First, let me say that I love Shar MacLaren. Her books are sweet and deep and awesome . . . just like her. =) I've emailed her a lot over the years, got to hug her at the '07 ACFW conference, and (best of all, lol) have had my endorsements appear on or in nearly all of her books. Go, Shar!
Her latest is Maggie Rose, the second in the Daughters of Jacob Kane series. This one takes us to turn-of-the-century New York City, where middle daughter Maggie has gone to volunteer in an orphanage, Sheltering Arms. She knew it would be a lot of work, but she also knows it's where God called her. What she didn't expect was Luke Madison, an embittered newspaper reported assigned to write a story about the refuge. He's the handsomest man she's ever seen . . . but will anything break through that hardened heart?
Luke's story is that he lost his aunt, his fiancee, and his fiancee's mother in a terrible steamboat accident a few months earlier. Ever since then, he's been burying himself in work, trying to investigate the accident and find those culpable. His boss finally has enough with him neglecting everything else and demands he take a leave of absense, under the guise of writing the article about Sheltering Arms. What Luke finds at the orphanage--aside from the very pretty Miss from Michigan, as he calls her--is a reason. A reason to fight, a reason to work, a reason to be.
They end up going west on one of the Orphan Trains, finding a dose of adventure . . . and of course, falling in love.
This is the second book I've read in the last month dealing with the Orphan Trains--amazing, since I think they're the only two out, LOL. So I was somewhat familiar with the dilemmas of the day and found Shar's take on it freash and hopeful, as I always do. One thing I really appreciate about her books is that while they have some suspense, it doesn't overshadow the romance or the story. She never drags it out to make it not resolve until the last page.
Maggie Rose is another must-read from my good friend Shar. Pick it up for a taste of history, a dose of love, and a helping of adventure.