I’ve reviewed best selling author, Merry Farmer’s, historical romantic novella Sarah Sunshine and have provided my review along with details on this wonderful story. Look around, get to know this talented author, read an excerpt from her enjoyable book, and then hurry to one of the book sellers listed below to get your copy.
By Merry Farmer
After five years working at the saloon, Sarah Withers is a free woman. The shame of her past is behind her and nothing but blue skies lie ahead. But when her plans to become a respectable woman collapse under the weight of old wounds and fresh battles, her worst fears seem realized. The joy of her life and light of her heart, Roy, couldn’t possibly love a fallen woman like her, could he?
Roy LaCroix’s future seems made. Delilah Reynolds has made him manager of her new hotel. The only thing he needs to fill his days with sunshine is Sarah. But dark clouds line the horizon when Sarah stumbles into a twenty-year-old feud as it breaks hearts in the present. Roy must stay true to himself and his love for Sarah to stop a bitter past from repeating itself before it’s too late.
Sarah peeked in through the window, a rack of ready-made dresses catching her eye. She sighed with longing. Once she’d earned some money working for Miss Jones, she’d come back to the general store and buy some pretty clothes, like Mrs. West wore. Then everyone in Cold Springs would forget what she used to be. She’d fit in right and proper.
With a smile of promise, she turned and headed back to the saloon. It was still warm in spite of the chill in the air. November was only a few days old, and it had been an unseasonably warm autumn. Today was a perfect day for moving – moving out of the saloon and moving on with her life. She hopped up onto the saloon porch with joy in her heart.
The sound of sweeping from the old hotel, across the alley from the saloon, caught that joy and fluttered it all through her.
“Good morning, Roy.” She swayed to the end of the porch, cheeks flushing pink.
Roy LaCroix stopped mid-sweep and met her eyes across the alley. The hotel porch was several feet above where she stood, and looking up at him—tall and handsome and smart as a tack in his dark blue bellhop uniform—was like looking up at an angel. Especially when a smile lit his face from ear to ear.
“Good morning, Sarah.” He straightened to his full height and tipped his round bellhop hat to her, replacing it on his head at a rakish angle. “You’re looking awful pretty this morning.”
“Thanks.” She blushed and lowered her eyes, glancing up at him through her lashes.
Roy LaCroix was just about the nicest, sweetest man in all of Montana. He was built strong for a bellhop with arms that could hold a woman and make her feel right. He had the most dazzling brown eyes too, with long lashes and a sparkle that set her insides quivering. It didn’t feel like work at all when he came to the saloon to visit her. In fact, those were the very best evenings of all.
“You’re contract’s up today, isn’t it?” he said. He set his broom aside and ambled to the end of the hotel porch to lean against the railing, hands in his pockets. The sunlight gave his brown hair a warm reddish glow under his blue cap.
Sarah kept her head bowed modestly as she answered, “Yes, it is.”
Roy’s smile widened. “I’m awful glad to hear it.”
“Are you?” She could feel the warmth of his gaze as surely as the sun.
“Well, I’ll be sorry not to spend time with you,” he answered, a blush spreading across his face. “You wanna go for a picnic later, maybe?” His eyebrows rose with the question.
“Why, yes, I would.” Her heart bounced to her gut then back up again. Roy LaCroix was asking her on a picnic. The amazing thought filled her for two seconds before her smile and her shoulders dropped. “Oh, but I can’t. I’m moving my things over to the boarding house this morning and then I’ve got to work.”
Roy’s gallant joy dropped to a frown. “But I thought you said your contract was up. You’re not still … working, are you?”
Sarah giggled, pressing a hand to her mouth.
“No, no, not like that.” Tickles of hope spread from her chest to her toes as Roy’s smile returned. “I’m gonna be working for Miss Jones now, cleaning and mending and things. Mr. Sutcliffe arranged it. A woman’s got to have gainful employment if she’s gonna make her own way in the world.”
“But you’re definitely not … entertaining no more?” The spark in Roy’s eyes vacillated between relief and disappointment.
She shook her head, pressing a hand to her hot cheek. “The only man I’ll ever entertain like that for the rest of my days is my husband, and that’s the truth.”
As quick as she said it, a wave of bashfulness swirled over her. She lowered her eyes and bit her lip, then peeked up at Roy. He had that hungry look in his eyes—that look he had when he came to the saloon. It sent prickles across her skin.
Sarah Withers is finally free from her contract after working at the town’s saloon for the past five years. Determined to become a respectable woman to win the heart of the love of her life, Roy LaCroix, she turns to the town’s Bible-quoting spinster to help her achieve her goal. However, when a twenty-year-old feud between the spinster and the saloon owner comes to light, Sarah unwittingly becomes an instrument for revenge. Sarah’s respectability and hopeful future with Roy is put in jeopardy when her mentor weaves her cruel plan.
This entertaining historical romance, which takes place in Montana in the late 1800’s, is a unique and heart-warming view of the trials of true love when bound by the stringent standards of society. Merry Farmer demonstrates her talent for writing by crafting a creative storyline filled with love, compassion, tolerance, and humor. She combines the narrow-minded prejudice and austere mores of the time with the innate goodness of man and transforms them into a delightful love story that has the reader rooting for the happily ever after.
The characters are appealing and come to life on the pages. With no lulls or overly descriptive areas, the plot flows smoothly as the reader follows the protagonists’ journey to lasting happiness. This lighthearted novella is delivered with style and finesse, leaving no ends unfinished. Sarah Sunshine is a captivating romance that not only warms the heart and lifts the spirits, but also leaves one with a smile long after the last page is read.
~~~About the Author~~~
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.
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