Where the Fire Falls (Vintage National Parks Series #2)

Where the Fire Falls (Vintage National Parks Series #2)

by Karen Barnett


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Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas--a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735289567
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Series: Vintage National Parks Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 217,506
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Karen Barnett is an award-winning author who uses her experience as a former park ranger to transport fans to American's national parks through her novels. When not writing, she enjoys photography, hiking, and public speaking. She currently resides with her husband and two children in Oregon.

Ann M. Richardson was raised in the Midwest, where she was active in drama and singing. Her varied work experience has lent itself well to narration, as she's no stranger to the terminology used in wildlife management, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, education, and the automotive industry. A devoted volunteer for Learning Ally (formerly Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic), she has narrated numerous audiobooks in a wide variety of genres.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1.

July 2, 1929. Sacramento, California

Olivia Rutherford applied lip rouge the same way she painted—with bold, broad strokes. Anything to distract from the truth. She leaned toward the mirror in the gallery’s tiny powder room, admiring the cosmetic’s resemblance to the cadmium red she’d chosen for her latest painting. Girl with Scarlet Poppies was sure to be a success at tonight’s showing. She, on the other hand? Olivia placed a hand against her chest, her heartbeat obvious to the touch. The shingled bob, the expensive beaded dress, the black hair dye—she’d become her own canvas, and it demanded every penny she had. If tonight’s shindig flopped, she’d be hoofing it home on an empty stomach. Again.

Her art dealer, Frank Robinson, always insisted she attend. “Buyers like to meet the talent behind the artwork. Just act the part. We want them to think you’re modern and sophisticated, not some starving bohemian.”

She adjusted the feathered headband, the final piece of her carefree charade—such a contrast from her backwoods roots. When she’d changed her name, she’d left everything behind. Olivia Rudd died the moment she signed the paperwork at the county courthouse. If she played her cards right, Olivia Rutherford would provide her sisters with the life she’d missed out on. It would also ensure she never needed to step outside a city again.

Frank knocked and ducked his head inside, a grin lighting his lined face. “You ready, Liv? I’ve got a line of hot prospects for you tonight.” He brushed a lock of gray hair from his forehead.

Liv. Only Frank called her that anymore. Olivia glanced in the mirror to check the finished product. From behind those kohl-lined eyes, the truth peered back. “Ready as ever.”

“You look like a million bucks. They’re going to fall all over you, as always.” Frank squeezed her shoulder. “If I were thirty years younger, I’d marry you.”

“I need this to go well.”

“You’ve mastered the routine, sweetheart. Keep it up and these nouveau riches will be tripping over themselves to acquire your work. Everyone in this room is as fake as a schoolchild’s clay creation masquerading as a Rodin sculpture.”

Olivia tugged at the fringed hem of the short dress. If only the facade could soak in, permanently blending with her own colors like paint on a page. Her popularity might be growing, but the paybacks remained meager. Hardly enough to mail one check a month to her aunt. She needed to find a way to scrape up more because Aunt Phyllis had already given more than her fair share to her twin sisters. She’d agreed to take them in for a year, and how many had it been now? Six.

Olivia was no closer to being able to care for Frances and Louise than she’d ever been. The thought tightened around her throat like her imitation pearl choker. She ran a quick finger between the necklace and her skin. To make matters worse, her aunt had sent several complaint-filled letters in recent months. But really, how much trouble could two fourteen-year-old girls be?

Well, tonight she would pretend to be bold and affluent, if only for their sake.

Following Frank into the gallery, she glanced around at her paintings—as though her heart was on display for everyone to see. No matter how she dressed or acted, at the end of the day, only her talent mattered. For years, watercolor artistry had been ruled by masters whose highly detailed pieces mimicked reality. She painted what was in her mind’s eye, her emotions leading the brush. The results had surprised the local art community, and her reputation was spreading. Or Olivia Rutherford’s was, at least.

The idea of an exclusive showing this early in her career sent a giddy thrill through her. At one time Frank had a wide array of clients, and he’d served as a distinguished matchmaker between artists and collectors. But in recent years, he’d grown far more demanding and melancholy—an exacting taskmaster for those artists who remained in his circle. Many had drifted away.

