In Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot (Revell, 2009), Sarah Dobbs replies to a man in Texas, agreeing to be his bride after a tragedy pushes her to leave Philadelphia. When she arrives in Texas, her husband-to-be, Austin, is dead and his brother, Clay, is determined to find the killer. She struggles to make a home for herself and her young sister in this Texas town. In the process, she learns the true meaning of forgiveness and love.
Paper Roses is an uplifting, heartwarming tale set in the 1800s. The main character, Sarah, is a determined, strong character with compassion. She instantly connects with the reader and her situation is realistic. Cabot doesn’t hide behind tough issues with this novel: murder, suicide and justice all come to the forefront.
The hero, Clay, is bitter, life-hardened at first, but his strong character and virtues shine through and eventually Sarah softens his heart. I couldn’t help but sigh in some places, giggle in others. Sarah’s little sister, Thea, is wonderful comedic relief as young children usually are.
Through the story of Sarah searching for a place to call home and forget her past, there is the mystery of finding Austin’s killer. Clay is determined to act out his own sense of justice once he finds the killer. Clues unfold piece by piece and there are several twists and turns you don’t see coming.
Overall, Paper Roses is a pleasant read with a wonderful sense of setting and character. Cabot has a smooth writing style that is so seamless, you’ll be holding onto every last page and wishing for more!