Emma Browning is the owner of the only boardinghouse in Little Hickman Creek, Kentucky, and has been the proprietor for ten years. She plays housekeeper to several rowdy, uncouth characters, but lets no one past the tough exterior of a hardened facade. After enduring years of endless abuse from her father, Ezra she has been careful to ward off anyone and anything that tries to get past the impenetrable armor that stands guard of her heart. Will she ever let anyone in?
A new boarder shows up at her door in the form of the preacher, Jonathan Atkins. Will she be able to see past what she believes is his ministerial obligations and believe someone can love her? Or will Ezra's abuse forever scar her from being able to love?
This story was a first for me on the subject matter of child abuse. The setting in a prairie town in Kentucky just made me more willing to crack this book open and give it a go. One thing I'd like to note about this last book in the Little Hickman Creek Trilogy is that the characters are breathed life and seeped in realism because of their pasts. Reality dictates that everyone has a past - and more often than not, it is not a bed of roses. MacLaren brings this truth to fruition in this novel, and it is masterfully done. I even learned a thing or two....but then you'll just have to read the book.
am now reading Courting Emma after finishing Loving Liza Jane and Sara My Beloved. I could not put these books down and would suggest that they sould all three be bought at the same time as when you read one you will want to start the next one.
I absolutely loved the whole Little Hickman series. This was the first time I had read this author's writings. She is a wonderful author and I can not wait to read more of her books. I loved the fact that her characters are strong but also flawed. It was amazing to see the hand of God work in their lives and watch them grow as Christians. The books were truly a blessing and inspiration.
I haven't read anything by Sharlene MacLaren before, but I can hardly wait to read her next book. . .and the next. COURTING EMMA was beautifully written. Best of all, it wasn't predictable. In fact, there were quite a few twists and turns that kept me guessing all the way up to the end. And the writing! Wow! Sharlene has such a great way of saying things. As I read, I paused to ask myself: "Who SAYS things like that?" It's quirky. Cute. Poignant. Funny. Clever. Unpredictable. Deep. Spiritual. These are all words that describe Sharlene's brilliant writing. And the romantic tension. . .wow! I wanted the hero and heroine to end up together, of course, but it was almost as much fun watching them "try" to dislike each other. What fun! And the characters in Emma's boarding house were a nice distraction, too. I particularly loved the mended relationship between Emma and her father (been there, done that in my real life). Sharlene handled that beautifully. Good going, Sharlene. I'm so proud of you and your lovely book. Can't wait to tell others about it!
Emma runs a boardinghouse with an eclectic bunch of tenants. The towns new pastor becomes her most challenging one because he threatens the guard she has put up around her heart to protect against the memory of an unhappy childhood.Letters from a mystery person in Illinois encourages her to read the book of John and has her seeking answers to questions about her life.When a new tenant moves in the boardinghouse Emma faces the new challenge of caring for her dying father who caused her unhappy childhood.Courting Emma is a sweet romance with a story of redemption and forgiveness.I wish I could say I had read the first two books in the Little Hickman Creek Series before reading this one, but it definitely can stand alone.
There are no other words to describe Courting Emma than unique masterpiece that nobody can replicate. The love and struggle in the natural and spiritual was breathtaking. You can feel the undercurrent of emotion throughout the descriptive text.When she was torturing her heart in the purpose of protecting it became a little infuriating. Albeit I was captivated by every word. I believe that this is in my top five of all the books my eyes have crossed. Courting Emma is a book that makes you heart melt, bounce up and down with excitement, and bawl(especially when you`re finished reading it). Courting Emma is a spectacular book that you would desire to read - maybe even again!
After reading and absolutely loving the first two books in Sharlene MacLaren's Little Hickman series, I could not wait to read the final story. The storyline for "Courting Emma" stood out to me more so than the first two for some reason, so when the book arrived on my front porch I could not wait to get started. Sharlene did not disappoint! "Courting Emma" is the best book in the series. MacLaren's writing and storytelling just gets better and better with every book. I loved watching Jonathan demonstrate his love to Emma, even though she wanted nothing to do with him (sound familiar?). I loved seeing Jonathan minister to Emma's father to show him Jesus with tear-jerking results. I loved watching Emma slowly warm up to Jonathan against her will, then realize she couldn't live without him. This is a fabulous story, one that I will read again and again.
