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Whispers On The Prairie (Pioneer Promises Volume 1)

by Vickie McDonough

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Whispers on the Prairie is book #1 in Vickie McDonough's Pioneer Promises series, stories set in 1870s Kansas that follow the lives of the close-knit Harper family. Aaron, Josh, and Ethan are brothers who help their parents run the Harper Stage Stop, one of the first stops on the Santa Fe trail for pioneers traveling west. As the railroad crosses Kansas and stage service dwindles, the Harpers are forced to make changes in order to survive.

With good use of humor and conveying a vivid sense of the Kansas prairie with her easy-flowing writing style, Vickie has created an interesting narrative built around a family that I enjoyed getting to know and look forward to spending more time with throughout the series.

Ethan and Sarah are enjoyable characters, with good chemistry between them. Ethan, youngest of the brothers, carries guilt over an accident two years earlier that caused the death of Aaron's wife and he therefore tends to be over protective. Sarah, in spite of being a city girl from Chicago, proves to be a hard worker and quickly adapts to life on the prairie.

It's so funny to see the way Ethan, Josh and Aaron react to Sarah's presence. "What was it about the presence of a woman that caused grown men to turn on those they cared about?" Ethan wonders. Or better yet, in Mr. Harper's words: "What do you expect to happen if you put three stallions in a corral with just one mare?"

The Harpers have a deep-rooted faith, evidenced in one way by their welcoming of Sarah and her aunt into their home. It's sweet to watch the relationship between these two families grow, and Sarah's eyes are gradually opened to a different view of God than she had known in the past.

Whispers on the Prairie is simply a sweet, cozy prairie romance with a Gospel message, one that fans of this genre will enjoy. I would have liked to see the ending stretched out a little more, but I trust that we will see more of Sarah and Ethan in the next book, Call of the Prairie, which has just released. Recommended to those who enjoy inspirational romance.

This book was provided by Whitaker House in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  PianoLady831 | Jan 21, 2014 |
Title: Whispers on the Prairie (Pioneer Promises Series Vol. 1)
Author: Vicki McDonough
Pages: 272
Year: 2013
Publisher: Whitaker House
Sarah Marshall is the lead character in a story that has elements of faith, romance and twists and turns in the plot. Sarah has been raised in her uncle and aunt’s home in Chicago, never feeling loved by the uncle. All Sarah knew was responsibility. Were it not for her loving relationship with her sickly aunt and helping at an orphanage, Sarah would have felt empty.
In the spur of the moment decision, her uncle decides they are all moving west to open a watch making shop where few other watchmakers set up business. During the time in a town to purchase their needs for travel with a wagon train, Sarah is again disappointed when her dreams of returning to Chicago are not able to become reality.
In the home of the Harper family, who runs a stage stop, Sarah glimpses what life must be like with a large loving family working together in harmony. Yet there is more to this family than meets the eye and Sarah is sad when their wagon train leaves the Harper’s home. Now, even though all Sarah’s hopes and plans haven’t come together, she is about to be thrust into a situation that holds nothing but a bleak future in her eyes.
It was very enjoyable to read such a faith-filled story that points the way to live daily is by placing everything in God’s hands. Whether walking in grief, not sure what decision to make or even learning to trust that God will make everything work for good is very foundational to the plot. Learning to let go of past mistakes in order to see what future God has planned for a couple of the characters is a reminder to the reader, though it certainly is not easy walking by faith and not by sight. In the story, sometimes in causing temporary pain in being truthful with ourselves or someone else, God brings such comfort to the characters whether speaking the truth or hearing it.
There is a sneak preview in the sequel at the end of trail in Whispers on the Prairie. I found myself losing track of time the more pages I was turning because I wanted to see how the story was going to end. I also enjoyed the truth that we need to have relationship with the Lord as well as how we can be an encourager to people.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jul 24, 2013 |
Sarah Marshall is a city girl, she loves living in Chicago. So when her Uncle announces he is moving to Santa Fe, NM, she is beside herself. She has lived with her Aunt and Uncle, since her parents passed away. She loves her Aunt, who is not really well, but her Uncle despises her, and she has had a rough time growing up with him.
Her Uncle has made up his mind and their is no changing it. Sarah goes along, and is hoping once they meet up with her Uncle's brother she can return to Chicago. The trip is rough on her Aunt, and stumbling blocks keep popping up.
Ethan Harper has been carrying around a lot of guilt after his Sister-In-Law was killed in an accident, because she was in his care, he feel responsible. Just how do Ethan and Sarah meet, one could say in a mud puddle. Or rather Sarah ends up sitting in one.
Their paths keep crossing and more tragedy befalls Sarah and her family. Once they are rescued they end up staying with the Harper family. At first Sarah, can barely stand Ethan, but??? Will one of the four brothers win her heart? Will Sarah ever get to return to Chicago? With the Lords help all will find out where they need to be. Be ready for a wonderful journey back in the 1870's. Learn to live on the Prairie. I didn't want this story to end, but there is another book coming in the series...Yeah!!

I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Jul 24, 2013 |
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"When a series of misfortunes strands Sarah Marshall and her aunt at Harpers' Stage Stop, the three Harper brothers vie for her attention, and she must trust God to show her which one, if any, she should marry"--Provided by publisher.

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