Forgiveness is the only cure for heartbreak. But can Penny forgive the man she holds responsible for her brother’s death?
When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain—but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.
Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself . . . and so does Brad’s sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend.
Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.
About the Author
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.
Read an Excerpt
Keeper of the Stars
A Kings Meadow Romance
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Robin Lee Hatcher
All rights reserved.
Trevor Reynolds glanced around the studio apartment, located three blocks from the main drag in Kings Meadow. At one time it had been a detached garage, and the owner hadn't tried to disguise its original purpose from the outside. Inside, the furnishings were simple and spare, but good enough to suit Trevor's purposes for however long he was here. He'd stayed in far worse places in his early years on the road.
"I'll take it," he told the landlord, Harry Adams, a thin, white-haired man with stooped shoulders, a shuffling step, and a ready smile.
"Well, that's great. Great. Are you in town for long, Mr. Reynolds?"
Trevor slipped his wallet from his back pocket. "I'm not sure." He pulled out several bills. "First and last month's rent. Right?"
"Indeed it is." In exchange for the money, the landlord handed him the key to the door.
Trevor walked to the small refrigerator and opened it. The light went on at the back, showing a pristine interior.
"Grocery store's just a few blocks away," Mr. Adams said. "Open until nine."
"What about restaurants?" He closed the refrigerator door and turned toward the landlord again.
The old man chuckled. "Only got two. Got a drive-through a couple blocks over from the Merc. Good burgers and fries. Then there's the Tamarack Grill that you passed on your way into town. That's your sit-down choice. Nice menu, especially since they hired that Nichols fella."
Trevor remembered seeing the Tamarack Grill. That's where he would go now. He'd had his fill of fast food while traveling the two thousand miles from Nashville to Kings Meadow. According to the map app on his phone, winter driving conditions had made the trip take three days longer than it should have. And not knowing how many miles he'd be able to travel each day had also made it impossible to book motel reservations in advance. That hadn't mattered as long as he'd been traveling the freeway. Any motel in any town, big or small, had sufficed.
But he should have known things would be different up here in these mountains. Kings Meadow didn't have a motel, and the bed-and-breakfast he'd stopped at earlier wouldn't have any available rooms until tomorrow. It was a good thing he'd grabbed a local newspaper when he stopped for gas as he rolled into town. The paper was where he'd seen the advertisement for this apartment. The rent was fair — cheap, actually — and he didn't need anything fancy.
A yawn overtook him, a reminder that he'd been on the road since four o'clock that morning. A moment later his stomach growled. He'd pushed himself hard, determined to reach Kings Meadow while it was still daylight. He hadn't eaten a meal since breakfast. That had been somewhere in Utah. All he wanted now was a decent meal and a good night's sleep. Tomorrow would be soon enough to stock the cupboards, get settled into his new living quarters, and figure out what he was supposed to do next.
"Well," the landlord said, intruding on Trevor's thoughts, "you give a holler if you need anything. And you're always welcome to use my phone if you need it."
"I've got one." He patted his pocket.
"If you mean a cell phone, those gadgets don't work much in these parts. Mountains too high and too close, and no company's bothered to bring in one of them tower thingies. If you want to talk to folks, you're gonna have to get yourself a regular phone. Landlines, I think they call 'em."
Trevor remembered now. The day of the funeral, he'd tried to use his mobile phone. There hadn't been any reception. Not until he'd gotten close to Boise again had service resumed. But he'd figured it was a temporary problem. Hadn't considered it was an ongoing issue. He'd known he was coming to a small town. He hadn't figured on it being so backward it wouldn't have cell phone service.
Just as well. You don't need to hear from anybody who'd know your number anyway.
"Thanks, Mr. Adams. You've been a big help."
If the landlord felt as if he'd been dismissed — which he had — he didn't show it. Just smiled again and told Trevor to enjoy his dinner. Then he shuffled out of the studio apartment and along the snowy pathway to the main house.
Hunching his shoulders against the cold, Trevor hurried out to his truck and grabbed his duffel bag and guitar case from the backseat. Several more trips emptied the pickup bed of the tarp-covered boxes holding the remainder of his possessions. At least the possessions he'd considered important enough to bring with him. More boxes and all of his furniture were in a storage unit in Nashville. When he went back to Tennessee, he'd be glad for them.
