One of my favorite parts of reviewing books is getting to share the books that I really enjoy. It’s wonderful to gush about books. Since I started reviewing books almost a year ago, I’ve read a number that I absolutely adored. Unfortunately, the pace at which I read, leaves me little time to go back and revisit some of my old favorites by rereading them. But that doesn’t change the fact that I can still occasionally share some favorites with you.
The Cadence of Grace series drew me in with the cover and title of the first novel. The story between covers was beautiful. The second book broke my heart and the I found hope (much as the title suggests) with the third of the series. These three books quickly became a favorite series, and they still hold that lofty position. If you have not yet discovered this series, I hope you will give them a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
**These are novels from my personal collection. I am not being compensated for this review**
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
* * * * *
Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.
Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.
As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength she has.
While Gideon’s guilt and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all?
Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?
* * * * *
Gideon O’Riley has been given another chance at a life with Lonnie. But will the fight for her heart risk it all over again?
After finally finding love with his sweet bride Lonnie, Gideon’s heart was torn when a woman from his past claimed to be his true and rightful wife, forcing him away from his family. God’s merciful hand saw Gideon through the heartache, and with Cassie’s blessing, he is able to return home. But his journey back through the Blue Ridge Mountains will hold a trial he never anticipated.
Meanwhile, Lonnie determines to seal off her heart from Gideon, convinced he is lost to her forever. Strengthening her resolve to move on is her growing fondness for the handsome Scotsman, Toby McKee—the young reverend she has come to care for deeply. His proposal of marriage offers a bright future for her and her young son.
Yearning to allow joy back into her life, Lonnie must put aside the broken pieces of her heart that still love Gideon. When he returns to find her betrothed to another, he has to place his hope in God, trusting that the One who redeemed their love once can do it again.
“I think sometimes the Lord wants us to wonder. To ask. To share our uncertainties. He wants to give us those answers. Keep thinking. Keep wondering.”
-Lonnie, My Hope Is Found
Characters: Lonnie is one of those characters who remain memorable. Through her hardships she grows. She is not perfect by any means, but she is a character who has stuck with me. Gideon on the other hand is a rogue, and he knows it. But, in his own way, he is quite loveable.
Storyline: The three novels in this series follow Lonnie and Gideon as they are forced to be married, travel through Appalachia, and try to form a life together. In the second book, their relationship is severely threatened and in the third, they learn to find hope in the brokenness of life.
My Thoughts: Bischof is a poetic writer. Her descriptions are vivid and her stories completely capture my heart like few authors can do. The themes of these books are so much about a journey of faith for the characters. Within the hardships that we watch Lonnie and Gideon face we also see them choose to rely on God and to comfort themselves with His promises.
I loved that these books don’t stray from the hard stuff. The plots of them are truly heartbreaking, but like the third title suggests, they also have a sense of hope within the pages.
There is also a beautiful novella that is a prequel of sorts to this story. It is not necessary to enjoy this series, nor is this series necessary to enjoy the novella. But if you are interested in learning more about This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof, you can read my review of it HERE.
About the Author:
Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is Torn, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
- Joanne Bischof’s Website
- Visit Joanne Bischof on Facebook
- Follow Joanne Bischof on Twitter
- Read what Joanne Bischof is reading on GoodReads
- Check out Be Still My Soul on Amazon
- Check out Though My Heart is Torn on Amazon
- Check out My Hope is Found on Amazon