Molly Hatfield comes to Arizona Territory seeking stability and security. But living in Cactus Patch provides her with more than she ever dreamed of.
There is nothing Molly wouldn’t do for her teenaged brother, Donny. Blaming herself for the accident that left him wheel-chair bound, Molly has dedicated her life to his care. But in 1896, gainful employment for a woman is hard to come by. So when Molly learns that an eccentric rancher in Cactus Patch, Arizona, is looking for an heiresssomeone to take over management of the ranch in exchange for future ownershipshe jumps at the chance to provide a real home for her brother.
If she proves to have a knack for ranching and agrees to remain single for life, the ranch can be hers. Neither stipulation worries Molly. She’s resourceful and hardworking. And she gave up dreams of marriage long ago when she dedicated her life to her brother’s well-being.
However, Molly didn’t bank on meeting Dr. Caleb Fairbanks, the town’s handsome and charismatic young doctor. Caleb has a way with Molly that makes her nervous. But it’s how he is with her brother that really alarms her. Caleb sees past the wheelchair and genuinely likes Donny, but Molly fears he’s putting unrealistic ideas into her brother’s head. Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for, even her brother’s future happiness.
But it could be the very reason God brought her to Last Chance Ranch.
About the Author
New York Times best-selling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. Her books have won numerous awards, including Reader’s Choice.Though successful, Margaret decided to leave behind the secular publishing world to follow God’s will for her: to write inspirational fiction. Since then she has published the Rocky Creek series and A Lady Like Sarah was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist.Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband have three grown children and live in Southern California.
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Waiting for MorningA Brides of Last Chance Ranch Novel
By Margaret Brownley
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Margaret Brownley
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDobson Creek, Colorado April 1896
Something was wrong. Molly Hatfield felt it in her bones. She cast an anxious glance around Big Jim's Saloon. A couple of regulars were already passed out; others sat staring into amber drinks. It was one o'clock in the afternoon, a time when most men were at the mines.
On this cold April day, icy wind blew off the snow-covered peaks and the batwing doors squeaked in protest. Sawdust raced across the tobacco-stained floor, clinging to wooden chair legs and the soles of dusty boots.
Shaking away her uneasiness, Molly turned back to the burly owner standing behind the bar. If he detected anything out of the ordinary, he kept it to himself. He didn't even seem to notice the lace tucked in her bodice for modesty. He insisted his "girls" dress in costume at all times, including face paint, even when not working.
A stogie clamped between his yellow teeth, he squinted down his bulbous nose and counted out each pitiful coin as if doing her a favor.
Her lips puckered with irritation. What pleasure could he get from making her beg for her weekly wage? Or did he simply enjoy the power he held over his dance hall girls? The truth was Molly needed him more than he needed her.
"Please hurry." Why the sudden need for haste she didn't know, but she was anxious to get back to her fourteen-year-old wheelchair-bound brother. Not wanting to bring one so young to the saloon, she'd left him waiting in the lobby of the King Hotel, out of the cold. She'd done it before and he'd always been safe there. Still ...
Big Jim's bushy black eyebrows met in an upside-down V, but any effort to pick up speed was negligible.
From outside came the dreaded sound of pistol shots—six loud blasts in rapid succession, snapping through the air like an angry whip.
Molly sucked in her breath and Jim's head jerked back, hands frozen over the till. Six gunshots meant fire and fire meant trouble.
Thinking fast, she scooped the money from the bar without waiting for the full count and darted out of the saloon.
People screamed and raced by, practically knocking her over. While pocketing her precious coins she dropped one, but to dive for it would be sheer folly. She would be trampled to death.
"Fire, fire!" someone shouted as if the gunshots hadn't already sounded the alarm.
"Where's the fire?" she cried. Please, God, don't let it be the hotel. Not the hotel.
"The King!" someone yelled.
Heart pounding, Molly swam against the stream of people. Swallowing the metallic taste filling her mouth, she lashed out, "Let me through. Let me through!"
She plowed headlong into the oncoming crowd with wind-milling arms. She'd failed to save her brother once but—please, God—not this time. Don't let me fail him this time.
Horses whinnied and pulled at traces. Dogs barked. A steer barreled down the street followed by several frenzied goats. A man shoved bills into the hands of a wagon owner and signaled for several children to pile inside.
