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The Highest of Hopes

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After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing he After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection. Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home?


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After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing he After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection. Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home?

30 review for The Highest of Hopes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    This story really pulled me right into it. We travel with Emmaline Moore as she goes on a journey across the ocean to Toronto, Canada in the early 1900's from picturesque England. She travels with her best friend Jonathon. This was a very emotional book for me to read and I can see how the author really poured her heart into it. After her grandfather's death she travels to meet her father whom she just found out is alive. She yearns to be accepted into a "real"family after being raised by grandp This story really pulled me right into it. We travel with Emmaline Moore as she goes on a journey across the ocean to Toronto, Canada in the early 1900's from picturesque England. She travels with her best friend Jonathon. This was a very emotional book for me to read and I can see how the author really poured her heart into it. After her grandfather's death she travels to meet her father whom she just found out is alive. She yearns to be accepted into a "real"family after being raised by grandparents after her mother's death. Upon finding out her father has a new family with a wife and children she is filled with anguish she couldn't have that sort of life growing up. She sets out to get it and make her father accept her. You can't force love or acceptance from someone though and she doesn't get the desired results she is looking for. You will need some tissues to get through this story. Family doesn't have to be blood to be family. Through all her trials in life Jonathon is always there for her, the perfect gentleman. Giving her great advice and gently guiding her. Will she finally come to her senses and see him for the wonderful,caring man that he is? Emmaline sees God's unconditional love and lets her heart forgive as she comes to acceptance. I really enjoyed Emmaline and Jonathon's story and how Emmaline comes to realize you don't have to go across the country to find family or love you just have to look and it's right here with you. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Published March 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers . I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    My Review: Genre: Historical fiction, Christian fiction. My Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars. Recommendation: 13 up for romance. My favorite character is: Emma is a sweet girl and I loved following along with her as she searched for her family and even though I felt that at times she was naive I still loved reading about her. My Verse for Emma is Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. (King James Version.) My thoughts: Aw, this book is so sweet even if a good bit sa My Review: Genre: Historical fiction, Christian fiction. My Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars. Recommendation: 13 up for romance. My favorite character is: Emma is a sweet girl and I loved following along with her as she searched for her family and even though I felt that at times she was naive I still loved reading about her. My Verse for Emma is Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. (King James Version.) My thoughts: Aw, this book is so sweet even if a good bit sad for several reasons. The story was so cute and adorable because of Jonathan and Emma's relationship and I also liked how this book and the previous one were connected and I look forward to reading more from Mrs. Mason! Slight spoilers! Warnings: Slight scandals because of politics and an unwed pregnancy. (I received this book in exchange for my honest review and am truly happy to provide it.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    MJSH