With hunger becoming a more demanding sensation in his gut, he left the collection of belongings in the center of the room, grabbed his truck keys, and headed out the door. He drove the three blocks to Main Street, then followed it west until the restaurant's sign came into view. The parking lot on the side of the building had six or seven cars in it. That was probably a rush of customers for Kings Meadow.
He pulled into the first open space and got out, glad he wouldn't have to walk far in the bitter wind. Even gladder that he wouldn't have to sleep in his truck — which had seemed a real possibility — even for just one night.
The warm interior of the Tamarack Grill was a welcome relief. He stopped next to the sign that told him to wait to be seated. He didn't have to stand there long. A young woman, carrying laminated menus in the crook of her left arm, came toward him, a smile on her lips. Her gaze slowly traveled the length of him before meeting his eyes again.
"Welcome to the Tamarack Grill. Just one tonight?"
Her smile broadened.
Not to be vain, but he knew that look.
"Right this way." She led him to a table close to an open fireplace made of stones.
Trevor removed his Stetson and put it on the seat of one chair, then sat on the other, his right shoulder toward the fire.
"May I bring you something to drink?" the waitress asked as she set a menu on the table before him.
"Diet Coke, with lemon."
"I'll be right back." Still smiling, she departed.
Trevor's gaze took in the other tables in the room. Two families with young kids. A middle-aged woman eating by herself. Several couples of various ages. Off to the far right was the bar area. Three men sat on stools, sipping beverages and watching news on a television up high on the wall. Until a couple of months ago, that's where Trevor would have started a meal. Sitting at the bar, knocking back a Jack and Coke.
No more. The night of the accident, he'd had a wake-up call. He'd been living recklessly for years, in all kinds of ways. He could have easily died that night, but he'd been given a second chance. Brad Cartwright hadn't been that lucky.
A raw ache burned in his chest whenever he thought about Brad. Logically, Trevor knew the accident hadn't been his fault. He'd been asleep in the backseat. Brad had been at the wheel. But all the same, it felt like his fault.
And I'm not the only one who feels it's my fault.
In his mind — for what seemed the thousandth time — he saw the fury in Penny Cartwright's eyes at the moment she'd slapped him on the day of the funeral. He touched his cheek, as if he could still feel the sting of the blow.
The waitress returned with his drink. "Are you ready to order?"
He hadn't looked at the menu yet, but a quick glance found something that would do. He pointed to it, chose the two sides that came with the meal, then handed her the menu. "Thanks."
She gave him another of her ready smiles before walking away, and for a split second he considered asking her what time her shift ended. But no. Pretty girls weren't why he'd come to Kings Meadow. He was here to keep a promise to a dying friend — and hopefully straighten out his life in the process.
* * *
Penny turned the dead bolt in the entrance door of the library. Then she leaned her forehead against the cold glass, closing her eyes and drawing a deep breath. Some days it felt as if she had to force herself to breathe, force herself to go on living.
Stop it! Stop it now!
Stiffening her spine, she turned away from the door and walked to the office behind the checkout counter, where she retrieved her purse from the bottom drawer of her desk. A glance at the clock on the wall told her she was running late. Dad would have dinner waiting for her.
Maybe I shouldn't have returned to work this soon.
Perhaps not. But she had no choice. Not really. She'd used up all of her paid time off — both bereavement and vacation time — and she and Dad needed her paycheck. Their finances had already been stretched thin by the staggering cost of an unexpected funeral —
No. Stop. Don't think about it.
Lifting her head and straightening her shoulders, she left the office, turning off the light as she passed through the doorway. She went to the back door of the library, where she switched off all but the security lights that softly illumined the building whenever the library was closed. Then she went outside, locking the door behind her.
Blowing snow stung Penny's cheeks as she hurried to her parked car. She started the engine to let it warm — wouldn't it be wonderful to have one of those cars that started with a press of a button on a key fob? — then grabbed the scraper so she could clean the snow and frost off her windshield. Trying not to let her teeth chatter, she worked as fast as possible, making a complete circle around the vehicle. At last she slipped behind the wheel with a breathy, "Ooooh."
