A Love Restored by Kelley Goshorn, reprinted with author’s permission:
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal. Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
my point of view:
I must admit, I have always loved historical novels, especially when I was younger, but I haven’t read one in quite a while! So for me this book was sort of like taking a break from contemporary, and it was a real treat! It was also very, very good!
Ruth Ann is my kind of heroine – feisty, opinionated, not afraid to say what she thinks, and do what she believes she is meant to, with a heart for God, and a deep love of all those around her, i was entirely smitten from the beginning! Benjamin stole my heart as well at the very first…he is gentle, sweet, humorous, and obviously totally enamored with Ruth Ann!
I loved how Ms. Goshorn made sweet Ruth Ann a character that does not fit into the perfect size ‘small’ typical women you read about…she is described as everything from portly, large boned, plump, broad….well, you get the picture. Why don’t we see more over weight women in fiction? It’s not like we never find true love! Yes, I said we, I am way on the plumper side of the spectrum, LOL.
Of course, in the day and age of this lovely novel, relationships are seriously based on appearances, achievements, and what the other one can ‘bring to the table’ more than a love match! Ruth Ann’s mother means well, but seems to always be harping on her daughter’s looks and making a proper match for her. Thank goodness Ruth Ann has others surrounding her that look past all of that to her heart. Benjamin struggles with pride and respect issues, coming from humble beginnings and trying to make something of himself.
Naturally, they both have to go through ‘the fire’ before they can be God’s best for His will. Along the way they also have to deal with very real, very serious situations for the time they live in. I certainly don’t want to give too much away of the story, but trust me when I tell you that both the main characters have to find their own way to fully commit their faith in our Lord before we can step out in faith and love in others!
I have always enjoyed the ‘history’ lessons I learn whenever I am reading a historical novel, and Kelley does not disappoint! I thought I knew “a lot” about the Post Civil War Era, but I still managed to take away a new appreciation for the time period! Of course, all of which is so well written and heartfelt by this “new to me” author! I highly recommend this book! Looking forward to reading more from Kelley Goshorn!
Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2LdKE6z
Here is an excerpt:
Loudoun County, Virginia
Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.
He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.
Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.
Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and…
He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.
Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…”
Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.
Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?
“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…”
Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.
About the Author:
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. Kelly earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and an M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, received recognition as the winner of the 2015 COTT Olympia Contest and as a semi-finalist in the 2015 ACFW Genesis contest.
Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
Kelley has also GENEROUSLY offered to have a free ~*Giveaway*~ to one of our blog members!! Simply comment on this post with your favorite time period to be entered to receive the ebook of A Love Restored! Giveaway is open for seven days from today and winner will be notified via email!