To put it simply, Tamara Alexander’s book, From A Distance, changed my life. I love, love, loved this story and Alexander’s beautiful writing and strong characters. (See my full review of it here.)
So when it came to reading the rest of the series, I was on it.
Dismissed from the university where she served as Professor of Romantic Languages, Dr. Molly Whitcomb travels west to start over in the secluded mountain town of Timber Ridge, Colorado, where she’ll be teaching children. Her train stops in Denver, and on a whim, Molly purchases a wedding band–an attempt to cover a mistake, but also a chance at a fresh start.
Sheriff James McPherson was eager to hire a schoolteacher, but Dr. Molly Whitcomb isn’t what he expected. His instincts about people–which rarely miss the mark–tell him she’s hiding something. And when Molly’s secret is revealed, her reinvented life begins to unravel. What’s more, she risks losing her newfound relationship with the sheriff and her renewed faith in God.
This story continued in the legacy of From a Distance. A ton of action and adventure with deep messages of forgiveness and redemption.Molly was a fantastic character and all of the memorable secondary faces from the first book had returned. Overall, a beautiful read and one I finished in a few days.
To be fair, From A Distance was still my favorite after reading the second. Until I picked up Within My Heart, and there continues to be a battle in my mind as to the top one of those…
Widow Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat and provide for her two young sons, though some days it feels as though her efforts are sabotaged at every turn. When her cattle come down with disease and her sons’ lives are endangered, she must turn to Rand Brookston, Timber Ridge’s physician and reluctant veterinarian. While Rachel appreciates his help, she squelches any feelings she might have for Rand–her own father was a doctor and his patients always took priority over his family. Rachel refuses to repeat the mistakes her mother made. But when she’s courted by a wealthy client of the local resort, she faces a choice: self-sufficiency and security or the risk inherent in the deepest of loves.
Oh, this story had me gripping the paper cover and pages in angst. The pages exploded with so much tension and mystery that hardly came to an end until the last page. With this story, as with the other two, the character’s history all set them up for conflict and had me rooting for all sides.
The amount of research and detail made the setting truly come to life, along with the medical procedures performed by Rachel and Rand. This all led to Rachel confronting key issues from her past, rather than only one. This book was filled with emotion and deeper meaning on every page and when I read Tamera Alexander’s note at the end, it all made sense.
It touched me how the author’s life struggles came to be the most honest and vulnerable part of the whole series. This made it a strong contender for my favorite out of the three. (Not that this is a race, children.) I think it is a testament to Alexander’s brilliance that I can’t tell you which one I’d recommend most out of the three books of the Timber Ridge Reflections series. All are so vivid in memorable characters and high tension that they are impossible to put down.
If you haven’t read the series, I recommend you grab all three from the library, clear your calendar and order pizza for the family. And read.
Disclosure: Bethany House provided me a copy of Within My Heart in exchange for my honest review.