The Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1)
In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn't relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills. When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer's plans might put more than just the park in danger."

The Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) Details

TitleThe Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherWaterbrook Press
ISBN0735289549
ISBN-139780735289543
Rating
GenreHistorical, Christian Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Christian

The Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) Review

  • Vicki
    June 22, 2017
    If you like a story that has really well-developed characters, a wonderful message of how God is in the beauty of nature, a romance between a nature-loving young woman and an emotionally broken park ranger, then you need to pick up The Road to Paradise. I was touched and inspired by Marge's love of nature. It made me relate to how I feel when I am at a national park or just when I commune with nature at daybreak. With a menacing entrepreneur named Philip shows up the fight begins to save the par If you like a story that has really well-developed characters, a wonderful message of how God is in the beauty of nature, a romance between a nature-loving young woman and an emotionally broken park ranger, then you need to pick up The Road to Paradise. I was touched and inspired by Marge's love of nature. It made me relate to how I feel when I am at a national park or just when I commune with nature at daybreak. With a menacing entrepreneur named Philip shows up the fight begins to save the park from over-commercialization and the destruction of the pristine park. Mount Ranier would never be the same. This book has everything. There was so much beauty packed into the pages, poetry, scriptures, and natural animal sightings, it was a delight.
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  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
    June 6, 2017
    The first thing that caught my attention about this book was its amazing cover. I collect the vintage-style postcards from national parks, sites, memorials, and cities that we visit on our road trips, and earlier this year I mounted them all on my living room wall :) Since I love national parks and I enjoy this author's writing I knew this would be a perfect book for me! The early 20th century setting in the Washington wilderness had a distinct feeling and I appreciated seeing the park and chara The first thing that caught my attention about this book was its amazing cover. I collect the vintage-style postcards from national parks, sites, memorials, and cities that we visit on our road trips, and earlier this year I mounted them all on my living room wall :) Since I love national parks and I enjoy this author's writing I knew this would be a perfect book for me! The early 20th century setting in the Washington wilderness had a distinct feeling and I appreciated seeing the park and characters in that era. There are so many great details from the wildlife to the conditions the rangers lived in, but they all were woven in naturally to the story, so I didn't feel like the plot was bogged down but kept a steady pace. Margie and Ford start out with a stark contrast between their views of the wilderness. Margie is an idealistic naturalist who loves the poetry written of nature and acquiring knowledge of the flora and fauna through reading books since she doesn't have any experience in the great outdoors. Ford, on the other hand, was raised in the mountains with his ranger father and understands the harsh realities of the terrain, the wildlife, and the weather. Over time Margie and Ford become acclimated to each other and learn the value of the other's perspective. While Ford strikes a healthy balance between practical knowledge and a new appreciation for the small wonders and great majesty of God's creations, Margie goes to the opposite extreme and discounts all her book learning as worthless when it comes to survival, which kind of bothered me. But her personality tends to see things in black and white so I guess that made sense. The villain popped up periodically to aggravate Margie and Ford and I was frustrated that they weren't productive in thwarting his plans and seeing a way around his slick strategies. My favorite part of the book is the sense of adventure in an untamed wilderness and how people have a responsibility to respect and preserve it while enjoying the challenge of discovery. And the romance, of course ;)(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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  • Jocelyn Green
    May 21, 2017
    A true delight. With its expertly rendered setting of breathtaking beauty and danger, combined with charming characters and a swiftly moving plot, The Road to Paradise is a journey worth taking more than once!
  • Sarah Sundin
    June 7, 2017
    A story as invigorating, inspiring, and perilous as Mount Rainier itself! The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett pulled me in with humor and fascinating characters and a delicious romance, then kept me up late as Ford and Margie strive to save the national park that seems determined to kill them. The author’s experiences as a park ranger give this novel both authenticity and passion, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Vintage National Parks Series!
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  • Sarah
    June 5, 2017
    Readers, get ready to go on a full out adventure as you hit the wilderness with Margie who loves Mount Rainer. Don't be fooled by the title "The Road to Paradise." This book is nothing but a road to paradise, but an adventure of a lifetime that Margaret takes. She doesn't hike the forest alone but meets a very charming and handsome chief park ranger, Ford Brayden. He is determined to keep her safe, despite the fact she tries to put her life at risk to save the mountain. Will Ford and Margie be a Readers, get ready to go on a full out adventure as you hit the wilderness with Margie who loves Mount Rainer. Don't be fooled by the title "The Road to Paradise." This book is nothing but a road to paradise, but an adventure of a lifetime that Margaret takes. She doesn't hike the forest alone but meets a very charming and handsome chief park ranger, Ford Brayden. He is determined to keep her safe, despite the fact she tries to put her life at risk to save the mountain. Will Ford and Margie be able to save Mount Rainer National Park? Will sparks fly between the two of them or will the weather elements end the fate of one of them? Karen tells the most adventurous, page-turning story that will have you excited about the journey, thankful for the spiritual truths and cheering on the characters! I'm absolutely thrilled with this series and think this is an author to watch out for, especially with this series! This book is worth beyond a 5-star review. Karen did her research for this period and has a great deal of knowledge/ experience when it comes to National Parks. Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me a complimentary copy. A favorable review was not required. I give this book a 5/5 star review. Please add this book to your summer read list! You'll love going on your own travel adventure.
