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Posted May 8, 2013
Healing Love by Sophie Dawson is a great historical, romance novel set in Cottonwood, Iowa, in 1875. Lydia Walcott’s parents died when she was thirteen and she has been enduring almost daily beatings by her brother Cyrus for the past seven years. After Cyrus breaks her arm, gives her such a beating that one entire side of her face is black and blue, and cracked several ribs, she decides that she must leave or the next time he just might kill her. Lydia manages to walk to the home of her friend Aggie who has been like a mother to her and with Aggie’s help she escapes on the westbound train. She ends up in Cottonwood, Iowa, and since the train was late and does not arrive until nighttime, she cannot find a place to stay and ends up sleeping in an empty stall in the livery. Dr. Sterling Graham returns to town from a late night trip to deliver a baby and because he is so tired from driving in the ice storm, he decides to sleep on the cot that is set up in the livery for his use. Two of the biggest gossips in town are the first ones to the livery the next morning and leave immediately to start spreading rumors about the doctor spending the night with a woman in the livery. Absolutely nothing happened for neither the doctor nor Lydia knew that the other was in the livery. Sterling’s reputation and his medical career and Lydia’s hope for a new life are threatened so it seems that the only possible way to end the gossip is for Lydia and the doctor to marry. Lydia agrees to the marriage when she is assured that Sterling is a God fearing Christian. Even after the marriage, gossips in the town continue to spread the story with each one adding more untrue “facts.”
Will a young woman who is very fearful but has a strong faith in God and a somewhat prideful young doctor who also has a strong faith be able to make a marriage work? Sterling treats Lydia’s injuries and has nothing but compassion for her and she finally comes to realize that he will never hit her or injure her in any way. Lydia and Sterling both work hard to make the marriage work but there always seems to be the issue of trust on Lydia’s part and the fear that her brother will find her.
The author did an excellent job developing the plot, characters, dialogue, and scenes. Not only was there romance in the story but there was the suspense concerning Cyrus and if he would find Lydia. The characters seemed like real people and I found myself in tears because of the many things that Lydia had faced in her young life and was still dealing with the results. Sterling was a very loveable character and I was hoping for the marriage to work. The story has a great ending. I was very impressed with the way that the author kept God in the lives of all the main characters. I am really looking forward to reading the other two books in this series.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good historical romance with a good bit of suspense woven throughout the story and that also has a God centered message throughout the book.
A big thank you to the author, Sophie Dawson, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted March 11, 2013
This is the first book I have read by Sophie Dawson but it felt like coming home to a favorite author. Healing Love is a Christian Historical Romance; if you like Heartsong Presents books or Love Inspired books, you will like this book. The story is about a sweet love developing between two people thrust into a compromising situation. The author is very good at describing the life of 1875. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2012
Posted September 17, 2012
Reviewed by Brenda C. for Readers Favorite
Lydia Walcott's life in Ringle, Iowa, was far from easy. She was left in the care of her ruthless brother at the age of thirteen when her parents died. The only solace she found was with an older lady named Aggie Cuttler who befriended her and helped nurse her wounds whenever her brother became violent. Now at the age of twenty her brother Cyrus informs her that he has sold her to a man named Gus Botwright who is just as mean as her brother, and that she will have to marry him. When she refuses he beats her worse than he ever has. Lydia knows her only choice is to run away. With the help of her friend Aggie she winds up in the town of Cottonwood. Totally exhausted and unsure about what to do, she spends the night in a livery. The town doctor Sterling Graham spent the night in the livery as well. The story spreads like wildfire and the only way the two can save the doctor's reputation is for them to marry. Can Lydia and Sterling make the marriage work? What will Lydia's brother do to get her back, and will she ever feel safe?
"Healing Love" was a story that was hard to put down. Once I started reading it I was easy to be drawn into the lives of the characters. I could easily feel empathetic towards Lydia and her plight. Even after the mistreatment from her brother she never lost her faith. Her brother is such an evil person that I could understand why she felt the need to run away. Thank goodness, she had such a good friend in Aggie. As the story progressed I couldn't help but wonder what might happen to Aggie if Cyrus decided to pay her a visit. The undertone of the story really had me believing that God was at work whenever he put Lydia and Sterling together. As Lydia and Sterling began their married life I was able to see what a wonderful person he really was. There are several secondary characters that that really add to the story. One of my favorites had to be Mrs. Henderson, one of Sterling's patients. She was so kind to Lydia. "Healing Love" has all the elements that make it a good addition to historical fiction. Susan Ewing blends together the elements of faith, romance, inspiration, and a bit of suspense together with a fast moving plot and wonderful characters to make for a top notch read. If you are a fan of historical inspirational fiction, then "Healing Love" is a must read for you!