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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter

When Merrill Krause isn't delivering foals or cutting ice for her father, she's busy dreaming of the day she might find a man who might be interested in her despite her less than feminine appearances. She made her dying mother a promise to care for her father and brothers. Now it seems unless one of her brothers marries first and offers to care for her father, Merrill will spend the remainder of her years caring for his needs along with those of the household. It's hard managing both responsibilities of being a woman and doing the things she truly cares for, helping out her father in their ice cutting business, handling the teams of Belgian horse and managing the farm when she can. In addition, she makes all the family's meals, tends to the shopping and mending when she can. She is a dream baker and often tries her sample recipes out on her grandmother and brothers, who tell her she could easily go into business for herself is she ever wanted to.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives to care for ailing Uncle and to learn more about the furniture making business he hopes to one day run on his own, he leaves behind a young, unhappy girl who had been promised to him in an arranged marriage between their fathers. Now that Rurik's father has passed away, he feels he can't obligate himself to someone he doesn't love. However Svea Olsson is about to be passed over as if she doesn't exist. She plans to head to Minnesota in the middle of winter to convince Rurik that they are made for one another. In fact, she manages to bring along her brother Nils, Rurik's best friend who had hoped to merge his business management skills alongside Rurik's to escape being a part of his families dairy business.

In the latest historical novel from Tracie Peterson, The Icecutter's Daughter is the first book in the Land of Shining Waters series. We are taken back to 1895 to meet Swedish immigrant Rurik Jorgenson who dreams of some day taking the skill he has learned from his Uncle Carl and make a name for himself making furniture. When he notices Merrill's artistic talent in adding beautiful paintings on furniture, he immediately thinks their two talents could blend beautifully together. It also doesn't hurt that he is attracted to her beauty and strong determination despite what other people think about her. But when Svea shows up claiming she is still engaged to Rurik, it may be that Merrill will spend her life taking care of her father instead of raising her own family and getting married. Will true love be able to melt the coldness keeping them apart?

I received The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I absolutely fell in love with the cover of this book and wondered just what lies beneath. While the story was interesting, for me it lacked something I couldn't identify at first. Then over time, discussing it with my husband, I realized that I was missing more character development between the characters of Rurik and Merrill. It seemed a bit glazed over in hopes to get the story moving. The whinny character of Rurik's fiancèe gets to be a bit unnerving every time she shows up as well as her brother Nils, who seems to want to wait on Rurik so he doesn't have to find work elsewhere. They both seem to be looking at Rurik for their meal ticket. I would have also liked to have seen Tracie incorporate some of the recipes that Merrill creates in the end of the book, because it was tempting reading about their descriptions in the novel. There is a brief look into the sequel to this series, The Quarryman's Bride which is slated for release in Summer 2013. All in all, a great book with a surprising twist, never understanding the life of what an icecutter does, made this an interesting read and worthy of 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Icecutter's Daughter, Tracie Peterson or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Tracie Peterson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

For more reviews on The Icecutter's Daughter from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance tour, please click here.

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