Keeper of the Stars – Robin Lee Hatcher – Thomas Nelson – Published 26 January 2016
She blames him for her brother’s death. Can she let go of resentment and open her heart to love? Penny Cartwright found it difficult to understand why her younger brother would choose to join a country singer’s band rather than return to Kings Meadow after college . . . and the separation strained their relationship. Then a car accident made certain her brother could never return.
Trevor Reynolds has chased stardom in Nashville for more than a dozen years, but it remains out of his reach. After an accident kills his young drummer, Trevor goes to Kings Meadow to keep a promise—and perhaps to discover what truly matters in this life.
Thrown together by circumstances, Penny and Trevor must learn to give and receive forgiveness. And if they do, perhaps something beautiful can rise from the ashes of heartbreak.
This was a fun, snowy romance with strong themes of faith, forgiveness and healing.
The death of Penny Cartwright’s younger brother shocked her – and made certain she would never be able to speak the words that would mend the rift that developed between them when Brad left home to chase his dream of a music career. Penny places the majority of the anger she feels over Brad’s death at the feet of his fellow bandmate, Trevor Reynolds. Trevor knows something has to change in his life and knows that keeping his promise to his dying drummer is a good place to start. He travels to Kings Meadow in the hope to help Brad’s sister and father in their grief. But his arrival in Kings Meadow will have a greater impact than he could have imagined.
It is no secret that I love romance stories where the characters start off hating each other. It makes the transition to love so much more enjoyable. It is also no secret that I love Robin Lee Hatcher’s Kings Meadow series. Love the setting, the country charm, and the inclusion of touching storylines, faith and romance. From the very first chapter, the prologue in fact, it’s clear how much Penny hates Trevor (I have to admit I had a bit of a ‘you go girl!’ moment when she so adequately displays this). She’s not afraid to voice or show her displeasure. And when Trevor shows up in town, seems to be settling in for a while and starts ingratiating himself with her dad, she can’t help felling a little put out. But Trevor’s presence in their lives grows on Penny, especially when he is willing to help her ailing father with the ranch chores. And she can’t deny he is rather handsome. And kind. And generous. And has a great singing voice. Okay, so he’s not all bad. But she’s determined to hold onto her anger. As a result, the romance doesn’t develop until much later in the story, the last quarter or so. The focus of the book is really on the healing passage of love and forgiveness.
Faith plays a wonderful part in this book, as it often does in Robin Lee Hatcher’s books. Trevor is just starting to get serious about his faith journey, coming from a past of chasing stardom, money and success. Penny is a long-term Christian who is struggling with God over her brother’s death and anger to all involved. They have some pretty big issues to work through, which they do with the help of Penny’s father and Brad. I would have liked to see Penny and Trevor work through these issues together, though, along with Trevor’s past. I think this would have given their relationship more depth, in addition to the light romance scenes of horseback riding in the snow and dinner dates.
Spread throughout the story are sections about Brad. They act a little like diary entires, giving the reader a glimps into his childhood, thoughts and relationship with Penny, his father and Trevor. It helps to make Brad a real part of the story and reaffirms the grief and loss the other characters feel at his passing.
I enjoyed returning to Kings Meadow. It was fun to see it in the snowy months of Christmastime. Fans of the Kings Meadow series will recognise some familiar faces, though they don’t play a huge role in the story. For those who are confused about the series’ structure (I was until Robin clarified it for me), there are three books in the Kings Meadow series, this being the third. They can all be read as standalones, but they have a few character crossovers. Then there is the Kings Meadow Setting series. These books and novellas are still set in Kings Meadow and have a few character crossovers, but aren’t officially a part of the series. You can find more information about the correct series order on Robin’s website.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Forgiveness, death, faith, love and romance, music, Christmas, family, grief, ranch life.
Published: 26 January 2016 by Thomas-Nelson.
Format: Paperback, hardcover, ebook. 304 pages.