The changes only made Olivia more determined to please him. Art lovers were often known for being moody and unpredictable. Why should dealers be any different? He paid her well—in compliments and promises. The lure of wealth still dangled just out of reach, but that would come in time.

She made the rounds, offering practiced smiles and sparkling conversation. A portly older woman sporting an exquisite diamond necklace waved Olivia over. “Miss Rutherford, join us, please.”

“Mrs. Dixon. You look divine.” Olivia dropped an air kiss just short of the lady’s powdered cheek.

“You’re too kind, my dear. I’m anxious to introduce you to some of my friends from the club.” Mrs. Harold Dixon clamped onto Olivia’s arm and addressed the women with her. “Ladies, this is the creator of all these lovely paintings you’ve been admiring—Miss Olivia Rutherford. Isn’t she a rare beauty?” She introduced each woman in turn.

“I’m enchanted to meet you.” Olivia nodded to each, the names slipping through her mind like paint rinsed from a brush. “I hope you’re enjoying the showing.”

The youngest of the group tipped her head, her glistening Marcel waves putting Olivia in mind of Goldilocks from the story of the three bears. “Your artwork is quite avant-garde. Where did you train? Paris?”

A tightness spread through Olivia’s chest. Why must that always be the first question? “Oh, here and there.”

An older woman wrinkled her penciled brows. “No wonder I don’t see the mark of a master on your style. I’m surprised Mr. Robinson didn’t insist on additional schooling, particularly for one of your tender years. How old are you, anyway? Twenty? Twenty-one?”

“I prefer to plow my own path, you could say.” Olivia chose to ignore the question of her age. What did it matter?

“I see.” The socialite tucked a clutch studded with iridescent beads under her elbow. “But raw talent should be guided by a firm hand, don’t you think?”

Guided? More like crushed. Art school had taken the last of her mother’s money, and Olivia hadn’t even lasted a term. The teachers treated her like a lump of clay to be reshaped into the form of artists who had gone before.

The blonde sighed. “Must you always find fault, Gladys? Miss Rutherford’s paintings are the cat’s meow. These are so much better than the stodgy old canvases my husband collects.” She ran a gloved finger along her jawline as she studied Olivia. “Do you do portraits, by chance?”

The idea twisted in Olivia’s gut. The woman possessed nice lines, but creating commissioned pieces was worse than art school. Last time she’d attempted one, she’d invested a fortune in supplies and spent weeks perfecting the final product. In the end, the insipid woman refused to pay. “No. I’m sorry.”

“Of course she doesn’t.” Mrs. Dixon clicked her tongue. “Miss Rutherford is far too successful an artist to lower herself to working commercially. Not like one of those pitiful, starving artists we see on street corners.”

“I wouldn’t have paintings done by such trash in my home.” The other woman sniffed. “Imagine the filth.”

“One can’t be too careful.” Olivia watched the silver tray of delicate appetizers slip by her, balanced on the hand of a passing waiter. Chasing the server down for a morsel of food would probably place her in that dreaded class. Hopefully there would be some tidbits left over when the gallery closed.

A tall gentleman in a pinstriped suit took a canapé from the selection before glancing her way and tipping a fine Panama hat.

Olivia froze. Was that Marcus Vanderbilt? The man had bought more art in the past five years than anyone else in the Bay area and often turned around and donated some of the most valuable pieces to hospitals, libraries, and museums. She forced her hands to her side so as not to flap them like an overexcited child. If her work caught his eye, she’d be on easy street. Maybe she could even afford that ritzy private school the girls wanted to attend.

He started in her direction but walked by without a second glance, stopping only to press a kiss to Goldilocks’s cheek. “Sophie, I was worried you’d be bored, but it looks like you’ve made some friends.”

She turned back to Olivia, her blue eyes shining. “Marcus, for once I met the artist before you. Miss Rutherford, may I present my husband, Mr. Marcus Vanderbilt?”

Olivia’s mouth went dry. Her husband? Had she been introduced as a Vanderbilt? Olivia stuck her hand out like a hayseed salesman. “Pleased—I’m—m-meet…” She slammed her lips shut. Compose yourself. “I’m most honored to make your acquaintance, Mr. Vanderbilt.”

A smile lit his aristocratic features as he took her hand. “Miss Rutherford. I must say, I’m impressed with what I’ve seen. You’ve a keen eye and an innovative technique. I especially love your use of the female form.”

