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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review - The Handfasting by David Burnett

About the Author

David lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston. The Handfasting, his second book will be published this month.

He enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.

David has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow. He and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen. In The Reunion, Michael's journey through England and Scotland allows him to sketch many places they have visited.

David spent years in school(!), and he has graduate degrees in psychology and education. He and his wife have two daughters.

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Book Description
Ten years had passed since they had joined hands in the ruins of the old abbey church. Standing before the high altar, they were handfasted in the Celtic custom, engaged to be married.

A rose bush had bloomed beside the ruined altar. Stephen had reached out to caress one of the flowers.

“I’ll find you,” he had said. “In ten years, when we have finished school, when we are able to marry, I’ll find you. Until then, whenever you see a yellow rose, remember me. Remember I love you.”

In those ten years, Katherine had finished college, completed med school, and become a doctor. In those ten years they had not seen each other, had not spoken, and had not written.

It was what they had agreed.

For a decade, she had been waiting, hoping, praying.

Today ─ her birthday─ she finds a vase of yellow roses when she reaches home.

Stephen, though, is not Katherine’s only suitor. Bill Wilson has known her since they were in high school. He has long planned to wed her, and he finally decides to stake his claim.

Although the action occurs primarily in New York City, psychologically, the story is set in a small town in Virginia. Change came slowly to the rural South in the nineteen-seventies, and attitudes toward women were most resistant to change. Women were expected to be subservient to men, to have children, to keep house. A woman was to be above reproach, and any hint of scandal was met with censure, with ostracism, with shame. These attitudes threaten to destroy Katherine and the life of which she dreams.

The Handfasting is a story of love renewed, a suitor spurned, a vicious attack, a struggle for healing. It is a story of love that survives.

Buy the book from...

Handfasting is an ancient European ceremony of (temporary or permanent) betrothal or wedding that dates back to pre-Medieval times and usually involves the tying or binding of the hands of the couple with a cord or ribbon. 
Our Book Review
A story of  beautiful true love that will make you smile as you read it, you will find yourself falling in love with characters of Steven and Katherine who show that true love wins throughout.  The author's soft and gentle writing was a pure pleasure to read.  The harrowing twist in the story was extremely suspenseful and every word was so easily believable due to the author's wonderful writing.

The story starts as the pair initially fall in love and perform the Handfasting ceremony themselves in an abandoned church in Scotland, which gives them both time to concentrate on building their careers yet knowing that they are still there for each other, they give themselves a whole ten years.  Within the church blooms a yellow rose bush planted by one of the monks and is now a symbol of both the Church and the town.

"Every time you see a yellow rose remember that I love you". Steven said to Katherine.

During this time they get on with their lives but deep down they both know that nobody can compare to their true love.  Katherine becomes a doctor and Steven becomes a curator of a art museum in New York.

Fast forward ten years and after a lot of searching Steven finally finds his love, Katherine, who is still just as much in love with him as he is with her.  There is just one problem, an unwanted admirer from Katherine's hometown, Bill Wilson, who is an arrogant, self centered and opinionated drunk with horrendous beliefs about woman who believes he has claimed Katherine and is set to marry her.  What happens next is horrifying.

Following Katherine's plight you feel her despair and I was on tender hooks with the uncertainty of how the story was going to end, the suspense was amazing and I actually read half the book in one afternoon.

A nice, light and friendly romance story with an unwanted admirer who stirs things up to the core.  An absolutely recommended read and I will certainly be reading more from this talented author.

Our Rating

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  1. One of my good friends loves romance books and her birthday is this month. I am going to look into buying this for her, of course I would buy the 1st book too.

  2. When I first saw the title I thought it would be a Scottish Historical Romance--I was pleasantly surprised to read that it actually is a current day love story where the pair stay together but apart for years. On my TBR list for sure.

  3. This actually sounds like a book I would enjoy. Now to just find the time! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Just reading this I found myself all into the story and their romance. It really makes you wonder what happens and I love stories that have that effect.

  5. O love romance books and I certainly would love to read this one.

  6. I'm going to have to get this book for my upcoming trip. I love a little romance and a little suspense...and I'm intrigued by the twist you mentioned. Sounds like the perfect combination.

  7. Nice synopsis you've got there, it's very interesting to read something from different books, thanks for sharing.

  8. oh!! i love love stories! i do have a collection of books with stories like these. nice book to read.

  9. great story... adding it to my "to read" list.


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