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Posted December 31, 2014
I really didn't like Tom during the first half of the book. His attitude and behavior towards Sara was horrible. And his friends were jerks. Just because Sara wasn't the kind of person he had been expecting, he ignored her, made her feel small and worthless, and seemed to treat her as if she were ungrateful for all he and his sister did. Even though he claimed that he was looking for inner beauty, he refused to look past her tattered clothes. He instead allowed himself to get involved with a woman who was beautiful and rich and loved the arts. Yeah, they shared similar interests on the surface, but he never really got to know the real Annabelle, someone who didn't share his faith or priorities. Her beauty was only skin deep.
But the book gets better. There is a happy ending eventually... It's a good story.
Posted April 4, 2012
I thought this book was good, and I don't regret picking it up, but I throughout the book I did feel like throttling Tom Haskins out of his boots. More than once. I really felt for Sarah, all alone in a new place, and I didn't feel Tom was making things any easier, but given the circumstances, and our human nature anyway, I can't really stay mad at Tom. Sarah, Tom, and the other characters were wonderful, and I did keep on reading, hoping and trying to give Tom a chance to see that he was really blinded when it came to seeing Sarah. I won't give away the ending, but I thought the book was good overall. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 15, 2010
I enjoyed reading this book. The religious text made you think of your life with God. The romance is old fashion but charming. It's made me feel happy, sad and closer to God reading this book.
I do think she should have taken the ending a little further but I enjoyed it.
Posted December 18, 2009
In 1890 artist Thomas Haskins placed an ad for a mail order bride though he has doubts about the wisdom of finding a wife this way. Sara McGee of New York City responds. She arrives by train to his resort town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. However, he wants her to go back home because his first impression is she is dressed shabbily and uneducated. Sara is also hurt by first impressions when his best friend Lawrence Boshen ridicules her and Tom fails to defend her
However, he is an ethical person who decides to have his sister Claire mentor brash Sara on decorum of a lady. She has doubts about belonging here; Sara considers fleeing back to the streets of the city she came from. As she falls in love with him, socialite pianist Annabelle Loving decides Tom is perfect for her and offers him a trip to Italy to study art that he cannot refuse. Sara knows she cannot compete with the educated upper crust wealthy musician so she leaves for home; not realizing Tom wants his mail order bride to be his wife.
This is a nice Pygmalion like spin to the classic mail order bride historical romance. The Gilded Age story line is fast-paced from the moment a hesitant Sara arrives in town like a fish out of water and never slows down as she wins the hearts of everyone starting with his sister. Fans will enjoy this fine entry as Tom learns a good artist can become a great artist when he learns the meaning of love and passion.
Posted December 14, 2009
What a wonderful surprise this book was. It was the first Love Finds You book I have read and also the first of Lauralee Bliss' books. I loved it. The New Hampshire mountain setting became a character all its own interacting with the main characters. Readers will long to visit Bethlehem, New Hampshire. The love story between two unlikely people, Sara McGee and Tom Haskins is tender. Readers will find themselves wishing Tom and Sara would just talk about things instead of making so many assumptions. However, that is what makes them human and the story endearing.
Tom Haskins has a wonderful life for himself. He is beginning to receive notoriety for his paintings, lives comfortably in his hometown. He has everything except a wife. He advertises for one. Sara McGee has a few precious items that belonged to her mother, and not much else. Her response to Tom's advertisement isn't even penned by her, for she cannot read or write. Theirs is an unlikely relationship and a beautiful love story.
The characters are strong, flawed, and faithful. The scenery is beautiful. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and curl up on your favorite couch for a good winter read.
Posted October 3, 2009
After reading this book, I want to go live in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Or take a nice long holiday there. The setting is one of the main characters in this easy read from Lauralee Bliss, as is expected from a Love Finds You in. book. As I read, I felt myself walking down the streets of this delightful town more than a hundred years ago. I didn't want to leave.
