About the Book
Book: Beside Still Waters
Author: Lynnette Bonner
Genre:Historical Christian Western Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Zoe Kastain wants to be happy, but just the sight of Washington Nolan standing beside Kin at his wedding has her choking the life from her gloves. The man who once dazzled her with promises of love and commitment now will hardly look at her. Even through the haze of red clouding her vision, she realizes it is probably better this way. Because after he’d returned, injured, she’d gone and laid her heart at his feet. He’d slammed his door in her face, and she never wanted to feel that incomprehensible rejection again. But as Kin and Cora exchange rings and kisses, Zoe realizes her best efforts to quash her love for Wash Nolan have been hopeless. Not only that but what if his rejection was a test to see if she would stand by him?! And she walked away! She needed to fix this! Make him realize she still loved him. But how? Her gaze settles on Kin and Cora leaving the church to the cheers of their guests. What was the biggest gesture of love, but marriage? No! She couldn’t, could she? It was preposterous madness!
Wash stumbles out of the church, chastising himself for letting Kin talk him into being here today. He ought to have known that seeing Zoe again would bring nothing but heartache. They could have built a life together if not for his injury that rendered him unable to provide for a family. Despite all that, it felt good to have escaped the cabin. He needed to make an effort to get out more. He’d been pretty detached from, well, everything since his return. He just needed to make his escapes to places where Zoe Kastain would not be, because seeing her was temptation itself. The soft light of invitation in her eyes could downright make a man forget his limitations. And this was not the time for that, especially not with all the strange things happening at the farm.
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Lynette Bonner writes wonderful descriptions that transport the reader into the setting. The reader feels like they are part of the Wyldhaven community. The internal thoughts of Zoe and Wash had me rooting for their plight.
Why the low star rating then? Full confession here: I received an early prelease version to read. Unfortunately, I can only review what I’ve read. Hopefully, what I’m about to share is fixed before the release date.
By the time the reader gets to the end of Chapter 2, they’ve crossed through five points of view (POV). I found this to be annoying, but continued to read anyway because I loved the premise behind the crossroads of Zoe and Wash’s relationship. At 55% complete in the book, the POV count goes up to ten. POVs included are: Zoe (main character), Wash (main character), Harlan (villain), Belle, Taulby, Anja, Charlotte, Reagan, Jerry, and Merle. None of the minor character POVs added anything to the main story line. A few of them felt like set ups for a sequel but didn’t add to Zoe and Wash’s storyline. As the reader, I just wanted to read about Zoe and Wash and if they would find their happily ever after. It was too many POVs to weed through to get to the meat of the story and caused me to eventually lose interest in Zoe and Wash.
Overall, if the excessive number of POVs and non-relevant POVs are removed before release and the story focused on Zoe and Wash (and maybe a villain), then this story could be 4-star worthy.
I really wanted to love this story, because the entire premise behind Zoe and Wash’s marriage is a fantastic idea. I just don’t feel the story is refined enough for release at the point I received a copy.
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Time Period: 1899
Romance: Very clean. Light kissing.
Faith: Both main characters seek to apply their faith.
Disclaimer: I requested and received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Celebrate Lit Book Tours. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Lynnette Bonner was born in Malawi, Africa, and spent the first years of her life reveling in warm equatorial sunshine and the late evening duets of cicadas and hyenas. The year she turned eight she was off to Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya where she spent many joy-filled years and graduated in 1990.
That fall, she traded to a new duet–one of traffic and rain–when she moved to Kirkland, Washington to attend Northwest University. It was there that she met her husband and a few years later they moved to the small town of Pierce, Idaho.
During the time they lived in Idaho while studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin the Shepherd’s Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.
Marty and Lynnette have four children and currently live in Washington where Marty pastors a church.
More from Lynette
History is one of my favorite things. I love opening a book and getting immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and culture of by-gone eras. Because I love to read these stories, these are also the kinds of stories I write. And here we are at the fourteenth and final historical foray in the Wyldhaven series! This one is the wrap-up, the happy sigh at the end of an intricate set of adventures. If you haven’t yet jumped into the Wyldhaven series, I invite you to start with book one, because while each book can stand alone, you’ll enjoy the characters so much more if you’ve followed them from the beginning. Book one is Not a Sparrow Falls.
However, on tour here today is book fourteen, Beside Still Waters. Two of my favorite characters from the series are about to face their biggest set of challenges yet, and along the way they just might learn a little about leaning on God’s truth, even when bad things happen, and of course find that loving one another makes those bad things so much easier to bear.
I hope you’ll enjoy this story and that it will in some way draw you closer to the One who leads us beside still waters.
Injured by friendly fire. Trapped in the torrent of his own fears.
Washington Nolan wanted to join the cavalry from the time he was a boy. He planned to enlist for a few years, and then return home to marry Zoe Kastain, the girl he’s been sweet on from almost his earliest memory. What he didn’t plan on was a friendly fire incident that would cost him the use of his leg. Now he’s home. But without the means to provide for a family, he can’t in all good conscience marry Zoe. Even harder than losing his leg is letting her go.
Rejected by the man she loves. She’ll brave the deepest waters to convince him that God will see them through.
Zoe Kastain can’t believe that Wash has broken things off. She’s just mad enough to walk away, but then she realizes that Wash needs her love now more than ever. She can’t simply abandon him! But he’s not going to like it when she brings the parson—and her valise—to his porch. She’s prepared for his resistance. But what she’s not prepared for is his acquiescence—nor the storm she’s about to walk through because of it.
Together they must learn to trust the One who leads beside still waters.
Alena Mentink, August 4
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5
Connie’s History Classroom, August 6
Texas Book-aholic, August 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 9
For Him and My Family, August 10
The Book Club Network, August 11
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 12 (Author Interview)
Karen Baney Reviews, August 12
Holly’s Book Corner, August 13
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 14
Life on Chickadee Lane, August 15
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, August 16 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, August 16
Lily’s Book Reviews, August 17
To celebrate her tour, Lynette is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!
One first place winner will receive a paperback copy of the book! Five winners will receive an eBook copy of the book! Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.