Adventure Between the Pages: Paper Roses

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Age Appropriate For: 15 and up (romance and mild violence)
Best for Ages: 15 and up
Description: The future stretches out in front of Sarah Dobbs like the pure blue Texas sky. Leaving the past behind in Philadelphia, mail-order bride Sarah arrives in San Antonio ready to greet her groom, Austin Canfield, a man she has never met but whose letters have won her heart from afar. But there is one problem--he has died. And Sarah cannot go back East. 
As Sarah tries to reconcile herself to a future that is drastically changed, Austin's brother, Clay, struggles with his own muddled plans. Though he dislikes working on the family ranch and longs for a different life, Clay is driven to avenge his brother's death. But something between them is growing and neither Clay nor Sarah is ready to admit it.

Have you ever gone through a time where you felt you couldn’t find a decent book to read? Well, that has been me this year when it comes to fiction. It seems that most of the fiction I have read has turned out to either be just okay, or something I downright dislike. This book was a good book I read in the middle of some not so great ones.

Set in Texas (near San Antonio) in the 1800’s, this book was off to a good start. I am partial to books set in my home state, and this one did a good job of catching some of the Texas flavor without going overboard.

The main character was a strong woman who was still very womanly. Her love for her sister, and determination to provide her with a better life, was so beautiful. She faces so many challenges right off the bat, and she keeps going and trying to make her sister’s life and the lives of the town members better.

The main guy, while I was confused and didn’t like him as much as first, grew on me. I liked how he wanted to make sure that (name) was taken care of, even though he wasn’t sure about her. He was a man of honor, even if he struggled with unforgiveness and resentment.

There were two things that confused me about this book and detracted a little from my overall feelings about it. While Austin is dead, I was confused about him. On the one hand, he was a strong Christian and on the other hand was getting into trouble because of his temper. The things people said about him sometimes were conflicting. I don’t want to give anything away, but who wrote the letters and why confused me.

The mystery that surrounds some of the strange events going on confused me, even though the author had laid clues toward the beginning of the book. The solution was one I felt I should have guessed, but took me by surprise. For me, that is a good feeling.

The romance was sweet, predictable, and nothing that would make anyone blush. Unlike some of the books I have read this year, the romance was God-honoring and without improper elements. The message of forgiveness and trusting God was well done and not over-powering.

I recommend this book to those who like historical fiction, sweet romance, and stories that keep you guessing.

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