Wishing on Buttercups
By Miralee Ferrell
David C. Cook, 2014
Can love survive when secrets collide?
She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has.
Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her.
Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart.
As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?
Wishing on Buttercups is the second book in Miralee Ferrell's "Love Blossoms in Oregon" series. This story begins shortly after the end of the previous book and it was wonderful to continue with characters I had come to care about. Jeffery, Beth and Wilma Roberts were secondary characters in Blowing on Dandelions and here we see them developed more fully.
Miralee excels at using complex characterization and plot to explore life/family issues. Beth is a gifted artist who illustrates for a large women's magazine back East and Jeffery is a talented writer, hoping to write the next bestseller - yet both hide secrets and lack self-confidence. Beth reflects that "God might love her, but she didn't know a single man who could look at her scars without cringing."
This is not an action-packed, fast-paced novel; rather, it's strength is characterization and the interesting way in which relationships are explored - Jeffery and Beth, Jeffery and his father, Beth and Wilma. If you were ever on the receiving end of cruel teasing as a child, or struggled to be accepted for who you were, then you will be touched by this story.
Another strength is that Miralee just knows how to tell a good story! The romance between Jeffery and Beth is sweet, and it was good to see Jeffery take small steps forward in his faith as a result of Beth's influence. "Beth informed me there is more to faith than church, and I need to dig deeper. That God wants me to know Him more intimately."
Wishing on Buttercups can stand alone, but having read the first book added much depth and enjoyment for me. I liked the mystery that the flashbacks to Steven and Isabella provided and look forward to more from them. I believe readers will especially enjoy the ending. This story follows a long line of excellent novels by Miralee and I highly recommend it to all readers.
"My hope in writing this book is to show that God is able to take even the wallflowers of this world and cause them to blossom. No matter what we've been through in our past, He is able to heal the deepest hurt. Our Lord accepts us where we are, for who we are, scars and all. He looks beyond our overweight bodies, our acne-scarred skin, and all our other "deformities" we think or know we might have, and sees what's inside - the lovely person He created us to be."
Miralee Ferrell is a speaker, accredited counselor, and former ACFW chapter president who has published multiple contemporary and historical romance novels since starting to write in 2005. She enjoys horseback riding, gardening, and family gatherings around their eleven-acre property in Washington State’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Miralee has had eight books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with another 5 under contract. She’s an award-winning author of Western fiction, and her newest novel, Wishing on Buttercups released February 1, and is the second in a series set in Baker City, Oregon, 1880s.
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Thank you to Miralee Ferrell and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.