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The Best of Intentions

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In the aftermath of tragedy, Grace hopes to reclaim her nephew from the relatives who rejected her sister because of her class. Under an alias, she becomes her nephew's nanny to observe the formidable family up close. Unexpectedly, she begins to fall for the boy's guardian, who is promised to another. Can Grace protect her nephew . . . and her heart?


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In the aftermath of tragedy, Grace hopes to reclaim her nephew from the relatives who rejected her sister because of her class. Under an alias, she becomes her nephew's nanny to observe the formidable family up close. Unexpectedly, she begins to fall for the boy's guardian, who is promised to another. Can Grace protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

30 review for The Best of Intentions

  1. 3 out of 5

    Staci

    I love how the prologue pulled me in right away. I nearly stopped reading in the first couple of chapters because the plot appeared to be exactly the same as a prior novel. However, I'm glad I kept reading because I was soon fully engaged in Grace's story. She traveled from England to Canada to bring her sister and nephew home. Events didn't play out how she expected and she was forced to make new decisions. While the novel isn't heavy on history, the author does a nice job of including period de I love how the prologue pulled me in right away. I nearly stopped reading in the first couple of chapters because the plot appeared to be exactly the same as a prior novel. However, I'm glad I kept reading because I was soon fully engaged in Grace's story. She traveled from England to Canada to bring her sister and nephew home. Events didn't play out how she expected and she was forced to make new decisions. While the novel isn't heavy on history, the author does a nice job of including period details to make the reader feel they've visited the setting. This was a well told story and I look forward to the next novel in the Canadian Crossings Series.

  2. 3 out of 5

    Rachael

    I really enjoyed the story and plot line. Plot was so original and enjoyed. However, this book is definitely character driven. I really liked Grace. She went through a lot in her life, and it’s hard to say what one would do in her place. Truly liked Virginia as well. Andrew is just between a rock and a hard place...his story is well done. I really enjoy watching the characters grow throughout this novel, and I was drawn in to the time and place. The reader doesn’t get to know much about Virginia an I really enjoyed the story and plot line. Plot was so original and enjoyed. However, this book is definitely character driven. I really liked Grace. She went through a lot in her life, and it’s hard to say what one would do in her place. Truly liked Virginia as well. Andrew is just between a rock and a hard place...his story is well done. I really enjoy watching the characters grow throughout this novel, and I was drawn in to the time and place. The reader doesn’t get to know much about Virginia and her story, and I would have liked that. I loved the characters, plot, and the faith theme in this book. The main characters are strong...and their faith tested. Definitely a book that will be on my forever shelves. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. The earnest prayer echoed in Andrew’s heart, and for the first time in a long while, a measure of peace spread through him. Only God can change a persons heart , Grace. All we have control over are our own feelings and actions. This was the kind of love Virginia craved. Passionate, powerful, and at the same time, sanctioned by the Lord.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Edwards