The drive to the Cartwright ranch took about twenty minutes on the snow-packed roads. It wasn't a big spread — not like the Leonard operation at the north end of the valley — but it was big enough to fulfill her dad's boyhood dream of being a cattle rancher. Most years he turned a small profit from the sale of his calves. He earned the rest of his income from the work he did as a carpenter. Good enough in the summer. Scarce in the winter months. And these days, due to some health issues, he struggled with his daily chores.
Penny's return to Kings Meadow after getting her master's degree was supposed to have been temporary. Only until Brad graduated from college. Her brother could have worked as an engineer in Boise with an easy commute to and from the ranch. Their dad would have had the help he needed, and Brad would have had a career he could have grown in. That had been the plan. But since when did life go as planned? Temporary had become four years, and here she was, living at home at the age of twenty-eight. The best thing to come out of her return to Kings Meadow was her job as the director of the district library. Anywhere else, she wouldn't have had a prayer of such a position. Too young, they would have said. Too little experience. They would have been right on both counts. But this was Kings Meadow, where she was known, where her father was known. And besides, there hadn't been an abundance of applicants for the position.
She should be thankful for it. She was thankful for it. If only she didn't feel so unhappy, reminded at every turn of the loved ones who were gone forever. If only ...
Lights from the house twinkled at her in the darkness. She slowed the car as she approached the driveway. The tires slid a little, but with four-wheel drive she was able to pull out of the slide and make the turn safely. The hard-packed snow beneath the tires bumped her around until she reached the concrete floor of the garage. Fresh snow fell in earnest as she hurried toward the front door.
Inside the house, she called, "Dad, I'm home."
He poked his head out of the kitchen. "Good timing. Food's ready to go on the table."
"Give me a second to change and wash up, and I'll be right there."
"Is it still snowing?"
Halfway up the stairs, she answered, "Yes. Looks like the storm will last awhile."
In her room, Penny changed out of her work clothes and into a comfortable pair of jeans and a sky-blue cable-knit sweater. Her shoes she replaced with sheepskin-lined slippers, appropriate for the winter weather. Then she went into the bathroom, where she freed her hair from the clasp that kept it away from her face while at work, followed by a quick wash of her hands.
When she entered the dining room a few minutes later, her dad was setting a casserole dish in the center of the table. Shepherd's pie. Again. It was her father's go-to recipe when he couldn't think of anything else to make. She rounded the table and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks for cooking dinner on the nights I work late."
"I'm glad to do it, Pen. You shouldn't have to work all day and then come home to cook supper when all I'd be doing is sitting around, waiting for you."
She wanted to ask if his back was better today, but he despised the question. Her dad still did a lot of work around the place, even when the pain was bad.
If only her brother had come home ...
"Let's eat," her dad said.
Penny took her usual spot at the table and averted her eyes from the two empty chairs. She tried to look only at the serving dishes and at her father. Anywhere else was rife with emotional danger.
Her dad said the blessing before sliding the casserole dish closer to her. "Careful. It's hot."
She stuck the serving spoon into the meat-and-vegetable dish and scooped out a small serving.
"You need to eat more than that, Penny."
"This is plenty, Dad. Honest."
"Not enough to keep a bird alive."
Missing tugged at Penny's heart. How often had her mom said those very same words to her?
"How was it to be back at the library?"
"Okay." She shrugged. "How was your day?"
"Okay," he answered with the smallest of smiles.
What a pair of liars we are.
Penny brought a bite of the casserole to her mouth, blew on it, and then ate it. Her taste buds tried to tell her the food had flavor, but it still seemed bland on her tongue. Somehow she managed to swallow and take the next bite.
"It'll get better, Pen."
She kept her gaze on her plate. "It's good."
"I wasn't talking about the food."
Tears welled. I know, she mouthed, looking up at last.
She'd learned that going through the grief process took as long as it took. Not one day more or one day less. And it was different for each person. There were no quick fixes, no magic words to make the pain of missing go away any faster.
