Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The River Jewel by Kathleen Shoop + #Giveaway

The River Jewel by Kathleen Shoop
Published in America on the 29th November 2019.

One of my Found Them On Twitter Challenge reads

Add The River Jewel to your Goodreads

For everyone who hopes to find the perfect match…

1875 Des Moines, Iowa

The novella, The River Jewel, takes readers of the bestselling Letter Series novels back in time, before there was a last letter, before the Arthurs lost everything, before they knew a girl named Pearl.

Meet Tilly Rabel, a proud oyster-woman, and Landon Lockwood, the troubled son of one of the wealthiest men in America. The two could not be less suited for love. But when an old legend draws Landon to a hidden river cove, Tilly and he find each other, are lured by growing attraction, and repelled by competing desires to control Tilly’s waters. The hidden pool is replete with valuable mussel beds and the source of everything that makes Tilly who she is. Landon sees the illustrious treasure as the path to proving to his parents he is worth their love and worthy of the Lockwood name. Can Tilly trust Landon with her heart, with her beloved mussel beds? Can Landon trust that he has truly changed and doesn’t need his parents approval to live the life he wants?

Heartbreak, triumph, and a very special baby weave a tale sure to please readers who’ve read the entire Letter Series and those who are just starting the journey.

I'm going to start this review with the admission that I haven't actually read any of Kathleen Shoop's Letter Series novels yet so I can't tell you how this novella really connects to the series. I felt it would be a good introduction though because this story takes place earlier in time. It's a lovely, romantic historical novel set in rural Des Moines. Shoop captures a wonderful sense of this Iowa community in the years before many were forced to move away, and I loved how she contrasted the life priorities of Des Moines against those of rich Manhattanites. The River Jewel is an opposites attract romance and, while as a reader I was always pretty confident of the ultimate conclusion, Tilly and Landon weren't able to share my certainty.

I loved Tilly as much as I disliked Landon! Even once  he begins to understand how emotionally rewarding Tilly's lifestyle is, Landon still insists on doing things 'for' her without the basic courtesy of asking her first - and then expects gratitude! Their characters and connection are convincingly portrayed though and I found myself fervently wanting them to succeed. Tilly's minimalism, common as it was at the time, now appears an unusual way to live, albeit a way that I would happily embrace given half a chance - perhaps without all that diving into cold water though.

I'm glad to have had this opportunity to read The River Jewel. I'm not a big romance reader, but was entranced by this story and am now tempted to start Shoop's Letter Series novels from the beginning to discover the full story of this family.

Meet the author

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. Kathleen coordinates Mindful Writing Retreats and is a regular presenter at conferences for writers.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog and Donora Stories that are coming soon!) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again, Return to Love and Tending Her Heart (Endless Love series). Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

Author links: 
Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads

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  1. Replies
    1. It is! I enjoyed it's atmosphere and historical details

  2. That sounds like such a good story.

  3. I could defiantly live alone on an island happy as I love my own company however I would miss my chug Arthur so I’d have to find a way to smuggle him with me then I’d be a happy bunny. Sounds a great story

    1. So long as I could refresh a stack of books from time to time, I would be very happy!

  4. I could likely live alone on an island and be happy as long as I had books.

  5. Depends if I could take my dog and books x

  6. Replies
    1. I tend to make do with mostly fictitious people!

  7. Eleanor and I could totally live on an island with all our books, as long as we can FaceTime our loved ones, so really...probably not.

    1. You'd just need some way to generate enough electricity to keep a laptop charged - and a satellite wifi system. That probably wouldn't be counted as being alone though :-/

    2. Nope, it would not. Guess that's my answer then, haha :)