Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr

Book Description:  Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime. But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist. Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for. Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?
My Review:  Another great, new author for me!  The cover of this book is very interesting to me.  I guess because I like the colors and the lady on the front cover is gazing off into  the sea makes wonder where her life is going.  
I was hooked from page one.  Ruth is a pastor's daughter.  Her dad is one of those pastors who sees that ALL humans need the Lord...not just the "clean" well spoken ones.  He has been visiting the brothels trying to help the women who really need God's guidance.  On one such visit one of the "ladies" is murdered .... Ruth's dad finds the "lady" and is charged with her murder.  
He has just.enough.time to get to his daughter, Ruth, and send her to the safe house where he was going to send the now murdered "lady."  But he not only sends his daughter, Ruth, he sends the murdered lady's baby girl, Lily, with Ruth.  No one is aware that Lily exist.
Ruth doesn't enjoy being known as a woman of ill repute with a child, to boot!  But she has promised her father to keep Lily in safety and to hide out herself in order to protect her father until his trial is over.  The trial takes quite awhile and in the meantime Ruth meets a journalist, Asher Tripp.  Asher is in the "bad graces" of his brother who owns the newspaper that he and Asher were to operate together.  Asher ran out on him and now Asher wants a second chance to prove himself.  Asher's brother gives him the job of hunting down the reverend's daughter whom is presumed dead----many supposing that the reverend killed his own daughter, too.  As Asher and Ruth make a rocky acquaintance Ruth's father is pronounced not guilty BUT this is only the beginning of the story.  Lies, deceit and who is baby, Lily?  Why did her mother not let her presence be known? 
I also really like the couple at the safe house who took Lily and Ruth in.  Even though Ruth is pretending to be the woman who is now murdered she is accepted without questions or judgment by this loving couple.  This sweet couple help Ruth with baby Lily and try to steer Ruth in the "right" direction.  
Ruth is a sweet, wonderful young lady who trusts God and her father without reserve.  She knows that God is in control and that all things will work for His good.  Many of the characters in this story are "second chance" winners.  They all intermingle throughout the story and are gifted in helping others.
A wonderful story.  An attention 5 star read!

*I reviewed this book for Bethany House*

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1 comment:

  1. Good review, Tammy. My attention was caught by the statement "Her dad is one of those pastors who sees that ALL humans need the Lord...not just the "clean" well spoken ones." Some times as Christians we get so comfortable making ourselves seperate from the world or staying within the comfort zone of our churches we lose sight of "go ye into all the world".

    I'm also intrigued by a Christian Girl like her having to deal with being thought of as having a bad reputation and how she deals with it. So I down loaded a sample of the book on my kindle to see if it interests me as much as the review.