Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well–if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.
David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.
They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?
Loved this book! A Love So True is the second book in the Teaville Moral Society series by Melissa Jagears, but it can be read as a standalone—although catching glimpses of Lydia and Nicholas in this book will most likely make you want to go back and find out more about their story in A Heart Most Certain (which by the way is on the 2017 Inspy Shortlist for the Historical Romance category~Congrats, Melissa Jagears!).
A Love So True is filled with so much great character development! I love it when an author really takes me on a journey of getting to know the characters she has created and following along as she takes me past the surface of each character and lets me really discover them and their joys and their struggles.
Evelyn—I loved Evelyn’s compassion without condescension as she reached out to those so often overlooked or looked down upon. Evelyn’s character came across so warmhearted towards those she was helping, but when David came along, her attitude seemed to do an about-face. She appears to be a bit judgmental towards David, but as the book goes on, you begin to realize that her attitude toward him is really her desperate attempt to keep up the walls she’s put in place to protect herself and not exactly in the way you expect. With the progression of the book, we get glimpses into Evelyn, the walls she’s created around her heart, and eventually the why. As Evelyn’s struggles are revealed, you can relate to the place she’s put herself in—that place of so easily sharing with others how much God loves them and all that He wants to do for them, but not so easily accepting that same love and grace and redemption for yourself. I think that can be a very real struggle—thinking we messed up too “big” for God to fix or redeem the mess we created for ourselves, that our situation or life is beyond repair and sometimes even punishing ourselves rather than letting Him show us the amazing ability He has to make beauty from ashes. What Evelyn doesn’t realize is that there’s freedom in the telling, the sharing of our struggles. Keeping all her struggles bottled up inside and trying to deal with them so completely on her own has only bound her more tightly and not offered her any true help or freedom. Evelyn tells another character named Sadie at one point, “God knows your past . . . Though some people would look down upon you because of it, God doesn’t, and He won’t keep good things from you because of it.” But it’s obvious she doesn’t believe that to be true for herself and we get the pleasure of getting to see God prove differently to her by His eventual making of beauty from her ashes. How often do we punish ourselves for our failures instead of letting God handle the delivering of our consequences in a way that is redemptive rather than destructive, instead of trusting the power and heart of God to redeem our mistakes and missteps?
David—There was so much to love about David, and I particularly enjoyed the first meeting or two between Evelyn and David, knowing that David wasn’t going to be so easily deterred as Evelyn would have preferred and that there was going to be a lot more to David than she expected. David’s love and compassion for others is evident from the beginning, but he has his own set of struggles that he must overcome throughout the book. I loved the growth and change that takes place in his heart as he begins to fall for Evelyn and witnesses her determination in pursuing things that many others fight against. I adored David’s patience with Evelyn, how he didn’t push her, but proved himself by steadily and consistently being there for her over time. He showed himself to be just the kind of man she needed and that God wanted for her even when she didn’t believe it was possible to have that for herself.
In A Love So True, Ms. Jagears has created some truly human characters, and like any real human beings, both Evelyn and David have some flaws and some struggles to deal with and overcome. This reality woven into the book only serves to make the book and the characters so much better, deeper, and relatable. This is not a book to miss out on! And I hope there’s more coming in this series because I have no doubt they will be just as wonderfully written!
P.S.—I am a huge fan of epilogues and A Love So True has the perfect one for it’s story! My heart just about melted reading it! 🙂
Now for some giveaways! If you haven’t read A Heart Most Certain, the first book in the Teaville Moral Society series, click on the graphic below for a chance to win a Kindle version of it! And for a chance to win A Love So True, click here and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for it and/or participate in a fun scavenger hunt for another opportunity to win it.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have chosen to review it. My opinions are my own.