    Mason does an excellent job of writing family dramas—the first series of hers that I read was about the O’Leary family, and the next novel was a standalone about a complex family tree, hidden for years. This book begins a new series, but the relationships within and between these families are both complicated and difficult. The result is an engrossing read that kept me turning pages and hoping for a happy ending, even as I couldn’t see how it could realistically happen. I think most people will Mason does an excellent job of writing family dramas—the first series of hers that I read was about the O’Leary family, and the next novel was a standalone about a complex family tree, hidden for years. This book begins a new series, but the relationships within and between these families are both complicated and difficult. The result is an engrossing read that kept me turning pages and hoping for a happy ending, even as I couldn’t see how it could realistically happen. I think most people will readily sympathize with the two main characters. I could relate to Grace in many ways—though I have thankfully not been burdened by guilt to this extreme, I could imagine how regrets and fear might take hold and lead to disastrous choices. Andrew’s difficulties are not the same, but he is no less burdened by the heavy familial duty he places on himself. There is a lot in this book about perception, how we see others and how they see us. When feelings are hurt and pride gets in the way, relationships suffer. But I absolutely loved how this book shows that it doesn’t have to be a permanent condition; though not easy, resolution and restoration are possible. We have far more in common with each other than we know. I really enjoyed this story of family, of misunderstandings, and of reconciliation. This is an engaging novel and an emotional beginning to the Canadian Crossings series. The characters are relatable and the setting is unique without being too far removed from other historical locales. I look forward to reading Emmaline’s story next, and hopefully there is a book in the works for Quinn as well! I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed are both honest and my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com Grace is a hardworking, dutiful daughter and devoted sister. She entangles herself in a sticky web of half-truths and secrets kept... with the best of intentions, of course. I can sympathize and even justify Grace's choices but only to an extent. Andrew, while far from perfect, is between two rocks (perhaps three) and a hard place thanks to a string of unfortunate events and familial expectations. When you read hundreds of books each year like I do, it's to be Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com Grace is a hardworking, dutiful daughter and devoted sister. She entangles herself in a sticky web of half-truths and secrets kept... with the best of intentions, of course. I can sympathize and even justify Grace's choices but only to an extent. Andrew, while far from perfect, is between two rocks (perhaps three) and a hard place thanks to a string of unfortunate events and familial expectations. When you read hundreds of books each year like I do, it's to be expected that an occasional book falls prey to a bad mood or triggers an unfortunate memory. That's, unfortunately, the case for me and The Best of Intentions. However, my own lackluster experience with this story won't keep me from reading the following books in this series and I do recommend it, especially to readers who don't have my odd communication pet peeve. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    As I read this book the title became more and more obvious of the, little white lies, or big ones, I could understand the author putting Grace in the position of wanting to fulfill her sister’s wishes and also wanting to be in life of this young child. I found myself quickly page turning as we become involved in these characters lives, some you will quickly come to love and others, the old saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”, sure comes to mind. It has been one hundr As I read this book the title became more and more obvious of the, little white lies, or big ones, I could understand the author putting Grace in the position of wanting to fulfill her sister’s wishes and also wanting to be in life of this young child. I found myself quickly page turning as we become involved in these characters lives, some you will quickly come to love and others, the old saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”, sure comes to mind. It has been one hundred years since WWI and the horrible Spanish Flu, and it is quickly fading from memories, I love that there are stories that help keep alive what this past generation went through and thank the author for bringing it to the forefront. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, and hope to catch up on the lives of those we have already met. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The Best of Intentions is the beginning of Susan Anne Mason's whole new series, Canadian Crossings. I have loved her other previous books and this one is no exception. I loved Grace right from the start and admired her bravery, courage and determination. I had to keep reading, turn the pages, and not put the book down. I give The Best of Intentions a well deserved five plus stars. Susan Anne Mason is becoming more and more one of my top favorite authors to read. I can not wait to see what happen The Best of Intentions is the beginning of Susan Anne Mason's whole new series, Canadian Crossings. I have loved her other previous books and this one is no exception. I loved Grace right from the start and admired her bravery, courage and determination. I had to keep reading, turn the pages, and not put the book down. I give The Best of Intentions a well deserved five plus stars. Susan Anne Mason is becoming more and more one of my top favorite authors to read. I can not wait to see what happens in the Canadian Crossings series. Highly recommended. I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This is 100% my own honest opinion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is the first in the series: Canadian Crossings. In 1919, Grace Abernathy travels to Toronto, Canada to fetch her widowed sister, Rose, and infant nephew, Christian, back to their mother in England. Dire circumstances greet her. Rose has fallen ill and died and Christian is with his paternal grandparents, a family far above Grace in society. Since Rose was rejected by her in-laws, Grace wants to make sure her nephew is loved and well cared for. Andrew Eas The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is the first in the series: Canadian Crossings. In 1919, Grace Abernathy travels to Toronto, Canada to fetch her widowed sister, Rose, and infant nephew, Christian, back to their mother in England. Dire circumstances greet her. Rose has fallen ill and died and Christian is with his paternal grandparents, a family far above Grace in society. Since Rose was rejected by her in-laws, Grace wants to make sure her nephew is loved and well cared for. Andrew Easton is guardian to young Christian and he, too, wants the best for his baby nephew. Grace dares to get close to the baby. What will happen when her true identity is revealed? Will her purpose change to one of protector? Can Grace and Andrew look beyond the surface and see the best of intentions of the other? This story shows real struggles of faith, motivation and learning to trust God for the best outcome. It also shows how the social classes begin to break down following Workd War I. The writing is wonderfully authentic. The setting puts you right in the story. The side characters and their stories add so much to the atmosphere of the book. I would recommend this book to historical fiction fans who want a Canadian perspective of the aftermath of World War I or just want to enjoy a good historical yarn. I will be looking out for the next book in the series. *I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    Squeeeeaaaalll!!! A new series by Susan Anne Mason and it has a Canadian setting! Super jazzed about that and the way she brought historical Toronto to life. Very Murdoch Mysteryish (without the mystery) and a decade later. :-) And I loved the prologue where she sets things up for the series by introducing readers to the characters who will take centre stage in the next two books. Quinn in particular caught my attention...can't wait to discover more about that man of mystery. The Best of Intentio Squeeeeaaaalll!!! A new series by Susan Anne Mason and it has a Canadian setting! Super jazzed about that and the way she brought historical Toronto to life. Very Murdoch Mysteryish (without the mystery) and a decade later. :-) And I loved the prologue where she sets things up for the series by introducing readers to the characters who will take centre stage in the next two books. Quinn in particular caught my attention...can't wait to discover more about that man of mystery. The Best of Intentions is about...well, how the best of intentions can go awry and both Grace and Andrew are exasperatingly full of good intentions! Unfortunately that has them at cross-purposes which leads to all kinds of conundrums and dilemmas and put my gentle reader's heart through some painful paces. Sweetly tender at times and then wrenchingly agonizing at others. And, oh, but there were times I wanted to reach into the book and thwack some heads together and strangle a certain character and pummel another one...and I'm not a violent person -- honest! Love a story that pulls my emotions to bits and makes me slightly crazed. Though it can be mildly alarming to fellow transit commuters. :-) Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf Martin Communications Inc.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trixi