Billows of dark smoke loomed over the red light district, turning gray skies almost black. Pushed by biting, raw winds, the fire quickly leaped jackrabbit-style along Benson Avenue with a fierce roar, gobbling up the wood-framed buildings that made up the heart of town. The clanging of bells and pounding of horses' hooves signaled the arrival of the shiny new fire engine, the mayor's pride and joy. Several men dragged an old pumper up the street, its heavy iron wheels skidding on the icy road.
Mine whistles shrieked in the distance and already miners poured into the street with buckets and shovels.
"Let me through," Molly cried. Smoke burned her eyes. Her vision blurred. "My brother is at the hotel. Will somebody please help?"
"Good luck, lady," a man yelled out.
A drunk stood in the doorway of the drugstore laughing his fool head off.
The closer she got to the hotel, the thicker the smoke. Molly pulled a handkerchief from her sleeve and covered her mouth. A man dressed in a canvas coat waved her back with a stick of dynamite.
"Ya better run, lassie."
Already, the dynamiters were getting ready to blow up houses and businesses around the hotel in an attempt to stop the fire.
Her way blocked by vehicles, Molly nearly panicked until the pumper truck moved just enough to let her squeeze by. Crunching her skirt in sweaty palms, she darted past the dynamiter. A wagon shot out of an alley in front of her and she leaped aside. It missed her by an inch, splashing her blue taffeta skirt with mud.
Farther down the road a large pox-scarred man stopped her. "If you don't plan on meetin' your Maker today, you better get a move on, ma'am."
Mr. Wright, the owner of the hardware store, fired a shotgun into the air. "You're not blowing up my place," he yelled, seemingly oblivious to the flames already devouring the roof of his establishment.
While the two men argued, Molly dodged around them. Fire equipment blocked the street in front of the hotel. Flames shot from second-floor windows and long, fiery tongues licked the sky.
Icy fingers of fear gripped her but she pressed on, dodging falling timbers and bright sparks. A fireman with a blackened face squirted a thin stream of water onto the burning building. A stream of spit would have been more useful.
A dynamite blast from across the street sent a faro table crashing to the ground mere inches away, splintering into pieces.
She grabbed the fireman's arm with trembling hands. "My brother! Have you seen him?" She shouted to be heard above the explosions, screams, and roar of angry flames. "He's in a wheelchair."
"Sorry, ma'am. Ain't seen no wheelchair."
"Please, he may still be in there," she cried.
The fireman shook his head. "I've got me a wife and seven kids. I ain't goin' in there. The roof's about to cave in."
She spun around and stopped Mr. and Mrs. Merrick, who were pulling a wooden trunk. The man was one of Big Jim's regulars, his wife a staunch church member. "Help me—my brother is in that building."
The woman shoved Molly away from her husband, a spiteful look on her face. "Get out of the way, you harlot."
Molly stumbled back to catch her footing. Staring at the flames in horror, she screamed, "No, no, no!" Something welled up inside, something bigger, stronger, and more urgent than fear. He can't die. He mustn't die. She wouldn't let him die.
Shooting past the startled fireman, she ran so fast she hardly knew what she was doing.
"Hey, you can't go in there!" he shouted.
She dashed beneath the overhang and darted through the door of the hotel. The ceiling and walls were ablaze, the smoke so thick it blinded her. Dropping on hands and knees, she held her head close to the floor. Throat closed in protest, she gasped for air, eyes burning.
The roar of the fire and crackling wood drowned out her voice and she yelled again and again. Where had she left him? Think. The fireplace.
She reached the stairs. She'd gone too far. Panicked, she spun around on all fours.
Where was it? Where was the fireplace? She scrambled around the floor spider-like until spotting the wheels of her brother's chair. "Donny!"
A massive wooden beam plunged from the ceiling, missing the wheelchair by inches. Sparks flew onto her skirt. She brushed them off and scooted forward, mindless of the hot embers beneath her palms. Above the roar of flames came the explosive sound of dynamite.
"I'm here!" she gasped.
Her brother was slumped over, head on his chest. Scrambling to her feet, she grabbed the push handle and steered the wheelchair blindly through the smoke-filled inferno. It was by sheer determination that she found the door. She exited the hotel, coughing. They barely made it out in time before a thunderous roar announced the collapse of the second floor.
She barreled forward. The wheels wobbled, the chair shook. It was like pushing a mule uphill, but she didn't dare pause until they were a safe distance from the burning buildings. Forced to catch her breath, she sank to her knees in front of her brother and grabbed his hands.
