Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland
Out of the corner of her eye, Emma saw the happiness vanish from Robby's face. He lowered his gaze to the ground at the same pace he lowered his "lance."
"No, sir," the child said "I meant to go after we were done -"
"In a ranch," Peter said, his words clipped and edged with the weariness of frequent repetition, "we work first, play later. Go find out what you need to do, then do it. We'll have us a long, meaningful talk once you've finished."
As soon as the boy had gone a few feet away, Pippa trotting along beside him, the rancher turned to Emma. " I do believe I've told you not to indulge him with all those fantasies. Why do you insist on going against the one thing I've insisted you do? Why must you fight me?"
She tilted her up in the air. " I have yet to fight you, sir. And I have found myself in need of making a choice. My alernatives are few - two, as a matter of fact. The one you prefer would have stifle all the joy out of that little man of yours. If you're of a mind to do so, then suit yourself. I will not do that to any youngster, much less such a wonderful, bright, engaging young man."
"But I am his father!"
"Indeed! But not his jailer, I would venture. On the other hand, how about a killjoy? A spoilsport, perhaps?"
As she spat out the questions her courage grew, as did her determinations. The child needed to be ... well, a child at this point in his life. Sure, he could also take care of his share of the chores, but that was, of course, his share, a child's share.
I received this copy of She Shall Be Praised to review and was very excited as it is part of the A Women of Hope series. I enjoy reading romance novels but don't care for all the sex scenes that are described in them. The book is a Christian/Faith based romance novel with all the ups and downs of a good romance novel without the sex scenes that turn people away from other romance novels. It was very engaging and once I started to read the story I did not want to put it down.
When socialite Emma Crowell stops the carriage on the way to Portland to 'exercise' her new puppy, the last thing she expects is to be left behind in decidedly unsuitable attire, let alone kidnapped. Fortunately, she is soon found by local rancher Peter Lowery. Unfortunately, he has no intention of abandoning his livelihood to take her back to civilization until the fall. He will, however, provide food, shelter and safety, and in return he expects Emma to earn her keep.
Emma is surprised to find she enjoys the challenges of life at the cabin and feels drawn to Peter and his young son Robby. But though willing to learn, no matter how she tries, she never seems to live up to expectations. As Emma seeks God's guidance and aspires to the picture of womanhood shown in the 31st chapter of Proverbs, Peter comes to realize that he may be underestimating the strength and character behind this woman's beauty.
I won't give away the ending but I will say that I was surprised by it. The author does a wonderful job of showing how Emma grows up from the minute she is kidnapped by the men who robbed the stage coach she was riding. She is an over-privileged young lady who has traveled the world yet can't cook even a simple meal. Peter, the ranch owner, still expects her to earn her keep and he shows no mercy in the beginning. He is so intent on proving she is worthless, that he sets out to make things even harder for her.
The others on the ranch are not against Emma and do everything they can to help her out. We see a softer side of Peter when he helps birth a lamb and again when he rescues Emma from being raped by one of the kidnappers who has broken lose from his restraints. The book is all about growing and changing for all of the characters involved, but the most change comes for Peter and Emma.
I recommend this book for anyone who loves a good romance story, especially if you like them to be clean. I would deem it safe for teenagers and have recommended it to my pastor's wife and the ladies at my church. That is how clean I feel it to be. I am looking forward to reading other books in the Women of Hope series.
4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.