Author: Penny Zeller
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Wyoming Sunrise #1
Release Date: August 13, 2022
Publisher: Maplebrook Publishing
Some memories are best forgotten…
The Wyoming Territory is rife with lawlessness and disorder, something Annie Ledbetter and her parents discover when their wagon train is robbed. Seven years later, Annie settles into her lifelong dream as a teacher in the small town of Willow Falls. When she meets handsome rancher Caleb Eliason through a humorous misunderstanding, she is quickly drawn to his kind heart and charming smile.
Former outlaw Caleb Eliason embraces his chance at a fresh start. Gone are the days of robbing stagecoaches and wagon trains. When he falls in love with the new Willow Falls teacher, he doesn’t realize they’ve met before—under much different circumstances. When his past comes to light, will it put the growing love between them at risk?
Can forgiveness and redemption heal two broken hearts or will the past keep them from sharing a future?
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
I am so glad that I read the prequel Love's New Beginnings of this endearing Wyoming Sunrise series. Knowing Lydie and Reverend Solomon Eliason's story adds much more meaning to Forgotten Memories by Penny Zeller, which starts with a bang and never lets you go.
One thing I love is when I read a story, and it transports me immediately to the place and time, which Penny Zeller does as she takes her readers to Willow Falls, a small town in Wyoming Territory. But, Oh-My-Gosh! Before we get there, we experience a real live five-family wagon train robbery on their way to Nelsonville. It had me on the edge of my seat, wringing my hands and praying all would turn out well. This is where we first meet our two main characters, Caleb Ryerson and Annie Ledbetter, as children. Seven years later, Annie becomes the new school teacher in Willow Falls. Here she re-meets Caleb Ryerson, now Caleb Eliason, an upstanding citizen. Their love story begins during the traditional prank pulled by the students on the new teacher's first day of school.
Note to Readers: You will want a box of tissues handy. The moral of this heart-gripping tear-jerking story is forgiveness which is one of the hardest things to do. I loved the Bible verses throughout the book.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via BookFunnel through Interviews & Reviews. All the opinions are my own, and I was not required to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Karen Baney
What would happen if a man robbed a wagon train and fell in love with a woman from that train seven years later? This hook intrigued me and was the primary reason I wanted to read this novel. Penny Zeller did a good job of answering this question and creating tension around this central theme.
The strongest elements in the book were the characters’ struggle to apply their faith and truly understand the many layers of forgiveness. Forgiveness themes included characters learning to forgive themselves, those who committed a crime or verbal abuse against them, and how to forgive family members for not living up to their expectations. The characters also reminded each other of God’s forgiveness, especially in “as far as from the east is to the west.” Very well done, Zeller.
The conflict and character development were good enough to warrant four stars. I felt the character development could have been stronger, digging much deeper into the character’s angst over the conflict. Many scenes ended with the character being extremely empathetic to the plight of the person they were conflicted with. Some of these scenes would have been stronger if the character did not experience that empathy but had to work through the problem later in the novel. So, I found the story interesting enough to move forward, but not a page-turner or something I couldn’t put down.
While Zeller probably intended this story for an adult audience, I felt the character development and squeaky-clean romance would also be suited to a young adult audience. It depends on a parent’s preference for a storyline with a robbery and a theme of punishment for crimes. I found these aspects sanitized enough for a younger audience (12+).
In the end, I enjoyed the story. The way Zeller ended the book delighted me. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll say it pleasantly surprised me. Now you’ll have to read it to find out what I mean.
I recommend this book to fans of historical romance, western romance, clean romance, and even YA. Enjoy!
I requested and received copy of this book courtesy of the author and Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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