Saturday, September 26, 2015
Loving Helen & Marrying Christopher/Michele Paige Holmes
"Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him. But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace.
In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancé, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever."
This is the second book in the Heartfire Romance. The first was Grace, which I reviewed earlier in the year. This book follows Helen's journey on the other side of the stone wall. Though it seems like hope may be lost for Helen in getting Samuel Preston's heart, when his lies with her older sister.
Schemes abound and attachments form for the greater good when Christopher, Helen and Grace's brother, makes his move in steering his sisters in loves direction.
Romance, Drama, and a little bit of comedy make for a great read. This has the same timeline as it did in Grace's story but through Helen and Samuel's eyes. I enjoyed it as much as the first.
"Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea."
Christopher is now free to travel to America, When the chance now comes he plans to make a life for himself with only the commitment of owning his own property and making his own way in the world. Then he can think of finding a woman to settle down with and having a family.
Marsali, who is glad to be rid of the last years with her abusive relatives, shows up on the same ship as Christopher, and is just as happy to leave England behind as he is. But it seems like trouble will always seem to find both of them while crossing the ocean. The only solution, stick together.
The third book in the Heartfire series brings twists and turns. You don't want to miss out on the opportunity to now follow Grace and Helen's brother in his own journey to find himself, and the love that he wasn't searching for but gladly embraced.