Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot is the first book in the Texas Dreams series. The book introduces us to Sarah Dobbs and Clay Canfield. The book is primarily written from their points of view. It is an excellent book which I have read twice now!
Sarah Dobbs has a secret, one she is not willing to share with Austin, her intended groom-to-be. She is ashamed of it. She also has a limp, one that affected her life in Boston. With her parents dead, she is now also the caretaker of her little sister, Thea. Austin said he didn't mind her limp, "You speak of your imperfections as though the rest of us bore no blemishes," and he also said he didn't mind that she was taking care of Thea, so where was he? In the beginning of the book, we meet Sarah at San Antonio Texas, waiting for Austin to come pick her up. He's almost an hour late, at this point. We learn a lot about Sarah and her character in the first few pages of the book because even though she doesn't know what she will do if Austin doesn't show up, she is determined and proud.
Clay Canfield is late. He also does not want to perform the task he knows he must, picking up Austin's bride. As it happens, Austin was murdered. In the beginning few pages of the book we learn that Clay is an angry man, and I don't blame him. In the last year, his father became crippled, he lost his wife and unborn child, and now he's lost his brother. But he's not angry at a person, he's angry at God, just as Sarah is.
Through the circumstances in this book, the friendships that are made, the budding romance between Sarah and Clay, and the learning to love and care again that each character goes through, we see the message of God's continued love, His patience in us, and His remaining true to his promise to never leave us. There are so many quotes I highlighted and noted in this book that affected me and my perception of each character, it would take me days to list them all! The main message both Sarah and Clay are left to face is that healing comes with time, and sorrow fades with time.
I do want to share one quote with you though, I won't give any spoilers away!! This is the most important sentence in the book. It's about discovering God's love and accepting it. "It's the easiest, the most difficult, and the most important thing you'll ever do. Open your heart to God. Let him fill it." I say it's the most important because that's what each and every one of us needs to do. Open our hearts to God, let Him take away the guilt, shame, anger, or whatever you're carrying. It truly is the most difficult, yet the easiest choice you'll ever have to make.
I really hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Look for book two, Scattered Petals review soon!
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