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Rekindled: Fountain Creek Chronicles    by Tamera Alexander order for
by Tamera Alexander
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Although Kathryn Jennings' life hasn't turned out as she had once imagined, she has made the best of her ten year marriage and home in the Colorado Territory. Her husband Larson has never fully trusted her, nor has he told her everything about his tragic past.

When Larson leaves Kathryn a note one winter night promising to return by the end of the week, and two weeks later hasn't shown up, Kathryn begins to fret about his safety and for the financial outcome of their ranch. The bank is about to foreclose, mysterious things happen to the livestock, and the ranch hands don't take too kindly to working for a woman. Desperate and with few options, Kathryn must make sacrifices that she never dreamed she could make.

Larson heads to Denver in an attempt to bail out the ranch. On his way, he is attacked and left for dead in a burning building. Somehow, he survives, and is nursed back to health by good Samaritans. When he returns many months later to reclaim his wife and land, he is shocked at what he discovers. Can things ever return to the way they once were? Or can they be better?

Rekindled is Tamera Alexander's debut novel, and she delivers a captivating tale. The unique plot keeps the reader engaged throughout. Kathryn is a strong female character, who makes decisions that many women in the late 1800s luckily didn't have to make. Larson changes most throughout the story. From being guarded and suspicious, he grows to learn how to trust God and Kathryn. But the road is not straightforward and takes unexpected and delightful turns.

A few far-fetched plot devices make parts of the story difficult to believe. Larson has been married to Kathryn for ten years and is only missing for six months, yet he doesn't seem to understand or have any trust in her moral character. The things he assumes about her had me shaking my head incredulously. Otherwise, Larson is quite likeable and as he matures, he grows on the reader.

The spiritual portions of the story are uplifting and expertly woven in. A cast of secondary characters add a great deal and hopefully will be the subjects of further novels. Rekindled is the first book in the Fountain Creek Chronicles, and I look forward to reading more by this talented new author.

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