Beyond the setting, Lauralee creates vibrant, real-to-life characters that touch your heart. Tom Haskins - a young artist, beginning to make his mark on the world, mentored by the famous Mr. Astor. When he suggests Tom take a bride to further his career, Tom, inspired by a young couple he meets, takes out an ad in a New York City paper. Annabelle Loving, the wealthy socialite, interested in Tom's work and precisely the woman Mr. Astor had in mind when he made his suggestion. She could be the key to Tom's success. Sara McGee, the destitute young woman who arrives in Bethlehem in response to Tom's ad and who is nothing like Tom expected.
Against this beautiful backdrop, as the holidays approach, what will each of these people learn about each other? And about themselves?
Another winner for Lauralee Bliss and Summerside Press. Be sure to add it to your list of "must reads" this holiday season.
Posted September 25, 2009
Accomplished artist Tom Haskins places a newspaper ad for a bride. He envisions his bride-to-be as a refined and educated young woman. Sara McGee is neither When Tom meets Sara at the train station, it's obvious to him that he can't marry Sara. But he sees her needs and takes Sara to his home where his sister can help her to learn how to be accepted in Bethlehem's society. Will Tom's first impression of Sara change while he continues his search for a bride? Will Sara stay where she is ridiculed or will she return to her New York City where she lives on the street? This book is a sweet love story with some characters you'll love and some you won't love as much. The setting descriptions are well done and put the New Hampshire snow-covered mountains firmly in your imaginationWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2009
This is not your usual 'inspirational romance" but a deeper view into the emotions of two personal spiritual walks that grow into a tender relationship.
Both Tom and Sara reveal through their uncertainty, the insecurity of looking within one's self for life-decisions. Like peeling an onion layer-by-layer, emotions, prejudices, hopes and fears are revealed by both Tom and Sara. Tom's masculinity is never in question yet his own character evaluations reveal a man who is tempted to deny God's gift that feeds his talent - a sensitive and sincere heart.
Through the support and advice of supporting characters including Tom's sister Claire, Mrs. Whitaker, Sara's co-workers, Tom's friends and admirers, we see mirrored our own tendencies of dependence, and need for confirmation from those around us. The reader finds resolution through observing that it is not until both Tom and Sara individually give their fears and hopes to the King of all Kings that they find what they sought in each other.
Posted August 29, 2009
I Also Recommend:
My absolute favorite read is a mail-order bride story, so when I discovered Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, I was eager to get a copy. I read the back cover blurb and was even more intrigued. The artist who placed the advertisement, Thomas Haskins, takes one look at Sara McGee and realizes he can't marry the penniless, uneducated and unkempt woman who steps off the train in his posh resort town. Being a man of honor, he befriends Sara, who, under his chaperone sister's tutelage, learns how to be a lady. However, Tom's caught the eye of a cultured and determined socialite who wants him as her husband and entices him with a promised trip to study art in Italy, an offer that sorely tempts him.
Lauralee Bliss has created two characters I liked, although at times I was none too pleased with Thomas's choices. A kindhearted man who's decided it would serve his career to marry--and ease his lonely heart--his initial prejudice and aloofness toward Sara troubled me. However, I loved watching the change the Lord worked in his heart. Sara is a sympathetic character. I felt for this young woman who'd lost everything and everyone, forcing her to live on the streets of New York City. She shows inner strength and a strong faith, which come to her aid as she deals with those who've misjudged her. Can two people from such different worlds ever find happiness?
Bliss turned the tables on the traditional mail-order bride story, and I like what she did. There's plenty of emotion and tension between Thomas and Sara. I enjoyed getting a look at the affluent Gilded Age through the eyes of characters from such diverse backgrounds. Bliss brought the setting to life. And I liked the fact that Thomas is an artist, a profession I've rarely encountered in a romance but works so well in this one. If you're looking for a sweet, traditional romance or a mail-order bride story with a twist, I'm sure you'll enjoy Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
Posted August 26, 2009
Love Finds You in Bethlehem New Hampshire
Reviewed by Cindy Loven
Thomas Hasken, was on his way UP. He was a gifted and talented, artist, whose painting had caught the eyes of many. Including Mr. Astor of the Astor's of New York.