    I admire Grace’s determination in fulfilling her promise to her ill mother. Not knowing what will happen on the other side of the ocean & facing the Easton’s who rejected her sister Rose is a mighty bold move in my mind. What she finds on the other end is not what she expected when she finds tragedy that scatters her plans awry! Even more bold, is obtaining the nanny position under the guise of an assumed name. Knowing the risk of the family finding out who she is, she’s forges forward in th I admire Grace’s determination in fulfilling her promise to her ill mother. Not knowing what will happen on the other side of the ocean & facing the Easton’s who rejected her sister Rose is a mighty bold move in my mind. What she finds on the other end is not what she expected when she finds tragedy that scatters her plans awry! Even more bold, is obtaining the nanny position under the guise of an assumed name. Knowing the risk of the family finding out who she is, she’s forges forward in the desire to get to know her young nephew. Upon meeting Christian’s uncle & guardian, Andrew, the picture she had in mind is not what reality is. She quickly finds her heart tangling in feelings she doesn’t know what to do with. Not only is he handsome, but he truly cares for the boy and will do what is needed to care & provide for him. Along with the rest of the Easton family who’ve lost too much already--Mr. and Mrs. a son, Virginia aka Ginny, a brother. I think having Christian around is helping their hearts heal and Grace soon finds this to be true the more she observes them. This is a story of how all of these things play out. For me, it was chock full of emotion both happy & sad. My heart went out to both Grace and Andrew as they struggled with regret, guilt, remorse and feelings of not being enough, especially when it comes to their parents. Also how there were many reminders that in spite of human feelings, they are always enough in the eyes of God and nothing will dampen His love for them. I really love how this came together and how it kept me engrossed in it. When you pick up a book to read and it’s as if you’ve literally stepped into the pages and feel a part of everything going on you know it’s a good one! I couldn’t help but feel like the characters were people I would like to get to know…though Cecilia tried my patience on more than one occasion. She’s the spoiled socialite. If I could have reached through the pages to shake some sense into Andrew, I would have! Grace is the epitome of her name; gentle, graceful, never afraid to speak the truth in love and softhearted. She’s everyone’s friend and feels things deeply. Andrew is the swoon-worthy hero, though he struggles with regret and trying to prove himself to his father. He’s loyal to his family and will do the right thing, even risking losing his own happiness for family obligation. But we all know you can’t fight true love and when it comes knocking on their doors, will they have the courage to open it? Emotional and gripping, you don’t want to miss this! I can’t express how much depth this holds and all the layers the reader unfolds as the pages fly through your fingers. Susan Anne Mason is a master of telling stories that touch your heart and feed your soul at the same time. It left me smiling and wanting more and I can’t wait until the next book in the Canadian Crossing series! P.S. It was fascinating to learn about Canada's Dominion Day, July 1st. Seems to be much like our own Fourth of July celebration with family activities and fireworks to end the day with. Probably called Canada day in today's modern world! How fun to learn history through fiction. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers on behalf of the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own*

  10. 3 out of 5

    Diana

    When you reach the conclusion of a book with a huge lump in your throat and smudgy mascara under your eyes and streaming down the sides of your cheeks—you know you have just read an awesome novel. Gut-wrenching, angsty, and oh, sooo romantic. Such exquisite torment…sighhh. Grace Abernathy is lovely and compassionate and although she makes some not so great decisions she ALWAYS has the best of intentions. And Andrew. Charming, handsome, and everything you could ever wish for in a hero. Except whe When you reach the conclusion of a book with a huge lump in your throat and smudgy mascara under your eyes and streaming down the sides of your cheeks—you know you have just read an awesome novel. Gut-wrenching, angsty, and oh, sooo romantic. Such exquisite torment…sighhh. Grace Abernathy is lovely and compassionate and although she makes some not so great decisions she ALWAYS has the best of intentions. And Andrew. Charming, handsome, and everything you could ever wish for in a hero. Except when he's not. Talk about a stubborn male! I can't begin to tell you how many times I wanted to thump him in the head and tell him to get a clue. If you love books with huge opulent mansions and plenty of romantic tension and drama without a lot of mystery or suspense, then this is the book for you. The setting in lovely Canada simply adds to the allure of this amazing story. Beautifully written as are all of Susan Anne Mason's novels!

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Books and Biscuits Blog

    The Best of Intentions – Susan Anne Mason (5 Stars) In The Best of Intentions, Ms. Mason begins her Canadian Crossings series. Grace Abernathy travels across the Atlantic from England to reach Toronto, in hopes of helping her sister and nephew. However, the Spanish flu has reached her family first, leaving Grace’s nephew an orphan and stranding Grace in Toronto with few options. In her correspondence, Grace was left to believe that the Easton family would never treat her nephew well and she takes The Best of Intentions – Susan Anne Mason (5 Stars) In The Best of Intentions, Ms. Mason begins her Canadian Crossings series. Grace Abernathy travels across the Atlantic from England to reach Toronto, in hopes of helping her sister and nephew. However, the Spanish flu has reached her family first, leaving Grace’s nephew an orphan and stranding Grace in Toronto with few options. In her correspondence, Grace was left to believe that the Easton family would never treat her nephew well and she takes drastic measures to become young Christian’s new nanny. While living in the Easton household, Grace discovers that they are not nearly as evil as her sister made them out to be, especially after seeing the devastating grief the family experiences from the loss of Christian’s father in the war. Christian’s guardian, Andrew Easton, makes a particularly good impression on Grace, even as he finds himself engaged to a socialite with no love for his new ward. Andrew and Grace must choose between protecting Christian or following their families’ expectations for their future. Ms. Mason writes a compelling and heartwarming story that far exceeds the quality of her previous novels. Her focus on this series’ Canadian setting and characters mark a new high in her career, with these novels sure to be a fan favorite! Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Best of Intentions! This novel has a distinctly different style and pacing than Ms. Mason’s previous works, making it far more accessible to a broad audience. Grace and Andrew’s story seems quite unique, especially with its Toronto-based setting. However, it fits comfortably within the Christian historical fiction genre, serving as a natural extension of Ms. Mason’s other works. I found myself greatly appreciating the entire cast of characters in this new series, even as I have noticed that Ms. Mason rarely depicts father figures in a positive light within her stories. The minor characters fully support the main storyline, while some of the individuals will likely make future appearances elsewhere in the series. After reading The Best of Intentions, I am very eager to see how Ms. Mason develops the future stories within her Canadian Crossings series! Thanks! Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog PS. To see the full review, please visit http://booksandbiscuits.com/blog/2018.... Thanks!

