Have you ever had a book, or a series, that makes you want to start planning a vacation? That’s me when I read any of the books in Karen Barnett’s Vintage National Parks Series. I love nature, which is why I would never ever live in the city, or village, or town lol. While I don’t totally live in the middle of nowhere, I live far enough away where I have plenty of land and woods surrounding me, and not a day goes by that I don’t see wild animals. I absolutely love it. But a chance to see a buffalo!? Well, let’s just say that Ever Faithful has me itching to see them 🙂
Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.
A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.
Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?
I have been in love with the Vintage National Parks series since book one. Karen Barnett just has a way of not only bringing history to life, but bringing these parks to life. She makes the reader want to embark on a cross country journey to visit all of these amazing places, even if they do look a little different today. With her descriptive words, and engaging characters, you cannot help but become mesmerized by the story.
Ever Faithful brought not only great characters, but a good mystery that kept me on my toes. I was sure I knew the villain behind all the fires. I had figured out the motive, the means, and even the cover story for that character. But in a fun plot line twist, I found myself wrong, which made the story even more exciting! As I came to that part of the story, I then had to go back in my mind to see how Barnett brought it all together. If I had read more between the lines, I probably could have figured it out, but alas I was reading it as it was. She wrote this part brilliantly.
Elsie and Nate are two characters that I would love to see more of. Both had things in their past haunting them, and both had to learn how to ultimately let go of those feelings and see themselves as the Lord sees them – beautiful children of God. What I liked most was their connection. It was innocent at first, but over time sort of blossomed into something neither one of them was sure about. But here’s something even better – Barnett manages to tackle a tough topic in a remarkable way. Many people would see Nate as illiterate, but Elsie managed to understand how gifted he truly was. And she found a way to help him read. So many people struggle with exactly what Nate does – seeing the letters get all jumbled up on the paper. Bravo Barnett for bringing this to light, and showing how truly smart a person that has this struggle can be. Nate learned more than any other worker there, and it wasn’t because he read. It was because he listened and paid attention. I really enjoyed this part of the story!
Barnett has hit another home run with the latest in this series. It can be read as a standalone, but why not start at the beginning!? I think you’ll find yourself planning your next vacation! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of The Golden Gate Chronicles (Out of the Ruins, Beyond the Ashes, and Through the Shadows) and Mistaken. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history museums. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken, in 2014. In 2016, she was named Writer of the Year by the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Karen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) and has been published in Guideposts and other national magazines.
“Dreams always sound good until they showed up on your doorstep. Then again, if they weren’t a little scary, they wouldn’t be worth dreaming about.”
“Holding on to anger will only weaken you, like a tree rotting from the inside.”
“Forgiveness isn’t earned, Elsie. It’s bestowed.” Mama shook her head. “Isn’t that what God did for us?”
“When you hold yourself separate from the world, you cheat others of the light God has placed inside you.”
Goodreads is having a giveaway for Ever Faithful!!! Click here to enter.
A Baker’s Perspective is not sponsoring this giveaway.