Boardinghouse owner Emma Browning may be an old maid, but she's no slouch. She runs the sharpest institution in town, although her boarders might be a tad on the rough side. She's spent almost her entire lifetime trying to overcome the stigmas associated with being the child of the town drunk.That's why, when her new boarder tries to convince her that her dad needs a second chance, she balks.Reverend Jonathan Atkins has been attracted to Emma since their schoolhouse days, but he's never let her know. It's even more of a challenge to keep his feelings secret in the close quarters of Emma's boardinghouse. He knows he can't marry someone who doesn't believe the same way he does, so why does God continue to "bless" him with feelings for Emma? When a storm traps Jonathan out in the elements, Emma's true feelings for him come to light. But how can she trust him when the only man she's ever trusted - her father - let her down?MacLaren's third book in the Little Hickman series is a touching addition, and one you won't want to miss. Both Jonathan and Emma fight their feelings for each other, but it's no use because they seem to be destined to end up together.The adorable country/small town setting crafted by MacLaren in the first two books is still present, and readers will enjoy interacting with other beloved characters.This is a fun historical read. Recommended.
Courting Emma is set in the late 1800s with two main characters, Emma Browning and Pastor Jonathan Atkins. Emma Browning runs the local boarding house with some pretty gruff and rowdy men, though they respect her rules. Emmas father, Ezra, is the town drunk. Emma was abused as a child, which in turn, made her very stubborn and defiant as an adult. Emma grew up with Jon Atkins. When he came back, she had no use for his so-called God. He had never done anything for her. She had to work hard for what she had.Then Jon does something the whole town thinks is strange. He sells him home to build a new church. But now, he needs somewhere to live and he wants to move into Emmas boarding house. Emma tries to avoid this, but eventually she gives in and allows the preacher to live there. His money was just as good as anyone elses.Jon tries to ignore his growing attachment to Miss Emma Browning, but of course, our hearts have a mind of their own.Then Emma begins to receive mysterious letters from a woman in Chicago who seems to know all about Ezra and Emma. MacLaren has a real talent for making her characters realistic, her settings so real, you almost feel like you are there. The engaging conversation is lively and the slang is perfect for the time period she is writing about. You can hear the accent. You can envision the characters. Youll fall in love with the little town of Little Hickman Creek.Having never read a historical romance before, I was amazingly surprised at how I much I really enjoyed Courting Emma. Not being a history buff myself, I found I was hooked almost right away. A most enjoyable read and I wish now, I couldve read the first two books in this series first. I intend to now. An excellent read!
Sharlene MacLaren's book is a great fast paced Historical Romance set in a place called Little Hickman. Everything that happened in this place you wanted to know about. The characters got into your blood and it was so sad when the book was finally over, but it also made me smile as I closed the book, a sense of great satifaction. I would recommend it for anyone even if historcials are not your cup o' tea.
Its 1893 in Little Hickman, Kentucky. Twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning runs a boarding house full of hooliganssix, to be exact. Shes tough and stubborn. She doesnt want help from anybody, least of all Preacher Jon Atkins. He sells his house, donates the proceeds for building a church, and moves into the boardinghouse. Emma fears hell try to hammer the gospel into her and her boarders. She wants nothing to do with God. She hangs on to a lifetime of bitterness toward her father, the town drunk.Emma has begun receiving letters from a mysterious someone who knows about her and seems to know secrets about her fathers past. At the same time, shes flattered and a bit discomfited to receive the attentions of both Jon and Billy Wonder, a suave traveling salesman. She tries to keep her mind off the handsome preacher. Jon finds Emma lovely and fascinating. But he wants to obey the still, small voice of God. He sets out to reach the unreachable. And right alongside that desire is his desperate wanting to court Emma.Will Emma ever forgive her father? Will she find Gods perfect plan for her life?Ms. MacLarens novel is sweet, but not syrupy. Real honest-to-goodness characters with genuine emotions people its pages. They live and breathe in my mind. I feel as if I might walk down Main Street and encounter some of them. Humor, romance, and mystery team with Christs love to make this reading experience one you wont want to miss.
