book

Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes

About the Book:FMN-ebook-cover2
Author: Amber Stokes
Publisher: Seasons of a Story (Self-Published)
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: The Heart’s Spring – Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Western, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Published in 2014, Forget Me Not is actually the first novel in the new self-published series, The Heart’s Spring series falling first in the timeline to its published predecessor Bleeding Heart. Comprised of three novels and a collection of novellas, Forget Me Not is another journey saga – both literal and fugitively. It tells the story of the young Elizabeth Lawson whose young life was shattered when she lost her parents and now as a young 18-year-old, she’s just learned that she has a brother she never met. Upset and seeking something she leaves the safety of her adoptive mother’s home only to fall into trouble and be rescued by a young man named David. Not immune to feeling lost in his place, David instantly feels a familiarity to the young woman and on a whim offers to escort her to Nevada never expecting to feel so much for this girl.

Less than a year after her first release, Amber has written and shared this story centering on the woman who broke the heart of a prominent figure in Bleeding Heart.  The theme of this novel is remembrance and feeling a part of a “place,” like you belong to someone or somewhere. In this regard, all of us will be able to relate to David’s longings in a varying angle and his need to remember and find that place where he feels safest or as if he’s most cared for. Between David’s searching and Elizabeth’s indecision (or innocence), the story is heavy on things long-ago forgotten as its running theme and as always, Amber executes her reflective topics beautifully. I will confess that on a minor note, I felt like the swiftness with which Elizabeth trusted – and travelled miles on end – with David didn’t come across as completely realistic though I understand the battle a writer faces in keeping their story clipping along or lagging in moving that string of words forward, and realize this is more personal preference than an author fault. One thing I don’t think any reader can dispute is that these stories are dear to Amber’s heart. Many of us know her from our blog community and most if not all of us have been excited to be a small part of this publishing journey with her.

I started this novel late one evening and breezed right through a decent portion of it then a mere twenty-four hours later, I was wrapping it up. Amber’s charming and beautifully simple way of telling this story (which is a compliment of the highest regard) was difficult to put down because her characters read as sweet and likable all while retaining uncultivated elements of surprise that is only further emphasized because of limited pages. Where Bleeding Heart was gutsy and full of grace, its prequel is equal parts sweet and sobering with its teases of persons yet to get their own story, and an ending that wraps up everything just as it should. She piques our interest with Jacob’s origins (which readers can now read about in Bellflower) and again takes a risk in crafting that past and we have no issue rooting for the inevitable (or I didn’t!) pretty picture of an ending. I’d advise anyone who hasn’t read Bleeding Heart to read this first – not because they cannot be read separately but one character figures importantly into the sequel title and for anyone who isn’t fond of working backwards in series, you’ll be reading a major spoiler event in Bleeding Heart that hasn’t yet come to pass in Forget Me Not.  If you’re a fan of Janette Oke or western inspirational fiction in general, then do be sure to pick up a copy of Amber Stokes new release – it’s a picturesque kind of story that will charm any of its genre fans merely by being true to exactly what it is; a tender sage of love and never forgetting the sway of memories. A powerful reminder to the reader to never take precious moments for granted.

Synopsis: A startling revelation sends Elizabeth Lawson escaping into a stormy night – and tosses her into the arms of a young mountain man with secrets of his own. When he offers to take her to the Nevada mining town where her long-lost brother lives, she accepts. Suspicions and uncertainties are pushed aside as she struggles to forge a future for herself by meeting her past.

David has been hiding from his painful memories for years. The solitude and wildness of the Rocky Mountains are challenge and comfort enough for him – until Elizabeth’s arrival. Fueled by anger and a sense of obligation, he strives to take control of his new situation…only to find control slipping from his grasp with each new emotion Elizabeth evokes in him.

When their journey leads them on unexpected paths, can two lonely hearts find the strength to remember the good amid the heartbreak? – Goodreads

Coming Next from Amber Stokes:  Morning Glory, expected to release Summer 2014

Sincere thanks to the author, Amber Stokes for providing a complimentary ARC e- copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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