    4.5 stars for this newest release from Susan Anne Mason! This book is book 2 in Canadian Crossings series but can be read as a stand-alone. I did not read the first book and was able to follow the storyline without any problems. It seems that this book actually parallels the timeline set in the first book (Best of Intentions) so going back to read the first book shouldn't cause any confusion. With her trademark fluidity and skill, Susan Anne Mason weaves a story of hurt, longing, mistakes and bl 4.5 stars for this newest release from Susan Anne Mason! This book is book 2 in Canadian Crossings series but can be read as a stand-alone. I did not read the first book and was able to follow the storyline without any problems. It seems that this book actually parallels the timeline set in the first book (Best of Intentions) so going back to read the first book shouldn't cause any confusion. With her trademark fluidity and skill, Susan Anne Mason weaves a story of hurt, longing, mistakes and blunders that are triumphed by grace, repentance, forgiveness, healing, and unconditional love set in 1919 Toronto. The thread of faith and real trust runs throughout the story; multiple characters in the story grow tremendously in their faith and trust. If you enjoy well-written historical romance, you will really enjoy this one. There are several characters in the story that lend their voices to bring the plot together. The main characters are Emma, who leaves her home in England to find her father in Toronto whom she had believed had died, and Jonathan, Emma's childhood friend who is secretly in love with her. Emma is quite obstinate, blunt, impulsive, careless, and a bit selfish as she enters her father and his family's life with the force and surprise of a hurricane. Jonathan is industrious, level-headed, loyal, tender, and loving though he suffers from PTSD after the war. Then there is Emma's father Randall, who basically abandoned his infant daughter in England to be raised by her grandparents, and his younger daughter Corinne, who is spiteful, conniving, and cruel in her selfishness. Though the only person whom I really liked was Jonathan at the beginning, Emma and Randall and Corinne all realize redemption and forgiveness and love are possible even in the midst of human bungling and became quite likable. I am hoping there is a third book in the series and can't wait to be able to read it! I was given a copy of the book by Bethany House and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Please excuse me for a moment while I swallow the huge lump in my throat and am able to see adequately (I think I got something in my eye.) Ok, I think I have my emotions in check now. Sorry, but I've just been swept away on an impassioned, angst-filled journey from the beautiful English countryside to Toronto, Canada in the early 1900s, and am finding it difficult to return! Emmaline Moore is one of those spunky heroines readers easily fall in love with. She's kind, compassionate, and sensitive, Please excuse me for a moment while I swallow the huge lump in my throat and am able to see adequately (I think I got something in my eye.) Ok, I think I have my emotions in check now. Sorry, but I've just been swept away on an impassioned, angst-filled journey from the beautiful English countryside to Toronto, Canada in the early 1900s, and am finding it difficult to return! Emmaline Moore is one of those spunky heroines readers easily fall in love with. She's kind, compassionate, and sensitive, albeit rather impulsive in her decision making. Embarking on a voyage across the ocean to meet her long-lost father and his family is one such decision. However, life is not always a fairytale as Emmaline soon finds out as she struggles to win the favor of her new family. In doing so will she lose the love of her best friend, Jonathan? Jonathan—dear, patient, long-suffering Jonathan. I adored everything about him and he's definitely the stuff heroes are made of. Not just a light romance (actually you get two toe-curling romances for the price of one!), Mason touches on some tough subject matter such as PTSD, the aftermath of contracting polio, and the heartbreaking quest of a motherless young woman desperately trying to gain the love of an ambitious father. I gleaned so many spiritual nuggets and deep truths from this amazing novel. "You are loved for exactly the person you are, with all your faults and flaws. In His eyes, you are a masterpiece. His own wondrous creation." It just doesn't get any better than that. I received a complimentary copy of this novel by Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    First Line Featured on FaithfullyBookish.com This book certainly tugged at my heartstrings, I have a soft spot for friends-to-romance stories! Despite her impulsive personality, I wanted Emma to succeed in her mission to find love and family. Some of her antics made me cringe but hey, no one is perfect! Jonathan is everything loyal and hardworking. His sense of honor, duty, and love make him a winsome hero and anyone who can't see that (ahem, looking at you, Emma) needs to readjust their prioriti First Line Featured on FaithfullyBookish.com This book certainly tugged at my heartstrings, I have a soft spot for friends-to-romance stories! Despite her impulsive personality, I wanted Emma to succeed in her mission to find love and family. Some of her antics made me cringe but hey, no one is perfect! Jonathan is everything loyal and hardworking. His sense of honor, duty, and love make him a winsome hero and anyone who can't see that (ahem, looking at you, Emma) needs to readjust their priorities! Jonathan and his friend Reggie were my favorite characters but there's also an enjoyable subplot involving a couple of secondary characters we meet along the way. Readers who like Dear John letter references, post-War veterans, family drama, or themes of belonging, second chances, and faith will especially enjoy this story. 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise Hershberger