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    June 23, 2017
    I read Karen Barnett's book, Mistaken a few years back and really enjoyed it! The Road to Paradise intrigued me from the first moment I read the description, I thought ooh, I've gotta read that! And I am thrilled to say that this book was completely delightful! Having grown up on 75+ acres of land I am a huge nature lover, so I could totally relate to Margie's love of the outdoors and her joy in seeing God's fingerprints on every bit of nature! It was such a great idea to write a historical seri I read Karen Barnett's book, Mistaken a few years back and really enjoyed it! The Road to Paradise intrigued me from the first moment I read the description, I thought ooh, I've gotta read that! And I am thrilled to say that this book was completely delightful! Having grown up on 75+ acres of land I am a huge nature lover, so I could totally relate to Margie's love of the outdoors and her joy in seeing God's fingerprints on every bit of nature! It was such a great idea to write a historical series set in national parks, I have never visited any national parks, but the writing in this book was so vivid and beautifully described that I could see Mount Rainier and all its splendor as though I was really there alongside the characters! I loved the romance in this story, it was sweet and definitely stirring without overpowering the rest of the story, I felt that it was a perfect balance! This book drew me in from the beginning and didn't let go until I turned the final page. I loved this book and highly recommend it! It makes a perfect summer read too.I can't wait for the next Vintage National Parks novel!I received a copy of this book from the publisher. No review required. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
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  • Alicia
    June 20, 2017
    This book made me want to put on my hiking boots and take a long hike away from civilization. I really enjoyed reading about the early days of US national parks and had a hard time putting it down!Margie and Ford were genuine, likeable characters and it was awesome to see their (Ford’s especially) faith journeys. The plot also kept my interest (though I did feel like some parts and background stories could have been expanded). Overall, I had fun reading this and felt “refreshed” (with all the be This book made me want to put on my hiking boots and take a long hike away from civilization. I really enjoyed reading about the early days of US national parks and had a hard time putting it down!Margie and Ford were genuine, likeable characters and it was awesome to see their (Ford’s especially) faith journeys. The plot also kept my interest (though I did feel like some parts and background stories could have been expanded). Overall, I had fun reading this and felt “refreshed” (with all the beautiful scenery descriptions and all) after reading this sweet story! Also, a shout-out to the person who designed the cover- it’s gorgeous and it's what drew my attention to the book!
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  • Rebecca
    June 10, 2017
    "My soul is at peace here. Like God has led me to the promised land."Margaret Lane has made her great escape; leaving a life of social obligation and burrowing herself into life at Mount Rainer National Park, as a result of her father's generosity, she finds herself dubbed a "naturalist" by Chief Ranger Ford Boynton to whom she is assigned. Surrounded by wildlife and flora to her heart's content, Margie's love of the outdoors flourishes, in spite of Ford's initial concerns about her ability to s "My soul is at peace here. Like God has led me to the promised land."Margaret Lane has made her great escape; leaving a life of social obligation and burrowing herself into life at Mount Rainer National Park, as a result of her father's generosity, she finds herself dubbed a "naturalist" by Chief Ranger Ford Boynton to whom she is assigned. Surrounded by wildlife and flora to her heart's content, Margie's love of the outdoors flourishes, in spite of Ford's initial concerns about her ability to survive in the "wild", "for she saw God in every loving brushstroke of creation". Ford Boynton has absolutely no intentions of falling under the spell of the senator's daughter, in spite of her admirable determination, talent with their park guests, and lovely appearance. However, when Margie's pompous ex-fiance arrives on the scene with an outlandish land development plan, Ford instinctively comes to her aid, only to discover that their differences run far deeper than family pedigrees, for Ford's heart is still shrouded by bitterness and grief, following the untimely death of his father, leaving him at odds with Margie's enduring faith."The Road to Paradise" is an exceptional series opener, full of interesting history with regards to the establishment of our national parks, but's it essentially a love story, and a romance; for "when I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou are mindful of him?"
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  • Rachael
    May 24, 2017
    What a truly enjoyable read!I really liked the characters in this book, and you just can't beat the fact that a huge portion of the story has a great backdrop of the beautiful nature God has created.I've always loved the freedom and beauty of the outdoors. I can totally relate to Margie, and her fascination of the beauty that surrounds her at Mount Rainer National Park.Great characters, well- written plot, and a beautiful faith theme that I loved. I love when the faith theme is intricately woven What a truly enjoyable read!I really liked the characters in this book, and you just can't beat the fact that a huge portion of the story has a great backdrop of the beautiful nature God has created.I've always loved the freedom and beauty of the outdoors. I can totally relate to Margie, and her fascination of the beauty that surrounds her at Mount Rainer National Park.Great characters, well- written plot, and a beautiful faith theme that I loved. I love when the faith theme is intricately woven throughout the book.So I highly recommend you go buy it. Great read! This one will be on my forever shelves."She stretched a trembling hand toward the mountain. 'It's as if you could reach out and touch it. Look how the slopes glisten in the sunlight.' "I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own."It belongs to us all, and that's why we must fight to protect it from unscrupulous forces that would simply develop the land for the sake of the almighty dollar.""I love seeing God's creation laid out on n front of us. 'The earth is full of thy riches.' How anyone can look at this natural order and not see the Maker's hand, I'll never comprehend."
