Audie Award Finalist, Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction, 2014
Merrill Krause longs for a family of her own, but she's bound by a promise to her dying mother to care for her father and older brothers until they no longer need her. She enjoys being part of the family business, harvesting ice during the brutal Minnesota winters. Merrill actively takes part, possessing a keen ability to work with the horses - despite the advice of her good friend, who disapproves of her unladylike behavior.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small town to join his uncle doing carpentry, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. As he thrives under the mentorship of his uncle, Rurik dreams of inheriting the business and claiming Merrill as his wife. But while he is determined to start a new life, the past is determined to follow him when his former fiancée and her brother show up in town. Soon Rurik is put in the center of a major scandal that may damage his relationship with Merrill. Can they learn to trust God - and each other - and embrace the promise of love?
Tracie Peterson is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 80 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana.
©2013 Tracie Peterson (P)2013 Recorded Books
Award-winning & Amazon bestselling author of Christian historical romance. Under contract with Pelican Book Group. Blogger, mom, & reader.
Great listen by a wonderful author. Tracie Peterson really delivered on this book. A unique storyline. Merrill Krause is a feisty only daughter in a household of German-American men in Minnesota. Rurik is of Swedish descent and Peterson does a lovely job of interweaving that information. Nice character arcs as Merrill faces changes in her life that push her towards giving up her job of being the replacement mother in the household of big bossy men. Meanwhile Rurik, a real sweetheart, is trying to shake off an unwanted engagement that was arranged by their Swedish parents when they were children. His best friend is a scallawag, which the reader will begin to suspect straight away, but Rurik wants to see the best in him. My favorite secondary character was Rurik's uncle, who is seriously ill. Lovely romance, cool (cold!) setting, unique storyline, great narration, beautiful author's voice, excellent craft, all make for a superb listen. This will be in my best of 2013 audiobooks and likely in best books I "read" in 2013.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Friendship lasting throughout childhood into adulthood is a rare thing, even more rare when flaws emerge, including lies and blackmail . . . but for those of us who have ever loved a person weaker than ourselves, this tale of the friendship between Rurik and Nils is both eye opening and redemptive . . . loving a person, while accepting their character flaws is a huge task and one not many of us are up to . . . this story takes place in 1896 when Rurik leaves Kansas to travel to Minnesota to help his ailing uncle in his furniture business . . . his betrothed, Svea, Nils' sister angrily breaks off their engagement . . . to Rurik's relief . . . as both their father's had made the match for them, and neither of them had more than brotherly/sisterly love for the other . . . as Rurik settles into his new routine, helping his uncle, Carl in his business, he becomes more and more aware of how frail his uncle really is, and he makes it his task to take on as much of the work as possible . . . he also meets Merrill Krause the only daughter and youngest child of neighbor, Bogart Krause . . . who has dutifully cared for her father and older brothers for the past 14 years . . . since her mother died, when she was 10 . . . Merrill is a farm girl, birthing horses, cooking, helping with the ice cutting and farm chores . . . a tough, big boned girl, unafraid of work . . . and well protected by all those brothers . . . her family, proudly of German decent, have passed down their recipes and traditions for generations . . . strong in their faith, relying on God to guide their path . . . much like Rurik and his uncle Carl, who are also faithful Christians, of Swedish roots . . . when faced with ill health, the diminishing ice business, or character assassinations, both families turn to God . . . and stand on the truth . . . without bitterness . . . which is always the hard part . . . life over a 100 years ago was much more difficult than we have it today, yet I find that the easier people have it, the more complaining they sometimes do . . . but even then, people tried to take the easy way out, choosing to hurt the ones that loved them most . . . as King Solomon said, there's nothing new under the sun . . . I am thankful for writers like Tracie Peterson who continue to write books like this one, that are both historical and faith-based . . . great story, great resolution . . .
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