Review: The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham

Posted March 5, 2016 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Pepper Basham, romance / 15 Comments

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Do you see me jumping up and down right now? Well, I am (and you should probably be glad you in fact can NOT see me as it’s not pretty.)

I am honored to be the final stop on The Thorn Keeper blog tour with Singing Librarian Books. I am excited to talk about this latest book by Pepper Basham.  And I cannot WAIT to remind you all why it made my KissingBooks 101 Lesson 2 post.

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thorn keeperGenre:  Fiction, Historical, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Publication Date: February 28, 2016
Number of pages: 402

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With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?

Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.

When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever? From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.


Y’all.  This book has a very special place in my heart, its author even more so.  But even if I didn’t consider Pepper Basham a dear friend… and even if The Thorn Keeper wasn’t so precious to me, I would still mean every single word I’m about to say!

I didn’t think anything could topple Pepper’s first book, The Thorn Bearer, from its pedestal as one of my favorites. And while it’s solidly still high on the list, The Thorn Keeper exceeded it in every way! No sophomore slump here… not at all.

heaven help ttk 3The beauty of Pepper’s prose immediately sweeps you into the story where the characters (most of them familiar if you’ve read The Thorn Bearer) guarantee you won’t be putting down the book until you’ve savored every last word. Catherine – sassy, sweet and strong in spite of her brokenness, yet in many ways uncertain. David – focused, dedicated and true but carrying the weight of forced burdens on his shoulders. When he turns that focus and dedication and true-ness in Catherine’s direction??? SWOON!!! I mean… seriously. Make sure you have a fan handy. And a fainting couch. And a freezer. And you’ll find that you suddenly develop a craving for peppermint. Or maybe that last part was just me.

At any rate, trust me when I say that the romance in The Thorn Keeper is delicious and toe-curling and oh-so-heart-clenching. But (after the romance, of course, because – who am I kidding – we all know that’s my favorite part of most books!) perhaps the thing I like best about The Thorn Keeper is the message of redemption. It’s there in so many ways – some remnants the thorn keeperobvious, some subtle, all beautiful. Second chances abound in The Thorn Keeper, more than those you might see at the surface level. Mercy and hope go deeper than Catherine’s redemption; they extend beyond her to reach other characters in need of restoration. The grace of Catherine’s story even extends to readers who need the reminder that Jesus still finds them beautiful, no matter how stained their past.

Bottom Line: Pepper Basham’s exquisite & poetic way with words combined with the poignancy of Catherine’s story will bring hope to anyone who feels that their past mistakes have nullified their present or future dreams. The romance is one of the best I’ve read – sweet, sassy, and so very swoonworthy! But hold on to your floral-festooned hats because there is a twist that will tear out your heart and require a good supply of chocolate to survive. I highly recommend The Thorn Keeper for any fans of historical fiction, kissing books, and Christmas. (No…it’s not a Christmas book. Just trust me on this one.)

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!!!

KissingBook Level: 5 / Keep that freezer, fan, fainting couch, alternate sources of oxygen handy! And peppermint.  You will want peppermint.

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about the author

Pepper D. Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, with the second arriving in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in spring 2016.



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February 29–Singing Librarian Books
March 1–Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance | Smiling Book Reviews
March 2–Just Commonly 
March 3–A Holland Reads
March 4–The Green Mockingbird
March 5–Reading Is My SuperPower

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15 responses to “Review: The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham

  1. pepperbasham

    Thanks so much, Carrie, for this amazing review. I’m going to quote you on the ‘exquisite & poetic’ part 🙂 And probably some other parts too! LOL

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