"Donny," she rasped. She stroked his ash-covered face, her blistered hands leaving a trail of blood.
He looked at her with watery eyes. "I ... I was so scared."
"You're safe now," she managed, her voice ragged.
"I didn't think you'd come—" He coughed so hard she feared he would hack up his insides. "I thought—"
She grabbed the canteen from his chair and forced water down his throat. "I'm here now. It would take a whole lot more than a fire to keep me away." A blast of dynamite made her jump to her feet.
"You're gonna have to move, ma'am," a fireman shouted.
"We're going, we're going." She pushed the chair a few inches when the front wheel sank into the mud. Grunting, she yanked at the chair, muscles straining, but it wouldn't budge.
Wiping sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand, she picked up a smoking timber, stuck the heated end in the mud, and shoved it under the front wheel. She gave it a mighty shove and the wheel broke free.
Dodging wagons, fire equipment, frantic horses, people, and dogs, she kept going until at last they reached their canvas home, one of dozens that dotted the area outside of town where most of the miners lived. She filled a glass from the bucket of well water and handed it to her brother, then poured a glass for herself.
A cracked marble-top washstand, two cots, and a table and chairs were pushed to the side to make a space for walking. A cook-stove filled a corner. Their prized possession was the spinet piano carted around Cape Horn by their mother all the way from Ireland. A tightly strung rope served a dual purpose, providing a place to hang clothes and a small measure of privacy.
The tent was patched and the canvas badly stained, but unlike the expensive homes on Strathern Avenue, their humble dwelling remained intact. At least for now. But if the wind changed ...
No, no, mustn't think about what might happen or could happen. Donny was safe. That's all that mattered, though she feared for his lungs.
Dynamite blasts in the distance kept her on edge but she tried not to show it.
Donny wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "They're g-g-getting closer."
"It just sounds that way," she said, hoping he didn't notice her shaking hands. No sense them both worrying. "Let's get you cleaned up."
It was just the two of them. Their papa had died three years earlier from miner's consumption, but never before had she felt as alone as she did at that moment. Even God seemed a distance away, though she prayed.
Trembling, she stoked up the fire in the oven with more vigor than it required and put water on to boil. Donny's chest rose and fell with each wheezing breath and she hoped the steam would help him.
She reached for his medicine. Careful to pour only three drops on a handkerchief, she held it to his nose. Within seconds his breathing improved. She covered him with a blanket and wrapped her blistered hands in a wet cloth.
If Donny so much as suspected how very close she was to panicking, it would frighten him even more and make his asthma worse. For him, she had to be brave.
She shivered. It was cold—so cold—and the flapping of the canvas walls indicated a worrisome wind change.
The thunderous sound of hooves followed by shouts made her mouth go dry. She ripped open the canvas flap and froze; a wall of orange flames was heading straight for the tent they called home.
Chapter TwoArizona Territory—three weeks later
Never could Molly imagine a more sorrowful excuse for a horse. No amount of whip cracking made the swayback dapple go one whit faster. Patience spent, she swiped a wayward strand of hair from her face.
"He walks like he's wearing hobbles," she muttered.
Her brother sat on the wagon seat next to her in stony-faced silence. No surprises there. Donny had hardly spoken a word since they'd left Colorado. Punishing her, no doubt, for dragging him to this godforsaken desert. Well, she had news for him; she didn't want to be here either.
Certainly she didn't want to be on this lonely dirt road fighting with a belly-dragging horse in eighty-degree heat. But with Dobson Creek in ashes, it wasn't like she had a lot of choices.
Her brother depended on her to be strong and she hadn't let him down. She had done such a good job of convincing Donny that things would work out, he didn't know how scared she had been. How scared she still was.
She wasn't about to let a dumb-fool horse get the best of her now. "Gid-up!"
The weathered old buckboard lumbered along, creaking and groaning as if each turn of the wheel would be its last. At that rate it would take a month of Sundays before they reached the Last Chance Ranch—if there was such a thing. There better be because it certainly was her last chance.
She was tired and hot and hungry and probably lost. Definitely lost. "Do you see anything?" she asked with considerably less hope than when she'd last asked the question. "A ranch or sign?" Anything but cacti, sand, endless blue skies, and the tail end of a stubborn mule-horse. Nothing seemed to move, not even the occasional lizard sunbathing on a rock.