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  • Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
    June 18, 2017
    About this book:“An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow. But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work ma About this book:“An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow. But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources. When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?”Series: Book #1 in the “Shadows of the Wilderness” series. Spiritual Content- Many Prayers; Quite a few Scriptures are quoted, read, mentioned, & remembered; Bible reading; Witnessing & being witnessed to; Many talks about God, His creations, His love, faiths, & church going; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Margie has a strong faith; Ford doesn’t believe God pays attention to humans & is bitter towards God, but Margie starts praying for him, *Spoiler* (view spoiler)[About 100 pages until the end, Ford says he wants the peace and joy that his father & Margie have and starts thinking and bartering, but near the end he apologize to God and realizes (hide spoiler)]*End of Spoiler*; Many mentions of God, His creations, & His love; Mentions of talks about God; Mentions of a Bible & reading; Mentions of prayers, praying, & answered prayers; Mentions of churches, church going, & services; Mentions of faiths, Christians, & unbelievers; A few mentions of religion & some call it “religious babble”; A few mentions of hymns; A few mentions of blessings; A couple mentions of thanking God; A couple mentions of Heaven; A mention of a miracle; A mention of a godsend; A mention of holy ground; *Note: A mention of a man looking like a Greek Adonis; A mention of a little devil; A mention of a devilish trick; A mention of conquering demons; A mention of facing demons. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blast’, a ‘blast it all’, a ‘stupid’, three ‘idiot’s; A bit of eye rolling & sarcasm; A tiny bit of Fighting & Hitting (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of deaths from an accident (including Ford’s father prior to the book starting), finding the bodies (they don’t), dangers, screams, & nightmares (barely-above-not-detailed); Hinted mentions of being hit, injuries, & verbal fighting (Carmichael to Margie); Mentions of the Great War & fighting; Mentions of threats & a fire (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of cigarettes & smoking; Mentions of the Prohibition, bars, drinking, & a drunk; Mentions of accepting bribes; Mentions of poison & poisonous fumes; Mentions of gossip; A few mentions of blood/bleeding; A few mentions of lies, lying, & liar; A couple mentions of gambling; A couple mentions of jealousy; A mention of almost cursing; A mention of a vulture & its kill; A mention of looking like an animal going off to die. Sexual Content- earlobe kisses, a forehead kiss, three barely-above-not-detailed kisses, and six semi-detailed kisses; Remembering a kiss (up to semi-detailed); Wanting to kiss & steal a kiss (barely-above-not-detailed); Touches, Embraces, & Warmth (up to semi-detailed); Wanting to touch & feel warmth (barely-above-not-detailed); Noticing (and noticing muscles and bare skin) & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); At one part, Margie & Ford have to sleep under the same blanket to keep warm, but nothing sexual (though Carmichael makes a comment about acting like animals in heat); Mentions of a honeymoon; Mentions of kisses & kissing; Mentions of touches & warmth (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of reputations & compromising situations; Mentions of blushes; A few teasing mentions of necking; A few mentions of dating & dates; A few mentions of flirting; A few mentions of jealousy; A man mentions that he wouldn’t mind having a girl to keep him warm; A mention of a scandalous thought; Love, falling in love & quite a bit of the emotions; *Note: Mentions of showing skirts & being touched in an unladylike fashion; A few mentions of a Margie’s well-defined legs & curves (from Ford’s POV); A few mentions of unmentionables & a girl being outside in her shift (from two men’s POV); A couple mentions of a man’s eye lingering on Margie’s less-than-modest dress neckline; A mention of a Margie’s nightclothes (from Ford’s POV); A mention of a Sheba (from the Bible). -Margaret “Margie” Lane, age 23-Ashford “Ford” Brayden, age 26 P.O.V. switches between them Set in 1927 344 pages~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Pre Teens- One StarNew Teens- One Star (and a half)Early High School Teens- Three Stars Older High School Teens- Four Stars My personal Rating- Four StarsFrom the second chapter on, Margie had my vote. Her poetic-ness and excitement to learn was the cutest thing. She’s a book girl, so, of course, we would get along. Ford, on the other hand, had absolutely no clue what to do with her and it was hilarious. She is honestly a doll; ‘Margie sighed. “I suppose rodents are a part of God’s creation too. I’ll just need to learn to appreciate His lesser creatures, right Ranger Brayden?”’Then at one point, when she leaves to go change clothes, she says, “I’ll be out in a twinkling.” I am so using that now. ;)I love how strong Margie is in her faith, she knows she can’t build a (romantical) relationship without a solid foundation (God), and while that hurts her heart at some points, she pulls back on any romance thoughts. The faith moments for both Margie and Ford seemed realistic and written in a natural sense. So, while yes, I honestly would have given this book a bit of a higher rating had there been less kissing and certain comments, I overall really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to learning more about the next book of the series. :)Link to review:https://booksforchristiangirls.blogsp... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Waterbrook) for this honest review.
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  • Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
    June 6, 2017
    It’s long been a dream of mine to visit each and every U.S. National Park. When I learned Karen Barnett would be writing a series of books set in three parks around the time of their inception, I hastily added them to my must-read list. The Road to Paradise was my introduction to Barnett’s writing and admittedly I felt an instant connection with the author through her protagonist. Perhaps it's because Margie and I share a proclivity for praising God as we explore His creation.Margie, Chief Range It’s long been a dream of mine to visit each and every U.S. National Park. When I learned Karen Barnett would be writing a series of books set in three parks around the time of their inception, I hastily added them to my must-read list. The Road to Paradise was my introduction to Barnett’s writing and admittedly I felt an instant connection with the author through her protagonist. Perhaps it's because Margie and I share a proclivity for praising God as we explore His creation.Margie, Chief Ranger Ford Brayden, and Mt. Rainier are the main characters of this story. How can a mountain be a character? God uses the mountain to woo the other two characters to Himself. In fact, you’ll find God on virtually every page—entering scenes by way of Margie’s words and thoughts towards Him, and indirectly in Barnett’s descriptions of His handiwork.Weighty Christian themes are balanced by moments of levity as well as Margie and Ford’s blossoming romance. My first laughs came at Ford’s expense, because he was so irritated at having to accommodate a female in his ranks. As he began to appreciate her skills of observation and impressive knowledge of Rainier’s flora and fauna, I delighted in the playful banter they carried on for the remainder of the book.If you haven't had the opportunity to read the guest post* Karen Barnett wrote about her research for this book, I hope you will take the time. Her personal experience as a ranger in Mount Rainer National Park as well as many of the historical details she gained through corresponding with a park curator, add to the story. I never questioned the historicity, merely the minute detail of Margie's physical conditioning prior to her 14,411’ ascent. Nevertheless, I am absolutely looking forward to exploring both Yellowstone and Yosemite in Barnett’s forthcoming Vintage National Parks Novels.*Authors, Novels & National Parks: Researching Mount Rainier by Karen BarnettI received a complimentary copy of this novel. This review is my honest opinion, and I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Jaime Jo Wright
    June 26, 2017
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For one, it was refreshing to read a historical not set in the Victorian era but instead in 1927. I loved the authenticity of the era, the old tricks, the wool trousers, the jargon, the cigarettes, and the early days of national parks. The setting was stellar! I mean. Mt. Rainer. I recall the first time I set eyes on its peak ... beautiful. Ms. Barnett tells a hefty story built around its base. Thick with history and references to Muir and Thoreau and other great I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For one, it was refreshing to read a historical not set in the Victorian era but instead in 1927. I loved the authenticity of the era, the old tricks, the wool trousers, the jargon, the cigarettes, and the early days of national parks. The setting was stellar! I mean. Mt. Rainer. I recall the first time I set eyes on its peak ... beautiful. Ms. Barnett tells a hefty story built around its base. Thick with history and references to Muir and Thoreau and other great lovers of the wilderness. This is a book that will stay with you long after you close the last page.
