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Whirlwind by Cathy Marie Hake
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A story set in the late 1800's that kept taking me by surprise. From the very beginning the story went in a direction I wasn't expecting, and I liked that. It was a story 358 pages long, but time went by very quickly and before I knew it, the book was finished. I gladly anticipate and look forward to reading the next story in this series, "That Certain Spark". This story will take you many different places, but flowed very smoothly and I really got to know and appreciate each of the main characters. Well done Cathy Marie Hake!

Millicent Fairweather pours her heart and all her energy into her job as a nanny. You can see this in the beginning chapters of this book. Because of certain circumstances though she will find herself jobless and suddenly unsure of where life is leading her next as she boards a ship heading to America with her sister and brother-in-law. While on board she will meet widower Daniel Clark, who finds himself sailing to begin a new life in Gooding, Texas as the new owner of a mercantile, along with his young son. Unfortunately for him his wife has died and his nanny leaves the ship right before sailing. Millicent is hired to help him out until they arrive in America. Tragedy will strike again, and without giving away too much more of the story, you will find the pretty bundle of energy, Millicent, agreeing to marry the very structured and orderly Daniel Clark and moving to Gooding, Texas. It is there in Gooding, that these two will realize their differences, except each other for who they are and learn to fall in love. The journey is fun to watch, but does have its moments of tender sorrow. This is a Christian historical romance story, no doubt about it, and the way these people rely on prayer and God's direction, makes it all that more enjoyable to me. Be prepared to set sail on a delightful adventure. ( )
  judyg54 | Jun 7, 2015 |
Very Christian and not for the non-Christian. There is frequent Bible reading, asking for God's guidance, and prayer.

OK, this review is totally ignoring the Christian aspect of this book that might be off putting to non-Christians. When I ordered it, I didn't realize that it was Christian Historical Romance. Half of the emotional turmoil is dealt with, with pray and asking for God's guidance. Still I decided to read it because it had been in a friends TBR wishlist and well reviewed. I'm not reviewing the grammar or the accuracy. Just the story line and romance. Saying that... this is coming from a non-religious perspective, not anti-religious.

I liked the story overall. There is a bunch of very coincidental things that happen putting these two characters together. These may be unbelievable unless you suspend believe (or rather have faith) and think that God is directing these lives. So the first thing is that the long time Nanny literal leaves right before setting sail without a by-your-leave. Next is that the only perfect Nanny in steerage is Millicent, as the others all have some problem. Millicent seems like the perfect woman for the little one and the father obviously is attracted to her, so this should have been thought by both to be divine intervention. But both have their beliefs that they are destined for something else. OK this was mainly in the description so the rest is spoilers...

**************WARNING SPOILERS*********************
So after finding Millie, the boat is delayed by engine failure. Millie proves herself more than competent and resourceful. The father shows that he is trying to be a good, loving father and be there for his son. They both see each others faith as a plus and are attracted but mainly the man avoids this because he believes his inattentiveness to his first wife was the cause of her death. This really far fetched because she fell down the stairs while pregnant with her second child. He was not home at the time, frequently away for business, and thinks she was doing too much and he wasn't there enough. I don't see this as they were very well off and had servants so she was well taken care of... So, the boat is delayed and the little boy, Arthur, gets sick and she shows her competence once again. The little boy seems to really be attached also. Does he see this as a sign that he should marry her, no, instead it is a sign that he should higher the brother-in-law and sister-in-law once in the States so he can keep Millicent as a Nanny.

The brother-in-law agrees and so now Millicent has put off her dreams of designing dresses with her sister in favor of becoming a Nanny again even though that direction has led to heart break in the past. So they then get detained in Ellis Island. Daniel is finally thinking of Millie as a possible wife but has to ask God. He talks to the brother-in-law about this and they pray on it. During that night, the brother-in-law is killed by getting in between a knife fight. OK, this is another of those far fetched coincidence that you know are putting these two together. I see it, so why doesn't he see it? To him it should be the sign from God. So the authorities at Ellis Island won't let the women in without a male family member vowing to care for them financially. Daniel insists on marrying her and taking responsibility for her and her now widowed sister.
At this point, I cannot see how both Daniel and Millicent don't see this as faith or God putting them together. Really they are both attracted to one another, like one another on a friendly way, and want to care for one another's families. Why would either think that this is a marriage of convenience.