  12. 3 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "There's no easy way to say this, Grace . . . . . Rose . . passed away three weeks ago." Having traveled from England to Canada in order to spend time with her widowed sister and infant nephew, Grace Abernathy is shocked beyond belief upon learning of her sister's death. Desperate to discover where her nephew has been relocated, Grace is appalled when a local pastor relays the message that the very in-laws who painfully shunned her sister Rose, now have custody of little Christian. The Eastons; w "There's no easy way to say this, Grace . . . . . Rose . . passed away three weeks ago." Having traveled from England to Canada in order to spend time with her widowed sister and infant nephew, Grace Abernathy is shocked beyond belief upon learning of her sister's death. Desperate to discover where her nephew has been relocated, Grace is appalled when a local pastor relays the message that the very in-laws who painfully shunned her sister Rose, now have custody of little Christian. The Eastons; wealthy, powerful, and not about to welcome Rose's sister onto their estate. There must be a way to confirm that her young nephew is being treated with lovingkindness. Andrew Easton cannot move forward with his future until he is certain that his young ward has proper supervision. Ironically, following a chance meeting with a lovely young woman hobbling on an injured ankle, the same woman appears once again; this time in his home, as a prospective employee. Grace Foley has managed to capture the attention of Andrew's sister, making her a strong candidate for Christian's nanny. In spite of their differences in social status, Grace's gentle beauty simply adds to her mystique; she's certainly nothing like the pampered socialite that Andrew feels compelled to marry in order to gain his father's approval. As Grace and Andrew navigate the troubled waters of truth vs. deception, can the best of intentions truly be enough? What an inspiring beginning to Susan Anne Mason's new series of books!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)

    This story grabbed my attention from the beginning. Filled with drama and emotion, these characters leap off the page and into your imagination with ease! I was kept up late into the night, unable to put the book down, because I just had to know how it was all going to turn out! The story takes place in Toronto, Canada shortly after World War I. Many people have lost loved ones and as a reader you are welcomed into the various stages of their grief as they seek to establish a new normal for not o This story grabbed my attention from the beginning. Filled with drama and emotion, these characters leap off the page and into your imagination with ease! I was kept up late into the night, unable to put the book down, because I just had to know how it was all going to turn out! The story takes place in Toronto, Canada shortly after World War I. Many people have lost loved ones and as a reader you are welcomed into the various stages of their grief as they seek to establish a new normal for not only themselves but for their families as well. This story has an over-arching theme of forgiveness. Learning to not only forgive others, but yourself as well as yourself. I appreciated the treads of faith woven into the story. There are lots of layers to enjoy in this story! While the historical details are light, I did enjoy learning about Canada's Dominion Day. I give this story 4.5 stars. Fans of Mason's other stories are sure to be delighted by this latest addition! I for one am looking forward to the next story in this series. (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  14. 3 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: The Best of Intentions (Canadian Crossings #1) Author: Susan Anne Mason Pages: 352 Year: 2018 Publisher: Bethany House Publishers My rating is 4 out of 5 stars. The First World War has just ended and Grace Abernathy eels that it is now safe to leave her home and mother in England and travel to visit her sister and newborn son in Toronto, Canada. Her sister’s husband was killed in action during the war. She makes the journey and arrives at the address of her sister’s last letter only to find the Title: The Best of Intentions (Canadian Crossings #1) Author: Susan Anne Mason Pages: 352 Year: 2018 Publisher: Bethany House Publishers My rating is 4 out of 5 stars. The First World War has just ended and Grace Abernathy eels that it is now safe to leave her home and mother in England and travel to visit her sister and newborn son in Toronto, Canada. Her sister’s husband was killed in action during the war. She makes the journey and arrives at the address of her sister’s last letter only to find the house empty. She is directed to the local church for information about her sister. Upon arrival, she is informed of her sister’s death. Her sister had begged Grace to take care of her son if anything should happen to her and not to let her husband’s wealthy family to raise her son. Grace made a promise to her sister and she aims to keep it. She discovers that indeed the husband’s family has taken in the baby and the husband’s brother has been made legal guardian of the child. Grace is desperate to see the baby and make sure he is being well treated. She comes up with a plan and carries it out, but it comes with a cost. Andrew Easton will do anything to keep his family together after the estrangement between his brother and the family and then his brother’s death. He hires a nanny to take care of his nephew and develops a love for the boy as if he were his own. He also develops a love for his nephew’s nanny, but knows she is beneath his social station. He has been strongly encouraged by his father to marry a particular woman. Andrew doesn’t love her but feels he must marry her to keep the family together and earn his father’s approval. Andrew aims to put the child’s welfare before his own, but does his future bride feel the same? His attention toward the nanny is noticed by his bride-to-be, so she sets out to put a stop to it. The situation comes to a peak with an unexpected outcome. I enjoyed the setting and time period of this story. I especially liked the scene at the amusement park with the fireworks. The love Grace and Andrew showered on the baby was special and sweet. The trust in God to see her through another difficult situation in her life was something Grace showed repeatedly, even when she made impulsive decisions and brought the difficulty on herself. I look forward to book two in the series set in picturesque Canada!

  15. 3 out of 5

    Elaine Manders

    Downton Abbey fans will love the story of family conflict right after WWI. I found myself cheering for Grace and Andrew as their romance developed. The glitz and glamour of Toronto in the early 20th century is well presented and the conflict held my interest throughout.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Loraine Nunley

    Simply wonderful. I enjoyed everything about this story, the plot, characters, setting… All masterfully woven together to make my heart beat faster as I turned the pages. Great job! Full review is at my website. I received this book complimentary from the author. I was not required to give a review. All of the opinions I have expressed here are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Ruut

    Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we blow it. Sometimes the consequences are severe. And sometimes they are comical! Grace and Andrew are each determined to do what's right, even if that means sacrificing their own dreams or happiness. Unfortunately, those good intentions keep them from seeing things clearly. I love that the characters in The Best of Intentions are not completely good or completely bad. They are realistic individuals I'd love to meet in real life. Their struggles are re Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we blow it. Sometimes the consequences are severe. And sometimes they are comical! Grace and Andrew are each determined to do what's right, even if that means sacrificing their own dreams or happiness. Unfortunately, those good intentions keep them from seeing things clearly. I love that the characters in The Best of Intentions are not completely good or completely bad. They are realistic individuals I'd love to meet in real life. Their struggles are relatable as they navigate the stresses thrown at them. It's always fun to experience a new area in a book, too, and I enjoyed picturing Toronto during and just after the Great War. Social and family expectations play a significant role in the story, but there is a great balance between the serious and the fun. If you enjoy well-written historical fiction, I would definitely recommend The Best of Intentions! (This review was first published on my blog -- sarahruut.com. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)

