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Because of Mercy
PD Dawn, author
Set in New Zealand in the early twentieth century against the backdrop of a small rural town and WW1, this is a story of hope, faith and love, and a merciful God whose ways are not ours.
This enjoyable first entry in Dawn’s Coin Trilogy finds Rose Mounce, the spirited daughter of a dairy farmer in New Zealand, navigating her future amidst fears of becoming a spinster. At 18, Rose has received no marriage proposals, despite her wish to fall in love and start a family. She’s as fiery as her red hair—with a penchant for reading dime store westerns—and spends her time riding horses across her father’s land. When she suffers a riding accident breaking in a new gelding, Rose’s future changes in an instant—and leaves her harboring a dark secret that could ruin her chances of marriage.

Dawn’s novel is the epitome of feel-good romance, with troubled knight-in-shining-armor Henry, who falls for Rose when he rescues her from the accident, proposing marriage after the two become steadfast friends. But when the first World War strikes, Henry heeds the call of battle and enlists to prove his mettle. That understandable conflict starts a downward spiral for both Henry and Rose, with their relationship suffering as the world burns. When Henry’s wounded and meets a pretty Scottish nurse on the front, he puts Rose—and his life as he knew it before the war—out of his mind. Readers will empathize with Henry, surrounded by death in the trenches, and also with Rose, who, when Henry asks to be released from their engagement, is once again staring spinsterhood in the face, but this time with a broken heart. Added to the mix is Henry’s sister, Molly, who’s holding a grudge against Rose and determined to do whatever it takes to keep them apart.

Despondent about her future, Rose finds solace in her Christian beliefs, as Henry fights his own demons, eventually turning to God for answers as well. The ending is a sweet surprise and sets up the series for more satisfying romance in the future. Fans of satisfying love stories will be rewarded.

Takeaway: A soon-to-be spinster finds and maybe loses romance in this feel-good World War I story.

Great for fans of: Hallee Bridgeman’s Honor Bound, Elsie Davis’s The Heart of a Cowboy.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-