Daughter of Joy
by Kathleen Morgan
ebook: 261 pages
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Released: September 1, 2007
Source: "Bought" (during a for-free offer) through Christianbook.com.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Abigail Stanton's whole life was rooted in her faith. In the wake of losing her husband and young son, Abby sets out, bereft and heartsick, to discover what God wants her to do. When she starts working for Conor MacKay, though, the very foundation of her beliefs starts to shift.
As the volatile rancher's new housekeeper, Abby is supposed to keep his house --- and his equally capricious little girl --- in order. Why, then, does she feel confusion, desire, and anything but order every time they are together? Conor tries to hide his own seething emotions beneath a cold facade, but the more ruthlessly he attacks Abby's faith, the more his defenses crack.
As Abby and Conor draw closer to the flame of their attraction, they must grapple with their deepest beliefs and fears. In opening their hearts again, both risk even greater loss for a chance at the greatest love of all.
Daughter of Joy is a historical romance set in 1895 in Colorado. It has a common storyline: a lady becomes the housekeeper for a handsome but unkind man with an untamed child and she wins them over. We get some details about everyday life in 1895, but the historical aspect is mostly just a backdrop for the action.
The hero and heroine have some depth to their character and underlying motives which plays a nice role at the beginning and end to make the story unique. However, the middle felt a bit rushed. She decides to marry someone not a Christian in hopes her influence will make the difference. Suddenly everything from the man's past comes back--and seems easily overcome. Too easily. I would have liked it better if his struggle had been a little more developed here. Then she realizes he hasn't changed, really, but is simply doing what she asks because he wants her. At this point, the story slows down and explores their struggles and conflicting emotions again.
I do not find unkind men to be attractive even if they are handsome, so I couldn't quite relate to that. But I could accept that she was attracted to him based on her past and because he wasn't always unkind.
The Christian element was woven into the story. Their religious beliefs were a part of their lives, their past, and motivated their actions. The characters' theology wasn't always correct. It bothered me that a Christian friend was strongly encouraging the heroine to marry someone not a Christian, among other things. However, I didn't get the feeling that we were being asked to accept these conclusions as true but as what flawed, confused humans come up with.
There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.