  18. 3 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'Lord, I don't know if this is a miracle or the biggest mistake of my life, but I'm going to have to trust you to guide me through it.' Grace Abernathy travels from England to Canada in the aftermath of WWI to visit her sister Rose, who has married a Canadian and is now a widow. She discovers even worse when she arrives: her infant nephew is in the custody of his father's family, a family who is highly thought of in society and who rejected her sister because of her own low social status. Grace i 'Lord, I don't know if this is a miracle or the biggest mistake of my life, but I'm going to have to trust you to guide me through it.' Grace Abernathy travels from England to Canada in the aftermath of WWI to visit her sister Rose, who has married a Canadian and is now a widow. She discovers even worse when she arrives: her infant nephew is in the custody of his father's family, a family who is highly thought of in society and who rejected her sister because of her own low social status. Grace is convinced the Eastons can care properly for baby Christian so she manages to procure a post as nanny to the child. Telling no one who she really is, she works under a different last name. She wants to see how this family lives and if they are reliable enough to care for the child. However, Grace never reckoned on falling in love with Christian's uncle, Andrew Easton. Andrew is almost engaged to a spoiled socialite who wants nothing to do with the baby. Can Grace protect the baby and her heart? Or only one? Susan Anne Mason has once again penned a wonderfully rich historical novel. She crafts believable characters and plots and draws her readers in from the very beginning. I enjoyed this book very much indeed. *My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    BlueJeansAndTeacups

    INTENSE DRAMA May 1919, three strangers meet on the SS Olympic. Each one is on a mission to find family. Grace Abernathy is traveling from England to Canada to find her sister Rose along with her new baby and bring them home before her mother leaves this world. Quinten Aspinall comes to her rescue when a male passenger tries to take liberties. Emmaline Moore has a traveling companion who has not quite become accustomed to the sea. The three decide to form a brief friendship until the ship docks INTENSE DRAMA May 1919, three strangers meet on the SS Olympic. Each one is on a mission to find family. Grace Abernathy is traveling from England to Canada to find her sister Rose along with her new baby and bring them home before her mother leaves this world. Quinten Aspinall comes to her rescue when a male passenger tries to take liberties. Emmaline Moore has a traveling companion who has not quite become accustomed to the sea. The three decide to form a brief friendship until the ship docks. Grace arrives in Toronto, Ontario and heads straight for the boarding house her sister’s letter has listed, only to find her sister is no longer there. The story takes several turns and she learns her infant nephew is now in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Easton, Rose’s in-laws. Rose’s letters adamantly detailed them as heartless people who abandoned their son and his new family. Grace is determined to get to her nephew and ensure his happiness no matter the cost. Andrew Easton has always felt second best behind his brother Frank. But, when Frank goes off and marries a young British clerk from his father’s company instead of the wealthy socialite he’s been courting and then goes off to war, expectations quickly change. Andrew must pick up the pieces, help run the family’s hotel business and marry the socialite who has turned her attention his way. His father leaves little room for argument and his mother’s failing health pulls his heartstrings as well. His path has been laid out for him, but he can’t convince his heart it’s all going to be okay. Then, when his nephew shows up in his life he is drawn into fiercely loving the little boy and adjusting his life to ensure his well-being. When he meets Grace life to gets more complicated. CH.4: Vivid recollections of his boyhood came to mind when he used to lie out on the back lawn at night and try to memorize the constellations. It was during those moments of peace and awe that Andrew had felt closest to God. … He needed to get back to those simpler pleasures. This story is filled with drama and intense emotion all the way through. Grace and Andrew both seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. There are some very kind characters I enjoyed such as Reverend Burke who has really developed a knack for listening and gently guiding people. Plus he bakes cinnamon scones! Mrs. Chamberlain is a kind, doting, older lady who brings the first tray of tea (and toast) into the story (smile). Tea Moment (and happily there are many) - CH.6: She thought of her cozy room in the boardinghouse and the unexpected friendship she’d developed with Mrs. Chamberlain. She’d miss their cups of tea in the evening before they retired. But for a chance to be close to her nephew, Grace could do almost anything. I enjoyed learning about Dominion Day. Historical Notes: On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day. The S.S. Olympic is a sister ship of the Titanic and Britannic. She was considered a 'floating palace'. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys intense drama in a historical setting. At times I thought my heart was going to explode as it continually dropped into my stomach. Thank you to the author and Bethany House Publishing who sent me a review copy. My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation. Canadian Crossings Series 1 The Best of Intentions – Grace Abernathy’s story 07/2018 2 The Highest of Hopes – Emmaline Moore’s story 03/2019 3 TBD - Quinten Aspinall’s story

