Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Historical Romance debut from Lindsay Barlow


Beneath the Heavens
Lindsey Barlow

ISBN-13: 978-1611531473
October 2016
Light Message Publishing
Historical inspirational romance

ebook $7.99
Print $14.99
Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
When the beautiful and coddled Abigail Silvers is sent from her parents’ lush Texas ranch to the untamed wilds of Tall Pine, Colorado, her mother is hoping that Abigail will learn independence and self-reliance. What Abigail finds among the Colorado mountain people is a community built on hard work, faith, and family––she also finds the handsome Pastor Will who, much to her dismay, seems only to have eyes for Esther, the community’s midwife hiding from a dark past. Fiercely protective of her young son Michael, Esther’s determined not to let anyone ­close enough to hurt them––even if that means sacrificing true love. But when the Texas Ranger Joseph Silver, Abigail’s brother, shows up, Esther’s past is unearthed and her heart is exposed. Abigail and Joseph’s brash Texas manners rattle the people of Tall Pine, but ultimately the brother and sister may be an answer to prayer the townspeople didn’t know they needed. Lindsey Barlow’s inspirational debut introduces readers to a rich cast of characters and picturesque scenery that will leave readers falling for Tall Pine.

My review
The power of women generally makes for great reads, and Barlow shows her storytelling chops in this debut novel. More than a romance, Beneath the Heavens is a story of four women attempting a new life on the late nineteenth century mountains of Colorado. Each represents choices of womanhood, and a challenge to rise above and become the person God calls into being.

The midwife who scorns men, remains aloof and independent, learns her lesson when her son reminds her that he, too, will someday become a man. The frilly rich man’s daughter is showered with with hard love, but learns her true worth is more than a trophy wife. The spunky dress shop owner gets over herself and accepts true admiration and love, and finally, a hard-knock Bonnie who chooses her Clyde over everything gets what she wants.

Lovingly fleshed-out characters in a beautiful setting with a wealth of detail that brings the reader into the story keep the reader turning pages. Unforgettable hardship, lessons in self-determination, both positive and negative, balance faith elements that fall naturally. Blossoming love unfolds for a preacher who is looking for the right kind of wife, and a hardened Texas Ranger who wasn’t looking for a wife at all. A kindhearted baker and fool of a slimy criminal round out the cast. Told from multiple viewpoints of the two female and male protagonists, there is a fair amount of leaping from one perspective to another without warning, but it’s nice to hear all sides and watch the growth. Fair warning: there is some limited cursing and suggestive imagery, along with mild fist fighting and shooting.

I especially enjoyed the youthful pastor who is not a typical city preacher, but a charming and hard-working single man who is willing to listen to a teacher he respects, and the lawman who goes to the ground for a child. Barlow can only grow her skills from here. Good job. Those who love prairie dramas with grit and teeth will enjoy Beneath the Heavens.

About the Author
Lindsey Barlow has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Religious Studies from California Sacramento State University. She has traveled throughout Eastern Europe as a missionary teaching English and serving those in need. She has worked in the Saint Petersburg Hermitage Museum and has visited the Mayan ruins in Mexico. When Lindsey is not writing, she enjoys discovering new bookstores, going on hikes with her children, and pretending she knows how to sew. Lindsey resides in northern California with her husband and children in a house with too many books.

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