Love’s Eternal Breath by Naomi Rawlings
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Cedar Lake Press
Publication Date: January 30, 2017
Lindy Marsden is convinced her days are numbered. She has the same breathing ailment that killed her mother so making plans for any kind of future is not something she will even consider. Her fear of doctors is almost legendary. Even the thought of being in the same room with a doctor is enough to send her into a panic attack. She figures if she’s going to die anyway, why does she need a doctor to experiment on her causing even more pain than she’s already enduring?
The handwork she does for the local seamstress pays the few bills she has with just enough left over to help the four orphaned children she found living in a shack in the woods. When she breaks her pinky finger, her frantic terror of either of the local doctors nearly undoes her. Her panic-induced asthma attack causes her to black out and she awakens in Dr. Seth Harrington’s sick room with her finger in a splint. How can she convince these people that she’s fine – she doesn’t need a doctor, in spite of her badly broken finger?
Seth Harrington is the new doctor in town and the more he sees and hears about the old doctor, Doc Greely, the more convinced he is that Eagle Harbor, MI needs him. Doc Greely is more quack than physician so when Seth arrives on the scene of Lindy’s finger-breaking fall to hear Doc Greely insist that her finger must be amputated, Seth steps in to say he can set the break. Seeing Lindy’s fear, he assumes it stems from Doc Greely’s pronouncement. When he sees some of her scars, he realizes that some doctor somewhere terrorized Lindy over a long period of time. Can he win her trust if he can’t even get her to talk to him?
When Lindy is forced to ask Seth for help for one of the orphans and her reputation is compromised, can she get over her fear to see the man God is placing in her life? Will she let Seth help her by using his gifts as a physician to improve her breathing? Can she look to the future when she has been convinced for so long that she had none?
Until Love’s Eternal Breath, I think I’d only read one other book by Naomi Rawlings – a Love Inspired Historical. This book captured my imagination from the first page and I fell in love with the quirks and foibles of her characters. Seth followed his dream and became a doctor in spite of being dumped by three fiancées because of it and in spite of his family’s desire for him to enter the family business. Lindy presses on and keeps doing the next thing even though she fully expects to die any day. Victoria takes care of everyone in town, following up on doctor’s visits to make sure families are cared for even though her stutter makes her feel inadequate. So many others are introduced and given life that I felt like I could step out of the pages and into the town. I also loved that the book is set in Michigan’s UP, a place my husband and I fell in love with last summer. Maybe we’ll have to go look up Eagle Harbor on our next foray into the wilds of the UP (since Naomi points out in her notes that it’s a real place not one she made up!) I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys historic fiction. I had a hard time putting it down so I could go to sleep at night and I felt like I learned quite a lot about medical practices “way back when.” Loved this!
Rated PG: There is reference made to young women becoming “soiled doves” and reference is made to women being assaulted. Also, some of the medical procedures of the day are pretty gruesome. Most of the book is very clean. Just use a bit of caution when giving it to a young reader.
Reviewer’s copy was provided by the author. Thank you!