The difference this time — between when she'd lost her mom and when she'd lost her brother — was the anger. Tears weren't enough for her. Grief wasn't enough. A broken heart wasn't enough. Bitter anger had formed a knot in her gut — a knot that showed no signs of easing. She was angry with Brad for being so foolish, for not returning to Kings Meadow when he was supposed to. Angry with Trevor Reynolds for enticing Brad to live a life on the road, for making her brother forget that he was the kind of person who kept his promises. And, if she was honest, angry with God for taking away another member of her family.
Some days it felt as if the anger would eat her up from the inside out.
Some days she wished it would.
* * *
That night, while seated in the large, overstuffed chair in the corner of his bedroom, Rodney closed his eyes. Before his wife passed away, the couple had been in the habit of praying together in this same corner before retiring. There had been two chairs back then. Now there was need for only one, and even after a dozen years he missed the feel of Charlotte's hand in his as they prayed at the end of a day.
He drew in a long breath and released it slowly. "How do I help her, Lord?"
Even before Brad's death Rodney had been concerned for his daughter. Penny seemed to have forgotten how to enjoy life. She worried over him. She worried over money. She worried over what tomorrow would bring. And now she was angry too. She tried not to let him see it, but she never succeeded.
"What happened to my bright, shiny Penny?" he whispered.
In his mind he saw the laughing, happy, confident child she had been. Riding beside him in the truck, chattering away about what had happened that day at school. Showing her little brother how to skip rocks across the surface of the river. Camping in the mountains with the family. She'd been fearless back then, perhaps because she'd had such trust in God. That trust seemed to have been snuffed out on the night her brother died.
Excerpted from Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher. Copyright © 2016 Robin Lee Hatcher. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*My Thoughts* Yay! Another fabulous fiction author to add to my to-read list...just what every reader needs right?!?! Especially me! This was my first by RObin and I must say, I broke "The rule". I judged a book by it's cover. Sort of. I'd never read her before & I looooooooved the cover. And yes, I can do that because the content was just as good, if not better then the cover! I have a strange infatuation with couples that start out as arch enemies. (Also, dark, brooding guys changed by a sunny female!) This one definitely fulfilled my fangirl sighs! Their romance was well thought out, not too fast or slow, and just a fun thing to watch unfold. I was in heaven. The main character, surprisingly, seems to be well...not living. Penny's brother Brad has a huge influence on the book and the readers heart strings! Robin gives beautiful flashbacks of the charming brother and then brings us back to "real life" to see the effects that the situation had on the other characters. Keeper of the stars is more then a beautiful love story. This book teaches lessons...valuable, Godly lessons on forgiveness and love. It shows the impact every conversation has on a person and our life and how important it is to live for God, in the moment, because we don't know what tomorrow holds. This "romance" has a beautiful message and fits the "inspirational Christian romance" category perfectly. Robin, you've written a treasure and I'm privileged to review such a story. ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* Keeper of the Stars is absolutely not leaving my shelves. In fact, look for it in my top books of 2016 because this one truly is a well written "keeper"! _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher... 5 stars!! _______________________________________________ *I received this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
KEEPER OF THE STARS was a beautiful and rich story about a family dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy and the man who seeks to keep a promise. Trevor was the leader of Penny's little brother's band and the one Penny blames for his death. Their first meeting is anything but cordial. Thank goodness there is her father, Rodney to ease the situation and to see that his family are not alone in their pain. There were so many touching moments, some of heartbreak, some of introspection, some of hearts opening to God and others, and some romantic. It was enjoyable and heartfelt. Definitely a story for Christian romance readers. I liked the characters and how the author let them struggle and grow. There were flashbacks to the younger brother's memories, as well as POVs from Rodney, Penny, and Trevor. For this story it all worked rather well and gave insight to what each was feeling. Penny I struggled with a little bit because she is so stuck on her plans, both in the past and the future. She really pushed her brother away as well as others, but acts like everyone else is to blame for what happened and she is the injured party. Thank goodness she eventually figures things out. She ended up growing on me. I really liked Trevor. He was such a good guy and so willing to pitch in and work hard. I loved Rodney. He was just a fabulous character and really held everything together. The overarching theme is forgiveness with some focus on a change of heart, accepting God, being willing to change plans, and being open to love. I liked how easily the characters conversed with God, how simple it was for them, and how open they were to trying to do what they should. I also liked the small-town setting. Then there was the slowly-building romance, a relationship that started rocky, then turned to friendship and respect, and finally to the possibility of more. Which is just how I like it. Overall, this was another enjoyable release from Hatcher. I'm looking forward to her next one! Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy for review via Litfuse Publicity for tour purposes, which did not affect my review in any way.