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Where the Fire Falls (Vintage National Parks Series #2) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Domus Ardet 3 months ago
(4.5 stars) - a picture may be worth a thousand words, but thousands of words paint some beautiful pictures here! The premise to this book sounded a little different to me, and it's not my usual fare, but having read the author's gorgeously descriptive 1st book in the Vintage National Parks series (each story stands alone), I was quite willing to give it a chance. So happy to find that book 2 is even better than the 1st! I found myself quickly immersed in the story & didn't want to put it down. The scenery descriptions are well done and the characters are likeable & sympathetic. The story is suspenseful and the ending is exciting. The villain of the piece is not entirely unexpected, but it does take a rather unexpected turn. The happily-ever-after is most satisfying. I'm more than a little eager for book 3 now! Clean romance level: passionate kisses Religion: generic Christian with Scripture quotes, but fits well with the story rather than preachy
Empm1128 3 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This second novel in the Vintage National Parks series can be read as a stand-alone novel apart from the first novel. Set in Yosemite National Park in the late 20s, this novel brings this beautiful park to life through the eyes of the two leading characters—Olivia (a painter) and Clark (a guide/Ranger). There is a bit of a mystery surrounding Olivia’s past as well as with her paintings. Olivia is pretending to be someone she is not, and Clark is running from his past. What a beautiful story of faith and renewal—in a wonderful setting!
4GranJan 3 months ago
1920s Love Story in Yosemite National Park This wonderful story will immerse the reader in the beauty of Yosemite. The book is strongly Christian and talks about the spirit of God manifesting itself in the splendor of Yosemite. It is great fun to imagine this park and the others in the series before they were developed and loved to death. The romance is put together very well. The couple have a good fit, but both come with baggage that needs to be dealt with. This is a very good book in a very good series. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Virginiaw 4 months ago
Did not want to put this book down. I loved the flow of the story and all of the characters. I love the descriptions of the land in the national park. This makes me want to visit this area. I loved the use of art and some religion through this story. I love how people grow throughout the story. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
GratefulGrandma 7 months ago
In this second Vintage National Parks story, we find ourselves in the beautiful Yosemite National Park in the late 1920s. Olivia Rutherford is a watercolorist who has been contracted to paint in Yosemite National Park for a museum layout. She has her own reasons for not wanting to go there, but has to put them aside in order to get enough funds to send her sisters to a prestigious private school. Her parents are both gone and her sisters are living with an aunt. She has promised her aunt that she will take care of them, but she needs to make some money. Once in Yosemite, she is transfixed with its beauty and produces some beautiful works. She also meets and becomes emotionally involved with ex-pastor turned trail-guide, Clark Johnson. All does not go well for Olivia and she finds herself having to recreate some of her art, while dealing with a devious and deadly person who she thought she could trust. I really enjoyed this story. The characters we meet along the way are varied. From rich patrons to hermits in the park, they all have wonderful personalities that add to the story. The donkeys used in the trail-rides to explore the park were wonderful additions to the story. They also had their own personalities and their names were cute. Olivia was a wonderful character. Not sure about her talent and whether she would ever make a living at being an artist, her vulnerability make her an extremely likable character. Everything she is doing is for her sisters. Clark is another vulnerable character. With a bit of a cloudy past, he is still trying to find his way and not always listening to the messages he is being sent. This story is lovingly set on the backdrop of Yosemite National Park, which is a place I have wanted to visit for years. This story has me wanting to plan that trip sooner rather than later. This was a very satisfying story with a Christian bent to it, but it does not overshadow the adventures of Olivia in the park. I definitely recommend this story and series. I listened to this story narrated by Ann Richardson. Once again, she did a great job with her inflection adding the right amount of surprise, excitement, dismay and expression to depict the vulnerability of the characters.
A1Reads More than 1 year ago