She shot a glance at her brother's rigid profile showing beneath the stiff brim of his flat cap. They shared similar raven hair, upturned noses, and emerald-green eyes—all inherited from their Dublin-born mama. Donny's stubborn expression was entirely his own.
"I hope your disposition improves before we reach the ranch. No one's going to hire me if you're rude or unpleasant."
God knew she needed the work, if you could call what Miss Walker offered a job. Heiress to a cattle ranch? She still couldn't get over the absurdity of it or the desperation that brought her here.
Even if the strange offer was legitimate, what chance did she have of proving to the owner she was capable of learning the cattle business? Especially with a wheelchair-bound brother in tow, a boy with weak lungs to boot. Why, oh why, hadn't she been more forthright in her telegram and told the ranch owner that she had an invalid brother? It wasn't her intention to be secretive, but experience had taught her to tread with care.
Her anxiety increased with every cactus they passed. The desert might be good for bad lungs, but it didn't look good for anything else.
The livery stable owner had said to follow the road. So where was the ranch? Where, for that matter, was anything?
"Whoa." The horse went from barely moving to completely stopped. She reached for her canteen and offered it to her brother. "Here. Be careful. That's all the water we have left."
He took the canteen without so much as a glance her way. After a quick swallow, he handed it back, wiping his lips with his shirtsleeve.
She took a sip before recapping the top, a drop of precious water falling upon her purple frock—one of the few she'd been able to save before escaping the fire. The heat and dust had taken their toll, but there was little she could do about it. She straightened her leg o'mutton sleeves and checked the hatpin holding her fancy plumed hat that matched her dress. She debated the wisdom of applying more complexion powder to her heated face and decided against it, though she couldn't resist dabbing more rouge onto her parched lips.
The smell of smoke seemed to cling to her body and no amount of scrubbing had dissipated the acrid stench. She sprayed toilet water behind her ear—a temporary solution at best. The stench of burning wood and even burning flesh would soon come back to haunt her.
A strange rumbling in the distance broke the silence. She dropped her mirror into her drawstring purse and glanced around. "What is that odd noise?"
Her brother shifted the best he could in his seat and looked over his shoulder. "Sounds like a mining trolley."
"There are no mines out here." In the mountains maybe, but certainly not in this flat, barren land.
The noise grew louder, followed by a loud blast. Startled, Molly ducked. "Quick. Put your head down. Someone's shooting at us!"
She reached behind the seat for the double barrel shotgun and haversack and slid down to the floorboards. Her brother, unable to move his legs, slid his torso sideways until his head was hidden by the back of the seat.
"They want to rob us," he said, his eyes wide. "Arizona is full of highwaymen. Horrible men who rob you and leave you in the desert to die. I read about them."
"Now's a fine time to tell me." Dropping to her knees, she slid two cartridges into the weapon. "Stay down—and pray!"
Her father's shotgun was the only thing of his she'd been able to save from the fire. Fortunately, he'd taught her how to use it. The air exploded with more gunfire and she hunkered even lower. Pushing the barrel of her weapon along the top of the seat, she took aim, the long plume of her hat bobbing up and down.
Excerpted from Waiting for Morning by Margaret Brownley Copyright © 2012 by Margaret Brownley. 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
I have to be honest, it took me a lot to get into this book. And then even more to finish it. The quality of the writing was good, but the story in general seemed unbelievable at times. I didn't particularly like the heroine, or the basis of the plot. I don't like giving unflattering reviews, but this one just didn't get me where I needed it to. I was given a paperback copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really great book. I had not read the first so I did not know what to expect but I am glad that I read it anyway. Brownley did a great job of making all the characters' struggles real for me. The brother in the wheelchair, the sister who feels responsible, the doctor trying to make their lives better. I did not feel like the characters were exaggerating how they felt or living caricature lives like in so many other novels I have read. The animals, Orbit and Magic, were really cute and add comic relief to otherwise serious scenes. They also offer the characters therapy. I am nor so sure what to make about Last Chance Ranch, though the name is appropriate. The offer to become heiress seems like a bad one for anyone to except, I know I wouldn't. Still, it does offer a believed last chance.
