THE SPARK OF LOVE
Mesquite Springs, Book 3
Categories: Fiction / Christian / Historical Romance
Publisher: Revell ** March 1, 2022 ** 352 pages
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She’s determined to start a new life in the West . . . if only the old one would leave her alone
When a spurned suitor threatens her, heiress Alexandra Tarkington flees New York for Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country, where her father is building a hotel. But the happy reunion she envisions is not to be, as her father insists she return to New York. Instead, Alexandra carves out a niche for herself in town, teaching schoolchildren to paint and enjoying the company of Gabe Seymour, a delightful man she met on the stagecoach.
But all is not as it seems. Two men, each with his own agenda, have followed her to Mesquite Springs. And Gabe, an investigator, is searching for proof that her father is a swindler.
With so much to lose–and hide from one another–Alexandra and Gabe will have to come together if they are ever to discover whether the sparks they’ve felt from the beginning can kindle the fire of true love.
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│BAKER PUBLISHING (REVELL)│
Daughters need their fathers to be in their lives showing them love and support, and as true as that is for daughters today it was equally true for daughters throughout history. That includes the 1800s in Mesquite Springs, Texas where Alexandra went to try to reestablish a relationship with her father, who had turned her over to an aunt to raise after Alexandra’s mother died.
Alexandra is a strong, resourceful woman despite the influence of her Aunt Helen who tried to make her into a refined young lady with impeccable manners, well-versed in running a household and dealing with servants, and always knowing her place – perfect to be the wife of a wealthy prominent New York bachelor. Reading how Alexandra meets the challenges in Mesquite Springs that pushed against that refinement and that propriety was a delight. Her determination to be on her own and take care of herself, helps her see how important it is to respond to people differently from what she was taught. And she opens herself to be able to respond to the people she meets in Mesquite Springs, especially the handsome and intriguing Gabe.
Daughters also tend to put fathers on pedestals, no matter the circumstances, and when they fall sometimes the relationship can be shattered. Other times the relationship is only cracked but doesn’t break. I’m not going to reveal which it was for Alexandra and her father but the author does a wonderful job of making the reader wonder until the end of the story.
Adding to the drama and intrigue is the question of who wants to harm Alexandra and why? Has the suitor that she left in New York found her in Mesquite Springs and sent someone to force her to come back? But he wouldn’t want her dead. So why the near-death experiences at the fire and the accident with the horse? Revealing the answers to those questions was cleverly handled by the author, not giving anything away until the final resolution.
While filled with intrigue and mystery and clashes between the good guys and the not-so-good guys, this is in many ways a story about relationships, with even the minor ones intertwining with the main two – Alexandra’s relationship with her father and with Gabe. She doesn’t know how connected those relationships are until both are threatened, and how that threat is resolved is very satisfying.
There are many engaging minor characters, but the ones who charmed me the most, are Frieda and Hans; the nine-year-old twins whose mother had died recently. They’re students at the school where Alexandra teaches painting to all the children, and they touched my heart as well as Alexandra’s as she helped them process their grief through painting. That is a small revelation of how healing the arts can be, but also a huge revelation of how dedicated Alexandra is to her art, as well as her determination to belong to this town where she has found refuge – and maybe love forever and ever.
This is a terrific historical romance with a touch of mystery that readers will enjoy. The Christian elements are handled smoothly and fit comfortably in the narrative like a hand slipping into a lace glove.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of Out of the Embers and Dreams Rekindled, as well as the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and the Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds series. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.
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All Three Books in the Mesquite Springs Series + keychain & reader stickers.
(US only, ends midnight CST, 3/18/2022)
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|3/8/22||Excerpt||Chapter Break Book Blog|
|3/8/22||BONUS Promo||Hall Ways Blog|
|3/9/22||Review||It’s Not All Gravy|
|3/9/22||BONUS Promo||LSBBT Blog|
|3/10/22||Guest Post||StoreyBook Reviews|
|3/12/22||Author Interview||Book Fidelity|
|3/13/22||Guest Post||All the Ups and Downs|
|3/14/22||Review||Carpe Diem Chronicles|
|3/15/22||Bonus Scene||Rox Burkey Blog|
|3/15/22||BONUS Review||The Book’s Delight|
|3/16/22||Review||The Plain-Spoken Pen|
|3/17/22||Review||Reading by Moonlight|
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