28 October 2011

Review: Orphaned Hearts by Shawna K Williams

David Langley is pastor of a small-town church in the middle of the Great Depression, and he has a problem.  A six-year-old boy is about to arrive on the train, but the family who promised to adopt him have changed their mind at the last minute.  As a former orphan himself, David does not want to send the boy back to the orphanage, which leaves him with the problem of what to do with Caleb.  To complicate matters, Caleb lost an arm in an accident, a disability which means it harder to find potential adoptive parents.  This is a problem that David, horribly scarred in the fire that took his family, understands only too well.

Sadie Miller, the town spinster, has spent the last few years caring for her ailing father and hoping that Brother Langley will notice her.  Now her father is dead and, at thirty-three, she feels she is too old for the husband and family she always dreamt of.  When David brings Caleb to her, she agrees to take him in immediately and soon falls in love with the small damaged child.  But there is no chance that the orphanage will approve a single woman as an adoptive parent, no matter how well she might be able to provide for the child, and Sadie and David will have to fight just to get the orphanage to approve her as a temporary foster parent.

I really enjoyed Orphaned Hearts.  The writing was strong, the characters were likeable and realistic, the plot was excellent, the romance was sweet and while the novel has an underlying Christian theme, it was not overtly ‘preachy’.  It also is the first novel I have read set during the Great Depression of the 1930's that has managed to not be depressing!  The only problem was that it is really a novella rather than a full-length novel (43,000 words compared to 90,000 for a standard novel), and I would have liked it to be longer.  Having said that, there was just enough plot for the length of the book, and to make it longer would have been adding words, not story.  In fairness, I should point out that Shawna and I have been ‘conversing’ in online discussions for over a year as the modern equivalent of pen-pals.  However, that does not affect my opinion – it just means that I should have read her books long before now!

Shawna has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks.  The Good Fight is the third in the series that began with No Other and In All Things.  She is currently writing a sequel to Orphaned Hearts, which is due to be published in December 2012.  I will look forward to reading it. 

Orphaned Hearts is published by Desert Breeze Publishing, a relatively new specialist ebook publisher of romance in all its guises.  Desert Breeze will soon be offering ten of their most popular titles as traditional books.  Meanwhile, their ebooks are available from http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/ and www.smashwords.com.  Thanks to Shawna Williams and Desert Breeze Publishing for providing a free ebook to review.

No comments:

Post a Comment