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Monday, July 30, 2012

When Love Comes My Way by Lori Copeland

When Love Comes My Way by Lori Copeland
Publisher: Harvest House
Genre: Inspirational, Historical
Length: Full Length (300 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

From bestselling author Lori Copeland, When Love Comes My Way is a love story about redemption, forgiveness, and renewed spiritual awakenings set against the backdrop of scenic Upper Peninsula, Michigan, in the days when pine was king.

Michigan, 1873—As Tess Wakefield wakes from a frightening wagon accident, she discovers she has lost her memories. In her recovery, she loses her heart as well to handsome lumberjack Jake Lannigan. It's not a two-way street, though. Jake thinks he knows exactly who she is—the spoiled Wakefield Timber heir—but he believes the accident provides the means to show her that she has a responsibility to replant the trees and not to merely invest her inheritance opening another of her silly millinery shops.

Then he slowly he begins to fall in love with her. Jake wants to tell Tess the truth, but before he can her true identity is uncovered, and then both of them find the emotional stakes too high. Will God intervene and show this headstrong couple that only He in His wisdom could have paired them together?

During a bitter cold winter near Lake Huron in late nineteenth century, huge, handsome lumberjack Jake “Big Say” Lannigan and Philadelphia-reared heiress Tess Wakefield, who has amnesia, keep Wakefield Timber logging camp in a stir.

Lori Copeland captivates with a setting that certainly doesn’t seem conducive to romance, but uses it to create a “meant-to-be” love match. She also uses it to bring to life some intriguing characters whose strengths and weakness are revealed as they cope with less than desirable living conditions, hazardous working conditions, and social interactions that stir up conflicts that test integrity, faith, morals, and patience. She besieges the senses: like smells in the bunkhouse; feel of the bitter cold, sight of a moonlit crystal clear night; taste of food after a hard day’s work; sounds of the working lumberjacks as trees are topped and “timberrr” rings out, and so much more. Her amazing descriptions place the reader right in the middle of it all.

When Love Comes My Way, even though an inspirational novel, does not sermonize or evangelize, but lets the reader have a vicarious experience with major characters whose deep, abiding Christian belief is part of the very fabric of their being. It is evidenced in their actions and in the debilitating sense of guilt that niggles at them when they fall short of what they know is acceptable for a true believer.

The relationship that grows with Jake and Tess keeps the reader turning pages. Ms. Copeland weaves their lives together with humorous actions, devious actions, subtle but compelling feelings and desires, and intriguing back story as she skillfully turns their differences around to mutual desire not just for each other, but also a desire to help people in the present and to do what will help generations to come.

The secondary characters are a hardy lot. The downtrodden young wife Echo--hers is a “not-to-miss” story; the “monster” school children—my word, made shudder to think about trying to teach those little “darlings”; the polite Andre Montague, Jake’s right hand man; Talbot, Tess’s guardian and fiancĂ©, and many others all add a humanness to this delightful story that is hard to put down—kept me up late.

When Love Comes My Way is an exquisite love story set is a harsh environment. Ms. Copeland’s awesome writing style, her captivating characters, and wonderful descriptions make this a story to be read more than once.