By Keely Brooke Keith
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
t’s 1863, and schoolteacher Olivia Owens believes education should be a top priority in the newly established settlement of Good Springs. Between planning lessons and helping out on her family’s homestead, Olivia doesn’t have time for Gabriel McIntosh’s charming advances. When the council denies her request to build a schoolhouse, Olivia must challenge their ruling and teach private lessons—all while hiding frequent bouts of word blindness (dyslexia). If the council knew the new teacher couldn’t always read, they wouldn’t allow Olivia to teach anymore.
As a carpenter, Gabe McIntosh is working hard to help build the settlement of Good Springs, and once his land is granted, he begins constructing his own house. When Olivia discovers he plans to share it with her, she guards her heart from him. But Gabe is determined to win her affection and figure out what she’s hiding.
If you read Aboard Providence, the first (chronologically) in the Land Uncharted series, then you’ll have a good understanding of what’s going on throughout this story. Although the author does subtly refer back to the previous events in Aboard Providence, so you won’t be completely lost, and can most likely read through this one without a problem.
I enjoyed this installment of the Uncharted Beginnings series. I felt the author delved deeper into many of the characters from the first book, showcasing some of the insecurities and fears that the people who have founded this new Land are experiencing. There were both positive characters, and negative characters, which was a good contrast overall.
I enjoy Keely’s writing style, smooth and descriptive, easy to read, heartfelt. The storyline flowed smoothly as well. in Aboard Providence there had been duel point of views of the two main characters and I honestly wish she’d done that with Above Rubies because I wanted more insight into Gabe from HIS point of view.
I recommend this series. It full of historical elements, romantic tension and flawed characters who have to learn how to trust God and each other to survive in a new land they’ve recently founded for themselves.