Its 1893 in Little Hickman, Kentucky. Twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning runs a boarding house full of hooliganssix, to be exact. Shes tough and stubborn. She doesnt want help from anybody, least of all Preacher Jon Atkins. He sells his house, donates the proceeds for building a church, and moves into the boardinghouse. Emma fears hell try to hammer the gospel into her and her boarders. She wants nothing to do with God. She hangs on to a lifetime of bitterness toward her father, the town drunk.Emma has begun receiving letters from a mysterious someone who knows about her and seems to know secrets about her fathers past. At the same time, shes flattered and a bit discomfited to receive the attentions of both Jon and Billy Wonder, a suave traveling salesman. She tries to keep her mind off the handsome preacher. Jon finds Emma lovely and fascinating. But he wants to obey the still, small voice of God. He sets out to reach the unreachables. And right alongside that desire is his desperate wanting to court Emma.Will Emma ever forgive her father? Will she find Gods perfect plan for her life?Ms. MacLarens novel is sweet, but not syrupy. Real honest-to-goodness characters with genuine emotions people its pages. They live and breathe in my mind. I feel as if I might walk down Main Street and encounter some of them. Humor, romance, and mystery team with Christs love to make this reading experience one you wont want to miss.
I love a book that totally transports me back in time and removes me to a place and a people that I come to love and care about! Sharlene MacLaren has done just that in her book, Courting Emma! Although Ive not read the first two books in the Little Hickman Creek Series, I have truly come to love Little Hickman, Kentucky and I hope to make repeat visits!Sharlene MacLaren takes two very different people, Miss Emma Browning and Pastor Johnathan Atkins and casts them as lead characters in her story. At first, the reader cannot imagine any two people more different, but the story tenderly reveals that their pasts are more similar than even the two of them knew. Sharlene MacLaren tells this story so beautifully and tenderly that it is easy to understand Gods grace and mercy in every circumstance of our lives. Jon Atkins becomes Gods hands and feet in the community and he shows Christ to them in a way so real that Gods love becomes irresistible to many on whom the town had given up Emmas father Ezra among them.I dont want to give anything at all away in this tender love story. I will say that Sharlene deals with many issues like loving the unlovable, forgiving those who have hurt us, reaching out to those in need.timeless issues that are gentle reminders to all of Gods children. I loved the way she used Gods word to speak to the hearts of Little Hickman and I love the way each situation was bathed in prayer knowingly or not. This really is a very special book, and I highly recommend it to everyone! What a testament to Gods love and grace!! Thank you, Sharlene, from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to reading your books for a very long time!
Unapproachable Emma Browning has built an impenetrable wall of protection around her heart blocking out all males in general, and her abusive alcoholic father in particular. She runs a successful boarding house in Little Hickman, Kentucky in 1896, successful meaning she can occasionally afford to buy material to make new curtains, and if enough is left over, make herself a new dress.Her wall of defense begins to crack when a boy who had teased her as a child returns to Little Hickman as Reverend Jonathan Atkins, the new preacher, and takes up residence in her boarding houseagainst her better judgment.About the same time, mysterious letters begin arriving from Chicago from someone who knows her father. Someone who talks about relatives she has never heard of, and a God who forgives us as we forgive others. As the letters continue coming in, and the preacher befriends her no-good father, Emma is caught in the middle with nowhere to go but up.MacLaren makes you feel like youve been dropped into the middle of a flourishing 1890s town with all its eccentricities, evils, and basic goodness. A pleasurable read, with an awesome finish.
Book Review: Courting Emma, by Sharlene MacLaren, Whitaker House. Emma Browning, the owner of Little Hickman Creeks only boardinghouse, runs an upstanding establishment despite her irascible tenants. Emma however, is quite capable of handling them, as well as the tongue-wagging town gossips, thanks to a tough exterior developed from her upbringing by an abusive, alcoholic father. Though hard-working and financially secure, Emmas life lacks love and her future lacks the prospect of a family of her own. When childhood classmate Jonathan Atkins returns from seminary to assume responsibilities as the new pastor, he convinces Emma to allow him to move into her boardinghouse, and he takes on the responsibility to love and care for Emmas dying father, Ezra. Both Jon and Emma came from abusive backgrounds. While Jon gave his hurt to the Lord early in life, Emma continues to hold hers inside. Now, the Lord wants to use Jon to bring forgiveness and healing to Emma and Ezra, if the twowho are so stubbornly alikewill open their hearts and accept it. Christian novelist Sharlene MacLarens characters in Courting Emma will incite feelings of frustration at their selfish behavior, understanding of their humanity, and joy at their ability to give and receive love and forgiveness. Courting Emma is a love story to remember.