I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “Always leave them wanting more.” That’s exactly how this last book in Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan’s Return to the Canadian West series made me feel! The story has a satisfying conclusion—if that means that all the characters ended up like you wanted them to. But I wish there could be more! I’d love to know where Beth and Jarrick’s life leads them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a continuation series like the one that followed When Calls the Heart, or the original Canadian West series. Maybe finding out what happens to their future children would satisfy me enough!
Beth’s summer vacation abroad with her family has come to an end. While it was frought with disaster, it did give her a chance to spend some time with her handsome Mountie and introduce him to her family. He has received her parents’ full approval, and she is expecting a proposal upon her return to Coal Valley. With Jarrick’s ring on her finger she rides into town, sure that she knows what to expect during her second year of teaching. But things are not the same in Coal Valley as they were when she left at the beginning of summer. Not only is she no longer living with Molly at the boarding house, she finds that the town has hired a new teacher. They’ve built a new school that Beth will be forced to share with this man, and his views on teaching and life in general could not be more different than hers. Beth is now forced to live in a tiny apartment that was once owned by some scary people, and she hears strange noises in the night. Add that to the fact that her father has offered Jarrick a position in his business, and Beth isn’t sure where she belongs any more.
This final book does bring the series to a nice close. Beth gets her happy ending, even if it’s not quite like she thought it might be. I did think that some of the secondary characters needed a more complete ending. I would like to have seen a better ending for the new teacher and his fiancé, since it seemed like their story just dropped off. I think it was important to see Beth deal with the changes in Coal Valley, as well as in her relationship with Jarrick. I do wish Jarrick’s family had been introduced a little sooner so that we could have seen Beth interact a little more with her new mother-in-law.
If you haven’t read this series yet, get the first two books as soon as possible so you’ll be ready for this one when it’s released! It’s Janette Oke at her finest. I truly hated to see this story end!
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and a favorable review was not required. Look for Where Hope Prevails at your favorite bookseller on or around August 2.