  20. 3 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    Historical Romance is much different than contemporary romance. Yes, both genres are completely predictable, such as most romance stories are, but I enjoy traveling to a different time period and watching people live in their different worlds. Seeing things we don't have around anymore. Living in houses with customs we don't hold dear anymore. Susan Anne Mason has created a new story The Best of Intentions taking place at the end of World War I, and I loved watching the characters interact in th Historical Romance is much different than contemporary romance. Yes, both genres are completely predictable, such as most romance stories are, but I enjoy traveling to a different time period and watching people live in their different worlds. Seeing things we don't have around anymore. Living in houses with customs we don't hold dear anymore. Susan Anne Mason has created a new story The Best of Intentions taking place at the end of World War I, and I loved watching the characters interact in this world. Mason does a wonderful job at inviting me into the Eason's massive house with all their finery and money. She shows me what I need to see when I need to see it and invites me to travel through the property with Grace. Mason stays in Grace or Andrew's point of view. She really doesn't head hop, but she allows me to understand and empathize with their emotions. Grace is a strong character who lives with a lot of guilt and wants to discover forgiveness from her mother. From things in her past to her sister and brother. Mason doesn't show us if the return to England brings the forgiveness she is looking for, but I do know that Grace has accepted God's forgiveness and hopefully, she can move on with her life now. Andrew is a sweetheart of a man who only wants to do what is expected of him since his brother Frank disappointed his parents. But at what cost? His future and his happiness. Changes bloom and change at the Eason home for a number of important characters. The plot has been seen before, but I enjoy that Mason does throw a couple of surprises near the end. The story captured my attention, allowing me to rush through the pages, begging for more of the story and budding romance between Grace and Andrew. The ending made me smile, and I was grateful for their predictable happily ever after. One issue I had with the story is the world surrounding the Easons and Grace. It is right after World War I. Everything around them appeared to be happy and go-lucky, but I wish there was more of the aftermath of World War I mentioned in the story. Like for instance, did Canada take any hits? Was the world different for the people? How did the war affect Mr. Eason's job and money? What about the visitors to the hotel? The world changed after World War I, but in the plot, it didn't really affect the characters expect they lost family members, which is horrible in itself I understand, but I wanted more to make the time period stand out. This story could have been written during the Regency period, and I don't believe anything would have changed. Overall, The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is a delightful read with strong characters and a wonderful story. The time period fell a little short for me, but I still enjoyed spending time with Grace and Andrew. Fans of Mason's other stories, Rachel McMillan, or Jen Turano would, I believe, enjoy The Best of Intentions.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paty Hinojosa

    This is the first novel in the Canadian Crossings Series and it was a wonderful start! In 1919 in the SS Olympics, Grace Abernathy meets Quinten and Emmaline and forge an unusual friendship. They all are on a special mission that takes them from England to Canada. This is Grace’s story. Hopefully, we’ll get to know about Emmaline and Quinten as well in books 2 and 3. Grace is traveling by sea to Canada to meet her sister Rose who has been left a widow after her husband died in WWI and is alone wit This is the first novel in the Canadian Crossings Series and it was a wonderful start! In 1919 in the SS Olympics, Grace Abernathy meets Quinten and Emmaline and forge an unusual friendship. They all are on a special mission that takes them from England to Canada. This is Grace’s story. Hopefully, we’ll get to know about Emmaline and Quinten as well in books 2 and 3. Grace is traveling by sea to Canada to meet her sister Rose who has been left a widow after her husband died in WWI and is alone with a child, due to her in-laws rejecting her and their son because they disapproved of their marriage because Rose didn’t have any social status and Frank was previously courting a wealthy socialite. Grace is devastated upon her arrival in Toronto when she learns that her sister has just passed away to the Spanish flu, and that her nephew Christian is in her in-laws care, the Eastons. Grace promised her ailing mother that she would bring back Rose and her nephew to England and know she’s at loss at what to do... Rose asked her to take her son in her care if anything should happen to her... Andrew Easton has always failed to please his father like Frank always did, until Frank elopes with Rose. The family is devastated after Frank’s death I the war, and Andrew struggles to please his dad in the Easton’s hotel empire and trying to make the match that his father has orchestrated. Grace fears for her nephew’s well being so she applies for the Nanny position after meeting Virgina, Andrew’s sister, in the park. She accidentally meets Andrew when she hurts her ankle a few days prior so she is surprised to discover he is Christian’s ward and loves him fiercely. So you can see how things can get complicated after this. I don’t want to tell you anymore because I don’t want to spoil the story. I’ll just say that I loved it. The characters were endearing and felt so real. I liked that both Grace and Andrew were kind and compassionate and were willing to do whatever was best for the child they both felt responsible for. The romance was sweet and clean. I liked the dialogues and how they get to gradually know each other better, but must face many obstacles in order to make their feelings known. I also liked the secondary characters, like Reverend Burke or Mrs. Chamberlain. The story plot kept me engaged until the end. It left me inspired with a positive message about love, forgiveness, standing up to what you believe is right and family love and honor. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even teens. You won’t regret it. It was a story that has everything: drama, romance, intrigue, and even a bit of humor. Definitely a must read! I can’t wait to read the next books in the series!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Victoria W.

