A Love to Behold

A Love to Behold

by Sharlene MacLaren

Paperback

$13.49 $14.99 Save 10% Current price is $13.49, Original price is $14.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, July 19

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

A Love to Behold 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Shelske More than 1 year ago
I must say this latest title in the series was the best yet. With the way things are going in this country at this time, this story really gives you a perspective of how things were back in history when it happened. The characters are outstanding & keep you pulled in throughout the story. I can not imagine living in a time like this but Sharlene brought it to light & it now makes me understand that standing up for what you believe in is the way to be. I will always remember the story & hope that our history is never totally erased so that others can see what our country was based on.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this story. It was so thought provoking. I don’t believe I would have had the courage that Lydia had to leave her home and move to another state and teach in a school for ex slave children. She had a lot of guts to do what she did. This story is well told. I love the children especially. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars A Love to Behold is a little different from the first two books. It didn’t focus as much on the Quaker perspective, as Albright daughter Lydia has joined a different denomination in order to teach with the American Missionary Alliance. It also focused on the post-Civil War reconstruction, particularly the education of former slave children and the racial hatred that continued to brew. There are plenty of moments that tug at the heartstrings in A Love to Behold – most notably, the newest arrival to Reese’s household and the adoring love that Lydia’s students have for their teacher. One of the last scenes in the schoolroom left me in tears at both the brutality of hate and the power of love. I struggled some with the writing in this one, though. A lot of the dialogue felt a bit ‘info-dump narrative’ in places, and Reese’s older two children didn’t feel like children to me in their speech and mannerisms. Maybe that was intentional – to show their maturity – but often I wouldn’t have been able to differentiate their dialogue from the adults if it didn’t indicate who said what. Bottom Line: This whole series has been fascinating in its history and warm in its characters. I’ve loved getting to know the Albrights and learn more about the Quakers and their involvement in the Underground Railroad, abolition, and even the Civil War itself. While A Love to Behold isn’t my favorite of the three books, it’s still a powerful story with a sweet romance and a timely theme for the day & time in which we live now. Readers will love Lydia and her students, the pastor and his wife, and of course swoony Reese. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
thall5 More than 1 year ago
I usually do not read a lot of historical romance books, but upon reading the synopsis of this book, I decided to give it a try and am so glad I did! I was absolutely absorbed in this historical romance set back in the days after the Civil War! Lydia Albright, a young teacher from Boston, feels her call to the south and follows God’s leading to Charleston, South Carolina, to teach at a new school for black children with no education whatsoever. Only 2 years after the end of the Civil War, not everyone in this town is happy about this school and do they do their best to not only get rid of the school, but also the teacher. As Lydia faces threats on her school as well as her own life, Lydia finds strength in God and those that have come to care so much for her. Will Lydia give in to the threats and leave, or will she trust God’s plan for her life? This is book 3 in the series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone book. I look forward to reading more from this author! I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, but was not required to give a positive review. This is my honest opinion of this book.
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
“A Love to Behold” by talented wordsmith Sharlene MacLaren is another one of her great works. It is Book #3 in her Forever Freedom Series but can easily be read as a stand alone. This is a historical Christian fiction with a powerful message of hope, love, diversity, acceptance, and faith. Author MacLaren has done a fabulous job with this installment in her series. I picked up some interesting historical information that I did not know. I love it when a book teaches me something. There is no light mention of faith in this book. Prayer, scripture, God, and faith are in large portion and I did not need to search for them. I love that in Christian books! Her characters are realistic with vivid personalities. Even the secondary characters are well defined. The main character is a feisty, relatable young woman named Lydia. As I read more I began to take on her feelings and emotions. This book is well thought, well researched, well planned, and well written. I was invested quickly and did not want to put it down. The setting has been well researched, and with her ability to describe people and places, the author whisked me away to post Civil War Charleston, South Carolina. Dialogue between characters was smooth and one of my favorite things in the book. The author used colloquialisms from that time period and part of the countrythat had me giggling. Some I have actually heard but most I haven’t. There is action, danger, romance, history, intrigue, and a powerful inspirational message in this novel I would definitely recommend it. Be prepared for some surprises and humor, too. I loved it and gave it a 5 star rating. Celebrate Lit provided a copy but did not require a review. These are my own honest words.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
