What people are saying:
Exciting News!! Kirkus (Indie), one of the top book review companies, named Where the Pink Houses Are to its Best of 2012 list. To see the full review on the Kirkus site, click here.
KIRKUS INDIE, STARRED REVIEW
In this tightly written book filled with vivid Irish scenery and culture, characters are constructed so well that the reader might feel as if they’ve met before. Physical and spiritual encounters pull the reader into the story due to their surprisingly realistic nature, while characters grow and change seemingly because of God’s presence—or lack thereof—in their lives. Ruth skillfully and charmingly leads the reader through the winding paths of the human condition, tempered by divine guidance.
A thorough, well-executed first effort. ~Kirkus Indie
Four Star Review from CompulsionReads.com:
Brenna O’Brien travels to Ireland with her mother-in-law, Anna, in search of…well, she isn’t really sure. All she knows is that after the death of her husband, she has little left in the United States besides painful memories.
Ireland is green, lush and full of life. Perhaps all that lushness is infectious, because Brenna feels herself slowly recovering as she builds deep relationships with Anna’s family and makes new friends with the locals. As a pretty stranger, Brenna gains the attention of many boys in town, including the handsome Luke. Brenna’s knees go weak at the sight of him, but there’s something cold and mean behind his chocolate eyes that sets off little warning bells in her head.
Brenna is awakening in more ways than one. Even as her social life blossoms, so does her faith. She begins attending the local church and learning to ask God for wisdom and guidance through prayer. She’s going to need all the help she can get when a gorgeous stranger shows up in town and melts her heart like warm butter.
Ryan Kelly seems just as perfect on the inside as the outside. Behind those warm blue eyes and that handsome smile, he is a generous, kind and thoughtful person. Those eyes also seem very focused on Brenna. Even as Luke continues to lurk in the background, Brenna knows she’s falling hard for Ryan. She thinks that the feeling is mutual, but then why does he keep insisting on treating her like a sister and keeping things chaste? What secret is preventing him from accepting and returning the love that Brenna is ready to give?
Brenna prays that she can find the key to unlock his guarded heart and that she is strong enough to resist Luke’s continuing advances.
Where The Pink Houses Are is a fulfilling read. Brenna is a likable protagonist – kind and beautiful but with enough flaws to make her human. Author Rebekah Ruth does a brilliant job of painting a vibrant Irish town and filling it with colorful characters. I especially liked Patsy, Anna’s feisty old aunt who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Even as Brenna struggles with her feelings for Luke and Ryan, Patsy is fighting her own fight in the background, which I feel adds a deeper layer to the story.
Ruth also does a wonderful job of infusing the book with strong religious tones without being overbearing. Brenna’s journey of religious awakening is sweet and educational for others who are not overly familiar with the teachings of the church. Ruth focuses on themes of forgiveness, friendship, relying on God’s wisdom, and commitment. Both Brenna and Ryan struggle mightily through the story and use their faith to overcome and accept the trials they are given.
The romance in this book is hot and heavy but stays almost entirely out of the bedroom. The connection between Brenna and Ryan is as much about the soul as the body.
This beautiful travel adventure will appeal to Christian fiction fans, but I also think it can transcend the religious genre and interest believers who wouldn’t normally pick up a religious romance.
The following reviews are found on Amazon.com (click here to view them on Amazon).
5 Star Review by JLB: An Excellent Read! Worth your time!! Characters are believeable, and yet, not predictable. Read the book from start to finish in one setting, and enjoyed it thoroughly. The twists and turns of the plot kept my attention and curiousity alive till the end.. and left me wanting more. A complicated love story, full of emotions and questions that people face today, with answers of forgiveness and grace that give hope to seemingly hopeless situations. This was a thought provoking and encouraging book, and one I would recommend highly.
5 Star Review by Nicole: Delightful Reading! This was the first fiction book i have read since becoming a parent,16 yrs ago! When I recieved my Kindle for Mothers day it was the first book I purchased and I am so glad I did. The story was beautiful,real and even the scenery,places and food where so well described that I was able the paint pictures in my mind of all the places and at times go to bed hungry because of all the food descriptions. I loved that it made me cry,laugh and gave me food for thought . Definetly worth reading and highly recommended!
5 Star Review by Jenn: Fair warning – this story draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. From the first chapter you are immersed in the characters of the story and the countryside of Ireland. Rebekah Ruth’s debut novel is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
5 Star Review by Kim: Have you ever NOT been able to put a book down? Wanted to read it every available moment? Gone to sleep way too late into the night (because you just couldn’t stop)? Ridden the roller coaster of the story, feeling the emotions the main character feels? Caught yourself wondering what will happen next while you’re cooking dinner for your family? Read it out loud under your breath to hear the accents? LIVED the book? Felt sadness after you’ve read the last page, because it’s over???
Rebekah Ruth, I hope you’re already working on your next novel!