This book was great! Gorgeous scenery. Art. Secrets. Adventure. Romance. Treachery. All here! As I finished reading this book for the second time, on a very cold, snowy day, I was reminded of how GOOD this story is. Yosemite's vast beauty is written so well, I was transported there. One of my favorite quotes was, "God's presence was in Yosemite; she couldn't deny it. Every blade of grass, every breath of wind, even the light passing over the polished granite and dancing through the waterfalls' spray seemed touched by His spirit." Seeing Olivia Rutherford becoming who God created her to be left me speechless. I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath for a few chapters. And Clark, well he's a swoony hero to be sure but he was a 'lost' man for a while, trying to listen for God's direction for his life but as Reverend White says to him, "He hasn't stopped speaking to you; you just think you're not worthy to hear it." This is a keep forever kind of book. "Forever. ....Had God ever created a more beautiful word?..."
theskett More than 1 year ago
Karen Barnett’s Where the Fire Falls is still with me, at the edges of my mind, days after I’ve finished reading it. Part of me is still there, in Yosemite, with Olivia and Clark and their friends. I enjoyed discovering Yosemite along with Olivia and viewing the scenery through her eyes (I’ve never been fortunate enough to visit the park in person). Barnett’s descriptive prose painted pictures for me to experience Yosemite’s beauty—and her reflections on God’s place in it all were even more wonderful. The antagonists are just right, the conflict perfectly unpredictable. I loved every moment of this reading experience and can’t wait for the next journey to Yellowstone along with Barnett and her characters!
Becky6 More than 1 year ago
“Where the Fire Falls” is the first book I have read from Karen Barnett. Judging by the cover, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own. As much as I think the cover is pretty, it just screamed more of a cover for a travel guide or something else instead of a romantic historical fiction novel. Many of my trusted blogger friends have raved about this book so I gave it a chance. Boy, was I in for a surprise. This is the second book in the Vintage National Parks series, but this can easily be read as a stand-alone. One of my favorite things about the book was the setting of Yosemite National Park. The author describes the sights, smells, feels as if you were you were actually there observing it for yourself. I’ve never been to the park, although it is totally on my bucket list, so that was a unique and brilliant touch. But what I loved most about this story were the characters. Clark was the character that sold the book to me. It was the way he viewed the park and how much it meant to him. And Olivia is a woman with a past who is trying to hide behind a mask of who she really was. And we even had a bit of a mystery on our hands which added to the story all the more. Themes of the book include identity: “What is my purpose?”, “Who am I?”, “Where do I belong?”; forgiveness; understanding and figuring out God’s will for our lives. These are all powerful messages displayed throughout the book that are shared at appropriate times and doesn’t take away from the book at all. If anything, it adds to the depths of the characters. I enjoyed this a lot and I’m going to have to check out Karen Barnett’s other books in the future. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
MJK108 More than 1 year ago
“For three years he’d explored Yosemite and the High Sierra, hoping for a word from God about his failed calling. Nothing so far.” --Thoughts from Clark Johnson Three years wandering through Yosemite and the adjoining area as a guide had certainly given Clark Johnson plenty of time to think about his situation. As his time as a guide draws to an end, Clark’s last guided tour includes Olivia Rutherford, a beautiful young artist hired to paint scenes from the park for Scenic Magazine, a national publication and Marcus and Sophie Vanderbilt, friends of the artist. Clark, a nature loving solitary man, and Olivia, a polished social butterfly, couldn’t possibly have anything in common. However, as they begin working together they find that opposites often attract. Each of them has secrets they are keeping to themselves and until they find a way to be honest with each other, their friendship will go no further. An appealing tale filled with adventure, a few unconventional characters, and some interesting twists will hold your interest! Once again the national park setting and the unique features of Yosemite add an additional dimension to the story. Karen Barnett finds a beautiful way to weave faith and inspiration into the story. An enjoyable read you won’t want to miss! This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
There are two things I especially appreciated about this book- that it's set in Yosemite, a place I've visited several times, and that the main character Olivia is an artist. The author really made the time period come to life, and though it's not my favorite era for fiction, once Olivia got to Yosemite and began to shed her flapper girl facade, I was a happy camper ;) She really undergoes quite a transition, from fearful and desperate to courageous and confident. Clark's frank demeanor influences her to make the effort to get in touch with the spirit of the landscape, enabling her paintings to evoke more emotion and touch the viewer. Clark is on his own spiritual journey, seeking for guidance with his purpose and future. These two lost and hurting souls have a bit of a rocky start, but in time form a friendship as they learn to trust and reveal their hidden secrets. There is plenty of intrigue and angst while Olivia faces pressure from various sources, all of which is balanced nicely with the beauty and grandeur of the location. I loved all the little nuggets of history of Yosemite's early days as a National Park sprinkled into the story, and it made me look forward to camping and backpacking there again. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
