Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Road to Paradise

GIVEAWAY
BARNETT, KAREN
THE ROAD TO PARADISE

An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true -- that's what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God's gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It's 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in Mount Rainier's long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father's death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and it's crowd of visitor's seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator's daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park's pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett's vintage national parks novels bring to life President Theodore Roosevelt's vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty unmarred."

My Review:

You know how you meet a book and instantly know that you're destined to become bosom friends? The energy crackles from page to fingertip and you're hooked before you've cracked the spine open (not that I'm an advocate of spine cracking, mind you, that's just an expression.) Well, The Road to Paradise is that kind of book for me. So I was prepared to be spellbound but the humour took me totally by surprise. It's pure understated genius and I giggled my way through the first few chapters as Barnett cleverly sets the stage for one very captivating read.

Margie is a tree sprite in human form while Ford is all no-nonsense mountain man. She's rapturously poetic about nature, can spout verse and quotes from renowned naturalists -- a book-taught city girl with a love for the great outdoors. He's as pragmatic as they come and doesn't have a romantic bone in his body so when some Senator's socialite daughter wants to play naturalist on his mountain for the summer, well, he's less than thrilled.

And there's poor Margie, naively anticipating a warm welcome as she prepares to sit at the feet of the master. "Margie sighed. Ranger Brayden -- born on the mountain, untainted by human society. He sounded like the embodiment of Rousseau's noble savage. "I'm positive we'll get along splendidly." (p 3)

Bwahahahaha! That untainted by human society bit? Yeah, that means he's kinda grumpy. And set in his ways. Unpolished. Short on patience. But he's..excuse the pun...stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because he has orders from the boss:

"Find a way to make it work. Show her a good time. " He snorted, a smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth."Who knows? Maybe she can turn you into a gentleman."

Ford gritted his teeth. "Unlikely." (p  9)

The way their relationship develops is sheer brilliance. And if that was all there was to this story I'd be a happy reader but there's so much more! Like a truly despicable villain with absolutely no redeeming characteristics. It's pure joy to hate him. I know that sounds terrible but sometimes a reader wants to let loose some righteous indignation!

And the piece de resistance is the powerful conversion story that blew me away with its imagery and heart. Simply stunning.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance at winning a copy of The Road to Paradise, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 1 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

42 comments:

  1. I love how some books have you waxing eloquently about them....it's like the author draws it naturally out of you with how their story is written. You just can't help yourself! I also love how this story practically takes place in my backyard, Mount Rainer is a mere few miles up the road in Washington state. Or as I like to call it, God's country!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Once you meet Margie you'll never talk the same way again. lol

      How exciting that you live so close? Have you been? You need to take this book, climb the mountain and read it up in the clouds. lol That would indicate true reader dedication. Good luck, Trixi!

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  2. Looks really great
    Thanks for sharing
    I like that it's in the 20's
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy
    iamabho AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Yes, there's not a lot of books set in this time period! Late enough to give women a little more freedom but early enough that they still have constrictions that can drive a modern reader crazy. Good luck, Linda.

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    2. Yes and The Flappers Too 💖💜 Thank You

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  3. I WANT this, pure and simple, that is all!
    thanks for the giveaway Kav!

    tracey14567 at gmail dot com

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    1. obviously that is not all because I wanted to say I loved your review...so much!

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    2. Bwahaha! Thanks, Tracey. It's such an awesomesauce story! Good luck!

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  4. Sounds like an enjoyable read! Thank you for your great review, Kav! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Over the top enjoyable! Good luck, Melanie.

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  5. WAsn't this one adorable?! I loved it and cannot wait for the next! I adored Ford and his stubborness. It was all around great banter and chemistry. Don't enter me - just had to agree!! :)

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    1. And i wasn't prepared for the adorableness. :-) It was so much fun, but there are some deep issues in the story too that impacted me. Loved that mix of fun and serious and deep, rich, faith. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

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  6. Beautiful prose and beautiful scenery, a couple with a developing relationship, and a nasty villain I was wanting to wallop! Having visited the park and stayed at the historic Paradise Inn, I thought the descriptions made one feel they were there. Just wanted to chime in, as I already have the book. Great review!

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    1. The villain!!! Sometimes you just want a good purse whomping bad guy with no redeemable qualities! lol

      How fantastic that you've been to the park and could relive the experience through the book. So now you have to tell us -- did they do a good job of modernizing the park without losing the beauty of the wilderness?

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  7. Looking forward to reading this. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. It's a book worth looking forward to. Good luck, Kim.

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  8. The author is new to me but I’ve read all the rave reviews :)
    mindyhoungATmsnDOTcom

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    1. And everyone has a very good reason to rave! Good luck, Mindy.

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  9. I have enjoyed Karen Barnett’s books about San Francisco. I’ve wanted to start on this series. Your review makes me want to read it more! Thanks Kav! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    1. It's a great idea for a series! Can't wait for the next one which comes out soon. Good luck, Paula.

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  10. Yes, the Inn was quaint and decorated to period, with the beautiful old timbers in the lobby. The rooms were decorated to period, too. Other buildings and service areas were limited and not distracting from the beautiful surroundings. Now, our visit was a decade ago but I doubt much has changed.

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    1. That's a relief. Looks like Ford and Margie fought the good fight and won! :-)

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  11. I love that your review speaks so highly of this book! Reviews like this always makes me put the book on my must-read list. I'm looking forward to reading it! Becky lelandandbecky [AT] reagan [DOT] com

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    1. I enjoy being a book cheerleader! :-) Good luck, Becky.

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    1. It's a brilliant concept, isn't it? Good luck, SavingsinSeconds.

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  13. What a great review! I've had my eye on this book for a while and now it's definitely going on the list. Love the cover! Thanks again for your review. Can't wait to read.
    pwestfall7 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Yep -- belongs high up on that list, in my humble opinion. Good luck, Pam.

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  14. I loved this book. Book twins again. 🤗💗

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  15. Oh my, your wonderful review sure had me putting "THE ROAD TO PARADISE" on my TBR list. It sounds like an amazing book to read. I love a book that entertains and makes you smile/laugh along the way. Life is too short to go through grumpy. :)

    Love the cover! Purple is my favorite color and I'm loving that car and scenery.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy because I'd sure love the opportunity to read it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. I love the retro feel of the cover too -- and the next book in the series has the same vibe. Makes them stand out! Good luck, Kay.

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  16. Another novelist who has been around for a little while, but I have not read any of her books. Would love to rectify that!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Here's a great place to start! Good luck, Patty.

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  17. This one sounds like an enjoyable book to read! Thanks for your review and giveaway.
    d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. You're welcome, Donna. Good luck!

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  18. Don't enter me, I already have it, but this one is so good! I can't wait to read her next one.

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    1. Yay -- another smitten reader! And yes, I'm super excited about the next one -- especially since it has a suspensy thread.

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  19. I've only read Karen Barnett's book Mistaken, which I really enjoyed. Definitely want to check out this fun sounding National Park series!

    Blessings!
    Jasmine
    montanamade(gmail(dot)com

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    1. I haven't heard of that one. Clearly I need to check into more of her work. Good luck, Jasmine.

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  20. I haven't had a chance to read any of Karen's books yet, but so many of them are on my TBR list! Thanks for the chance to win, Kav!

    mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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