Book Review: Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly

Posted March 28, 2021 by meezcarrie in Christian, historical, Kathleen Denly, romance / 9 Comments

about the book

Chaparral Hearts #2

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Wild Heart Books
RELEASE DATE: March 2, 2021
PAGES: 412

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?


Other Books In This Series

Almost nothing and no one in Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is what or who they first appear to be. I’m not talking about some sort of Old West espionage, though. Rather, I mean that through these characters and their circumstances, the author reminds us of how often our own emotions & experiences cloud our perceptions. And, in turn, how those potentially-false assumptions (no matter how true we believe they are) can destroy our peace and damage our relationships.

My heart broke for Clarinda, for how little she valued herself, for how she failed to see her own beauty. Instead, the scars on her body have eaten into her heart and left a different sort of scar, one that leaves her in a prison of her own making. I couldn’t completely relate to Clarinda, as I always knew that my parents were my safe place, but I was bullied for my physical appearance as an adolescent so I definitely did understand her desire to hide what she was insecure about. I think nearly every female can identify with that, though, since society preaches to us from young ages that the only acceptable beauty is the flawless kind.

Thank goodness that’s NOT the only acceptable beauty, however. The Bible teaches us that the heart’s beauty is what really matters and that physical beauty ultimately doesn’t, and Clarinda actually has both in spades. Enter Richard, who falls in love with all of her beauty – inside and out – and perseveres even in her repeated rejections to teach her about the truest of Love. He, too, has a need to grow more confident in his own identity, and I loved how the marriage of convenience aspect to this story allowed us to watch both characters be changed & refined by each other.

Bottom Line: Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is a sweet romance with layered characters and a message of restoration & redemption. The author took me through a gamut of emotions as I read this story – compassion, frustration, anger, dismay, conviction, relief and joy – and one particular set of scenes where my heart stayed solidly in my throat, so vivid were her depictions of a harrowing piece of history. While I wasn’t as instantly captivated by these characters as I was with Eliza and Daniel (from Waltz in the Wilderness), I think I ultimately related to Richard & Clarinda and their story more. Great choice for fans of Tracie Peterson and Misty M. Beller!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Kathleen Denly writes historical romance stories to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews and more at

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What about you? What makes you want to read Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly?

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9 responses to “Book Review: Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly

  1. Suzanne Sellner

    Sing in the Sunlight sounds like a book which ministers to a person’s deep need for love and security.

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