    Grace Abernathy and Andrew Easton are the perfect leading pair from Susan Anne Mason's latest novel. I love how real this duo feels as they wrestle through their grief from the war, making decisions that fade into grey rather than a clear black and white, and repeatedly lay themselves and their hearts on the line. Honestly, I'm so over novels where the couple falls head over heels at first sight and never looks back. I love how Andrew and Grace's friendship feels natural and how, when secrets are Grace Abernathy and Andrew Easton are the perfect leading pair from Susan Anne Mason's latest novel. I love how real this duo feels as they wrestle through their grief from the war, making decisions that fade into grey rather than a clear black and white, and repeatedly lay themselves and their hearts on the line. Honestly, I'm so over novels where the couple falls head over heels at first sight and never looks back. I love how Andrew and Grace's friendship feels natural and how, when secrets are revealed they react like actual human beings that have been hurt. I may have been yelling at the page during their confrontation but had to admit it made sense. That's what I love about Mason, she doesn't shy away from having her characters wrestle through emotional situations where there isn't a clear cut answers. The Eastons aren't villains, Grace isn't an above reproach heroine, each family has their own motives, pains, and hurts that muddle up their views. This gives Mason's work and honesty and interest that is exciting and refreshing. That said, I also appreciate how Mason doesn't leave her characters alone and unresolved in her pain. The Best of Intentions has a lovely theme of forgiveness, reconciliation, and the importance of family that runs through the entire novel. Her "sermons" within the novel felt natural thanks to Rev. Burke and Mason's attention to secondary characters. The only negative I found is the setting. Now, I enjoy Canadian history and actually have been to Toronto many times (not to mention Murdoch Mysteries is set there - a family favourite) it felt, however, that with a few name changes the story could have taken place anywhere. I'm hoping further outing in the Canadian Crossings series make further use of the variety present in Canadian landscape and landmarks "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 I really enjoyed reading Irish Meadows and A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason so I was excited to read The Best of Intentions. It is the first book in the Canadian Crossings series which is set in Toronto, Ontario (an hour away from where I live). Each book in this series is a stand alone so they can be read in any order. The stories depict characters traveling to Canada in search of family members and the My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 I really enjoyed reading Irish Meadows and A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason so I was excited to read The Best of Intentions. It is the first book in the Canadian Crossings series which is set in Toronto, Ontario (an hour away from where I live). Each book in this series is a stand alone so they can be read in any order. The stories depict characters traveling to Canada in search of family members and they are tied together through Mrs. Chamberlain's boardinghouse and the minister Reverend Burke. I had a bit of trouble getting into this book at first, but I trusted Susan Mason's track record and kept on reading and I'm so glad that I did! Once this story grabbed hold of me it refused to let go! I loved the friendship between Grace and Virginia and the highs and lows, twists and turns of their romances! That's right, there is not just one romantic story line, but two! I was excited to have a story line set in a city I am familiar with, but found I had trouble picturing the city as it would have been in 1919. I had to keep reminding myself the story was set in the past! Being Christian fiction, a major theme running through this book is finding freedom and trusting in God. The main characters needed to learn to trust God when their future seemed uncertain and learn to let go of their guilt and embrace the freedom forgiveness offers. Fans of Downton Abbey and Historical Romance would love this book! The Best of Intentions is currently available for purchase from your local or online book retailer. Book Two in this series, The Highest of Hopes, releases in March 2019. I'm looking forward to reading it! Thank you Bethany House and Net Galley for the free copy of The Best of Intentions to read in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hernandez

    Loved this novel!!! This book was the first in the Canadian series focusing on Grace Abernathy who traveled from England to meet her sister who is the widow of Frank Easton that happens to be member of a family that holds power and wealth in Toronto as they are known for their luxurious hotels. When Grace arrives she finds she came too late and her sister is dead while the baby is given to the family that rejected Rose. Grace is determined to know that her nephew is safe but she never imagines bo Loved this novel!!! This book was the first in the Canadian series focusing on Grace Abernathy who traveled from England to meet her sister who is the widow of Frank Easton that happens to be member of a family that holds power and wealth in Toronto as they are known for their luxurious hotels. When Grace arrives she finds she came too late and her sister is dead while the baby is given to the family that rejected Rose. Grace is determined to know that her nephew is safe but she never imagines bonding with the Easton family and falling in love with Frank’s brother Andrew. Andrew never feels he can measure up to his father’s expectations as he is pressured to marry a socialite who cares nothing about his guardian Christian. He is stubborn to the point that he is willing to live a loveless life just to keep his father happy as he does not want to do what Frank did. Both characters never expect to fall in love as their futures are undecided. What will they do, will Andrew finally say yes to love even if it means disappointing his parents? Will Grace let go of the past and finally be able to forgive herself and see past her loss? This is an amazing novel, I loved getting to see the secondary characters such as Virginia and Colin’s story they were also two young people who had a forbidden love story! Some important themes were the effect that the war has on people and the loss of loved ones as Grace and Andrew felt guilt and pain as they could never feel worthy of their parents’ approval. Forgiveness was another key theme as both Andrew, Grace, and the older Mr. Easton had to experience when concerning family and loved ones. Overall I would recommend this novel, I truly enjoyed Ms. Mason’s writing! Ratings: 5.0 / 5.0 ❤️

  25. 3 out of 5

    Doreen

    I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the Canadian Crossings series. The highlight for me were all the different, vibrant characters. Collin, the Scottish gardener, is in love with someone he can never have. Yet he still goes out of his way to bring flowers and joy to Ginny. Mrs. Easton believes that “the earth might cease rotating if the numbers of people at the table didn’t match” (location 1551). Mr. Easton is a harsh taskmaster. It’s fascinating seeing the changes a baby and an upstart nan I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the Canadian Crossings series. The highlight for me were all the different, vibrant characters. Collin, the Scottish gardener, is in love with someone he can never have. Yet he still goes out of his way to bring flowers and joy to Ginny. Mrs. Easton believes that “the earth might cease rotating if the numbers of people at the table didn’t match” (location 1551). Mr. Easton is a harsh taskmaster. It’s fascinating seeing the changes a baby and an upstart nanny can make even in a curmudgeon like Mr. Easton. Andrew is both sweet and frustrating. I wanted to scream in his ear a few times at his naivety around a certain woman but I admired his willingness to take over the care of his nephew. Grace is amazing too. She sees and accepts people for who they are regardless of their station in life. It’s hard to imagine living in a time when there were so many societal expectations and restraints. I always love seeing characters grow and learn to forgive and forge their own path. This book is full of all three. It’s a wonderful story. The only downside for me was that I spent the whole story waiting for the man in the prologue to show up. It was such a unique beginning to the story and I wanted to learn more about it. I expect he’ll be featured in an upcoming book in the series. I hope I don’t have to wait too long. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. I was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Debora Wilder

