I knew within minutes of opening this book that I was going to love it. I was laughing out loud by the the end of the first chapter and the story just grew more adorable as it went along. Eisley and Wes are both such endearing characters. I loved them instantly. This is quite possibly my favorite Pepper Basham book to date!

As always, the grace-filled message and the endearing characters are the shining attributes of this author’s writing. And did I mention it is full of romance too? Can’t forget that! This is one love story that will quickly sweep you off your feet.

Eisley and Wes come from different worlds, but they share many things in common too. They’re both struggling to move on from difficult pasts. They’re burdened with shame and regrets. They’re not sure how to trust and love someone new. But behind the fears and doubts, they both have big hearts and a genuine faith in the Lord. They’re both also fiercely protective of their families. The sparks between them are real and magnetic. They challenge each other and make each other better, stronger, happier.

I can’t write this review without mentioning their adorable family members either. Each of them stole my heart with their own versions of warmth and wit. Somehow, they even made me – the reader – feel like part of the family.

From England to Appalachia, this story drew me in with its colorful settings, down-to-earth dialogue, and theme of forgiveness and grace. The little bits and pieces of historical intrigue added a nice twist to the story and I did not see the end coming. Soooo sweet! You’ll definitely want to read this one, friends.

I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.



Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

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The Thorn Keeper - My Review | The Engrafted Word

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. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.