and kindness. 

Of course, there is always an antagonist or two in stories.  I appreciated the integrity and upright character displayed by the main characters in how they dealt with deceitful people seeking to do harm to others.

Reading Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson left me with good examples of Christians living out their faith in an interesting story that takes place in the 1800s.  I am so happy to have rediscovered Tracie Peterson.  Reading this book makes me want to go back and read her earlier novels.  I would like to commend Bethany House Publishers for allowing the Christian faith and the Gospel message to be shared in this fictional story. 

I highly recommend Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson.  An interesting story, which takes place in a different era and a unique setting.  I appreciated the refreshing honesty and integrity of the characters and examples of godly living.  I liked that Elise embraced her femininity, and the men their masculinity.  That’s not something you see too much these days in fiction. 

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.