Robin Lee Hatcher in her new book, “Keeper of the Stars” Book Three in the Kings Meadow series published by Thomas Nelson brings us into the lives of Penny Cartwright and Trevor Reynolds. From the Back Cover: Forgiveness is the only cure for heartbreak. But can Penny forgive the man she holds responsible for her brother’s death? When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain—but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town. Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself . . . and so does Brad’s sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend. Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak. I am so glad that Ms. Hatcher followed her natural born talents and entered the field of telling stories. She is exceptional at this. “Keeper of the Stars”, I think, is her best book to date. Both Penny and Trevor are wounded individuals because events in their lives affected them and they are hard to get over. The death of her mother affected Penny and since she had no one to process her grief with it overwhelmed her to the point of trauma. Now her brother has died and she is using it to vent her grief and sorrow against the man who she thinks killed him. This story is all about grief and loss as well as anger and sorrow. Ms. Hatcher has given us characters in Kimberly and Chet that are marvelous, meticulously crafted, and each one literally breathes on the pages. We can identify with them and root for them to succeed. For when they succeed then their romance can succeed as well. I am sorry for this series to end however I am looking forward to the next book in this terrific author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Forgiveness often times in some people's minds means that we must also forget but never does it say that in the Bible when we are to forgive. I guess forgetting might grow softer in the years that follow or it may never go away, but forgiveness is something that offers a degree of freedom we might never experience unless we give it. It isn't so much to allow someone off the hook for something that they have done, but it merely says in a way, I'm not going to hold on to this any longer, I am letting go of carrying around this burden anymore. In the novel Keeper of the Stars, the third book in the Kings Meadow Series, forgiveness is the theme that surrounds Penny Cartwright, who refuses to forgive Trevor Reynolds for the role he may have played in her brother's death. At least in her mind it is his fault. Had her younger brother Brad, not been hired as a drummer in Reynold's band, he might very well still be alive today. Even though Trevor was involved in the very same accident, Penny refuses to offer him anything in the way of listening to his side of things or even why he has suddenly appeared at their family's ranch to offer his help. She wants nothing to do with him, even if every single girl in town can't help but notice Trevor's good looks and country boy charm. Penny can't seem to let go of all her sorrow, bitterness and sadness that is consuming her every single time she looks at Trevor. The only person he is initially able to break through to is her father, Rodney who could use the help around the ranch especially in light of his son's death and the fact that he isn't getting any younger. If there was only a way to reach Penny, and let her know how important it is to begin to move forward and that in the days and months ahead it will get easier just like it did when they buried his wife and her mother 12 years ago. Perhaps all she needs is time and for now, he is going to accept Trevor's offer of help and hopes that during the time they spend together things may get easier. Trevor didn't cause the accident and that is something that Penny will have to contend with. . I received Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. I love that forgiveness is the central theme of this novel because of the vital importance it plays in the life of people every day who feel a sense of entitlement of holding onto grudges like that punishes the offender somehow, but in the end all it does it hurt the one holding on to it by relieving the circumstance over and over again. It also vital why the Bible says we must forgive, because we never know if we will ever see someone again because tomorrow's are never guaranteed and once that time is gone, we can never say we are sorry. That is a regret that is too hard to carry around with us. There is a great discussion guide included at the conclusion of this novel and in my opinion, this one was well worth every single 5 out of 5 stars.
Keeper of the Stars is a great novel for those who love contemporary stories of love that point to the greatest Love of all.
