About the Book
Book: Harmony on the Horizon
Series: Chaparral Hearts #3
Author: Kathleen Denly
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: January 4, 2022
Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.
On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.
After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.
As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.
About the Author
Kathleen Denly lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
More from Kathleen
Who Invented Romance?
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but romance novels are sometimes viewed as the black sheep of the fiction industry. For various reasons, some people view romance stories with a disdainful eye. Knowing this, I still choose to write romance stories and some may wonder why.
First and foremost, I’ve had a passion for romance for as long as I can remember. I was absolutely one of those typical little girls who played dress-up in her mother’s clothes (or in my case, her lingerie. Eek! I had no idea. LOL) and planned my future wedding day. For reasons I can’t explain, the idea of a man and woman falling in love and pledging their life to one another has always enthralled me.
Or perhaps I can explain.
You see, I was raised in a Christian family and have always been exposed to the Bible. Have you ever looked at your Bible from a romantic perspective? When you stop to consider it, there is more than enough romance in God’s Word to justify placing it on the Romance Novel shelf in a bookstore. At least there would be if novels weren’t inherently fiction and the Bible wasn’t entirely true. (And aren’t we grateful that the Bible is completely true?)
So, in a way, one could say that God is the first romance author. After all, what is more romantic than a groom sacrificing his life for his bride? It even has the requisite happy ending, because He rose from the dead and will return for His bride.
The thing is, God isn’t just a romance author, He’s the inventor of romance. He was the first to demonstrate what love truly is. He is the one who defines it and describes its fruits so that we can recognize it when we see it. It’s His love that gives us life.
And the thing about romantic love is that it has a unique power to change people, to break down their emotional walls in ways that might not happen otherwise. There is a reason God designed man and woman to be together. Many reasons, in fact. But I am convinced that one of them is His ability to use that beautiful relationship to draw His children closer to His own heart.
So yes, some may look down on romance novels and those who read or write them, but I stand tall and proud, because I know that true romance–the kind God authors–is something to cherish and honor. I am blessed to be able to share God’s truths through the wondrous stories of two hearts joining together as one.
I have read and enjoyed all of Denly’s novels. She is definitely becoming one of my favorite authors to read. Harmony on the Horizon is another solidly good story that I highly recommend. There is so much to love about this book. First, I really appreciate the pacing. I picked the book up, read for a bit, and before I knew it, I was done. I love quick-paced storylines. And I love being so engaged by a story that I stay up WAY past my bedtime, which I did with Harmony on the Horizon two nights in a row. I just could not put the book down! In addition to the pacing and the engagement, I loved the various settings Denly creates in this book. The reader switches from San Francisco to San Diego during the summer of 1865. Denly does an excellent job of writing historical detail. I felt transported to the California coast during the tumultuous time right after the Civil War. Everything feels so gritty and raw and dark. What’s the most shocking is that people are exactly the same today as they were then. We have literally learned nothing from History. People believe, regardless of their time period, that they have the right to tell others how to live, how to think, and how to love. It’s repugnant, really. There’s this sense of romanticism we modern-era people place over Historical time periods, but Denly does a stellar job of keeping things very real. She sugarcoats nothing in her book, and I feel this makes for a solidly authentic read.
Denly’s characters are excellently crafted. I especially loved Katie and Margaret. Katie is SO good. She is the kind of good I long to be. No matter the hardships she faces, she ALWAYS picks God. Even when an easy way out is provided to her, she refuses to go against God. And she is SO brave and courageous. Katie is an amazing illustration of what it means to be a woman after God’s heart. I found her inspirational, and I want desperately to be like her. And Margaret is wonderful. I relate to her struggle — she is an act first, think later kind of gal. I cringed often at the Margaret parts because she reminds me of myself. I, too, tend to act first, think later. And when I think later, the guilt and shame and embarrassment of my actions overwhelms me. I so get her. Margaret’s heart is ALWAYS in the right place, but she doesn’t look at the big picture to see how all the parts could play out. I love how Denly shows the reader through Margaret that with an impulsive character all is not lost. Yes, we make mistakes — many it seems — but God’s mercies are new every morning and He blesses us with a lot of second chances. Thank you, God, for that!
There is so much more to say about this delightful novel, but I don’t want to accidentally spill the beans. So, I will stop my review here and simply say — purchase a copy of this novel for yourself right now. You will not be sorry that you did. Harmony on the Horizon is a great read, and I will miss my time with these characters.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Kathleen Denly, via Celebrate Lit in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Fire HD8 Plus, a custom Harmony on the Horizon Kindle case, a Harmony on the Horizon altered notebook, a Chaparral Hearts pen, a pair of earrings, a pin, and a scripture keychain!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.
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