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  • Susan
    May 30, 2017
    Karen Barnett is a new-to-me author. I was so intrigued by the concept of a series set in our national parks that I immediately volunteered to join her book launch team. Barnett's descriptive prose allows the reader to feel as if they have set foot in Mt. Rainer National Park. Her experience as a seasonal park ranger is joined with her talent with the pen to weave a beautiful tapestry of words for the reader. I have a feeling that Barnett's appreciation of God's creation is reflected through her Karen Barnett is a new-to-me author. I was so intrigued by the concept of a series set in our national parks that I immediately volunteered to join her book launch team. Barnett's descriptive prose allows the reader to feel as if they have set foot in Mt. Rainer National Park. Her experience as a seasonal park ranger is joined with her talent with the pen to weave a beautiful tapestry of words for the reader. I have a feeling that Barnett's appreciation of God's creation is reflected through her heroine, Margie. Her research into the early history of our national parks is evident as this story is set on the 1920's. She highlights the battle of conserving our natural parks that continues to this day.Margaret or "Margie", a rich debutante, arrives in the park totally unprepared for the harsh realities of the wilderness. As an avid naturalist, her focus is on the beauty of God's creation. This initially frustrates the chief park ranger, Ford Brayden. He is still grieving the death of his father on his beloved mountain. Can the two unite to save their beloved mountain and park? Margie will face physical challenges while Ford will struggle with spiritual battles. Karen Barnett tells a story filled with descriptive prose, adventure and romance. But mostly this story provides many spiritual truths. I eagerly await more stories in the Vintage National Park series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Amy
    June 28, 2017
    Beautiful vintage cover is different for this market. It'll stand out on the shelf for sure. The concept and plot line is fantastic and I enjoyed that this was set within Mount Rainier National Park. I love the outdoors, hiking, and boating. Being in places like this give me a lot of peace and joy. God's creations show us how deep His love is for us. This is the take away for me, you have a young lady who loves the outdoors, and though the whole set up is orchestrated by her powerful Senator fat Beautiful vintage cover is different for this market. It'll stand out on the shelf for sure. The concept and plot line is fantastic and I enjoyed that this was set within Mount Rainier National Park. I love the outdoors, hiking, and boating. Being in places like this give me a lot of peace and joy. God's creations show us how deep His love is for us. This is the take away for me, you have a young lady who loves the outdoors, and though the whole set up is orchestrated by her powerful Senator father, and utterly unwanted by Ford, who is the Head Park Ranger, the faith journeys of them both are well written into the backdrop of the Park. My only downside to this book is I found the writing extremely 'wordy' and over described. I'm not a fan of writing like that, I find it distracting and unnatural because we don't talk like that. I received this book for free to read to review. This is my honest review.
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  • Vicky Sluiter
    June 5, 2017
    What an enjoyable book! Set in Mount Rainer National Park, Author Karen Barnett, who was a seasonal park ranger herself, does a fabulous job of putting you in the park. You can hear the birds, feel the breeze….see the rodents?? Margie loves nature and is determined to save the park, which I’m sure comes from Karen’s heart.Lots of adventure, some romance, and references to writings by real naturalists, there is also the spiritual growth of the characters that learn how to forgive and move on past What an enjoyable book! Set in Mount Rainer National Park, Author Karen Barnett, who was a seasonal park ranger herself, does a fabulous job of putting you in the park. You can hear the birds, feel the breeze….see the rodents?? Margie loves nature and is determined to save the park, which I’m sure comes from Karen’s heart.Lots of adventure, some romance, and references to writings by real naturalists, there is also the spiritual growth of the characters that learn how to forgive and move on past the tough things in life. You’re going to want to pack up the kids and head for the park! I can’t wait for the next book in this series.I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.
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  • Connie Ruggles
    May 29, 2017
    If I could give this book six stars, I would. First off, it's just a beautiful book! The cover is so pretty!!! Then, the story. Karen is so good with her research, and she writes in such a way that you can see the scenes in your mind. And oh my, the villains she creates!! I have enjoyed all of her books so far, I've read them all, and the second to THIS series can't come quickly enough.