Molly Hatfield wears bright colors and blinding patterns, she has a dazzling smile and wears makeup every day. Everything about her seems loud and reckless. But her personality seems to be anything but. Molly blames herself for the accident that left her brother permanently in a wheelchair. As orphan siblings, they are fighting to survive, and Molly does everything she can do to draw attention away from Donny's handicap. After a fire destroys everything they own, Molly leaves her less than perfect job and moves herself and Donny to Cactus Patch, Arizona. There she takes a job from a rather eccentric ranch owner who is evaluating young ladies to be her heiress and the new owner of the ranch. One of the stipulations? You can never marry. Molly begins to prove herself on the ranch, slowly winning the respect of those around her. Including the town doctor, Caleb Fairbanks. As Caleb begins to look after Molly, he meets Donny. Caleb thinks he can open new doors for Donny. If only Donny's fear and Molly's stubbornness didn't stand in the way, Donny could stand a chance to walk again. In the battle of frightened and lonely hearts, who will help Donny the most? And who can set Molly free to just be herself? My Thoughts? This book had a lot of neat ideas and themes. Molly's care for her brother is sweet and heartwarming. However, the overall writing was weak and not what I prefer. And Molly's former job was a little shady. Only 3 out of 5. Score ~ ¿¿¿ Violence ~ 2 Indecency ~ 3 Language ~ 0 Age ~ Women, Ages 17 and up
I had the pleasure of reviewing Waiting for Morning which I received from the Booksneeze program. Waiting for Morning by Margaret Brownley is the second in her The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. In spite of this I did not feel that I had missed out on any back story by not reading the first book. There is nothing Molly would not do for her teen brother, Donny. Since an accident left him wheelchair bound Molly has blamed herself and dedicated her life to caring for him. Looking for a secure home and income for the both of them, Molly travels to Cactus Patch, Arizona to become an heiress to an eccentric rancher. At first Molly thinks it will be easy to live by the rancher’s request to never marry. But Molly did not count on Dr. Caleb Fairbanks. Waiting for Morning was well written and an enjoyable, easy read. If you are looking for a book that is entertaining while taking you on a journey through one woman’s insecurities then you have found it. This book explores how it really feels to let go and let God direct the paths of your life. Sometimes His path takes you where you least expect it. Will Molly let go and learn to trust where she feels God leading? You’ll just have to read it to find out
People IF you want to write a book, do so, but please don't ruin the books by being a plot spoiler. Long detailed reviews are not wanted. If you get your book for free can't that be enough for you!
I enjoyed reading the book but an not certain if some of the things mentioned in the book are accurate for the time period this was written. At times it seemed to this reader these things were after the time period. Regardless, it is a book about a young woman dedicated to taking care of her brother who can not walk. She willingly makes sacrifices to provide for both of them as they have no one else.
This was a very predictable story, but was an enjoyable read.
Had a few twists and turns in it that were not expected. Just ended a little short.
300 pages. I have read better and worse. This is a western romance. The problem I have with romances is they are so predictable. This one is just more of the same. The hero is the first man the heroine meets. There are a couple of new twists added to the tired old romance formula mix. One is a brother, the other, a chance to become the owner of ranch if she remains unmarried. Nothing major, but still a whiff of fresh air. Well edited. Very clean. No adult themes or langauge, some religion, again nothing overboard. Chick lit, western. AD
Love the book, can't wait to read the next
Excellent Writer, love all her books.
Too many plot spoilers here revesling too much aboit the story line then bragging how they got their book for free. Well the rest of us has to pay for our book and you ruin it when you tell the entire story. Please stop with the excesdive reviews. Just state if you liked it or not. We do not need the readers digest condensed version.
I enjoyed it more than the first book but you must read it first Eleanor Walker is still looking for an heiress for Last Chance Ranch, the last one, Kate Tenney, will soon be married to Luke Adams the local blacksmith. When Molly Hatfield answers her newest ad, Eleanor hopes she has finally gotten her heiress but has some doubts since so many have already failed. When Molly shows up in her bright dance hall dress and not alone her doubts increase significantly. When Miss Walker tells Molly to move on because she doesn't think she can dedicate her life to the ranch while to caring for her handicapped brother, Molly stands up to Miss Walker. So instead of returning to town it is agreed that she will have four months to prove herself. Last Chance Ranch has had so many women try to become heiress to Miss Walker, Molly is the eighth or maybe the ninth, she has lost count and is getting weary of this but she will not give up and continues to keep the stipulation that the 'new' heiress never marry. I found this book more enjoyable than the first one. Molly has a lot more on her plate to overcome and is a quick learner, she also blames herself for something in her past and can't seem to get past that. How often do we do that in our lives and instead of talking about it we keep it hidden in our heart? When we do that it just festers and becomes bigger than life and holds us back from doing so many things we are capable of. Also, I enjoyed learning about the story behind the song "Swing High, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". I may have heard it sometime in my life but I've forgotten and I always liked that song. This is a series that you will want to read in order and yes I will recommend this series for some good reading material.
