Thursday, 10 December 2020

Love Under the Stars by Kathleen Shoop + #Giveaway

Love Under The Stars by Kathleen Shoop

Self published on the 21st September 2020.

One of my More Than One challenge reads

1861, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Inspired by the true story of John and Phoebe Brashear who developed telescopes and lenses that are still in use today, Love Under the Stars brings the beginnings of their journey to life. Set against the steel mills of Pittsburgh, a young man has a mind for astronomy and physics, the gifted hands of a millwright, and the heart of a minister. Conflicted about which life path to take, he is further confounded when the love of his life shows up teaching Sunday school in the classroom next to his. 

Phoebe Stewart is headstrong, responsible, and meticulous about her role as baker and cook in her family's household. Despite her whip-smart mind, she understands that she will live a single woman's life with her family and revels in the caring and feeding fourteen household members. Then she meets John Brashear. He opens her eyes to a universe of heavenly bodies, a world of possibility beyond the walls of her home. 

Torn between the love growing between the two and Phoebe's devotion to her family, they navigate a path to where they can announce their plans to marry and buy a little home up on the South Side Slopes. It all seems to make sense… until it doesn’t. Can John and Phoebe fulfill their obligations while being true to their hearts? Can they make their dreams come true?

Available to buy from the following sites...

I leapt at the chance to read and review Kathleen Shoop's new historical fiction romance novella, Love Under The Stars, especially because its central characters were inspired by real people - John and Phoebe Brashear. I connected immediately with Phoebe and loved spending time with her although I think living in a house with that many other people would drive me to distraction. I would probably retreat to the kitchen too. I felt Shoop gave me a great sense of Phoebe's understanding of both herself and her place in the world. I was reminded of Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures in this portrayal of a highly intelligent woman with an obviously scientific mind who, through the prejudices of the time in which she lived, had to find non-standard outlets for her talents.

Phoebe's initial attraction to John is such a lovely scene! I was committed to their burgeoning relationship from the start, even more than they were I think. Although I usually struggle with the plausibility of instant love relationships, I felt it absolutely worked in this instance because the pair had a long time to build up from those early nervous butterflies. I was as entranced by the night sky as everyone else pulled into John's orbit. Love Under The Stars is a gentle warm-hearted romance that was the perfect pick-me-up read for a cold grey December day. It even has a wonderful Christmassy scene so I highly recommend this novella for reading right now!

About Kathleen Shoop
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.

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.


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