Return to Whispering Pines by Scarlett Dunn
Published By Zebra/Kensington Books April 24, 2018
Genre: Christian, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Scarlett Dunn welcomes readers back to Whispering Pines, Colorado, where three sisters are beginning new lives rich in faith and love . . .
Adelaide Langtry may not be as beautiful as her sisters, but she has determination to spare. She’ll need it if she’s to succeed as a schoolteacher in her old hometown and care for the three abandoned siblings she brought from Boston. In Whispering Pines, Addie hopes to establish an orphanage, but she must also contend with her past, including her outlaw brother, Frank.
Orphaned as a boy, Sheriff Jack Roper understands the turmoil faced by Addie’s young charges. Though he tells himself he has all the responsibility he needs, the handsome lawman is quickly charmed by the children, and by the spirited, generous woman intent on helping them. Still, he has his own duty—to capture Frank Langtry and bring him to justice.
When the children’s safety is endangered, Addie and Jack realize how much they’ve come to care for them, and each other. Keeping their ready-made family together is the greatest challenge they’ve known—but it could also be the greatest blessing . . .
Scarlett Dunn continues her Colorado saga with the second installment of her Whispering Pines series that will take readers along on a couple’s journey to find acceptance just they way they are and a family to call their own.
Scarlett Dunn is a relatively new author I have been following since I was offered her first Whispering Pines book last year. She is very good at creating a story that you really can become a part of and must know the end of before you put it down. This second story in the series focuses on the ideas of knowing that you have worth because God made you just the way you need to be to do what He has called you to do and that family is not limited to those with whom you share last names. Ms. Dunn begins her story right where she last left off – with the arrival of Adelaide Langtry and three orphaned siblings in her care. Addie has come home to Whispering Pines to become the town school teacher and possibly start a much needed orphanage for the area. She has brought three siblings with her who have long held her heart’s love in the hopes they will find someone to take in all three and give them the home they’ve been longing for. Addie has long understood she is not the beauty her sisters are and has resigned herself to being the best caregiver and school teacher to those under her care. But God has other ideas for Addie and she will soon come to see that with her reintroduction to Sheriff Jack Roper. Jack Roper has prayed for a wife for many years, knowing he would like to have a home and family he didn’t have growing up. When Addie Langtry steps off the stage, he is immediately struck by both her quiet beauty and kind treatment of her charges. The youngest of the orphans, Claire, becomes instantly attached to Jack, calling him “Papa”, which is most telling to him about how much these children need a family to love them. As Addie and the children begin to settle in and find their place in Whispering Pines, Jack can’t help but find reasons to visit, whether teaching the children a skill for their new lives or just to have a conversation with Addie. But all will not remain peaceful for long. Addie and Rose’s brother Frank is still on the run and holding a serious grudge against Jack and Morgan LeMasters, Rose’s husband. Frank is determined to destroy Morgan’s life as completely as he believes Morgan has destroyed his, and he will use any means necessary to accomplish that end – even pretending to love the daughter of a circuit judge. But as much as Frank tries to make things go his own way, he simply cannot understand that God will not allow evil to prevail over His children. And with so many willing to give witness to the truth of Morgan’s dealings with Frank, it will make Frank’s version of the truth show forth in all its vengeful untruthfulness. In the midst of all this trouble, Addie’s former beau, Prescott Adler makes an appearance to convince her to leave everything and return to Boston to become his wife. Reeling from the suddenness of Prescott’s declaration and unsure of his real motives, Addie turn to her grandmother for advice. Granny tells her to examine her heart and see what or whom she finds there, and whether what Prescott offers will make her happy and fulfill the calling of God she has been following. Finding herself unable to see a life with Prescott, Addie refuses his offer, only to find herself in a quandary as Prescott has threatened to shut down any idea of an orphanage in Whispering Pines and take the children back to the Boston Orphanage. What follows is an ending that will have everyone getting what they deserve but with enough of a cliff-hanger to carry the story into the next book. I so enjoy the honest way in which Ms. Dunn looks at finding acceptance in the eyes of others. She made it very clear that while we may see ourselves as in need of change – and while that change may truly be necessary if its something that is not of God – God made us just exactly the way He intended and has much for us to do if we will let Him work through us. Addie had to learn this truth with her appearance; she had always seen herself as the industrious one who was least likely to find love given she is “too curvy” and lacks the beauty of her sisters. But her caring heart and her unwillingness to give up on a cause will be what brings her hearts desire to pass – the love she always hoped for. Jack also needed this truth in his life. He had grown up without a family and never really believed anyone would want him as a husband and father. Jack prayed for those very things but hadn’t ever felt like God would bless him in such a way. But God will use him to show young Davey that God has plans for everyone – even those who don’t think He has time or cares for them. And with Addie’s love Jack will finally find the family he has always wanted to have, complete with three children who captured his heart. While this book was not the most daring adventure story, it had much to teach that I found to be convicting. I often find myself asking if how I look, talk or dress will be acceptable to others when I should be ensuring that all I do is to honor God. And while I have a wonderfully loving family, it is always a good reminder to me that God has placed others in my life that have become the extended family I need to keep me grounded and surrounded by faith. I am hopeful Ms. Dunn will bring out the next book of the series soon and will be excited to see if I am offered it for review. If not, I will still be purchasing it for myself as I just have to find out what will happen with the third Langtry sister, Emma. I will be recommending both this book and the series to others as I fully believe they will find it as enjoyable as I have.
I received this E-book free of charge from Zebra/Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.