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  • Courtney Clark
    June 10, 2017
    This book is a scenic journey in itself that winds through rugged mountain landscapes, subtly treaded witty banter between the lead characters, and deeply carved lessons of faith.It's truly an experience reading it, with the setting and era as vividly portrayed as the hearts of Margie and Ford. Karen Barnett expertly expressed the awe, wonder, and respect one should have for Creation as a beautiful testament to God's design and plan. (I want to vist Mt. Rainier now!!!!) Margie and Ford are an ex This book is a scenic journey in itself that winds through rugged mountain landscapes, subtly treaded witty banter between the lead characters, and deeply carved lessons of faith.It's truly an experience reading it, with the setting and era as vividly portrayed as the hearts of Margie and Ford. Karen Barnett expertly expressed the awe, wonder, and respect one should have for Creation as a beautiful testament to God's design and plan. (I want to vist Mt. Rainier now!!!!) Margie and Ford are an extension of that Creation, serving as examples and instruments of God's expression; Margie through her reliance on faith and Ford through his discovery of the true source of strength.Let's talk about my favorite aspect of the story! I love, love, loved how Margie lived out her faith. And that it was an essential part of who she was, to the extent that she would not entertain a romance with someone who was didn't share her beliefs and deep convictions.  While she never denied her attraction to Ford, she clearly made the call to witness where she could and let God lead Ford the rest of the way, if it was His will for them to be together like that. She stood her ground, and I was cheering her on! This is an important point of contention in real life, and it comes up sometimes in Christian fiction, but I just really appreciated the way it was handled by Karen in this particular story.The Road to Paradise has a broad appeal with its moments of action and adrenaline-pumping adventure in the mountains, a sweet romance, an up-close "waltz" with nature, lessons in faith, AND a bit of an underdog-vs.-power-hungry rivalry story. The colorful side characters, including the wildlife, add great dimension and subtle humor. And, the "man-'o-the-mountains" hero caught off-guard by love is a wonderful bonus! (Who doesn't love a rugged, stetson-wearing hero?)Sincere thanks to the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, and the author for the complimentary review copy of this novel. This is my honest review.
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  • Patricia Lee
    June 5, 2017
    As Monet painted nature scenes with his palette of oils, so Karen Barnett creates forest scenes with her keyboard. In this latest novel, The Road to Paradise, Barnett’s love for Mount Rainier National Park shines through. Readers will find themselves drawn into the serenity of virgin woods, anticipating wildlife within the forest’s bosky depths, and sensing the tranquility the mountain provides as the heroine seeks to draw closer to her creator.The year is 1927 and Ingénue Margie Lane shows up a As Monet painted nature scenes with his palette of oils, so Karen Barnett creates forest scenes with her keyboard. In this latest novel, The Road to Paradise, Barnett’s love for Mount Rainier National Park shines through. Readers will find themselves drawn into the serenity of virgin woods, anticipating wildlife within the forest’s bosky depths, and sensing the tranquility the mountain provides as the heroine seeks to draw closer to her creator.The year is 1927 and Ingénue Margie Lane shows up at the park headquarters looking for a job among the all-male ranger staff. She’s naïve, untested, and intent on driving her boss, Ford Brayden, crazy. Her love of nature books and her ability to spout poetry at the snap of a finger sends Brayden seeking any excuse to rid the park and the mountain of her. She will never fit in—Ranger Brayden plans to prove it. Miss Lane and the burly ranger are the perfect pair for a romantic showdown and Barnett does not disappoint. Readers will fall in love with the whimsical girl and lose their hearts to the self-made mountain man. I’ve read all of Barnett’s previous novels and purchased this book anticipating yet another enchanting tale. I can’t wait for the next in the series.
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  • Sarah Ruut
    June 23, 2017
    Growing up in the Northwest gave me a great love for majestic mountains and the wilderness surrounding them. Perhaps that was the greatest draw to The Road to Paradise, the first of Karen Barnett's books that I have read.Whether you have been there in real life or not, The Road to Paradise will transport you to Mount Rainier National Park and all the wonder to be found there. You'll find yourself joining ranks with Margie and the park rangers in their quest to protect the mountain and park they Growing up in the Northwest gave me a great love for majestic mountains and the wilderness surrounding them. Perhaps that was the greatest draw to The Road to Paradise, the first of Karen Barnett's books that I have read.Whether you have been there in real life or not, The Road to Paradise will transport you to Mount Rainier National Park and all the wonder to be found there. You'll find yourself joining ranks with Margie and the park rangers in their quest to protect the mountain and park they love so dearly.Not only does the setting draw you in, but the characters are well developed, including sweet secondary characters. And the villain... Ugh. I'm not sure I fully understand the idea of loving to hate the antagonist, but perhaps that would apply here. He is one messed-up dude!The Road to Paradise is an amazing story of the majesty of God's handiwork, both in nature and in our own lives. Truths of human nature and God's strength undergird the story with a message that you'll likely ponder a while. I can't wait to read the next one!(This review was first published on my blog -- sarahruut.com. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)
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  • Amy
    May 25, 2017
    The Road to Paradise is the first book from Karen Barnett's Shadows of the Wilderness series. Set in 1927, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Daughter of a senator, Margie Lane, takes a position at the park. There she meets park ranger, Ford Brannon, who is having doubts with his ability of filling his own position after his father died in a tragic accident. Ford and Margie team together to stop Margie's former love from developing a tourist attraction at the park. This leads them The Road to Paradise is the first book from Karen Barnett's Shadows of the Wilderness series. Set in 1927, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Daughter of a senator, Margie Lane, takes a position at the park. There she meets park ranger, Ford Brannon, who is having doubts with his ability of filling his own position after his father died in a tragic accident. Ford and Margie team together to stop Margie's former love from developing a tourist attraction at the park. This leads them to more than they bargained for. I thought The Road to Paradise to be a pretty good read. At first, I was not sure if I liked Margie or not. I guess I assumed her being a senator's daughter, she would be afraid of breaking a nail. That thought quickly faded when I realized how much she grew up and how strong she was. I loved Ford from the start and enjoyed how he, too, grew as a person through the book. There is a little suspense and mystery element to the story that made it easy to keep turning the pages and hard to put down.I would give this book four and a half stars and I look forward to book 2 of the Shadows of the Wilderness series.I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Suzie
