Today I am reviewing Karen Witemeyer’s newest release, More Than Words Can Say, Book 2 in her Patchwork Family series. For those of you who have read Book 1, More Than Meets The Eye, this book takes place one year after that one ends and picks up with Zach’s story. If you haven’t read More Than Meets The Eye, you don’t HAVE to read it to appreciate this book, but I still recommend it so you can fully appreciate Zach’s journey.
After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No family entanglements. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.
Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.
I have been looking forward to this book since the moment I finished the first book in this series, More Than Meets the Eye. While I LOVED that book, I was a little sad about where it left Zach at the end. I was very happy that he got his own story in More Than Words Can Say. Zach is the noblest of men. He never does anything halfway. Once he decides to invest himself in a situation, he puts his whole self in. Case in point, Abigail proposes a marriage of convenience, but he decides upfront that it will be more. He never once treats it like a business arrangement, going above and beyond and taking the role of husband and brother-in-law as seriously as he took guardian in More Than Meets the Eye.
Though they are both committed to the marriage, they stumble around what it means to love someone, and how to communicate that love. Zach is not great at expressing himself, and Abigail spends a lot of time in her own head wondering what to say, or how to interpret his silence. When they do have a real conversation, there’s a lot of awkward honesty, which I actually really appreciated, because that is real life in a new relationship! I loved watching them stumble and support each other as they both figured out their new roles.
I loved the theme of God turning something meant for evil into something good. Abigail and Zach both carry hurts from events in their past that haunt them. Something nobody else can completely understand. In Abigail’s case, it is this defining event, and the unforgiving actions of her former best friend that ultimately pushes her to seek marriage to Zach, which ends up bringing healing to both of them.
I really liked Rosalind’s character. She was such a strong, likeable character, from the start. I would really like to see her get her own story.
Overall, this was a very sweet story of what it means to become a family. I enjoyed it immensely!
***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.***
“Was that love? If so, he couldn’t fathom why poets waxed about it being such a blissful state. As far as he could tell, it was about as blissful as riding an unbroke horse, a bone-rattling endeavor where one held on for dear life, unable to recognize if he was making progress until either the horse quit buckin’ or the ground smacked him in the face.”
“He made me realize that I have to choose which voices to believe. I can believe the ones that tell me I’m not good enough, or brave enough or pretty enough and let them skew my perception of events or I can push that clamor aside and seek out the voice that tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
“Belonging wasn’t ownership, it was relationship.”
“Zach hadn’t shrunk back. Even when the muck inside her spilled out onto him. Instead, he stepped into the fray, fought for her — for them. With the most backward, inelegant, completely wonderful compliments she’d ever received. No poet could stir her heart as completely as her husband grousing at her to cut him some slack because he couldn’t get the words out right.”