This book was merely ok for me. It starts right when Beyond the Gathering Storm lets off and continues the story of Christine. This time, Christine is the main character with no switching of point of view to her brother Henry. Her parents, Elizabeth and Wynn, feature slightly but are again, not the main characters.
We find Christine living with her parents after the breakup of her relationship in the South where she subsequently loses her job as well. She is just about to look for another job when she gets the good news that her brother and his beloved Amber will be getting married at Christmas and would love if she would come early to help with things. This she agrees to readily.
She and her mother first stop at Calgary to visit family and obtain some supplies, like fabric for a new suit for her position as bride’s maid. While her mother stays in Calgary, she continues on to her brother’s place.
After the wedding, it is Christine’s job to look after Danny, Amber’s son. It is during this time that a certain young Mountie that we know from Beyond the Gathering Storm (one that was mauled by a bear actually) takes a special interest in her. While he is not pushy, Christine just isn’t sure she is ready for a relationship yet. She leaves with him saying if she ever changes her mind, all she needs to do is send him a note.
She stops briefly back home before going back to Edmonton to pursue a job. Here she finds one and is just hired when she gets the bad news that her Aunt in Calgary has fallen and hurt her back and needs a nursemaid. Knowing that it would be probably for the best, she goes to take care of her Aunt, abandoning the job she just had.
The care of her Aunt goes well and soon she finds herself in a job in Calgary, thanks to her Uncle who was able to suggest it to her. With such happiness going on, they decide all family should come for Easter. When all but her brother Henry is there, they get bad news that he and his family have been in an accident. While they wait at the hospital visiting and looking after Henry and his family, she meets a young doctor who later turns out to have romantic pursuits.
In addition to the doctor, a young priest also has been pursuing her and knows her from the volunteer work that she is doing for soldiers. However will she decide where her heart leads?
There wasn’t as much Christian emphasis in this book as there were in the rest of Oke’s in my opinion. The only time she really brought it in was towards the end when Christine was seeking guidance towards making a decision. The way she did it, to me, was really strange. It involved Christine conversing with different quotes from the bible and while I realize people do this, it just seemed awkward to me. I think it was perhaps the way Oke wrote it rather than the situation actually being awkward.
Another disappointment in this book for me, and the reason I only rated it three stars, was because I did not agree with the ending at all. While there were three guys to pick and choose from, she didn’t choose the one I would have chosen for her. Oke had all possible logic leading to a certain one and then out of nowhere switches it up. It made it less of an enjoyable read for me.
At least in this book, compared to the last, the characters were more believable. They weren’t always perfect and were more fallible. This made it easier for me to connect with them.
As always, Oke’s writing is inoffensive and while she deals with some tough things, she doesn’t go too far with them or get too descriptive in gory details.
Overall, while I would have liked to see a better ending to the Canadian West series this wasn’t terrible. It just isn’t the end I would have chosen for it.
When Tomorrow Comes