    June 24, 2017
    Set in the 1920s in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park, The Road to Paradise is a delightful read. As someone who has had the privilege of visiting this Washington State gem.From the flowers and animals in the park surrounding the mountain to the dangers on the face of it, Karen Barnett gives her readers the inside scoop on this beauty.While Mount Rainier is most definitely a character in this book, the hero and heroine create a story around the mountain that is a delightful read. Margie Set in the 1920s in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park, The Road to Paradise is a delightful read. As someone who has had the privilege of visiting this Washington State gem.From the flowers and animals in the park surrounding the mountain to the dangers on the face of it, Karen Barnett gives her readers the inside scoop on this beauty.While Mount Rainier is most definitely a character in this book, the hero and heroine create a story around the mountain that is a delightful read. Margie Lane, a senator’s daughter who longs to commune with nature and Chief Ranger Ford Brayden clash at first meeting. But as Margie’s excitement about her surroundings allows Ford to view the mountain in a new way, he is not only captivated by the beauty of the wilderness but by this woman.The intrusion of a man from Margie’s past and the fight she and Ford embark on to save the park keeps the story moving at a good clip. I’m definitely looking forward to more Vintage National Park novels from this author! Disclosure statement:I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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  • Rachael
    June 3, 2017
    While I have been to several national parks out west, Mount Rainier is not one of them (though I've seen the peak from Victoria, BC). The book certainly makes me want to go out and visit! I got a kick out of Margie, since she can quote scientific names and seems to love wildflowers as much as I do--maybe even more. And we both have a habit of watching what's growing near our feet when out hiking rather than keeping an eye on what's ahead.It's an entertaining read, particularly if you are environ While I have been to several national parks out west, Mount Rainier is not one of them (though I've seen the peak from Victoria, BC). The book certainly makes me want to go out and visit! I got a kick out of Margie, since she can quote scientific names and seems to love wildflowers as much as I do--maybe even more. And we both have a habit of watching what's growing near our feet when out hiking rather than keeping an eye on what's ahead.It's an entertaining read, particularly if you are environmentally inclined, or love the old poets, like Emerson. The romance is sweet and the setting fresh, with some inspiring thoughts on God's hand in nature. The villain was a touch over-the-top, but that just means one can despise him without pity or guilt. I look forward to more Vintage National Parks novels!(And for the record, this is not a mystery; I kind of thought it might be, based on the vintage cover, but it is not.)I received a free book from Blogging for Books; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own
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  • Lucy
    June 6, 2017
    This book has so much to love....first is the beautiful setting of Mount Rainier National Park and second is the originality of the plot. It is refreshing to read something that you haven't experienced before. The characters are believable and throw in the midst, Phillip and his unsavory character and you have the spice to keep you reading. Margie's Faith was so impressive, as it made her stronger as a woman instead of being portrayed as weak. The descriptive writing has you seeing the splendor This book has so much to love....first is the beautiful setting of Mount Rainier National Park and second is the originality of the plot. It is refreshing to read something that you haven't experienced before. The characters are believable and throw in the midst, Phillip and his unsavory character and you have the spice to keep you reading. Margie's Faith was so impressive, as it made her stronger as a woman instead of being portrayed as weak. The descriptive writing has you seeing the splendor of the park in your mind. This was an impressive read and I highly recommend it. I look forward to the next book in this series. I received a complimentary copy from the author. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
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  • Grams
    May 21, 2017
    4 1/2 stars! This was the first book I have read by Karen Barnett and I loved it. Great plot with exciting scenes, romance and a mystery to solve. I really enjoyed Karen's writing style. I will be reading more from this author and can't wait for the next book in this series. She could write a lot of books if they all take place in the National parks.I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Gina
    May 21, 2017
    This is a wonderfully written book. The descriptions of Mt Rainier had me immersed in the story. It was a story of Margie, brought up in luxury who goes to work at the National Park as a naturalist to get away from a controlling ex fiance. Though she is small in stature, she has mighty faith which will take her through many trials including falling in love. You will see God's beauty and power in this story. I was blessed with an advanced copy and I am giving an honest review.
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  • Nicole
    June 26, 2017
    The Road to Paradise (2017) by Karen Barnett is the first book in the Shadows of the Wilderness series. This novel was released on June 6, 2017 by Waterbrook Press. The novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 337 pages in length. With a full-time job and a five-year old at home, I was able to read this novel in five days. I give this novel 4 STARS. This novel is a Christian Historical fiction set in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington in 1927.I found it very interesting to set a novel The Road to Paradise (2017) by Karen Barnett is the first book in the Shadows of the Wilderness series. This novel was released on June 6, 2017 by Waterbrook Press. The novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 337 pages in length. With a full-time job and a five-year old at home, I was able to read this novel in five days. I give this novel 4 STARS. This novel is a Christian Historical fiction set in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington in 1927.I found it very interesting to set a novel in a U.S. National Park during the age of Flappers and Prohibition. I really found fascinating the theme of halting “progress” in order to keep nature natural. I do think that in some ways we have gone too far in modernizing everything at the cost of God’s perfect nature. The two main characters, Margie and Ford, work diligently throughout the course of this novel to keep the avant-garde villain from achieving his goals, namely to destroy the natural beauty of Mt. Rainier National Park in order to bring progressive modernization to the mountain. Having been to Seattle and seeing Mt. Rainier from the Seattle Needle, I can honesty say that changing one thing about that monstrous beauty would have been a shame.The characters in this novel are well written. Margie Lane is young, naive (incredibly so), and optimistic. At the onset of the novel, she is escaping her former fiance and his brutal ways, and ends up at Mt. Rainier National Park asking for a job as a naturalist. Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is not excited to have such a soft, naive girl under his care. He personally knows the dangers and seriousness of the wild — his father died in 1925 in an avalanche as he was hiking on Mt. Rainier — and is positive that Margie will fail. He just hopes her failing doesn’t cause anyone to come to harm…or worse. So, at the beginning of this novel, sparks do fly between the two, but in a more irritated, unromantic way. Although, Margie does concede that Ford looks like an Adonis! LOL!Over the course of the novel, Margie finds herself in a few troubling places and kind of realizes that maybe she needs to come to her senses about some things she thought she was so sure of. Book-learning knowledge and lofty ideals are not the same thing as real-life experiences. One thing I found hard to grasp in this novel was Margie hiking up Mt. Rainier with almost ZERO training. She had no concept of survival. She believed that God would see her through. I agree that God will always see us through, but I don’t think He wants us to enter into things blindly and proudly. This is one of the character quirks that sort of drove me crazy about Margie. Her faith is rock solid. I loved that about her, but she often goes into things without thinking things through. I didn’t like that about her character…and, if I am honest, I think this character flaw really struck me because I see a lot of myself in Margie’s character.Ford is a great character. He is manly, rugged, street smart, and protective. He is exactly the kind of person Margie needs in her life to help her grow up a little. What I like so much in this novel is that Margie and Ford genuinely become friends before they become more than friends. I also love that Margie will not, under any circumstances, compromise her morals and standards. Margie will not marry a man who is unequally yoked. Very smart girl! She recognizes feelings and chemistry between her and Ford, but she will not allow those feelings to get in the way of her faith, and she communicates this to Ford. Ford, at the beginning of the novel, is an unbeliever. Watching him go through his emotional turmoil and overcome his issues, and then eventually seeing him come to Jesus, is a really excellent part of this story. I feel his journey to Christ is written in a realistic, understanding, and non-judgmental manner. And, when Margie and Ford do become more than friends, it does feel right because they are both in a good place to begin a relationship.The villain in this novel, Philip, is well written as well. He is very, very snake-like, and his comeuppance at the end is very satisfying. There were moments in the novel where I wasn’t sure if the outcome would be as favorable as I hoped it would because Philip is such a conniving guy. Philip is underhanded and wants what he wants. He goes to any length to get his way. He is a very sad character, and I actually found myself feeling very sorry for him in the end.Overall, I did enjoy this novel, and I do recommend the book. I give the novel a 4/5 because I did find that there were some slightly slow moments where I could put the book down. BUT, those slightly slow moments in no way detracts from the story overall. It is engaging and sweet. The characters are well written. And, I will more than likely get book number 2 when it is published.
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  • Helen
    June 12, 2017
    The Road to Paradise, written by Karen Barnett, is book one in the Vintage National Park series. The story takes place in 1927 at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Margie Lane is the daughter of a senator and is trying to get away from her former fiance, Philip. She has a deep interest in Mount Rainier and is able to secure a position as a naturalist there. She thinks she has gone somewhere Philip will not think to look for her. Margie is put in a ranger's cabin. The first night s The Road to Paradise, written by Karen Barnett, is book one in the Vintage National Park series. The story takes place in 1927 at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Margie Lane is the daughter of a senator and is trying to get away from her former fiance, Philip. She has a deep interest in Mount Rainier and is able to secure a position as a naturalist there. She thinks she has gone somewhere Philip will not think to look for her. Margie is put in a ranger's cabin. The first night she is unable to get a fire going to heat the cabin and she also becomes away that she is sharing the cabin with a rat.Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is not thrilled with having Margie at the park. He hopes that she will tire of being at the park and go home. But as he works with her, he sees her true interest in the park and asks for her help to catch up on his reports. Shortly after Margie arrives at the park, a group comes to the park and Margie is asked to help with the activities. She dresses in a rangers uniform and gives a talk. She was not prepared for Philip to be there, nor was she expecting newspaper reporters. Philip is determined to get Margie back. He has found out some private things about her father and is using that to get her father to go along with his plan. He plans to take over the park and with Margie's help, turn it into a tourist attraction. If her father does not go along with Philips plan, his career and family will be destroyed. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed reading about the early years and the park systems at that time. The story is so well written is it easy to imagine Margie finding the rat while being cold in her room. It is easy to feel the tension she has as she crosses the water on the log and then the enjoyment she has when she finds plants she wants to preserve to use as educational tools for others. I enjoyed the suspense written in the story with waiting to see what was going to happen with Philip's plans. I also enjoyed the humor that is written into the story. I especially enjoyed Margie's thought that if men were like typewriters, she never master the art of controlling one. But the things that sticks out the most to me is Margie's feeling about Philip and Ford. Philip is a Christian but he is cold and manipulative. Ford is not a believer but he is very kind and caring. This is the first book written by Karen Barnett that I have read. She uses her experience as a naturalist, park ranger and outdoor educator to bring this story to life. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. I feel anyone who enjoys reading about our countries early development will really enjoy this story. It has just the right amount of suspense and romance to keep the reader interested. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books and I have written an honest review.