SarahSundin More than 1 year ago
Majestic scenery, intriguing characters, and a delicious romance combine in Where the Fire Falls. Karen Barnett‘s experience as a park ranger infuses the story with a rich sense of place, supported by historical research. But the story is what keeps you flipping pages, as the characters’ pasts collide. Rugged Clark is a swoon-worthy hero, and conflicted Olivia will steal your heart. Make some s’mores and savor this story!
Erin Gellos More than 1 year ago
Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett was a very unique book. But what made it so unique? First, the time period was different. So many historical fiction books take place in the 1800s, but to find a book that took place in the 1920s was a real treat. The time period really made the story interesting with the descriptions of Olivia’s outfits and flapper looks. Second, the picturesque setting of Yosemite National Park was unique. While I’ve never actually been to Yosemite, I could just picture the breathtaking scenery as Clark guides Olivia through the park. The author does a fantastic job of describing the scenery especially through Olivia’s paintings. When the Firefalll took place, I felt like I were really there, viewing the beauty and romance of it all. Lastly, the adventurous plot full of mysterious occurrences and a sweet romance between two unlikely people made this book unique. I know there are multitudes of books with romance, mystery and adventure, but something about this story in this setting and time period made this book truly exceptional. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the 1920s time period. This may be a book you would enjoy if you are interested in art, national parks, history, or adventures. I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
MollyzReviewz More than 1 year ago
Ms. Barnett is back and she's done it again! Another fabulous park mystery with amazing characters and a twisty plot line, all filled with God's grace! I loved this one as much as the first one and I am so glad I read it! Ms. Barnett takes us to the heart of Yosemite during the '20s. It was such a fun time getting to know the world back then, along with being introduced to Olivia and Clark. Both had decisions to make, both knew there was a lot at stake. Watching them throughout this novel was not only interesting, it was a fresh of breath air! I became a part of the story and loved feeling as though I was right there next to them! My son's grandparents travel the United States in their RV and visit some of the National Parks and I've heard them tell some great things, but they don't describe near like Ms. Barnett does! She truly is wonderful with her character creations and her descriptions! This is definitely a 4.5 star worthy novel! Clark and Olivia come to life with each page turn, the romance is tender and the messages of truth and accepting God's will are strong through the entire story. From start to finish, Ms. Barnett had me hooked, and I never lost interest! If you are looking for a fun novel that will transport you back in history, then this is a novel just for you. Ms. Barnett's writing style will captivate you and you'll become a fan for life! I can't wait for book 3!!! Well done, Ms. Barnett! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
ConR More than 1 year ago
Two people chained to their past with rusty locks holding them captive.....this is the dilemma that Olivia and Clark face in this terrific second book of the series. Set in the stunning landscapes of Yosemite that Karen Barnett brings to life with her vivid descriptions, this is an interesting story that gives glimpses of high society and all the pretenses that are necessary to stand out in that world. I love the play between that complicated kind of life and the natural beauty that God has provided that winds through this whole novel. Obviously, I loved it......a lot!!!
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Where the Fire Falls took me on quite a trip to Yosemite Park during the 1920’s. I have never been to this national park, or to California, but the descriptions of the places made me feel like I was camping out right along with Olivia and her very handsome park guide Clark. I haven’t read a lot with the time frame set in the 20’s, it is not a particular favorite, but I was enamored with the slang the author used and where the country stood between the two World Wars. Olivia is an up and coming artist who has changed her whole identity to hide who she really is. Clark is also running from his past and he has run to the mountains to escape his shame. As these two are paired together they definitely do not see eye to eye and sparks fly from the moment they meet. Romance, mystery, and danger abound in this novel where two running souls meet their matches. I found the history of the park’s fire falls event very intriguing and also a little bit dangerous. However, it must have been a marvelous site to behold. Reading the author notes was very informative on just how much the park has changed from that time. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
E_Espinoza More than 1 year ago
