Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review - Love's First Bloom

Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr
Bethany House Publishers      

Ruth Livingstone is on a mission, but not one she's chosen. Her father, Reverend Gersham Livingstone, is accused of murdering a prostitute in New York City. He sends Ruth to Toms River, New Jersey with a small package. The package is eighteen month old Lily, the prostitute's daughter. Few people know that the child exists; the Reverend wishes to keep her out of harm's way. Ruth is the solution.                              

Phanaby and Elias Garner take Ruth and Lily in, assuming that Ruth is a reformed prostitute in need of shelter. Ruth hates staying with them under false pretenses, especially ones that cast a shadow on her character. Lily is an unruly child, and it takes every ounce of stamina Ruth has to keep up with her. In addition, Ruth anxiously awaits news of her father's trial, fearing the worst but hoping for the best. Even in 1838, the media has all but convicted the Reverend prior to his trial.

Ashton "Jake" Tripp returns to New York City to make amends with his brother Clifford. Prior to their separation, Jake and Clifford worked together at their father's newspaper. Ego and bad judgement placed Jake in a scandalous situation and he fled the city, leaving Clifford to pick up the pieces and salvage the business. In an effort to win Clifford's trust and a position at the paper, Jake agrees to locate the daughter of Reverend Livingstone. Local papers report her disappearance and speculate that the Reverend murdered her as well.

Ruth and Jake's paths intersect in an interesting manner. Does Jake know who she really is? Ruth is wary of this reporter; can she trust him? How long will she deny her growing feelings for him? Will the good Reverend be acquitted and restore his reputation? Assorted events, interesting twists, and action provide the answers; you must read the book if you want to know what happens!

I wanted to read this book because I enjoyed Ms. Parr's Hearts Awakening. (To read my review of that book, click here.) It struck a chord with me, partly because the setting was near my birthplace in Pennsylvania. Beyond that though, her characters were real and engaging, and I expected the same with Love's First Bloom. I was not disappointed. Ms. Parr writes a lovely story that enables the reader to share Ruth's journey. If you like historical fiction of any sort, I think you might like this one.                                      

*This book was provided for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers. No compensation was received.

What intriguing characters have you read about lately?

Thanks for joining me, and have a wonderful weekend!




  1. I'm hooked already!! Wonderful review :) I just checked my nearest Aussie
    Christian bookstore and it's in stock. Mmmm shopping day coming up I think.
    Blessings to you Karen,
    Dorothy :)

  2. Hi Karen .. I must say sounds very interesting .. and I'd start to learn a little about the States ..

    Thanks for a lovely review .. Hilary

  3. Sounds like a great read, and I love the cover!

    I just finished Jody Hedlund's debut novel, The Preacher's Bride. It brims with interesting characters--strong-willed wife, fervent preacher-husband, blind daughter, and evil enemies. Brilliant writing!

  4. An enlightening review without giving too much away :) Shoot. now I have another book on my list.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  5. Another good review Karen. I read my first Francine Rivers recently, Redeeming Love. Michael and Sarah (Angel) will stick with me for a long time.

  6. It sounded like a unique story:)) And I didn't know you were born in PA--whereabouts? That's my home state. We really have to sit out on a porch with tea now--more in common.

  7. Interesting characters? Well, I love the ones in Jan Karon's Mitford series. Which reminds me - I've been thinking it's time to re-read that again.

    Good job, as always.

  8. Great Review!
    I'm not an avid Romance fan, and at first glance, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book unless my mom handed it to me to read. (My mom reads even more than I do and hands me stacks of books on a regular basis.)
    However, your review snared my interest, and now I want to read it.

    Interesting characters . . . well, despite that I'm not a big fan of his views on faith, Rick Riordan's books have been big in our household this year, and we've read the entire Lightning Thief series, and are reading The Red Pyramid. The characters he writes have such wry humor, pluck, and love for their family that I enjoy them immensely. Despite that they all sound alike, each character has a unique voice, and the stories are fun to read because of them. Now, if he just happened to be a Christian writer, I could recommend his books whole-heartedly.

  9. I mean, they sound alike in my description above - oops

  10. Thank you karen for this review... you're doing a great job, because it made me curious! Have a great weekend, I hope you find time to read!

  11. Hi Karen, thanks for the lovely review. You have a beautiful way of doing reviews (wish I had that talent). Looks like I will enjoy reading this book.

  12. Dorothy,
    I'm glad you can get it! I think you might enjoy it:)

    Yes, it would give you a bit of background on the states. Thanks so much:)

    I know, the cover is lovely! And yes, Jody's book is amazing.

    Sorry to add to your list, but it was a good read. Just always want to pass them on!

    I love Francine Rivers. Now there's another great storyteller!

    Was born in Lancaster. Spent a lot of time in and around that area most of my life. Yes, tea on the porch is a must! :)

    Believe it or not, I haven't read the Mitford books. Must remedy that...

    Sounds like you are reading some winners. I don't know that I would strictly call this a romance, but I enjoy the historical angle all the time so I was looking at it like that. :)

    Thank you. I like to stir interest, for it was interesting! :)

    Thank you, you are so sweet! Yes, you just might enjoy this one.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,

  13. Hi Karen -

    Thanks for the great review. I like the unusual slant in a historical setting.

    Susan :)

  14. Thanks for another great review. As always I now need to add another book to my TBR pile!

  15. What a great review! I fell in love with the cover the second the page opened.

  16. Susan,
    You're welcome. Yes, I did too, made it interesting.

    You are welcome:) Well, I'm sorry to add to your stack, but it is a good one!

    Thanks! I love the cover too; it's wonderful!

    Thanks and blessings,


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!