I really wanted to love this book, and I do love the setting and the backdrop of the story, but the characters never really grabbed me. They didn't make me want to care. Maybe it is the seasonal blahs, but I just didn't get into the story at all. I struggled through the book, and while the setting is lovely, it is not a favorite from this author. But it is not a deal breaker either, I will read her next book, I am sure. I just wasn't over the moon on this one, which always makes me feel bad, because I want to love every book I choose to read. Overall I have to give the story 3.5 stars. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
I have really liked the King’s Meadow Romance series and am sad to see it end. Keeper of the Stars is a great addition to the series, yet can stand alone, as well, for those who have not read the other titles. One portion of the book that I ended up really liking was something that I originally wasn’t sure about. Every few chapters, the reader gets to see a little glimpse back in time from Brad’s perspective. Brad was Penny’s brother who had recently passed away. I thought that reading these segments might make me very sad, however, the opposite was true. The flashbacks were from different points in time in Brad’s life and served to help me feel that I really “knew” Brad, both the boy he had been and the young man he became. I ended up loving this method of connecting me with this character! Speaking of loving and connecting…I really did connect with the two main characters, Penny and Trevor. I felt so sorry for Penny and how hard life had become for her because of her grief. She harbored such anger, not only toward Trevor, but also toward her deceased brother, and even toward God. It was very powerful to see her move beyond that anger. And Trevor was a great character. I liked him right from the start and admired his patience and understanding toward Penny. I loved the way he fit right in to the family and the way he connected with Penny’s dad. It was very moving to learn about the kind of upbringing he’d had and to find out how much of a spiritual impact Brad had had on Trevor’s life. This story was packed with interesting characters and situations and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through Litfuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review.
Keeper of the Stars is the third book in Robin Lee Hatcher’s Kings Meadow Romance series, coming after Love Without End and Whenever You Come Around. I really enjoyed the first book and absolutely loved the second, so I couldn’t wait to finally get the chance to read this one. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed in the least. This novel was completely and utterly wonderful, and I am so, so glad I got to read it. Robin did a fabulous job of weaving this story together; I honestly couldn’t imagine it being any more perfect than it was. Keeper of the Stars is the perfect conclusion to this series. Penny Cartwright is by far one of my favorite heroines. I know that I say that all the time, but I really mean it now. She goes through so much—between the death of her mother when she was young and then the death of her brother not even fifteen years later—and while that does affect her in a huge way, she is still a strong woman. It may not look like it all the time, but she is. She works so hard, too hard really, to help her father and make his life easier, while juggling her own job and the pain and anger she feels, and that just says so much about her character. And I absolutely love her and Trevor together, even in the early stages when she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Actually, I think those are some of my favorite moments. Besides the last few chapters though. Trevor is just as sweet as can be! Yes, he has his own issues to get through, but he is such a kind and caring man and makes for the perfect hero for this story. He also works so hard to help make Penny’s father’s life easier, and it is so wonderful to see how hard he tries to keep his promise to Brad, even though he has no idea why he made it. And you’ve got to love a good musician; don’t they make for some of the most swoon-worthy characters? Anyway, Trevor is definitely one of my favorite heroes of all-time, and he is a huge reason I love this novel as much as I do. All in all, I cannot sing Robin’s praises loudly enough when it comes to this book. It is perfection, every single page of it, and I am absolutely positive I will be reading it again. I cannot imagine giving it anything other than all five bookshelves, and it had a place on my all-time favorites list before I had even finished half of it. This novel really is the perfect story of forgiveness, second chances, and love unlike anything that ever could be imagined, and that is why I’m telling you to go read it. Right now. I promise you won’t regret it. I received a copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Keeper of the Stars incorporates some unique elements that really made this book stand out for me. For starters, Penny’s