Olivia Rutherford is a young artist determined to succeed. It’s 1929, and if making herself presentable to the art-buying wealthy means dying and bobbing her hair and wearing flapper dresses, so be it. But Olivia is also carrying secrets – about her father, her family, and her fear of Yosemite National Park. And her name really isn’t Rutherford; it’s the more prosaic “Rudd.”
But commercial success and possible fame beckon, and Olivia finds herself commissioned to paint scenes from Yosemite. Accompanied by a wealthy couple who are clients for her paintings, Olivia arrives in the park. Assigned to the group for the duration of their stay is a trail ride leader named Clark Johnson, who’s carrying some secrets of his own, like being a former minister driven from his church.
Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett tells the story of Olivia and Clark. It’s romantic suspense, the suspense coming from a series of escalating acts of vandalism directed at Olivia and the unwanted attentions she’s experiencing from the husband in her group. And then false stories begin appearing is a gossip newspaper.
Where the Fire Falls is the most recent novel in Barnett’s Vintage National Park Novel series, which includes The Road to Paradise and Ever Faithful. She’s also published three novels in The Golden Gate Chronicles Series. She received the Writers of Promise Award from Oregon Christian Writers in 2013, a Cascade Award for her debut novel Mistaken in 2014, and Writer of the Year from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
The story has an interesting premise, even if we know that romance will triumph in the end. And the descriptions of the scenery inspire the desire for a visit.
Top photograph: A waterfall in Yosemite National Park by Laurel Balyeat via . Used with permission.