A Not so Persistent Suitor by author Sandra Merville Hart is Book 2 in her Second Chances Series. The first was A Not So Convenient Marriage. This is a Christian historical novel. Even though this book can be read as a stand alone, reading Book One would be helpful due to the background information provided. It had been a while since I had read Book One and at times I was confused with the characters.
Set in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1880s, this is the story of Cora Welch, twin sister of John. It is also the tale of her sometime boyfriend, Ben Findlay. Both Ben and John work at the newspaper while Cora goes to school to be a kindergarten teacher and works in a sweet shop. One of the things I enjoyed about the book was the unique soda Flavor of the Day at the shop where she worked.
The author included a lot of history which I appreciated. I love books that leave me with information that I previously did not know. It is evident that she did a lot of research for this novel. There is a strong Christian message which is another thing I love in Christian books. Timeless life lessons were included, also.
The characters were well defined. Some were wonderful with nice characters while others were downright scoundrels. Details help me picture the setting of a few places but were absent in much of the others. There are a few twists and turns that for me were easy to guess. For the most part I did enjoy this book but not as much as Book One. It took me longer to get invested in it and seemed a bit slower.
I would recommend it to lovers of historical fiction. It has a nice message of friendship, redemption, work ethic, and is a sweet romance. I rate it a 3.5. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.
About the Book
Book: A Not So Persistent Suitor
Author: Sandra Merville Hart
Genre: Christian historical romance
Release date: February 14, 2023
He’s fighting for his career…She’s bent on achieving her own goals…Will their love survive a second chance at happily ever after?
Cora Welch dreams of a future teaching kindergarten, which is in its infancy, and marriage to Ben Findlay, her beau and her twin brother’s best friend. But she returns to college from summer break to learn of Ben’s unwise choices in pursuit of his career—choices that destroy her trust in the man she thought she knew and loved.
Ben is working hard toward his dream to become the best reporter in the city. He’s no stranger to fighting for a goal against all odds, ever since he was orphaned at age thirteen. Even though Cora has captured his heart, he makes the mistake of escorting the boss’s daughter to a fancy banquet to further his career—with far-reaching repercussions. Now he’s hurt Cora and botched his career goals.
Winning Cora’s trust again proves harder than Ben expects, especially as they both face struggles of their own. When events spiral out of their control, catapulting them into hardship and even danger, only God can restore their dreams—though the outcome may look far different than either of them planned.
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About the Author
Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.
More from Sandra
I have wanted to write a story set in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the 1880s for several years. It seems to me that it was on my heart to write while I was still working as a Programmer Analyst and writing was but a dream.
Twins Cora and John had been living on their family’s farm before moving to Cincinnati to attend college. John went rogue on me (he does that in Book 3 too h) and got a job at a newspaper working with Ben, and decided not to go to college. Meanwhile, Ben begins to court Cora.
When our story begins, Cora is in her second and final year at the Cincinnati Kindergarten Training School. Kindergarten is still in its infancy in 1883, when our story begins. In fact, the demand for kindergartens grew in the 1870s. There were about four hundred kindergartens by 1880, and the need to train teachers for them was a natural part of that growth.
A training school in Cincinnati was organized in March of 1880. At first, kindergarten students (aged four – six) learned the 3 R’s –reading, writing, and arithmetic. Before long, principals in higher grades complained that kindergartners also needed a basic knowledge of music, drawing, and manual training.
This led to greater training for kindergartener teachers, who learned teaching tools that included games, songs, and handwork.
I imagine that incorporating games, songs, and activities engaged the children’s interest in a new and fun way for them.
Part of my research included The Songs and Music of Friedrich Froebel’s Mother Play by Fro. Bel. Friedrich. Early training schools used Friedrich Froebel’s writing extensively in their training so I mentioned his Mother Play book within the story.
Though demand for kindergartens was growing, most schools didn’t address the needs of these four to six-year-old children by providing a kindergarten class. Cora has to fight for a local school to start a new class to open the fall after she graduates.
Another fun thing about this novel is the places I’ve included that the modern reader familiar with Cincinnati will recognize:
Fountain Square, the Suspension Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Zoological Gardens to name a few.
Follow characters you’ve grown to love in A Not So Convenient Marriage, Book 1 in the “Second Chances” series into A Not So Persistent Suitor, Book 2!
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 15
Blossoms and Blessings, February 15
Texas Book-aholic, February 16
deb’s Book Review, February 17
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 18
Writing from Walsh Mountain, February 18
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 20
Connie’s History Classroom, February 21
Holly’s Book Corner, February 21
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 22
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23
Simple Harvest Reads, February 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
For Him and My Family, February 25
lakesidelivingsite, February 26
Christina’s Corner, February 26
Cover Lover Book Review, February 27
Pause for Tales, February 28
Mary Hake, February 28
To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.