Saturday, December 12, 2009

Amanda Cabot's Paper Roses, a Heart-warming Story of Giving and Forgiving

Sarah Dobbs, determined to bury her painful past in Philadelphia, travels to Ladreville, Texas, with her little sister, two-year-old Thea, to start life afresh as a mail-order bride. But she doesn’t know that her intended, rancher Austin Canfield, has been murdered by an unknown assailant. Austin’s brother, Clay, an emotionally wounded man who wants Sarah to return to her previous life, offers her no encouragement or support and tries to talk her into going back home. Since that is not an option, Sarah and Thea must live on the Canfield ranch temporarily, but Sarah refuses to be a burden. She soon puts her trilingual talents to use by accepting a job with the French owners of the only general store in Ladreville, where French and German factions eye each other with deep mistrust and suspicion.
The sheriff (and mayor) of Ladreville, a self-serving “bigshot,” barely tries to find Austin’s killer, and frustrated Clay begins his own investigation. He intends to stay in the area only long enough to avenge his brother’s death, sell his family’s ranch, and return to his medical practice in Boston with his stroke-impaired father in tow. But people in the area are closed-mouthed about Austin, and Clay’s efforts bear little fruit. Then a wave of random thievery and vandalism riles tempers, stirs up petty accusations, and widens the rift between the factions, which hinders Clay’s investigation all the more.

Unexpected circumstances give Clay and Sarah an opportunity to serve the community as doctor and teacher, respectively. As they combine their efforts to help others, they also work together to expose Austin’s killer, and an attraction between them develops and grows. Then Sarah becomes a target, and Clay is desperate to keep her safe. Letting go of their pasts--Sarah by forgiving her father for his horrible actions and Clay by forgiving himself for failing to save his wife and unborn child and cure his father--are challenges they must overcome before they can find peace and happiness.

Amanda Cabot's Paper Roses is a touching story about two ordinary people who, when confronted with horrendous obstacles, learn to trust the Lord as they strive to overcome the sorrow of the past and the prejudices they face in daily life. In doing so they become heroes--people who risk much to benefit others. Great plot twists in this wonderful tale about giving and forgiving had me turning pages like mad, hurrying to see how the story would unfold. And the author's surprise ending was skillfully executed and caught me off guard--something that doesn’t happen very often. I highly recommend Paper Roses to all lovers of romantic and historical suspense.

Publisher: Revell
Publication date: January 1, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3324-7
Genre: American historical romance


  1. Readers who like Paper Roses may also like my new release, Angela 1: Starting Over, the first in a series of three (Angela's 10th, 11th, and 12th grades), set in coastal Texas. To learn more, please click on my name and follow the link to my website. I also invite you to view my blog and comment, at Thanks!

  2. Mary --

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful review of Paper Roses. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it and even more pleased that the ending was a surprise to you.