One thing was missing from his life however. A wife. Thomas was not married, and was ready to marry and settle into a life of caring for a wife. Mr Astor all but commanded him to find a wife, telling him that love and a good wife, would inspire him to greater heights in his art career.
But how? He had no prospects. He didn't date anyone, nor know anyone he was interested in dating. A couple, who were newlyweds, had a suggestion. Place an ad for a wife. That was how they had met and married, and it was most successful for them. So he did, with their help and guidance.
Sara McGee was a young woman, living on the streets of New York City. Her benefactress Mrs. Whitaker, answered Thomas' ad for Sara. Describing Sara in glowing terms, and leaving out some facts, she had all but convinced Thomas, just through her letters that Sara was the perfect bride for him.
Sara arrives and to Thomas' dismay, it is easy to see that this young lady, lacks much in her training. He is dismayed at the turn of events. Add in a beautiful socialite, from Boston, the cousin, of his close friend's wife. A socialite who seems to be totally smitten with him, a woman who is polished and skilled in all the social graces. A tangled web is what Thomas now has. A web that is leaving him uninspired to paint, and very confused.
Watch lovely Sara blossom into a women, sure of herself, and developed into a vision of beauty. Follow along as Lauralee brings us a story of love, overcoming and faith. A lovely written story, one to share with friends. 295 pages $12.99 US
Posted August 19, 2009
The year is 1890, the height of the Gilded Age. It's not that Tom Haskins avoids people, or women, he is just more occupied with his paintings than his future. When his best friend and a rich client both point out that it's time he look for a wife, two things happen. One, the client persuades him to write a newspaper ad seeking a wife, and posts when he returns home to New York City. And two, his best friend conspires to introduce him to his visiting sister-in-law, Annabelle, a Boston Socialite.
Meanwhile, a motherly shopkeeper in New York answers the ad on behalf of a homeless orphan she's befriended, a girl who neither reads nor writes, hoping that Miss Sara McGee will have a better future than roaming the streets. Tom decides to send the money for her train ticket to Bethlehem. But when she arrives and he sees just how poor she is, he is shocked. And so is she. She runs and hides from his jeering friends. With a backload of orders for his famous landscape paintings, will Tom be able to find time to pick the right wife?
Since I summered in New Hampshire until I was eighteen, this setting brought up pleasant memories of the White Mountains and quaint villages that welcome the summer (and sometimes winter) people. It's a spectacular background for such a poignant love story. It made me homesick for New England.
Posted August 19, 2009
An unforgettable Christmas love story, set in-where else?-Bethlehem, New Hampshire, in the snow-capped White Mountains in 1890. With romantic sleigh-rides, breath-taking imagery and powerful emotion, Love finds you in Bethlehem, New Hampshire delivers a sweeping romance that keeps the reader guessing until the last page how two souls as different and yet as similar as artist Tom Haskins and Sara McGee, the New York City orphan, will forge a life together.
Each character, from romantic rival Annabelle Loving to Claire Haskins, Tom's devoted sister, to an assortment of supporting cast, lends dimension to this tale of two different worlds coming together in love. Can Tom overcome latent prejudices to see beyond the superficial to a soul rich in the important things? Can Sara find the pluck and courage to overcome disadvantage and find confidence to be the bride of a world-class artist? This rags-to-riches tale left me turning the pages to find the answers. I read it in one day, which is unusual for me. I found I could relate to the heroine's plight more than most romance heroines with Bliss's careful and authentic rendering. She had me crying by page 33, and uplifted and satisfied with an inspiring conclusion.
A must-read for your holiday season, or any time.
Posted December 26, 2011
No text was provided for this review.