Where the Fire Falls is the second, stand-alone novel in the Vintage National Parks series by Karen Barnett. From start to finish, it is an historical fiction novel that is incredibly engaging and inspiring. Like a cool breeze blowing through new, spring leaves, the plot of this novel is refreshingly unique as it whispers with mystery, adventure, danger, faith, and romance. Reading this book is as thrilling as venturing on an excursion into a beautifully wild paradise, but without having to leave the comfort of a cozy chair. Through written words alone, I could practically smell the fresh scents of nature and hear the sounds of rustling leaves as I read. The pages of this novel carried me away on a scenic, outdoor journey, and I found delight in the trails and paths that unfolded before me with each carefully chosen phrase and artfully crafted paragraph. Stimulating all five of the senses, the phenomenal natural setting of Yosemite National Park is integral to this story. This wilderness setting gracefully develops in detail and description essentially becoming an integral character in the novel itself. Page after page, I grew fond of the granite cliffs, the thundering waterfalls, the cool streams, and the towering trees, and much like the characters in this novel, I nurtured a desire to remain within nature’s wild embrace. The rustic setting of this novel thoroughly enveloped me and made me want to linger there long after I finished reading the final pages. As the characters interact with and respond to the natural beauty around them, their story unfurls with surprises and unforgettable moments. Not only did I come to care deeply for the characters and find interest in their fears, their struggles, and their triumphs, but I found them to be genuinely sympathetic in their frailties and failures. The characters are deeply compelling as they struggle to overcome their insecurities, face their fears, and pursue their dreams. They are truly inspiring as they wrestle with their doubts and develop their faith. Where the Fire Falls is well-researched, skillfully written, thoughtful, original, and thoroughly entertaining. I highly recommend it to all readers who enjoy historical fiction that is clean, compelling, uplifting, and truly memorable. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Where The Fire Falls Is a lovely historical romantical parental Spiritual story. Poor Olivia - she is working her GOD-given gift to the bone - why? you ask, well for a heck of an unreal serious reason and that is something you really need to find out what it is. I tell you, at parts my heart ached for her - does she get help? She needs finances bad - why? You ask - again you really have to read this tender story. Does she find love? Does what she is working for work out? Does she follow what GOD wants her to do? I received a copy of this review from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com - I look forward to seeing you there.
BlueJeansAndTeacups More than 1 year ago
SO MUCH TO LOVE IN YOSEMITE***************************************************** I visited Yosemite several times as a girl and it is a wonder with all of its giant redwoods, sequoias, pine scents, cool breezes, waterfalls, giant rocks, cliffs, trails and wildlife. This book made me want to travel there again.***************************************1929. Olivia Rutherford is an aspiring Watercolorist and currently portraying herself as a free-spirited flapper among California’s nouveau riche. Clark Johnson is a guide in Yosemite National Park, and on a quest to discover God’s ultimate path for his life. He’s managed to pretty much avoid women for the last three years. ***Ch. 1 “I’m not afraid of women. … They’re just a highly unpredictable species. One minute they’re as sweet as honeysuckle; next you find yourself up to your kneecaps in hellfire.”*** When the two are thrown together they both begin a journey of self-discovery and share the amazing beauty of the park. However, deception, secrets and danger follow them around creating a rocky path at times.***Tea Moment: Ch. 4 Vanderbilt was a pith helmet short of an African safari. Next thing you knew, he’d be demanding tea from a china cup.***I loved the campfire songs! Red River Valley is a favorite of mine and the old hymns touched my soul. ***There is so much beauty captured in this story. Ch. 10 “God saved up the best bits of creation and spent them here.” Ch. 11 The sun’s radiance still played off the summit in the distance, the details in the granite exposed by the long reddish rays blending light and shadow. Ch. 16 God’s presence was in Yosemite… Every blade of grass, every breath of wind, even the light passing over the polished granite and dancing through the waterfalls’ spray seemed touched by His spirit.***Thank you to Karen Barnett for alerting me to the BOGO deal. I took advantage of the pre-order opportunity & am so happy I did. I cannot wait to receive The Road to Paradise. My opinion is my own and given freely. ***NOTE: This is a stand-alone novel, and fine to read out of order. ***FREE STUFF – Go to the author’s website to get a free novelette, vintage style postcards, digital poster and bonus eBook “Women of the National Parks”. So generous and cool!
Lattebooks More than 1 year ago