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  • Julia Wilson
    June 25, 2017
    The Road To Paradise by Karen Barnett is an absolutely wonderful Christian historical novel. It is the first book in the Vintage National Parks series and I cannot wait for the subsequent books.Set in 1927, the reader is transported to a bygone age. Life is supposed to be simpler but the old enemies of the lust for money and power still ruled men's hearts. "We must fight to protect it from unscrupulous forces that would simply develop the land for the sake of the mighty dollar." In contrast ther The Road To Paradise by Karen Barnett is an absolutely wonderful Christian historical novel. It is the first book in the Vintage National Parks series and I cannot wait for the subsequent books.Set in 1927, the reader is transported to a bygone age. Life is supposed to be simpler but the old enemies of the lust for money and power still ruled men's hearts. "We must fight to protect it from unscrupulous forces that would simply develop the land for the sake of the mighty dollar." In contrast there are pure characters who wish to preserve the land and its natural beauty for subsequent generations. Their joy and raison d'etre is to be found in the natural and not the power houses of Washington.Karen Barnett presents wonderful and detailed descriptions of the beauty to be found in the great outdoors. The reader finds themselves wandering through meadows, crossing streams and scaling mountains. It is a book that is not just to be read but experienced.God is everywhere. His greatest beauty is to be found in creation. "No jewels could compare to the majesty of God's creation." In His sunsets and sunrises, in His wildflowers and animals, evidence of God's creation is all around. Life did not 'just happen' but was designed by God.Knowing God can sustain us through all of life's circumstances. When we know God, we want others to know Him too. Sometimes in life, people walk away from God because facing Him is just too hard in our anger and pain. "Grief still owns his heart." God waits for us to return to Him and sends others alongside us to help point us back to Him. "Maybe it was to shine the light of His love on a man who'd lost his faith."Faith in God goes hand in hand with trusting Him. "It's not about whether you warm a pew at services that matters. It's whether you're willing to trust Him." God sees our heart and knows whether we are doing things for appearance sake or to have a relationship with Him.The reader watches a wonderful romance blossom in the story.One character embodies the themes of power, money, manipulation and control. Coupled with domestic violence and anger, these are ugly character traits.The characters were all wonderfully and realistically drawn. People struggled with situations and had their own strengths and weaknesses. They were all unique and I particularly loved the two lead characters.I absolutely adore all Karen Barnett's novels. The Road To Paradise was a wonderful escape from the realities of modern life. I really 'lived' the novel and was sad to see it end. Many more please, Karen Barnett.I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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  • Amy Bradsher
    June 12, 2017
    Karen Barnett has written a fantastic tale of nature conservation, spiritual lessons, and mystery!  I love the way that she has combined all of these to make a rollicking, adventure story, and I've recommended it often already.One of the things that stands out to me most about The Road to Paradise is the way that Margie appreciates the plants and animals found around Mt. Rainier.  She often quotes the Bible, poetry, or famous writers as inspiration strikes, and while she comes off as a bit quirk Karen Barnett has written a fantastic tale of nature conservation, spiritual lessons, and mystery!  I love the way that she has combined all of these to make a rollicking, adventure story, and I've recommended it often already.One of the things that stands out to me most about The Road to Paradise is the way that Margie appreciates the plants and animals found around Mt. Rainier.  She often quotes the Bible, poetry, or famous writers as inspiration strikes, and while she comes off as a bit quirky at first, her sincerity shines through, as does Barnett's love for God's creation.  I absolutely love that aspect of this book, and I've shared it with several people already.  (In fact, I can't wait to use this as a book club pick when my girls are a bit older!)Margie also makes a great female lead.  She's brave, gutsy, and she knows what's important.  She's not afraid to follow her dreams, and she's willing to chase them, even when it takes her into unpopular territory.  I love the way that Barnett portrays her - as a strong woman who can be romantic and love science, too. Margie isn't always wise in the ways of the world, but she does try to be smart in love.  Maybe she doesn't always make the best choices, but if she did, what would Barnett write about?  Instead, she keeps attempting to make her next choice better than the one before it, and I love that about her.The setting of this book caught me off guard.  I expected to read about cozy cabins and beautiful scenery, but instead Barnett really makes Mt. Rainier National Park come alive.  She wrote in park dangers, conservancy efforts, flora and fauna, as well as unique park details, making them major parts of the story.  The mountain wasn't just there in the background, but it was almost like another character, and I enjoyed this aspect very much.Barnett uses foreshadowing throughout the book, but it's so subtle and well-written that I rarely picked up on it until the later event was revealed.  I admire the skill with which she placed those clues throughout the story!The Road to Paradise is a fantastic summer read.  It's lighthearted enough to be fun poolside and involves enough nature to make you want to go exploring.  There's more than enough spiritual depth to keep you pondering Margie's lessons long after you turn the last page, and you won't want to leave Margie and Nate when the book finally ends.  Be sure to find a copy ASAP - you won't want to miss The Road to Paradise.I received a free copy of The Road to Paradise from Karen Barnett.  All opinions are my ow
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  • Beckie Burnham
    June 22, 2017
    Karen Barnett has a winner on her hands! The first book in her Vintage National Parks series, The Road to Paradise, has everything — history, romance, adventure, and the majestic beauty of an American jewel. Great wiring and endearing characters kept the pages turning for this reader. Perfect for your summer reading, I give The Road to Paradise a highly recommended rating!Many may believe Margie Lane is only the pampered daughter of a US Senator, but she is determined to live her dream — living Karen Barnett has a winner on her hands! The first book in her Vintage National Parks series, The Road to Paradise, has everything — history, romance, adventure, and the majestic beauty of an American jewel. Great wiring and endearing characters kept the pages turning for this reader. Perfect for your summer reading, I give The Road to Paradise a highly recommended rating!Many may believe Margie Lane is only the pampered daughter of a US Senator, but she is determined to live her dream — living and working surrounded by God’s creation as a part of the National Parks Service. And many have their doubts, especially Chief Ranger Ford Brayden. While Margie sees the wilderness as a place of healing and refuge, Ford knows the danger that lurks beneath the beauty. As they spend more time together, will their differences divide or compliment each other?The Road to Paradise is set in the early days of the National Parks Service. Tension between commercial development and conservation was as real then as it is now. I loved that Barnett emphasized the early work of rangers and naturalists who made sure that future generations of Americans could experience the wilds of our nation. Mt. Rainer National Park, the setting of the novel, becomes almost a character in itself. It is a prominent part of the book, with its history and majesty fully developed. Barnett also does a great job of making her main human characters real and relatable. The earnest Margie and the dedicated Ford are characters I came to love. She also includes a bad guy you’ll love to hate! LOL! There is plenty of chemistry between the characters that will appeal to the romance fan. As they traverse the park, adventure, challenges, and danger abound making this novel a page-turner. Historical details are seamlessly woven throughout the narrative, allowing the reader to experience the rustic life at the park in the 1920s. Barnett includes a spiritual thread that is meaningful without being preachy.The Road to Paradise is the perfect book to take along on your own road trip this summer. And I am anxiously anticipating the next installment in this series.Highly Recommended.Audience: older teens to adults.(Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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