Inspirational Historical Romance Novel
Romance. Heartbreak. Scandal. Secrets. Second Chances.
In 1902, Sarah McCall is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.
Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.
When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life. Will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?
BOOK CLUB MEMBERS will find 20+ questions included for discussion and reflection.
About the Author
Her work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.
A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.
Readers can find her at www.dawnkinzer.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Romance. Heartbreak. Scandal. Secrets. Second Chances. My rating is 4.5 stars Sarah had thought that Peter loved her with the marrying kind of love. Her Grandmother thought she was loving Sarah in the choices she made for her. Rebecca thought she loved Peter enough that she should have him. Peter had thought that he loved Lily. And Will… Sarah’s Smile is such a touching story. As I was reading about the pain Sarah experienced when Peter announced his engagement, my chest constricted and my heart ached. I found myself caring deeply for Sarah and cheering her on as she persevered through her trials. Sure, she made some bad decisions and some good decisions for the wrong reasons but that was part of what made me like her. Peter was quite interesting. He had a tender heart towards the Lord and desired to serve Him and not let anything get in the way of his ministry. Because of that determination and fear that he would repeat past mistakes, he made new mistakes and caused almost irreparable damage. Fortunately for us (and Peter!), God is able to repair what we cannot. Rebecca’s jealousy and the actions it prompted were such a great example of why perfect love is not jealous. Not only does it display a lack of trust, envy can drive people to do some terrible things. Like she did. And, nope, I’m not gonna tell you what it was. I happen to know that she is going to get her own book – the third of this series. I’m super excited to read the next two books to see what happens to convert her from the nemesis she is to heroine material. Read the full review of Sarah's Smile by Dawn Kinzer with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a free copy of this item. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Sarah's Smile (The Daughters of Riverton, #1) by Dawn Kinzer Riverton, WI 1902 Book starts out with Sarah and she's working in the store when she meets Peter's child. They had grown up and knew one another since the age of 8 and he left for college and met Lilly and married her. She had died and he decided to move back to town and stay with his sister with his child. He's now a pastor and Sarah's path crosses his often as she also leads groups in the religious learnings. We learn about Sarah's past and she feels she's living her parents past and looked down on over the years as her mother had left her for her grandmother to raise her. Lvve hearing the passages from the Bible and how they help to justify the decisions and outcome. She needs to overcome the hurt she's feeling and move on. Like how she wants to match the music at the service with his sermon. She has plans to follow other missionaries to Africa very soon... Like the connection Peter's sister Ellie have with Sarah and how he choose Rebecca the school teacher to tend to daily needs of his daughter. Like that Will is also interested in her besides the pastor and he doesn't want her to leave the area. What I do like are unpredictable scenes. Asking for forgiveness-what a great way to make friends. Easy to keep character straight as there are a handful of them. Like hearing of the everyday life and work they each do and their past-helps to understand why they have strong feelings towards different subjects. Love how he's able to talk to the blacksmith and hear how he works his problems out. Love also how Sarah helps others with money by sharing her plants at home. When her whole world falls apart she continues to listen to God for guidance. She has her faith still. What I like about his section is that it's similar to things that continue to happen today, being bullied and how they overcome it. Never saw this ending coming as it did. Discussion q&a at the end. Author bio included. Other works by the author are highlighted. I received this review copy by the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest opinion
Sarah's Smile is a wonderful novel! I enjoyed getting lost in the story and the characters felt real. There were times that I just didn't want to put it down. I'm halfway done with the second novel in this Daughter's of Riverton story. If you enjoyed Sarah's Smile you'll definitely enjoy Hope's Design as well. Beautifully written!
Sarah hasn't had much to smile about in her life. Her parents dropped her off at her grandparents' house when she was four. Her father was a gambler and swindled several of the local families, before he left town. The grandfather was the one who showed her his love, the grandmother treated her harshly, never giving her love, which she craved. Leaving Sarah to always feel like she has to make up for her father's mistakes. She has a close friend Rebecca, when they are young, in school-but Rebecca turns against Sarah as they grow up. Always saying things and doing things to make the other kids turn against her. Sarah's best friend in the whole world is Peter. They are inseparable as children. They do everything together. They love one another. Peter goes away to college and leaves Sarah behind, both promising to write letters. Peter's letters suddenly stop and its announced that he has married. Sarah is devastated. She wonders if they did indeed have true love, or just infatuation. Peter's wife dies, he brings his young daughter Mary back to town. He gets the job as preacher for Sarah's church, where they both went to church as children. Rebecca thinks that she is destined to become Peter's new wife, since she can't bear children and Peter already has a child. She starts inserting herself into their lives, Peter doesn't care for her romantically, just cares for her as a member of his flock. Sarah finds that she still has feelings for Peter. She tries very hard to ignore him and her feelings. He tries to reach out to her to at least rekindle the deep friendship that they had when they were younger. Mary adores Sarah, wanting to be with her at church and the social functions in town. Sarah and Peter finally talk and are working on their relationship, finding that they do still have true feelings for one another. Meanwhile, Rebecca is still butting into Peter's life and trying to cause Sarah grief. Meanwhile, William has fallen in love with Sarah and is trying to woo her into marrying him. Who will Sarah end up with? William or Peter?