brother Brad remains an extremely compelling secondary character, despite the fact that he’s… well… dead. Robin Lee Hatcher wove his perspective into the story through the use of flashbacks that give the reader such poignant insight into his relationships with Penny, Trevor, and God. Glimpses into emails exchanged with his father Robert added depth to their relationship as well. Perhaps the most powerful flashback is our picture into Brad’s final day and the prayer on his heart. But what touched me most deeply were the scenes between brother and sister – their close friendship evident even from young ages. It reminded me of my relationship with my own brother and enabled me to see Penny’s grief in a more empathetic way than I might otherwise have done. Another thing I loved about Keeper of the Stars is the mentoring that takes place between Robert and Trevor. So often in Christian fiction, we see male leads of either solid, mature faith or brand-new faith. Both of those are great, of course! But we rarely see the growth process. I can think of a couple of other examples (Varina Denman’s Justified, Victoria Bylin’s Until I Found You) but it’s rare. Here, we are able to watch Trevor as he navigates the newness, with Robert building off what Brad started – which I find to be just the sweetest thing ever. THE FEELS! Finally, the romance is a slow build. Another rarity in romantic fiction in general, but one I found refreshing. (Don’t get me wrong … I do adore the intensity of “instant attraction” but occasionally I like the change of pace.) One could argue that it had been going on since even before they met, albeit one-sided. And that just added to the melt-into-a-happy-little-puddle factor for me. Bottom Line: This final book in Robin Lee Hatcher’s Kings Meadow Romance series is a beautifully composed harmony of forgiveness, faith, and falling in love. With elements to the story that you don’t see in every other book, Keeper of the Stars provides a unique read that still leaves you wrapped in a comforting cloak of familiarity. If we must say goodbye to Kings Meadow, Trevor and Penny’s story – and Brad’s too, in a way – is the perfect farewell. (I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
Keeper of the Stars is the third book in the series A Kings Meadow Romance by Robin Lee Hatcher. I have not read any of the other books in this series and as I found out, you do not have to have read the other books before reading Keeper of the Stars. There is no confusion of the characters or storyline. When I started reading Keeper of the Stars, I anticipated it to be your typical romance novel and while it didn’t have any great surprises, it was very enjoyable to read. I found myself sympathizing with both Penny and Trevor in how they were dealing with the loss of a brother and a friend. I like how the author had “flashbacks” from the brother’s perspective that filled in details of why Brad was with Trevor when he died and also why he wanted Trevor to go to Kings Meadow. Even though the book is fiction, there is nothing fictional about the way Robin Lee Hatcher writes about the forgiveness of God. It is woven through each chapter of this book. True forgiveness only comes from God and can only be extended to others through the help of God. The author makes this very clear in her writings and I enjoyed that aspect as much as the actual story and characters. “Keeper of the Stars” is a keeper! (rev. P.Howard) A complimentary copy was provided by the publicist to facisilitate this review.
What a beautiful story of grief and healing. The characters in this novel react to the loss of one amazing young man in vastly different ways, yet all are impacted by not only his life but the lives he touched. The story is told from multiple perspectives- Trevor, Penny, her father, and flashbacks from the life of her brother. The author skillfully weaved them all together in a way that shows the journey of each and the ties that bind their relationships together. Penny's anger and sorrow is realistically portrayed, as well as the process of letting go. Trevor is not exactly sure why he feels prompted to continue to help the family, but his spiritual growth quickly becomes the reason he stays. While Penny and Trevor eventually form a friendship, once it turns to romance I thought things moved rather quickly in order to wrap up the ending. Themes of regret, forgiveness, community, and searching for purpose bring depth to the struggles of a grieving family. (Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Keeper of the Stars, by: Robin Lee Hatcher Keeper of the Stars is the third and final book in A King’s Meadow Romance series.There is so much happening in this story there is never a dull moment. I so love the strong faith that is in this story. This is a book that deals with forgiveness, letting go of your anger and hate and moving forward with one’s life. I love these characters in this story they grab hold of you and don’t let go of you. Be sure to order your copy of Keeper of the Stars today. 5 stars!
