Thursday, September 17, 2015

REVIEW: Marrying Christopher By Michele Paige Holmes

Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea. 

I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes. I've really enjoyed the other two books in the series and this one wraps it up nicely. 

Little brother Christopher has spent his life trying to protect his older sisters.  Now that they are both happily married and settled, he's going to strike out on his own and hopefully bring some pride to the Thatcher name.  He books passage on a ship to America and stubbornly refuses to take any money from his sisters. He's going to make his own way, hopefully be able to work and maybe even own some land he can farm. He finally has some of the freedom he's dreamed of.

Until he meets Marsali Abbott.  Marsali is fleeing an abusive situation and gets on the same ship as Christopher. Unfortunately, she's not sailing toward freedom, but toward a four year indenture, and with that in mind, she decides to enjoy the few weeks to herself on the ship.  Things get even more complicated, though, when Marsali gets to know Christopher.  His kindness draws her to him, but her own growing feelings keeps her wanting to be near.  But she's an indentured servant and would never want him to sacrifice his dreams for her, even when she finally realizes exactly what awaits her when they dock in America.

This historical romance totally swept me away. The shipboard scenes were especially well done and I thought the author did a great job with her research because the little details she included really made it feel real.  I loved Marsali's strength and how she was still vulnerable when it came to her life decisions.  Christopher, though, was a swoon-worthy hero and I loved his character.  Their love story was even better because there were a lot of unexpected twists and turns on the journey which kept me turning pages. The ending was totally worth waiting for .

Michele Paige Holmes is one of the most amazing Historical romance authors ive ever read. I absolutely adore her novels. I was sad to see this series end but so excited with how it did.
5 stars

Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature. 

Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series. 

In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, will be published in summer 2015, with another historical to follow later this year.

Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at and on Facebook and twitter.

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