Waiting for Morning is the 2nd book in The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. I had not read the 1st book in the series, but was able to read and enjoy this book without having read it. However, after reading this book, I definetly will be checking out the other books in the series. I have long been a fan of Christian fiction. One of my favorite authors of Christian fiction has not come out with anything new in the past 2 years. I am thankful to have found a new series and to have found a new author to follow. Margaret Brownley is a gifted writer. She wove Christian themes throughout a well crafted story. I enjoyed reading about Molly - the main character and her disabled brother who has been left to her care. She leaves her home among difficult circumstances and ends up working on a ranch.The story takes place in 1896. It’s a time when women could not easily find employment. For Molly, she has no other choice considering the need to support herself and her brother. Molly must face learning to trust others and allow them to love her – something she never dreamed possible. If you are looking for an easy read with wonderful themes, great characters and an enjoyable story, you won’t be disappointed in Waiting for Morning. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. 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.
Morningkit streched and yawned, not wanting to get up. Her sister Risingkit nuged her and said, "Come on! I don't want to miss the sunrise!" The kits loved the morning. They were only two moons. After watching the sunrise, they played with a mossball, qiuetly, so they wouldn't wake their mom yet. If they did, she would call them in. Risingkit had the ball most of the time, so Morningkit got tired of the game. "Lets play Clans!" She exclaimed. Her sister purred with excitment. "Oooh, yes!" "I am Firestar!" Morningkit cried. "And I am.... Windstar!" Risingkit proclaimed. "Aww. Ok." Morningkit purred. "Battle!" Just then, "Risingkit, Morningkit! Time to eat!" Morningkit sighed as an apprintence passed her. How she wished to be one! She trotted in and fininshed breakfast before she heard it: the gathering call.
Thankyou Margaret Brownley for bringing back Caleb and giving him his own story. I really enjoyed reading about Molly and Donny and even little Jimmy with the mysterioud lead illness. I really hope someday you will give Donny especially his own hapily ever after
I love Caleb and Molly's story. I love their characters. I loved getting to know them. Mrs. Brownley does an excellent job of hashing out these characters. We can tell from the beginning that Caleb is going to be a fantastic male hero. He is smart, funny, compassionate, charming and stubborn as always. Molly, in my opinion, is awesome. She is a great older sister. She has a fierce love for her brother and will do anything for him. She is self-assured (most of the time), determined, and proud. Donny brings the story together. Miss Walker is still a conundrum to me. She acts all tough, but inside she's going soft. I love her character and can't wait to see her develop more. The story is much the same as the first book in the series. However, Caleb and Molly's story has Donny. Donny adds a depth to the story and an interesting one at that. Molly is determined to be the perfect heiress. Caleb is determined to change the world as a doctor, and struggles with "failure" just like all doctors do. Donny struggles to come to grips with his paralysis and learning that he's not helpless. He works to come to grips with the fact that he is growing up. The romance between Molly and Caleb is natural and very well developed. I love the fact that Molly, despite her former job, still believed in God. Oh she didn't like going to church because of what had happened in her past, and she might not have put God first in everything, but she still believed and didn't "spurn" God because of it. That, to me, is a more natural reaction to averse things happening in a Christian's life than to completely disown God. However, people react differently, so someone else might have a different opinion. Caleb understands people. He has to. Being a doctor means reading people to tell if they are lying to you about their symptoms, etc. He quickly learns that Molly carries more than she needs to. The message is clear. Wait on the Lord, put Him first in everything. Overall, this story is an excellent addition to the series, and I highly recommend it!