Another one knocked out of the park! How does she do it?! Her characters become friends and tug at your heart strings. I just wanted Clark to find his path and his future. Olivia, bless her heart, just wants to get away from her past and to make a better future for her family. These two stumble across each other in a beautifully described National Park where you feel as if you are standing there in awe of it, all while reading. Great twist in the story and agonizing suspense with danger lurking! This author’s writing is so smooth and engaging that her books always end up bookshelf keepers. I was given the book and this is my own opinion.
ecclecticnurse More than 1 year ago
This is my first book from Karen Barnett, and I am hooked. Every time I picked the book back up, I was immediately transported into Yosemite National Park. The vivid imagery and lovable characters make this a wonderful and intriguing book to read. Reading this book was inspiring and enjoyable and makes me want more. I would highly recommend this book. I was given and advanced readers copy to read and review
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
I don't often get the chance to travel so I'm always happy to find a book that is set in a place that I've always wanted to visit. This is the second book of the Vintage National Parks novels and author Karen Barnett has been able to transport me to Yosemite National Park as it was in 1929. She has created realistic but complex characters and two of them grabbed my heart from the beginning. In her attempt to hide the secrets of her past Olivia Rutherford has chosen a different last name and adopted a sophisticated persona. Recognized as a talented, "up and coming" watercolor artist, Olivia accepts a job to paint Yosemite for a travel magazine and it is here that she meets Clark Johnson, who is also dealing with a painful past. Clark longs to serve God as a minister but feels that no church would hire a minister who had left his first church in disgrace and who is now working as a park employee. As Olivia and Clark face their individual struggles they are drawn together in a story that is filled with mystery, adventure and the underlying theme that no one is truly alone in dealing with their burdens. I loved reading about Yosemite National Park as it was in its early years and enjoyed learning about the significance of the title that Ms. Barnett chose for her second book about our national treasures. She has worked as a park ranger so her experiences have definitely helped her describe the beauty of these special areas and her knowledge has also allowed her to share some historical facts and trivia relevant to each national park. I especially appreciate that God is given credit for His creation of these wonderful places and I loved these beautiful words the author eloquently penned for Clark when he remarked that "Scripture says that faith can move mountains, but I've found that time spent in the mountains sometimes moves us toward faith". As The Fire Falls is a great story and I can heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian romance. I received an advance copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
“Yosemite is a cathedral built by holy hands...He hoisted up the cliffs, sculpted them with glaciers...God dropped a ridiculous amount of beauty in one place.” I so thoroughly enjoyed this story! Each of the main characters have interesting back stories, but that really wasn’t what I found most enjoyable in the story. I enjoyed that the simple things in life...and the beauty of God’s creation we’re really the focus of this book. The characters are fun...even the secondary ones! I mostly enjoyed the story and plot line itself....showing how God has it all in His capable hands. He can handle our lives nicely if we let him. So many great characters who lend their own personalities to the story. Highly enjoyable! Go get God brought him here for healing, but he’s still figuring out who God wishes him to be- seeking his identity and purpose. I’ll be praying you find yours, too. “You’re an artist, Liv. Wrap yourself in any colors. I’ll love them all.” I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
What is not to love about this book....Historical, Romance, Faith, Mountains, Outdoors, Mystery....need I go on! Karen Barnett has a way of letting you see Yosemite through the eyes of Clark, the park guide and Olivia, the artist. If you are looking for something out of the box, then this is the book for you. It doesn’t get bogged down, but flows along like Yosemite Falls, with lots of rocks to flow over. Buried secrets and pretenses of who am I are searched for in the book. Finding the way to let go of the masks we hide behind both physically and mentally are addressed and finding a way to be vulnerable and real. I found this book blessed me not just as entertainment but as full of truth and grace. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
swissgranny More than 1 year ago
Against the backdrop of beautiful, scenic Yosemite National Park, author Karen Barnett has penned a story that delighted this mountain loving reader. I enjoyed learning more about this park, its history, and features. The tradition of the Firefall fascinated me—it sounded so spectacular. Barnett deftly fanned the spark of interest between the two engaging, multi-layered main characters and created a warm and glowing relationship. A tender thread of faith, hope, and trust in God is woven carefully through the story and adds an extra dimension to it. Packed with adventure, intrigue, conflict, and a hearty dose of romance, this book left me looking forward to the next in the series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.