HATCHER, ROBIN LEE
A MATTER OF CHARACTER
It's 1918 and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho. But Daphne has a secret.
A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories -- except Daphne.
When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honour her gifts and reconsidering what she wants out of life.
THIS IS THE THIRD IN THE SISTERS OF BETHLEHEM SPRINGS SERIES, THOUGH IT STANDS FINE ON ITS OWN. IF YOU'VE READ THE OTHER TWO THOUGH, YOU'LL BE PLEASED TO CATCH UP WITH GWEN AND MORGAN AND CLEO AND WOODY.
I LOVE THE WAY ROBIN LEE HATCHER WRITES. SHE KNOWS HOW TO FLESH OUT A CHARACTER UNTIL THEY TAKE ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN WHICH MAKES ME A COMMITTED READER RIGHT FROM PAGE ONE.
I REALLY LIKED THE POST-WORLD WAR ONE TIMELINE. THIS TRANSITIONAL PERIOD IN HISTORY WITH ALL ITS 'MODERN' ADVANCEMENTS WAS A GREAT BACKDROP FOR THE PERSONAL TRANSITIONS BOTH THE HERO AND HEROINE GO THROUGH.
JOSHUA CRAWFORD IS A HERO DREAMS ARE MADE OF -- EXCEPT FOR A FEW MINOR FLAWS . HIS TEMPER AND ALMOST HERO-WORSHIP OF HIS DECEASED GRANDFATHER ARE WHAT GIVE HIS CHARACTER AN EDGE AND DEPTH AND PROPELS HIM THROUGH THE STORY. I LOVED HIS GROWTH IN THE BOOK -- I COULD FEEL HIM STRETCHING OUT OF HIS COMFORT ZONE, WRESTLING WITH THE TRUTH, STRUGGLING WITH HOW TO LIVE GOD'S COMMANDMENTS WHILE FACING SO MANY CHANGES IN HIS LIFE.
DAPHNE MCKINLEY IS, ON THE SURFACE, THE PERFECT HEROINE. SHE HAS EVERYTHING -- MONEY, LOOKS, A VIABLE CAREER, THE RESPECT OF A WHOLE TOWN AND THE LOVE OF FAMILY. BUT THERE'S SOMETHING VULNERABLE ABOUT HER TOO. SHE'S ON THE CUSP OF DISCOVERING TRUTHS ABOUT HERSELF AND WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS OUT OF LIFE...AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT GOD WANTS FROM HER LIFE. IT IS WHEN SHE FACES THE ROOT OF HER DISSATISFACTION AND LETS GO OF HER DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR THAT SHE REALLY COMES INTO HER OWN.
BOTH JOSHUA AND DAPHNE ARE STRONG, BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS AND THERE IS AN UNDERLYING CONNECTION EVEN WHEN THEY ARE AT ODDS WITH ONE ANOTHER. THERE ARE SOME CLASSICAL ROMANTIC SCENES IN THIS BOOK AND A KISSING SCENE THAT'S GUARANTEED TO CURL YOUR TOES.
HATCHER DOES A WONDERFUL JOB OF INTERWEAVING A POWERFUL MESSAGE ABOUT THE WEIGHT OF WORDS AND THE EFFECT THEY CAN HAVE ON PEOPLE. AS DAPHNE STRUGGLES OVER WHAT DIRECTION SHE WANTS HER WRITING TO TAKE, I COULDN'T HELP BUT WONDER IF THIS WAS SOMETHING CLOSE TO HATCHER'S HEART. THAT SHE HAD COME TO THE SAME TURNING POINT IN HER CAREER WHICH ADDED A NEW DIMENSION TO MY READING ENJOYMENT.