    This is an absolutely incredible historical romance! I love all of the main characters in this book. Though I was truly annoyed with Mr. Easton’s overbearing and demanding personality. I also wanted to slap Celilia silly because she was such a spoiled brat. All good stories need conflict and these two provided plenty of it. I was delighted with both Grace and Virginia. They are both charming women and I wanted each of them to marry for love. They had plenty of obstacles to overcome before that wou This is an absolutely incredible historical romance! I love all of the main characters in this book. Though I was truly annoyed with Mr. Easton’s overbearing and demanding personality. I also wanted to slap Celilia silly because she was such a spoiled brat. All good stories need conflict and these two provided plenty of it. I was delighted with both Grace and Virginia. They are both charming women and I wanted each of them to marry for love. They had plenty of obstacles to overcome before that would be possible. The one character that I was the most impressed with was Reverend Burke. He was so calm and not judgmental. He was supportive and a good listener. He simply asked questions and then allowed those he was speaking with to think things through for themselves. Most of the characters grew and matured throughout the story. They learned how to look to God for guidance and trust Him. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

  27. 3 out of 5

    Andrea

    Such a good story! When Grace first meets Andrew, she does not know who he is except that he is a nice gentleman offering her assistance. There is a bit of a spark. Their second meeting is different, and more unbidden sparks ignite. Both try to deny their feelings. Coming from dysfunctional families they don't want to cause more disappointments, though Grace is never sure she will be able to make things up to her mother. I felt so bad for Andrew, trying to earn his father's approval, all his lif Such a good story! When Grace first meets Andrew, she does not know who he is except that he is a nice gentleman offering her assistance. There is a bit of a spark. Their second meeting is different, and more unbidden sparks ignite. Both try to deny their feelings. Coming from dysfunctional families they don't want to cause more disappointments, though Grace is never sure she will be able to make things up to her mother. I felt so bad for Andrew, trying to earn his father's approval, all his life. It is with the best of intentions that both Grace and Andrew make a few rash decisions. Some will be life-changing. I loved the side story of Virginia Easton and the struggles she's dealing with to please her family. No spoilers but the girl does have a bit of spunk. She and Grace developed a strong, lasting friendship. There are quite a few surprising moments, I loved them all. Susan Anne Mason knows how to write a villainous character too. I despised Cecilia! My heart was pounding in my chest for a while but was quite happy with the ending. I highly recommend this book! * I purchased the audio version of this book after I started reading the paperback copy that I was so graciously given by the publisher. I was having some visual difficulties and couldn't wait for them to clear up so I could finish the book. It is so very good!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book pulled me in right from the beginning and didn't let go. My mind was swept away to the year 1919 and the end of WWI as Grace Abernathy traveled across the ocean to find her sister in Canada. Susan did a great job communicating the desperation her character would of felt in a new country, trying to find out what happened to her sister and the child. The story communicated the vast difference of social classes during this era as the two families in this story, the Abernathys and the East This book pulled me in right from the beginning and didn't let go. My mind was swept away to the year 1919 and the end of WWI as Grace Abernathy traveled across the ocean to find her sister in Canada. Susan did a great job communicating the desperation her character would of felt in a new country, trying to find out what happened to her sister and the child. The story communicated the vast difference of social classes during this era as the two families in this story, the Abernathys and the Eastons, come from completely different circles. Grace shows such bravery as she heads into a nanny position with the Eastons not knowing what the outcome will cost her. She only wants to honor the promise made to her sister, Rose, and maybe silence the guilt in her conscience that has plagued her for years regarding an event the family never talks about. I enjoyed this story as Grace tries to figure out what is the right thing to do in this difficult circumstance. If you're looking for a good, clean, romantic story set in a historical time period, then pick up this new book from Susan Anne Mason! ***I received this complimentary book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This story is filled with so many emotions! Grace's life has been filled with so much heartache. When she finally finds her nephew, she is determined to keep him in her life, at any cost. The need to protect him and reunite her family drives Grace to a place she never thought she would go. But is she really just running from forgiving herself for the past? Andrew Easton has spent his life serving to please others. But what about his own dreams and desires? Will he sacrifice everything he longs fo This story is filled with so many emotions! Grace's life has been filled with so much heartache. When she finally finds her nephew, she is determined to keep him in her life, at any cost. The need to protect him and reunite her family drives Grace to a place she never thought she would go. But is she really just running from forgiving herself for the past? Andrew Easton has spent his life serving to please others. But what about his own dreams and desires? Will he sacrifice everything he longs for just to please his family? Or will he stand up for himself and take the path for the future HE wants? There are so many interesting characters in this story. The layers of personality are lovely. Virginia is one of my favorite people and I am so glad we get to follow her story too! Set in the beautiful city of Toronto, it is wonderful to get a new perspective of history in the early 1900s. I received a complimentary copy of The Best of Intentions from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Winnie

    I was drawn to the beautiful cover of The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason. The blurb further pulled me in and made me excited to read this novel, which begins a new series called Canadian Crossings. I loved traveling to Toronto, Canada a hundred years ago and seeing what life was like back then. The author excels at writing historical fiction that comes alive on the page. The main characters are vividly drawn, emotionally layered, and engaging. I could easily picture them in my mind and f I was drawn to the beautiful cover of The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason. The blurb further pulled me in and made me excited to read this novel, which begins a new series called Canadian Crossings. I loved traveling to Toronto, Canada a hundred years ago and seeing what life was like back then. The author excels at writing historical fiction that comes alive on the page. The main characters are vividly drawn, emotionally layered, and engaging. I could easily picture them in my mind and feel their emotions and why they responded the way they did. With a blend of history, suspense, romance, and a thread of forgiveness and faith woven in, this novel is one for my keeper shelf. When I pick up a book by Susan Anne Mason, I can count on it being very well written. The story flows beautifully, the editing is great, and it’s so easy to read and get lost in my imagination. I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to the next story in the series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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