Tuesday, July 2, 2019

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer #Review #SurpriseBookGiveaway




Book Description:

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he's always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can't turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples. Abigail Kemp needs a man's name on her bakery's deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn't the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can't even control her pulse when she's around him. When vows are spoken, Abigail's troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?


The Main Characters:

After viewing the cover, more than one person asked me if this was an Amish book. It is not. But the heroine, Abigail, is a successful baker and businesswoman, who is fighting to save her bakery while some unknown person seems to be planning her downfall. With Abigail and Zacharias, a lumberman and son of a famous Mississippi River gambler, Karen brings us a unique story full of hope, humor, sweet moments, and lessons learned. The food-lover in me enjoyed all the bakery references and metaphors--and the fact that Abigail isn't your run-of-the-mill "thin and delicate" heroine. The story of Zacharias, the quietest Hamilton and the last to wed, tugs at the heartstrings, especially of readers who know his backstory from page one.


The Romance:

I enjoyed watching these characters learn how to communicate with each other and work through hard times together. The use of love languages brought interesting facets to their relationship, and the heroine's insecurities about her body type and the circumstances of the marriage underscore the attraction with realistic conflict. I liked how Zacharias initiated open communication in their marriage from the start, leading the way to a clearer understanding between them. Prior to their wedding, they discussed everything except their compatibility in matters of faith, which serves as the main conflict in their marriage for the second half of the story. I come from a different background than either of these characters, but seems that's the first thing I would have settled when considering marriage, no matter the circumstances. Overall, Zacharias' quiet protectiveness and Abigail's supportive encouragement turn this marriage of convenience into a love match where both want to honor the other and the Lord, which makes for a great story if you ask me.


The Pace:

The book keeps a pull-you-along pace and was hard to put down once I started reading. I love how Karen gives introspection and character insight without slowing the story too much.


The Faith Element:

With her husband's gentle leadership, Abigail grows from a place of insecurity into a woman who can focus on joyfully helping others, even while facing hard times of her own. She learns to appreciate Zach, even with all his gruff ways. Zacharias has to come to the place where he sees his sin as God sees it, no excuses, and learns to put family responsibility above his own quest for footloose "freedom." As a whole, I enjoyed the way these threads wrapped up and brought cohesion to the story.


Favorite Quotes:

"Perhaps he felt a touch of gratitude too for the fact that they had each other, for better or worse. They might be facing the worse right now, but the fact that they could lean on each other in the midst of it moved it into the better category."

"Helping a woman make biscuits should not make a fellow this happy. But when the woman was the fellow's wife, and she smiled at him as if he were the noblest hero of her acquaintance--well, it couldn't be helped."

"Tremors hit, quaking her hard enough for him to feel them. He wrapped his arms around her and bent his face close to hers. He might not understand what was going on in her head, but a mighty squall was battering her hull, and if he couldn't figure out how to shelter her from it, he aimed to be her anchor until it passed."

"'I had a long talk with my husband last night," Abigail explained, "and he made me realize that I have to choose which voices to believe. I can believe the ones that tell me I'm not good enough or brave enough or pretty enough and let them skew my perception of events, or I can push aside that clamor and seek out the voice that tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made.'"

"'I've chosen fear over faith more times than I can count,' she admitted. 'And every time I did, I ended up with regrets.'"


The More Factor:

I've heard tell that Abigail's sister, Rosalind, will be featured in her own story, a Harvey House tale in the upcoming novella collection, Serving Up Love (Bethany House Publishers, November 2019). Can't wait to read her story, More than Just a Pretty Face.
Comment Fodder:
  • More Than Words Can Say is a marriage of convenience story. What are some of your favorite books with this trope? 
  • What is your favorite thing about marriage of convenience stories? 
  • Have you ever read Karen's books before?

 
GIVEAWAY:
I love the mystery factor in marriage of convenience stories. With core values established, all the things that are yet to be discovered about the other person's personality, likes, dislikes, habits, skills, and talents, are often surprising and so interesting as they come out in the story. In the spirit of that mystery component, I'm hosting a surprise book giveaway, the story will be Christian romance, not necessarily marriage-of-convenience, but will definitely include a love story. For U.S. readers, I'm offering a paperback. For international readers (please specify in comments), I'm offering a Kindle e-book. Giveaway Ends July 22, 2019.


To enter:
  1. Comment on this blog post with an answer to one of the above questions and your email address in a spam-deterrent format (address at server dot com). 
  2. Two extra entry points if you become (or are) a subscriber to Karen's e-newsletter and my e-newsletter. Say so in the comments to get the points.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and have stated my honest opinion in this voluntary review.

11 comments:

  1. I have several of Karen's books and enjoyed them.

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  2. Yes, I’ve read Karen’s books and love them, as the humor in them makes me leave the book with that feel good feeling. Thank you for the chance. I receive your newsletter and just subscribed to Karen’s. Blessings

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  3. I subscribe to both!

    I can't say I have a favorite 'marriage of convenience' book, as I have several.

    I like that these stories start out for kind of a 'survival' story and with work and faith, they find the love that God meant for them to have.

    I have read several of Karen's books and love her writing.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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  4. We have Karen's books in our Church Library. If I win the box of books will be given to the Library. I'm a subscriber of both.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. I just recently read The first book in this series, and was excited to see the next one was already out!

    So to answer your third question. Yes I have read and own Karen's books.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. Some of my favorite books that are a marriage of convenience troup are:

    -Oksana (Heirs of Anton Series #4) by Susan K. Downs
    and Susan May Warren
    -The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz
    -The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

    I am a subscriber to Karen's newsletter &
    I am subscriber to your newsletter.

    Thank you for this fun mystery giveaway! ~ Alison Boss

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I have not read any of Karen's books, but I've heard alot about this one! Just subscribed to your newsletter. iwant2save34 at gmail dot com.

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  8. This is, more or less, a story about a passionate marriage of convenience. Love it!

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  9. I am not at all surprised that this book is FABULOUS! LOVE IT!!

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  10. I just finished reading More Than Words Can Say and I really loved it. I loved Zach and Abigail's story. Must read!

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