But no we are only 1/2 way through the book and there is a whole new story in Texas waiting to be told. Although I liked the rest of the story, the romance from here, and the asking for God's guidance seemed very redundant and the two characters had to be knocked over with even more... what? proof? more guidance? They are married, they are running a business and household together, they like (even might love each other), they care dearly about each other's family, they should not be questioning whether their marriage is real. Since the characters were ignoring the obvious, I just had to go with it and get annoyed at any emotional or religious turmoil from here on. I would have been happier if they treated it as a real marriage emotionally and then had the emotional turmoil due to getting married too fast and coming to know each others personalities. I liked the other people in town. It is a very socialistic, neighbor helping neighbor, attitude, very Christian, the way they should be.

There are many more plot twists, side stories, and things going on that I didn't mention but the relationship is the main story. Those side stories, from midpoint, make the story enjoyable, the relationship aspect is drawn out and peters out. It is sweet but that is about it. ( )
  tivonut | Jul 25, 2013 |
I haven't read any inspirational fiction in a long time. But this was not that bad. Usually they are really overbearing but not this one. It was really cute. ( )
  nicdar111 | Jun 19, 2013 |
I loved this book and the way she writes. Funny and unpredictable. ( )
  cathy7401 | Jun 15, 2010 |
NCLA Review -In the spring of 1892, sisters Millicent and Isabelle travel from London to America in hopes of making a better life. On the ship is Daniel Clark who hires Millicent to nanny his young son. Tragedy ensues after landing at Ellis Island, followed by a marriage proposal which at first appears to be simply a practical solution. The story follows them to Texas where they settle and open a store. Readers are drawn to the antics of these characters as they come to life, ultimately finding resolution, leaning on a strong faith throughout. Rating: 4 —RE Bethany House 2008, 358p, paper, 9780764203190, $13.99 [FIC] ( )
  ncla | Dec 13, 2009 |
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To my editor, Sarah Long, a million thanks, a vat of chocolate, and an industrial-sized bottle of aspirin are far less than you deserve for one day at your job... and then, you have to deal with me! What a delight you are to work with! In addition to your considerable professional ability, I know you also pray over my book. That means so much to me. You are an extraordinary editor and also an extraordinary woman of God. For all you have done for me and for all you do for countless others, surely there will be jewels in your crown in heaven.
Also, to Jennifer Parker, the incredibly talented woman who designs the covers of my books. From the very first one she designed for me, I've been enchanted. Each time the artwork captures the feel of the story, the locaiton, and most of all, the essence of the heroine's personality-- and that takes pure genius. It's said that a book is judged by its cover. Then I'm a very blessed author, indeed. Thank you, Jenny!
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"I've come to a decision."
Millicent Fairweather clasped her hands together at her waist and waited in silence for her boss to continue.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764203193, Paperback)

When Millicent Fairweather boards the Opportunity to journey to America, she's confident a better life awaits. Before she knows it, she's taken out of steerage to be a nanny to a delightful little boy who quickly wins her heart. Widower Daniel Clark isn't sure about the pretty bundle of energy who takes the nanny position, but he figures the voyage is only one week.

When disaster strikes, Daniel seizes the chance to rescue Millicent and her sister. A most convenient marriage ensues...only Daniel realizes his heart has been lost to Millicent, while she views it all as a business arrangement. Will this whirlwind marriage have a chance as Daniel sets out to woo his oblivious wife?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:18 -0400)

As a nanny, Millicent Fairweather poured her energy and talents into the two young charges under her care--only to have them suddenly and without explanation sent to a boarding school. Bereft and unsure of where life will lead her, she agrees to accompany her sister and brother-in-law to America. They board the Opportunity, confident a better life awaits. Widower Daniel Clark determines to begin life anew in Gooding, Texas, operating a mercantile. But when his nanny leaves him stranded aboard the ship with his young son, he finds himself in dire need of assistance. Obtaining temporary help from steerage, Daniel is initially taken aback by the pretty bundle of energy who takes over his suite. Yet Miss Fairweather's unique child-rearing techniques and tireless devotion to his son soon win him over. When tragedy ensues and a whirlwind decision is made, Daniel and Millicent's lives irrevocably intertwine. Will love soon follow?--From publisher description.… (more)

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