Raelene Strattford had come to America with her mother and father, who yearn for a better life. When a tragic accident takes both her parents from her, Raelene feels forsaken by the same God who has promised never to leave her.
Gustaf Hanssen's admiration for Raelene is obvious. After a failed attempt to court her, he is unwelcomed in her life. When Gustaf promises her dying father that he will take care of her, Gustaf finds himself in the unenviable position of being reminded by the angry Raelene of how little he means to her, and how his God can do nothing for her now that she has been left alone in a strange land.
As Raelene longs for the days back in England, she works alongside Gustaf on the farm to fulfill her father's dreams, scorning Gustaf at every turn. Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits?
In this powerful first book in her Delaware Brides Series, Miller brings together two characters from distinctly different backgrounds, who are forced to deal with each other because of promises they have made to the same man--Raelene's father. Though he has been rejected by Raelene in past, Gustaf does not deny the dying man's request to care for his daughter, which makes him an admirable hero from the start. Raelene's continued mistreatment of Gustaf turns him into a sympathetic character, and the reader finds herself hoping that Gustaf wins Raelene's heart. His faith in God never wavers, and it is through his faith that Gustaf is able to endure Raelene's disposition toward him and the difficult task of finding a husband for her, while still wishing she would see him as something more than a farm boy.
Raelene, on the other hand, has the reader's sympathy right from the start. Here she is, a young woman all alone in a strange land, tied to a promise made to her dying father that she will tend to the farm and turn it into what he dreamed about. Not an easy task for a young woman dealing with the sudden loss of her parents. Smartly, however, Miller uses Raelene's treatment of Gustaf, her past refusal of him, and her anger at God to lessen the sympathy of the reader. This makes it all the more thrilling when Raelene's heart begins to soften toward Gustaf.
Set in 1739, Miller's historical details provide the reader with a time and place for this moving love story. I would easily read this one again if I had the time.
Historical inspirational romance at its best, Promises, Promises by Amber Miller should be on your "to be read" list if you enjoy this genre.
Title: Promises, Promises,
Author: Amber Miller
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc; HP #784