Keeper of the Stars is the final book in Robin Lee Hatcher's latest series, A Kings Meadow Romance. Penny Cartwright is having a hard time finding a reason to keep living after her younger brother, Brad, not yet twenty-three, unexpectedly dies in a car accident. When Trevor Reynolds, one of Brad's band mates, shows up at the funeral, she cannot bring herself to actually shake his hand; instead, she plants a hard slap across his face! When Trevor shows up at the Cartwright ranch two months later, Penny is not a bit more inclined to accept his presence there. Trevor Reynolds had traveled to Kings Meadow from his home in Nashville merely to fulfill the promise he made to a dying Brad Cartwright. The only thing you do not know is whether God will work through Trevor to minister to Brad's family or if Trevor will be on the receiving end of God's grace and healing! It was fun to see many of the characters from the previous books in this series on the pages of this final book. Wait and see how God brings healing to both Penny and Trevor by the final pages of the tale! I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my unbiased review http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/
This was a fun, snowy romance with strong themes of faith, forgiveness and healing. It is no secret that I love romance stories where the characters start off hating each other. It makes the transition to love so much more enjoyable. It is also no secret that I love Robin Lee Hatcher's Kings Meadow series. Love the setting, the country charm, and the inclusion of touching storylines, faith and romance. From the very first chapter, the prologue in fact, it's clear how much Penny hates Trevor (I have to admit I had a bit of a 'you go girl!' moment when she so adequately displays this). She's not afraid to voice or show her displeasure. And when Trevor shows up in town, seems to be settling in for a while and starts ingratiating himself with her dad, she can't help felling a little put out. But Trevor's presence in their lives grows on Penny, especially when he is willing to help her ailing father with the ranch chores. And she can't deny he is rather handsome. And kind. And generous. And has a great singing voice. Okay, so he's not all bad. But she's determined to hold onto her anger. As a result, the romance doesn't develop until much later in the story, the last quarter or so. The focus of the book is really on the healing passage of love and forgiveness. Faith plays a wonderful part in this book, as it often does in Robin Lee Hatcher's books. Trevor is just starting to get serious about his faith journey, coming from a past of chasing stardom, money and success. Penny is a long-term Christian who is struggling with God over her brother's death and anger to all involved. They have some pretty big issues to work through, which they do with the help of Penny's father and Brad. I would have liked to see Penny and Trevor work through these issues together, though, along with Trevor's past. I think this would have given their relationship more depth, in addition to the light romance scenes of horseback riding in the snow and dinner dates. Spread throughout the story are sections about Brad. They act a little like diary entires, giving the reader a glimps into his childhood, thoughts and relationship with Penny, his father and Trevor. It helps to make Brad a real part of the story and reaffirms the grief and loss the other characters feel at his passing. I enjoyed returning to Kings Meadow. It was fun to see it in the snowy months of Christmastime. Fans of the Kings Meadow series will recognise some familiar faces, though they don't play a huge role in the story. For those who are confused about the series' structure (I was until Robin clarified it for me), there are three books in the Kings Meadow series, this being the third. They can all be read as standalones, but they have a few character crossovers. Then there is the Kings Meadow Setting series. These books and novellas are still set in Kings Meadow and have a few character crossovers, but aren't officially a part of the series. You can find more information about the correct series order on Robin's website. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved going back to visit King’s Meadow. Keeper of the Stars is book three in the King’s Meadow Romance series. I have read the first two books, but don’t feel that you need to in order to enjoy Keeper of the Stars. Robin Lee Hatcher is great at making interesting and relatable characters. This story was different because you got to see some of life from the perspective of Brad, who is Penny’s brother that passed away. Penny has had enough loss in her life, and can’t seem to be happy since losing her brother. Brad was killed in a car accident, and Penny blames Trevor. Brad was following his dream of being a drummer and Penny feels that it is the reason he died. Penny and Brad always had a close relationship, and now she is left alone with just her father for company. She has a hard time accepting help from anyone, and really wants to resist it when it comes in the form of Trevor. Trevor always dreamed of being a famous country singer. Losing his drummer and friend in a car accident wasn’t part of his plans. A promise to Brad takes Trevor to King’s Meadow and right into Penny’s life. Brad had always talked about his faith, but never forced it on anyone. That alone drew Trevor to learn more about God and what His plans might be for Trevor’s life. Feeling thankful for the break he wants to help Brad’s family in any way he can. Can Penny see Trevor for who he really is? Or will her blame keep her from the best future possible? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance. Hatcher kept my interest the whole time. I couldn’t wait to see how the characters paths crossed, and if Penny could forgive Trevor and see who he really is. Who doesn’t love a country singer as the hunky man of the story? I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is a awesome story about heartache and redemption. It's about letting go of hurt to find a better and happier life, with God's help.