Welcome to a time period where opportunities abound and danger lurks just beneath the surface. Lydia has traveled to South Carolina to take on a job not all townspeople are happy about. She will be a schoolteacher for children of former slaves. I'm sure she was a bit nervous but God called her to do this and her obedience is obvious. Her arrival is met with a shootout right in the middle of town. The author makes the story realistic with details that put you right n the center of the story. I love this time period and am amazed at how hard people worked to survive. I think Lydia is in for a big adventure and she has no idea what she has gotten herself into. Reese is a good character who is wealthy, but uses his money to help others. His father is a bit unconventional and doesn't mind speaking his mind. Reese's brother has a huge problem with slaves being freed and supports the Klu Klux society along with his father. It is hard to imagine how prejudice people were even back in the frontier days. Reese has experienced a great loss in his life that has left him lonely. I loved that he still trusts God and knows how important his relationship with God is to keep him grounded in the Word. Reese's children are delightful and full of energy. They are excited to meet Lydia and already trying to get their dad to marry her. I love their enthusiasm and how full of life they are. Their addition to the story is fun and I laughed every time they got a bit carried away with things. Reese has done a great job raising them and teaching them about God. It is very evident that some people in town and even in other states disagree with the Freedmen's Bureau. I loved when Lydia said, " Isn't it our duty as Christians to show forth an attitude of love so that others may see Christ at work?" Lydia is determined that the school will be a success, but others may have a different opinion. The author writes a story about a subject that even today we still are divided about. God made us in His image. Lydia is the perfect character in this story to fight for what is right. She is feisty and has a strong sense of treating everyone equal. She will be tested over and over again as danger lurks near her. The author writes a scene that was an example of how far people will go when they decide to see only the color of someone's skin. It made me shiver with fright as tears ran down my cheeks while reading what happens at school one day. I love the way the author puts a bit of humor in the story with sayings like, " As excited as a piglet in a puddle of mud." It is such an expressive way of saying someone is happy. The story flows easily and I loved learning more about how slaves were treated and the struggles they had to overcome. There is a romance blossoming that is definitely something to catch readers attention. Overall the story is a wonderful example of the struggles during this time period. I am reminded that God loves us not matter what the color of our skin is. We just need to learn to see people the way Jesus does. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. " Hatred can carry from one generation to the next. But if the current generation wishes to stop the hatred, they can do it, one step at a time, one person at a time."
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
Welcome to a time period where opportunities abound and danger lurks just beneath the surface. Lydia has traveled to South Carolina to take on a job not all townspeople are happy about. She will be a schoolteacher for children of former slaves. I'm sure she was a bit nervous but God called her to do this and her obedience is obvious. Her arrival is met with a shootout right in the middle of town. The author makes the story realistic with details that put you right n the center of the story. I love this time period and am amazed at how hard people worked to survive. I think Lydia is in for a big adventure and she has no idea what she has gotten herself into. Reese is a good character who is wealthy, but uses his money to help others. His father is a bit unconventional and doesn't mind speaking his mind. Reese's brother has a huge problem with slaves being freed and supports the Klu Klux society along with his father. It is hard to imagine how prejudice people were even back in the frontier days. Reese has experienced a great loss in his life that has left him lonely. I loved that he still trusts God and knows how important his relationship with God is to keep him grounded in the Word. Reese's children are delightful and full of energy. They are excited to meet Lydia and already trying to get their dad to marry her. I love their enthusiasm and how full of life they are. Their addition to the story is fun and I laughed every time they got a bit carried away with things. Reese has done a great job raising them and teaching them about God. It is very evident that some people in town and even in other states disagree with the Freedmen's Bureau. I loved when Lydia said, " Isn't it our duty as Christians to show forth an attitude of love so that others may see Christ at work?" Lydia is determined that the school will be a success, but others may have a different opinion. The author writes a story about a subject that even today we still are divided about. God made us in His image. Lydia is the perfect character in this story to fight for what is right. She is feisty and has a strong sense of treating everyone equal. She will be tested over and over again as danger lurks near her. The author writes a scene that was an example of how far people will go when they decide to see only the color of someone's skin. It made me shiver with fright as tears ran down my cheeks while reading what happens at school one day. I love the way the author puts a bit of humor in the story with sayings like, " As excited as a piglet in a puddle of mud." It is such an expressive way of saying someone is happy. The story flows easily and I loved learning more about how slaves were treated and the struggles they had to overcome. There is a romance blossoming that is definitely something to catch readers attention. Overall the story is a wonderful example of the struggles during this time period. I am reminded that God loves us not matter what the color of our skin is. We just need to learn to see people the way Jesus does. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. " Hatred can carry from one generation to the next. But if the current generation wishes to stop the hatred, they can do it, one step at a time, one person at a time."
Ourpugs More than 1 year ago
A love to behold This book was so good that I just devoured it. A fast reading book, great flow of words, great characters. Of course, I already knew it would be since I love the authors writing. The book is an historical set back right after the slaves were set free by president Lincoln. Lydia comes to Charleston, South Carolina to teach a school for black children. A lot of men in town is trying to sabotage it. She meets Reese who is a widower. I loved all the children in the book. Children are so innocent, they don’t care about the color of the skin. Reese has several children of his own that would love a mother in their lives. I received an advanced copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
