The Orchard by Krista Lynne Jensen is the 1st book in a small series. I've found the name The Orchard Series on Goodreads but not Amazon.
Due the confusion of the series title name, I'm not going to label it under that series name!
The characters in this book are connected to the characters in the next book called Falling for You. The two main heroines are sisters.
And while this book may have connecting characters, they isn't any connecting story or plotline.
There's also no classification for this novel. Due to the fact that it's written by an LDS author, you can classify it as an LDS romance. You also call it a Christian romance. I don't think I'd call it a proper romance, but definitely a clean, sweet, wholesome romance.
It does have LDS content in it as the characters join the LDS church and some of their thinking and plans are to that effect. But there's not as much LDS content as other authors who write LDS romance.
This book was published in 2013 and has only the one book cover!!
It's not a long book, only 223 pages but there's no cliff hanger.
A story that has LDS content is usually a story about the life of a certain character. A regular romance story usually has a plotline, very much like a 3 act play concept.
You'll find that this story is somewhere in between that LDS content story and a plotline. Yes there's a problem that needs to be solved but it's more around a personal dilemma than an external issue.
This story is written in 3rd person with the POV being about Alison Embry.
This story has 3 parts to it. Each part is a certain timeframe. Part 1 is the beginning of Alison's story. Part 2 takes us into a long flashback to see how Alison met up with Derick Whitney initially. Then part 3 is where things finally come to a head and issues are resolved and questions are answered.
Alisen Embry's life took a turn when she lost her mother in a freak accident when she was tending to her beloved orchard.
Now several years later, she finds comfort and purpose in working the land with those that love it just as much as she does.
Especially after the way that her father has been treating her, the feelings of abandonment and loss, since her mother passed.
In part 1, we find out where she's at and how things are going with her family. And they aren't all good. Ever since her mother's death, her father has run their finances into the ground.
Now to make it, they have to rent out their family lake house to make ends meet. And that brings in a connection to her past she didn't know she still needed.
And that takes us to part 2. In this part, we enjoy the exciting and sweet romance between Alisen and Derick Whitney. And this is actually several chapters long as many things happen that affect the rest of the book.
Derick introduces her to the church and she starts taking the missionary discussions.
She finds comfort in his arms and comfort in what he's teaching and how it gives her peace about losing her mother.
But in the end, she lets her father influence her so much that her and Derick part ways.
And that takes us to part 3.
And in part 3, Derick comes back to see how Alisen is doing.
And a few things happen that makes Alisen rethink what she wants from life and the happiness that she wants.
In the ensuing years between part 2 and 3, Alisen does her own investigating and actually joins the church even though one of her sisters and her father are completely against her doing so. Along the way she also realizes how much she let her father influence her and not for the positive.
So when Derick comes back in her life and they're able to mend fences, she realizes that he's the man for her and always has been.
Okay, so it does end happy, but it takes a lot to get there.
There's a quote that's shared several times throughout the story. Here's the quote: "Sometimes when you don't know what you're looking for, that's when you find exactly what you need." I found that this quote actually summarizes the whole story.
When Alisen was young and not looking for romance, love found her anyway.
When Alisen needed answers to some deep-seated questions, she finds them in this man that has stolen her heart.
And if you believe in destiny, then this man came back for her just when she needed him the most.
It's cute story. I enjoyed how we were able to see the past as well as the present and how she changed.
Take a look at the next book that follows this book, Falling for You.
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