David Kingsman arrives in Teaville to prove his business merit to his father, but he finds himself distracted by Evelyn Wisely, a pastor's daughter with a heart for orphans and prostitutes. He agrees to help Evelyn with her mission to move prostitutes out of the red light district, but it becomes more complicated than he bargained for--not only for the mission, but also his business and his relationship with Evelyn. Can they overcome the obstacles in their way?
This is book written for the characters--lots of character development going on. David was by far my favorite. He is completely charming without being manipulative (the polar opposite of his dad), and he even has sense! No foot-in-mouth disease with this hero! Evelyn is more stand-offish and harder to understand, though she is undoubtedly compassionate and passionate about aiding the orphans and prostitutes in town. However, once she finally reveals her reasons for avoiding relationships, her actions make a lot more sense.
There are bits of humor sprinkled in--pretty necessary when dealing with heavy topics like prostitution and disease. Jagears treats the subjects with compassion but also realism--not everyone wants to be saved, and not everyone who wants to be saved can be saved. Sometimes the victories feel depressingly small, but there is always room for hope. Maybe it's because the process of reformation is so slow, but in spite of Evelyn's extreme busyness between the orphanage and the moral society, I came away feeling like not a lot actually happened.
Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
Teaville Moral Society
0.5: "Engaging the Competition" (Prequel novella from With This Ring? novella collection)
1. A Heart Most Certain
2. A Love So True
2.5: "Tied and True" (novella from Hearts Entwined collection)
3. A Chance at Forever