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Marriages of convenience have fascinated me ever since I received Love Comes Softly as a gift in 1978. When I married my husband years later and found out that his grandmother traveled from Italy in 1923 to wed a man she never met, I was intrigued. What prompts a woman to leave everything, travel half-way around the world, and marry a stranger? The concept planted seeds of curiosity, but it took years for those ideas to germinate. Over the progression of time, I moved from my New England roots to Oregon, my husband’s birthplace. Like Selena, I traveled along the mesmerizing Columbia River as we drove the final miles to our new home. I identified with the distinct wonders of this new land, and I fell in love with its beauty. Spring Thaw is not Grandma Serafin’s story any more than it is mine, but snippets of our lives permeate the pages.
Hours of fastidious research into Portland’s history, even to the selected idioms used throughout the storyline, add to the authenticity of my novel. I do ask that you accept my apology for digressing from that strict code to use the NIV version for my scripture references within the text. I felt this translation best captured the intent of my thoughts.
I hope after reading this novel you too will fall in love with the beauty of God's majesty and love.
on Sep. 13, 2017 :
I loved this story! It's not the average mail order bride story. It's much deeper than that. Great writing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 22, 2016 :
I'm always a sucker for a good mail-order bride story! I felt like this one really touched on the difficulties of life and the situations that would lead people to make the choice of both requesting a bride through mail and becoming one. Selena is desperate for some hope in her life for a change as well as a new purpose, and is blessed not only by Dirk's protection, but most especially by her new relationship with his young son. The joy of motherhood is sweet and treasured by Selena since she lost hope of it long ago. The friendship and partnership between she and Dirk develops naturally over time. While Selena welcomes love, Dirk is conflicted over feeling more for Selena than he is prepared to and his stubbornness in avoiding a deeper relationship was frustrating. It takes as long as the spring thaw for Dirk's frozen heart to melt and reward Selena's patience. The author wonderfully describes the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, and I was fortunate to be on a road trip through the area as I read the book so it was easy to visualize the setting. The secondary cast of friends and neighbors are delightful and make the story well-rounded. I look forward to reading more by the author in the future.
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
(reviewed 78 days after purchase)
on July 21, 2016 :
Spring Thaw by Tammy Fish is just a wonderful, exciting story. It’s not the same old stories you read about mail order brides. It is an uniquely different kind of story.
This is the first book I’ve read of Tammy Fish and I must say it is fantastic. I would love to see this book become a series.
Dirk’s first wife left him and their son. Selena’s husband was in a horrible accident and never was himself again. After both of their mates died Dirk wants a mother for his young son, but not a real marriage.
Dirk and Selena both want a marriage so they can raise his son, but nothing more. They have both been hurt and just don’t know if they can ever trust another person again.
Follow these two as they go through many trials and seasons. Will they find out about trust and love that only comes from God and will they find the love for each other that they really need?
I truly did enjoy this book. So glad I read it. I highly recommend this book Spring Thaw. Excellent!
Thank you to the Author/Publicist for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
(reviewed 78 days after purchase)
on July 02, 2016 :
This book was absolutely beautifully written. This is a new author but you couldn't tell it because the story flowed seamlessly and I felt such a connection with both the hero and heroine. The premise of the story intrigued me and I was fully invested in the story after the first chapter. The pain and heartache Dirk (hero) and Selena (heroine) have been through enriches this story and I couldn't wait to see how this deserving couple found their HEA. I loved the meaning of "Spring Thaw"! You will have to read it to find out :). This is a mail order bride/marriage of convenience story that had some interesting twists and turns. I was so enthralled in the last half of the book that I stayed up way too late last night finishing it. So, as I sit here bleary eyed writing this review, all I can say is the lack of sleep was worth the sweet HEA. This is a Christian romance that is not preachy, but shows the themes of love and forgiveness in a meaningful way. I highly recommend this historical romance! I am already bugging the author for a sequel ;). I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review which I have given.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on June 28, 2016 :
Due to life's harsh circumstances beyond her control, Selena Lewis finds herself responding to a mail-order bride ad in the paper. Dirk Johnson, only wanting a mother for his young son Wade, placed the advertisement as a means to fill a role in his son's life. While they've closed themselves off to a real marriage, what will it take for God to thaw their hearts to open up to love again?
This was not your typical mail-order bride story! While it did have its happily-ever-after ending, the journey to get there was full of heartache, hardships and overcoming past hurts!
