Review: Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett, Book 2 of Vintage National Parks

"A beautiful piece of art. A stunning cathedral of trees. Both perfect for keeping truth hidden in the shadows." (Back Cover)

Title:  Where the Fire Falls
Series: Vintage National Parks, Book 2
Author: Karen Barnett
Publisher: Waterbrook & Multnomah Fiction
Release Date:  June 5, 2018 
Genre: Historical Romance / Mystery
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Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. 

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? 

As Clark helps open Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas-- a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.


Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett is the second book in the Vintage National Parks series, and it is just stunning! Like it's cover, there's more to the majestic mountains or the beauty of the shadows within. I'm totally in love with this. My only regret is that this is my first Vintage National Parks and I didn't get the chance to pick up The Road to Paradise yet. That will change for sure. Don't let these words puzzle you. You do not need to read the first book in order to grasp everything in the second as Where the Fire Falls reads like a standalone piece.

From the start, we are entranced by the illusion and attraction of the art scene. A struggling artist hopes to gain fame and fortune and in a short time we see the start of where we expect to be - in a national park. This time, we're heading to Yosemite. I'm quite excited as I've lived near and visited it before. The beauty of Yosemite refreshed back into my mind as I read through Where the Fire Falls, despite the timeline difference. 

"Lies hold us captive, but there's freedom in the truth."

Where the Fire Falls brings to life so much of what we sometimes neglect to see - the beauty of the natural elements in nature, as well as the serenity it inspires. I'm so in awe of this book. To top it off, there's the engaging storyline filled with pretense and a bit of mystery, romance and full on character development. Olivia and Clark are such a nice pair. There's a bit of vulnerability in both these characters that allow readers to really resonate with their emotions and thoughts. A message of faith completes this story splendidly. 

"Faith can move mountains, but time spent in the mountains sometimes moves us toward faith."

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Please note: Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof. Please verify with release copy before sharing. Thank you.
For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.





KAREN BARNETT, author of Mistaken, Out of the Ruins, and Beyond the Ashes, is a former park ranger. She worked as a ranger naturalist and outdoor educator at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Silver Falls State Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. When not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, and public speaking. She lives in Oregon with her family.

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