Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hannah Grace by Sharlene MacLaren

Today, I'm excited to post my review of Sharlene MacLaren's January, 2009 release-- "Hannah Grace" the first in the Daughters of Jacob Kane Series, published by Whitaker House. We'll be doing a contest. So read on to learn more!

Here's the back cover copy:

Growing up in the west Michigan resort town of Sandy Shores in the early 1900s, Hannah Grace, the eldest of Jacob Kane's three daughters, is feisty and strong-willed, yet practical. Between working at her father's general store and courting the town's physician, Ralston Van Huff, Hannah has her life planned out in an orderly, meaningful way. Or so she thinks.

Hannah's world turns upside down when the new sheriff comes to town. Gabriel Devlin is strong, outspoken, and a Christian, to boot-but he's sworn off women, having met ones mostly interested in money and apathetic about God.

Determined to ignore the newcomer's handsome looks, Hannah is drawn to him nonetheless by a shy, runaway orphan boy named Jesse. While Hannah works to befriend the shy vagabond, who's living with Gabriel until other arrangements can be made, God works in her heart. What plans does He have in store for this young woman who thought she had it all together?

And now for my review:

Most historicals I’ve run across are set before 1900. This story’s timing was 1903, so Sharlene could include telephones and “water closets.” It was fun reading of a time still somewhat foreign, but not lacking every convenience. I was a little surprised at moments, though, when the item she mentioned worked in the story. Like teachers handing out lists of state capitals. I’ve read too often of slates and chalk. Imagine a world without handouts and at least mimeographed copies….

Hannah, this story's heroine, has to choose between two paths—one known, but lacking love and the other unknown, but bearing love, excitement and above all, the affinity of another believer. Add to this the mystery of a mute boy’s past and the outlaws in pursuit, a sheriff who has grown to love the boy like a father, and you have lots of elements for a good story.

Sharlene is a pro at coming up with fresh wording. She weaves together elements and tension which will keep you reading. I would have liked the plot to move a little faster and could have done without the extra descriptions thrown in at the height of the story. But Sharlene brings a satisfying ending through both her characters’ actions and hearts to the reader. Lovers of historical romance: don’t miss this one, especially if you’re looking for something new. This book’s timing (early 1900’s and not 1850s) and setting (Michigan, not somewhere further west—like the usual Texas or Colorado) make it an interesting read, apart from the usual elements of historical fiction.

This book will release in January, 2009. Watch for it from Whitaker House. You can visit Sharlene at her website: http://www.sharlenemaclaren.com. She’s also a busy participant at ShoutLife. Check out her page at http://shoutlife.com/sharlenemaclaren

CONTEST INFO: Shar will likely have copies of this book before January rolls around, so leave a comment here and we'll have a drawing for a copy. When she gets her advanced author copies, she'll be in touch with you. When leaving a comment, leave a contact email like this: yourname [at] yourserversname [dot] com. We'll have the drawing Friday, November 14th, 2008.


  1. Erica says:

    Please enter me in the contest for the Sharlene MacLaren book.

    Will do, Erica. Sorry about the challenges with this system.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. Glenda says:

    I tried to get to your blogsite and couldn't. Please enter me in the contest.

    Absolutely. Happy to help.

    With all these second-hand comments, people are going to wonder if I'm making it up! Glenda, if you make it over here, leave a message. ;)

    Happy reading!

  3. Hey readers,

    I put both of your names on scraps of paper and shook them in a bowl and one fell out after a while. (What can I say, I was emailing at the same time---multitasking). So, the winner is---- Glenda!

    Congratulations, Glenda. Thanks for reading. Erica, I have contests from time to time. Feel free to email me next time you wanna enter one.

    All the best,

  4. Annette, I hope you don't mind, but I linked to your review in my blog. I wanted people to know how good this book is, and since I haven't gotten it, I wanted to share someone's view.