I could easily relate to Selena in many ways. I too, left Illinois to move to Oregon to be with my future husband. The many emotions she felt at seeing the beauty surrounding her & the vast differences in the landscape had both of us in complete awe! This truly is God’s country. I’ve seen many of the places mentioned in the book & could easily picture them once again in my mind due to the author’s vivid descriptions. Back to Selena, I can feel her trepidation at starting over in a life yet known. An unknown future can be a frightening thing! Her only goal is to love & be loved by a precarious 2 year old little boy and to provide the nurturing only a mother can. Upon her arrival, she stays with Julia, a local widow raising 4 boys of her own, for a one month period. Upon meeting young Wade, Selena immediately falls in love with the little bundle of joy and laughter. Life is good, as long as both Dirk and Selena close themselves off to love. But it seems God has other plans as He moves them beyond their past to a brighter future together!
I also loved seeing the transformation as they each eventually give their hearts to the Lord. God placed people in their lives throughout the story to help them heal. The wisdom of a true friend (Julia), the example of a good & Godly marriage (Walt & Cynthia) & the spiritual insight of a pastor (Pastor Wells), all play vital roles to help them heal and find the One true love in Christ and each other. This was much more than I expected! I loved the depth of character, the simple faith of friends, vivid scenery, real life struggles, hearts transformed and of course, the happy ending! The journey to get there was full of adventure; this is a story not to be missed! I would highly recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, mail-order bride & historical romance stories.
*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review which I have provided here. Thank you Tammy for a wonderfully rich, emotionally gripping story!*
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on June 07, 2016 :
I loved this book! Awesome story about forgiveness and love! The characters were absolutely amazing; I especially loved Julia and her boys!!
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on May 20, 2016 :
A tender heartfelt story of two emotionally injured people who join together in a marriage of convenience, for the sake of a child, but slowly grow into a new little family.
I especially liked the character of Selena, with her sincere, kind, humble spirit, thankful heart, and eventual faith in God. Couldn't help but hope for a happier future for her given what she'd endured. Her appreciation for her standoffish husband was convicting, as she was thankful for so many things he did to provide a good home for her and sweet little Wade, patiently waiting for him to work through his own emotional trauma. The interjection of faith in both their lives, and the difference it made, especially in the area of forgiveness, was an inspirational pivot point in the story.
Liked the descriptions of the country dance, and the beautiful Oregon landscape. The rainy weather and blue skies are still the same today.
Recommend to fans of historical Christian romances.
(Thank you to the author for the book provided; this is my honest, unsolicited review.)
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
on May 14, 2016 :
Tammy Fish is a new to me author and I really didn't know what to expect when I first started reading her book. I am a huge fan of historical romance and I thought It sounded like a good read. Well, it was more than a good read, it was a wonderful read that kept me turning the pages. The hero, Dirk was a little hard to like at first, but yet the more I read the more I began to understand where he was coming from. The heroine, Selena, is a beautiful lady inside and out and she loved deeply. She was patient and hard working and showed her love through her actions. She had a huge heart because of the life she had been dealt. My heart really went out to her. I felt that the author did a great job of pulling the story together at the end for a beautiful Happily Ever After.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on May 13, 2016 :
I absolutely loved this book. I really liked how the characters' struggled with their faith throughout the book and kept searching. The relationship between Selena and Dirk was real but hopeful and sweet. I also liked how it kept at a nice pace and kept my interest. Plenty of details to capture the story without getting slow. I would love to see a sequel to this book with another mail order bride story. *I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 05, 2016 :
I can't even describe how much I enjoyed this book. When you see one that is a Mail Order Bride book you expect the same old story. This one is very different and a good example of two people who have suffered in a previous marriage battling the feelings of fear and rejection. So much good Bible teaching woven in that really touched me. Selena and Dirk not only find God but find a beautiful ending. Tammy Fish has done an excellent job of writing this historical fiction. I recommend it highly. This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on May 04, 2016 :
Spring Thaw By Tammy Fish
I had just finished another book from a different author about the Oregon Trail where talk of the railroad was being built when the author asked if I'd read and review her book. Scanned through the summary and it starts with the railroad has been built from the east to the west coast.
Selena had left her family home where there are many in the family that the father has to support. usually females were sent elsewhere to earn a living to send back home.
