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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Her Calling to Change the World

    I absolutely love this series! This book could have continued on for 200 more pages and I would have been content! The attention to historical fact made it even more interesting. I am a history buff so learning anything about it, while also enjoying a good romance, is like heaven for me! The author does a fantastic job of blending two cities (San Francisco and San Diego) and what is going on there simultaneously with her characters. Everett is a successful businessman who has businesses in both cities but lately he's having some cash flow issues that are causes him some stress and he's trying to do the right thing. He's trying to make San Diego into a respectable city with his influence there. Margaret has come from back East to be a teacher after she lost her brother in the Civil War but she doesn't have good references, which is something she needs. She faces roadblocks everywhere she turns. There are also two other main characters in San Francisco and their story is equally fascinating. I loved reading about the real conditions in both cities at that time. The romance between Everett and Margaret, which is supposed to happen because Everett is on the school board and Margaret is the teacher, is frustrating for both of them because of the constraints of the day. Margaret lands in hot water many times because of her outspokenness but I loved her honestly and caring! I absolutely loved this book and the characters! It's so good!

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  • Great Historical Fiction!

    Margaret Foster is a teacher who wants to change the world, but it's 1865, and brave, outspoken Northern women aren't highly favored in San Diego! Author Kathleen Denly offers a stunning portrayal of Margaret's desire for everyone to be treated the same, and her efforts to make it happen. I loved the object lessons that she used in teaching her students, and her faith shone brightly through the stories that she shared with them. I also enjoyed seeing the attraction that sprung up between her and Everett Thompson, but a secret from his past may prevent it from developing into something more. Harmony on the Horizon is the third book of the Chaparral Hearts series, and a great chance to catch up with characters from the previous books. It's an exciting story with several intriguing characters, two sweet romances, and a mesmerizing plot that is rich in historical detail and Christian faith. Margaret's Christian witness is a beacon for Emmett, and Denly reminds us that God created ALL men, He loves them ALL, and it's our duty to treat ALL of them the same. I recommend Harmony on the Horizon to all who enjoy historical Christian romance. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

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  • Historical Western Romance Not to be Missed!!

    Wow! Harmony on the Horizon, Kathleen Denly’s third book in her Chaparral Hearts series, is just amazing!! While Harmony is set in 1865 San Francisco and San Diego, the issues presented are just as relevant today as they were then. Prejudice in many forms, false rescuer mentality, gossip and mob pressure, self-importance, and the list goes on. I could not believe how many issues Denly covers, including salvation, while creating a very riveting and action-packed storyline. Fletcher Johnson is one heroic, young man we meet, whose aim in life is to right wrongs, one person at a time. Fletcher believes the end justifies the means, as he defends the downtrodden. Sometimes I liked Fletcher, and other times I really wanted to set him straight. Katie Mizedale, a hapless, daydreaming maid, shares my sentiments about Fletcher. Katie’s faith is astounding, especially given her background. Enter center stage the main heroine of the novel, Margaret Foster. Bravely coming west from Boston to teach, the year she ends up with in no way resembles what she had been expecting. Part of that is due to Everett Thompson, who is determined to build a great city out of San Diego. A floundering businessman, he finds that the school teacher he hires may be more than he bargained for. A historical western romance not to be missed!! I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. Notable Quotables: Several children rushed past her to pick up jellyfish and toss them into the water, but Rosa hung back, wringing her hands. “But they're so dirty and gross.” Margaret bent low to meet the girl's eyes. “Sometimes we have to get messy to show that we care.” God's changes don't imprison us, they set us free. They help us to become better and give us strength and joy, even when the world would try to steal those things from us. Why must doing right so often come at great cost? How could these people hear God’s Word and yet be so hardened as to nurture hatred in their hearts? Did they not know they were in the presence of the One who offered unconditional love? The story was at complete odds with Fletcher's idea of God as an angry judge waiting to criticize and condemn everyone for failing to live up to His impossible standards…Had he misunderstood who God truly was?

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  • Beautiful, Inspiring Story

    Harmony on the Horizon is an absorbing standout addition to Ms. Denly’s Chaparral Hearts series. This beautifully crafted read drew me in with the first line and kept me immersed to the end. Set in 1865 in San Diego and San Francisco, the two distinct storylines feature four main characters whose lives intersect and impact each other. The perfectly timed and balanced storylines are equally captivating and exciting. The narrative flows smoothly between the two storylines creating a delightfully satisfying read. Expressive prose, replete with descriptive language and imagery, brings the story to life. The characters are so well-crafted and memorable that you fall in love with them and forget they are fictional. The romance in both storylines is sweet and touching. Katie’s Northern England dialect adds authenticity without compromising the fluidity of the reading experience. I appreciate the spiritual truths which are beautifully expounded throughout the book. I especially love the analogies between God and the ocean found in the seashore scenes with Margaret and the children. Sometimes as I was reading, anxious to see what happened next, I just had to stop and savor the beauty of what I had just read and ponder the message. The historical aspect of the book is amazing—extensively researched and woven seamlessly into the fictional story. The author’s notes are interesting and informative. Although part of a series, this book can easily be read as a standalone. I have added this book to my “Best Reads of the Year” list and highly recommend it and the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher but am under no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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