5643437 More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the Forever Freedom Series. I have not read the first two books, but found I was able to keep up with the concept of the story. I found the information about the Quaker involvement in the Abolition movenment and the part they play in asssisting with reconstruction afterwards. The book is well-written and contains enough factual information to be informative. I also loved the storyline. The idea of a Northern white woman coming to teach black children in a school in the suth really provides some possibilities for conflicts and difficulties. I have always enjoyed reading about historical events, both from a factual as well as a fictional standpoint. Lydia Albright demonstrates strength of character and faith from the beginning of the book. She accepts God’s call on her life and leaves the familiarity of the North for the unknown of the South. She refuses to back down in the face of adversity, attacks and even threats on her life. She truly illustrates the gift of serving. Reese also illustrates strength and determination of character. With three children to raise on his own since his wife had died, he shows love and compassion along with a determination to do what is right in God’s eyes. These two characters along with the others in the book show the difficulties and God’s glory and love met during the time following the Civil War. So if you enjoy reading works of historical fiction, check this book out for yourself. I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
A Love to Behold is yet another fabulous addition to Sharlene MacLaren’s Forever Freedom series. In this installment, it is readers are introduced to 27 year old Bostonian Lydia Albright. She finds it her calling to accept a position teaching former slaves in beautiful post Civil War Charleston, South Carolina. She quickly finds out that she is not welcome and her school and life is threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. Will she be fearful and leave town? Or will she be brave and stay? I believe A Love to Behold is my favorite from the Forever Freedom series. I just loved Lydia. I admired her bravery, courage, and determination. I felt connected to her right from the start. I had no problem reading the whole book in one sitting. I give A Love to Behold a very well deserved five plus stars. I most definitely highly recommend this book for readers who love well written and clean historical fiction. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Each book shows a different aspect of the Civil War. This book shows what happens after. What really struck me was the appreciation the black students had for education. In a day when students think it’s their right to be given a Chromebook or iPad at school (and then complain about that) we see a glimpse of how these students probably reacted to be given a slate and chalk. The romance between Lydia and Reese is slow, which is nice. It doesn’t happen too fast because they are both dealing with their own stuff and other dynamics in their lives. It’s heartbreaking to read the continued prejudices that still existed after the Civil War. We still see some of the today, unfortunately. Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend to historical romance lovers. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful conclusion to The Forever Freedom Series. I loved all three books in this series and wanted to say this would also work as a stand-alone. Ms. MacLaren’s sense to detail and authentic speech patterns makes this book stand out in the historical aspect. It is a troubling time after the Civil War and Ku Klux men are stirring up trouble. This story tugs on your heartstrings. I love the strength that Lydia shows in the midst of being bullied into not teaching the former slaves. This book has a little of everything and keeps you engrossed from beginning to end. I loved the orphan character of Luetta and would love to see a story of her after she grows up. This is an all around great book that would appeal to a variety of audiences. It will make you laugh, cry, and strengthen your faith. It shows what being the hands and feet of Jesus means. My favorite quote is “But you have wisdom and that’s what counts. You’ve taken your many life experiences, not to mention your sorrows, and have grown from them rather than use them as excuses to feel sorry for yourself or to blame God and others. Tragedy and hardship can steal our breath away, leaving us desperate for life‘s meaning. Or they can force us to breathe more deeply than we did before and find more purpose in life than we ever thought possible. You have learned from your hardships not everyone does.” I recommend this book as well as the first two in the series, as it flows like a well oiled machine. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Mar-J More than 1 year ago
Wow! A phenomenal and superb story! A Love to Behold is the absolute best one by Sharlene MacLaren thus far. This historical Christian romance is a sweeping story filled with authentic, vivid and picturesque scenes, the dialect of characters with their ethnicity, a strong faith message and history. This was a compelling book that I did not want to put down till I finished. The hero and heroine had strong faith but encountered difficult situations in Charleston, SC after the end of the Civil War. Their were residents that believed Lydia Albright had a right to teach negro children in a school for them, with others strongly opposed of Negroes freedom and rights after the proclamation by President Lincoln at the end of the Civil War. Reese Lawton, a widower, with three children and a thriving family business was supportive but had family members against him. I do not want to spoil this masterful Christian historical romance filled with action, history, mystery, romance, and God’s promises and faithfulness to the characters. A Love to Behold is a must be read book by Sharlene MacLaren. Even though it is book three in her Forever Freedom Series it can be read as a stand alone. However, I strongly recommend reading Summer on Sunset Ridge and Their Daring Hearts to appreciate the history, depth and life of Lydia Albright with her Quaker upbringing. I received this complimentary book from the publisher Whitaker House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, but I have expressed my own sincere thoughts. I look forward to reading more books by Sharlene MacLaren as they are released.