Land of Shining Waters #1
by Tracie Peterson Bethany
978-0-7642-0619-1, PB, 344 pages

Merrill Krause has repressed romantic aspirations to assist her father and brothers on the family farm as her dying mother requested. Although she relishes helping with the horses and the ice harvest, Merrill fears her protective brothers and tomboyish ways will discourage potential suitors. Her worries diminish when newcomer Rurik Jorgenson falls for Merrill’s resilient beauty. Just as attraction intensifies between them, however, Rurik’s former fiancée arrives spreading pernicious rumors. With their relationship threatened, Rurik and Merrill struggle to submit to God’s will.

Religious motifs throughout this novel depict a couple striving for a God-scripted courtship and suggest that flourishing marriages grow from passion rather than obligation. Although the predictable plot escalates haltingly and lacks vibrancy at times, the rustic charm of this turn-of-the-century tale will appeal to Christian romance fans. Redemptive and uplifting, this book emphasizes the beauty of a love story in which God stands at the center.

Madeline Decker is a summer college readiness student at Taylor University studying professional writing.