She left and got married and they had a child. We learn of her struggles, hardships and loss. She lives above the mercantile store and works there til she overhears one contemplating about heading west to be a bride. When Seleena reads the ads she finds one that might suit her.
Dirk wants just a marriage of convenience, someone able to care for his two year old son and live in Oregon. She travels there after sending a letter finding the arrangements agreeable. Julia meets her at the station and takes her under her wing til she recovers from the days long trip on the railroad.
Julia is a widow and had hired Dirk many years ago and she has 3 boys that she's raising. Selena learns more about the child and his father til she's able to meet them at dinner the next night. Loved hearing of the nature (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and other areas we have visited) along with learning about tree cutting and other new things described about the trip. Also the day to day life on the farm and what it entails is very well detailed. They agree to allow 30 days for each of them to change their minds...
Selena gets to spend time with Julia and they talk of similar backgrounds and she also gets to learn more about Dirk and Wade. Love hearing of the preserving of food, hunting and fishing excursions.
She wants to make a better life for Wade and they attend church where they both find something new that revives them and learn the value of granting forgiveness. Misunderstandings and they finally talk to one another to clear the air....
Scriptures are quoted as they relate to the problems they are experiencing. Unexpected holiday treasures appear. Love the story behind how this book was created.
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on April 18, 2016 :
Imagine you have been through unbearable grief, and have to start your life over again from nothing. That is the position that Selena, the protagonist from Spring Thaw, finds herself in. This is the sweet story of forgiveness and restoration amongst the scars that bitterness and anger have a tendency to penetrate into our hearts. Follow Dirk, Selena, and Dirk’s young son Wade, as they try to figure out who Jesus is, what His forgiveness means for their lives personally, and how God can use even the most difficult times in our lives to prepare us to serve Him in the future. I loved this book so much. It was well written, and there were times when I felt so strongly for each of the different characters. This book will make you laugh and cry. Thank you Tammy Fish, for all your diligence in writing this story. It is a wonderful novel that will encourage many.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review on my book review blog.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Jan. 30, 2016 :
Have you ever wondered what would motivate a woman to answer an advertisement for a mail-order bride during the days of the Wild West?
Spring Thaw answers that question in spades, offering lots of adventure to keep readers turning the pages. Tammy Fish unfolds the early life of Selena, and what took her from Illinois across the country to Oregon to seek something new.
Meanwhile Dirk (her husband to be) is facing his own challenges that keep him from sharing love and emotional intimacy.
Spring Thaw is an engaging and satisfying tale of two broken people finding each other. It's a story of redemption. And ultimately it shows how God heals the heart.
Spring Thaw will completely enthrall you!
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2016 :
This is actually a really good and a really emotional romance. I’m really not a fan of romance at all, especially Christian romance because it can be really dull but boy did Fish prove me wrong! I went into this with a positive mindset because the author is a fellow Christian so I was ready to give a biased review, admittedly. But I’ll be happy to say that there was no bribing necessary, Fish’s story was great all on its own.
The protagonist is such a downer. That might sound insulting but you have to get to know Selena to appreciate the beauty behind her character. In some ways I could see myself, and many women, in her shoes. Just drifting through life, ready to settle because you’re tired from the lack and the struggle. But little did Selena know, her hard times were a blessing in disguise.
The development in this story was great. It read like a gentle romance, whispering sweet dreams to you in your sleep.
This book is romantic without being raunchy. Its passionate without being X-rated steamy. It is something that all women—and even men—could read and enjoy, at any age, of any belief system.
I liked the transition in Selena’s faith. How she stayed strong and lived through her troubles. There was a time where she began to doubt and feel angry but that only seemed natural in her situation. As a reader, I got to watch her grow and sit back watching her pray her way through. Even through her doubt and anger, she became stronger as the pages turned and I think that complimented the story in a very positive way.
I’ve read books about arranged marriages before but never between two consenting adults. So this was a story that was different for me right from the start. It reminded me of the old movie ‘Original Sin’ with Angelina Jolie. It’s a similar story in which a man is simply seeking a wife to keep his house from being empty but they end up falling in love. Here we have a man looking for a mother for his son. I really thought that would complicate things, having a child involved, but it only made way for more story progression and character development. Not to mention a good chance to incorporate the author’s faith.
All in all, I loved this book and I highly recommend it to readers of all ages. Fans of romance will definitely love this story but Christian readers will appreciate it the most.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)