About the Book
Finella Mayfield hates two things: liars and thieves. And she’s determined to marry a man who’s neither. Chasing her dead father’s dreams, the twenty-year-old English bride arrives in Australia in 1875 for an arranged marriage. Anticipating her future as village preacher’s wife, she records her thoughts in her Everlasting journal.
But instead of her fiancé, Finella is met by Shadrach Jones, a poor farmer sent to collect her from the busy Melbourne pier.
This is not what her father planned. And it’s only the beginning of the unraveling of Finella Mayfield—the bride with no groom.
All Shadrach Jones longs for is rows of mustard and chicory. He’s busy growing a farm near the Phillip Island fishing village of Cowes, and caring for Molly, his simple sister. Far from the brutal life they remember with their ex-convict father, Shadrach’s building something new.
But he’s also made a promise to a dying friend. To collect and marry the English girl destined to never be a preacher’s wife.
Can Shadrach convince Finella she has a future with a farmer? Can he convince himself, knowing his family secrets will haunt their future?
Carry Me Home—Book 1 in the Blue Wren Shallows series. An Australian historical romance set in the pioneering era of the 1870s, on Victoria’s majestic Phillip Island.
From the drama of the Australian coastline to the drama of fledgling (and unexpected) love, Carry Me Home offers a vibrant addition to the world of inspirational historical romance. The writing is rich with descriptions of wild, treacherous, and beautiful scenery and feelings.
The road to love is a rough one in this story where the heroine is out of her element physically and the hero is out of his depth emotionally. There's a lot of head-butting as Finella and Shadrach walk down the path set before them—to the tune of one step forward and two steps back more often than not. It's enough to frustrate a reader to no end, while still cheering them on, of course!
I felt sorry for each main character in turn, as these two and Shadrach's sister, Molly, face a lot of hardships. But those difficult circumstances certainly held my attention as I followed them through stormy weather, sickness, competition, and the haunting of past demons. I admired the bond formed between Finella and Molly, as well as the moments when tenderness couldn't help but prevail between Finella and Shadrach, despite their concerns and bouts of anger.
Realizing what you really need and appreciating who others really are requires a long journey, indeed...but it's a vastly rewarding venture. Historical romance fans will find a lot to love in this Love Comes Softly-esque story with some unique twists derived from the coastal farm setting.
*With thanks to Relz Author Support Services and the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*