Dance-hall girl Molly is completely committed to caring for her brother Donny, risking her life to save him, and enduring the taunts of others in order to earn money to buy his food. But everything’s falling apart and even their tent is destroyed in a fire. So Molly sets out for the wild wild west, to prove she can commit herself just as forcefully to becoming a rancher. Answering a very strange advertisement, she now has to prove she can care for ranch-hands, cows and horses and keep the books straight, all while continuing to provide for a brother who can’t even move his own wheelchair. Plus, she has to promise never to get married. But then the new, highly modern, local doctor steps into her life, with plans to help both brother and sister find their freedom. The dialog’s fun, and the period detail is nicely convincing, from a home-made car to safer cosmetics, to the falsehoods of ancient medicine slowly giving way to knowledge of the new. In one of my favorite scenes, the dance-hall girl tries to sing in church, changing words on the fly to avoid offense and causing general amusement. Prayer plays an important part in this story. Molly turns to prayer in need, but turns away from church, having been turned away herself for her “evil” profession. Faced now with people of faith and love, she gradually rediscovers what she’s lost, and learns to put God first. A love story, a convincing historical medical drama, and an intriguing exploration of what it takes to train, or tame, the human heart, Waiting for Morning, by Margaret Brownley, is fun, faithful and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Disclosure: I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book, and now I’m hooked!
Molly Hatfield no longer have parents to help with the care of her brother Donny. She has it in her head that it because of her negligence that her brother is in a wheelchair unable to anything for himself. She has to work as a saloon girl because for women of her status there is very little in ways of jobs. Dancing and singing is as far as it goes, she is a good girl. She has had several offers at marriage but as soon as the man realizes that her brother is part of the package they are never to be heard from again. Molly finds out about advertisement for an female heir to a cattle ranch in Cactus Patch, Arizona. The woman that owns the ranch must be desperate to want to find an heir that will agree to never marry. Molly doesn't care what the reason is, she looks at this as a way to provide for herself and her brother and to become the owner of the ranch. The name of the ranch gives her hope, The Last Chance Ranch. Dr. Caleb Fairbanks keeps crossing paths with the high spirited yet beautiful Molly Hatfield. She has a big chip on her shoulder and he just might be the one to remove that chip. The Doctor and her brother seem to enjoy each others company. Caleb thinks he can help her brother, not to walk, but to be able to care for himself taking his life back into his hands and not having to depend on his sister to do everything for him. Caleb tries to show both of them that God can heal their souls even though it appears Donny will never walk. The author has created some sassy, cantankerous characters. Molly headstrong and determined, Donny somewhat spoiled in getting his way with his sister and tries to with Caleb. Let us not forget Eleanor Walker, the owner of the ranch, she could not have run the ranch all those years any better than if she had been born a man. No one knows that better than her beau who proposes to her at least once a year, just to be turned down. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my honest opinion.
Margaret Brownley, in her new book, “Waiting for Morning book coverWaiting for Morning” Book Two in her The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch series published by Thomas Nelson takes us to the Arizona Territory in 1896 and into the life of Molly Hatfield. From the back cover: Molly Hatfield comes to Arizona Territory seeking stability and security. But living in Cactus Patch provides her with more than she ever dreamed. There is nothing Molly wouldn’t do for her teenaged brother, Donny. Blaming herself for the accident that left him wheelchair bound, Molly has dedicated her life to his care. But in 1896, gainful employment for a woman is hard to come by. So when Molly learns that an eccentric rancher in Cactus Patch, Arizona, is looking for an heiress—someone to take over management of the ranch in exchange for future ownership—she jumps at the chance to provide a real home for her brother. However, Molly didn’t bank on meeting Dr. Caleb Fairbanks, the town’s charming unmarried doctor. Caleb has a way with Molly that makes her nervous. But it’s how he is with her brother that really alarms her. Caleb sees past the wheelchair and genuinely likes Donny, but Molly fears he’s putting unrealistic ideas into her brother’s head. Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for, even her brother’s future happiness. But it could be the very reason God brought her to Last Chance Ranch. No doubt about it I like Westerns. I grew up watching and reading a lot of them when I was younger and still watch and read them today. Margaret Brownley knows how to write a western. In her new book, “Waiting for Morning” Ms. Brownley gives us a working cattle ranch, a horseless carriage, a brother in a wheelchair and a doctor that thinks he can help him. On top of everything “Waiting for Morning” is an incredible romance that is full of charm and humor. It asks the question would you trade your future of being married for stability and security? All of this is set against a historical backdrop that is fascinating to read. Margaret Brownley has done it again. I am so looking forward to book three in this series. If you missed the interview for “A Lady Like Sarah”, a different series from Margaret Brownley, and would like to listen to it and/or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review. 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.”