    I really loved the hero, Jonathan, and his friend Reggie in this book. Their friendship is far from the focal point, but it was one of my favorite parts. Good solid guy friendships and underrepresented in Christian Fiction in my opinion! I also really loved how Mason handled the past trickling into present day for multiple characters. Her research for how the past affected different characters really made the problems realistic. Truthfully I didn't love most of the female characters! But that prob I really loved the hero, Jonathan, and his friend Reggie in this book. Their friendship is far from the focal point, but it was one of my favorite parts. Good solid guy friendships and underrepresented in Christian Fiction in my opinion! I also really loved how Mason handled the past trickling into present day for multiple characters. Her research for how the past affected different characters really made the problems realistic. Truthfully I didn't love most of the female characters! But that probably reflects more on my personality than anything else. Girl drama is not my favorite and is probably why I related well to Jonathan! I do love these books set in Canada written by a Canadian author. A new perspective is so welcome. Oh! Another favorite part were the kisses! Lots of great kissing scenes that will give you all the feels! There are quite a few moments when various characters are less than honest... Mason had her reasons, but if that offends you then you might not love this book. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    A lovely read about a young woman desperately wanting the love of a father she had never known. And a young man who desperately wanted the love of his childhood friend, and traveled an ocean to show her. This book had lots of emotions running in it and I felt for each and every one of the characters. Well, most of them anyway. I enjoyed this book and I especially loved the ending. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. This is my honest opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    All I can say is Wow!! Susana has done an excellent job on this book!! You can tell what's in her heart from the words that are coming out from these pages. The Characters Johnathan and Emma want to make you cry because of Jonathan's PTSD and Emma's wanting to be accepted into her father's family for who she really is and not what they want her to be. I love it when Johnathan finally tells Emma that there is one Father who does love her and He knows every stitch of hair on her head and what her fu All I can say is Wow!! Susana has done an excellent job on this book!! You can tell what's in her heart from the words that are coming out from these pages. The Characters Johnathan and Emma want to make you cry because of Jonathan's PTSD and Emma's wanting to be accepted into her father's family for who she really is and not what they want her to be. I love it when Johnathan finally tells Emma that there is one Father who does love her and He knows every stitch of hair on her head and what her future holds. He tells her that she's a part of God's big plan. Johnathan is my hero. I love how he is a wonderful gentleman! I wish that more men were like him. Ranadall is something else altogether. He has a weird mixed up family who only care care about each other and what they can get from other people. Unfortunately, there are many people in real life that are like that in this ok world Emma is truly a sweetheart but she reminds me of my mother in law. Once she gets her mind set on something she doesn't let go of it. She's bound and determined to see things through. I think that what I love about Emma. She's also kind, caring and a desperate soul who wants fit in with her new family. Here's one of my favorite in the story: Like the good reverend said " Love is a gift to be freely given, whether it was deserved or not, and without expectations of anything in return. Its always good to have ppl like the good reverend and many other believers to remind us of this. " I also love the old saying home is where the heart is and so is the people in it. I've had my heart broken many times by my adopted father's family because their blood doesn't run in my veins and too often my father reminded me of it until the day he died. I finally forgave him because I know one day God will take care of it. Some family members don't even talk to me to this day which is ok. I'm so glad that we're able to choose our friends. They are the ones who stand by you until the end. But I want to remind you that that there is one best friend I witnessed denounce and that friends is Jesus Christ. Thank God I have Him. His love is always and forever. P.s. You can run from your past but you can't hide because it always comes back to haunt you no matter what you're doing at the time. I strongly recommend this book I also suggest having some tissues nearby because you'll need them!! I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publishers. No compensations were received and all opinions are my own! .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    What a wonderful book! I loved Emma. She does rush into things without thinking them through all the way but she has such a good heart. Always hoping the best for everyone. Longing to be accepted by her father and his family, she tries so hard to please. I wish I could tell you how it works out but that would mean spoilers. Jonathan usually thinks things through "six ways to Sunday" but occasionally he blurts things out. I liked how he was there to watch out for Emma, even if it did cause some What a wonderful book! I loved Emma. She does rush into things without thinking them through all the way but she has such a good heart. Always hoping the best for everyone. Longing to be accepted by her father and his family, she tries so hard to please. I wish I could tell you how it works out but that would mean spoilers. Jonathan usually thinks things through "six ways to Sunday" but occasionally he blurts things out. I liked how he was there to watch out for Emma, even if it did cause some strife now and then. I really liked his friend Reg. He told it like it was. Reg was able to convince Jonathan that there was no shame or weakness in talking to someone about the after-effects of the war. There is so much family drama, I found myself really disliking a few characters, my opinion did not change for all of them but a couple did redeem themselves, in my eyes anyway. I adored Emma's sister Marianne. She was so sweet. It was nice to see a young woman taking charge of her life in this time period. The last page has my favorite Bible verse but I don't give spoilers. I highly recommend reading or listening to this book as soon as possible. I enjoyed the little glimpses of characters from The Best of Intentions. Each book stands on its own though. I was so blessed to receive an early copy from the publisher/author (a review was not required. All opinions are my own.) I pre-ordered the audible.com version and began listening to it as soon as it was available and listened to this all day today (March 5, 2019) I'm sure I will be listening again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    This book pulled me in and didn’t let go, trying to place myself in the shoes of these character’s Emmeline and Jonathan, and their love story. I can’t imagine the pain Emmeline receives as she goes to meet her father, one has to remember that this is a different time and place, a period of rebirth right after the Great War. Also, as we walk with Jonathan and see what a hard time he seems to be having both in his war experience and what seems to be his unrequited love of Emmeline. This becomes a This book pulled me in and didn’t let go, trying to place myself in the shoes of these character’s Emmeline and Jonathan, and their love story. I can’t imagine the pain Emmeline receives as she goes to meet her father, one has to remember that this is a different time and place, a period of rebirth right after the Great War. Also, as we walk with Jonathan and see what a hard time he seems to be having both in his war experience and what seems to be his unrequited love of Emmeline. This becomes a real page turner as we want to know how everything ends, but then I really wanted to spend more time immersed in this book. Now not so patiently waiting for the next in the Canadian Crossing Stories. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trixi

    Family dynamics play a strong role in The Highest of Hopes and it's what motivates Emma to cross an ocean to try to find her place with her father long thought deceased. What she finds isn't what she pictured in her minds eye. She will face many heartaches and it's her resiliency that will shape her character throughout the story. There were many moments that my heart broke for her, especially her inner thought of her own worthlessness. But at the end, one wise person reminded her of how Chris Family dynamics play a strong role in The Highest of Hopes and it's what motivates Emma to cross an ocean to try to find her place with her father long thought deceased. What she finds isn't what she pictured in her minds eye. She will face many heartaches and it's her resiliency that will shape her character throughout the story. There were many moments that my heart broke for her, especially her inner thought of her own worthlessness. But at the end, one wise person reminded her of how Christ sees her— There's only one parent's love you truly need: your heavenly Father's. And the good news is you don't have to earn it, and you don't have to prove yourself worthy to receive it. You are loved for exactly the person you are, with all your faults and flaws. In His eyes, you are a masterpiece. His own wondrous creation.~page 303 Her best friend since childhood, Jonathan Rowe tags along in spite of his reservations on the kind of reception she may find on the other end. He's the more level-headed of the two and is willing to help Emma through any crisis. In spite of fighting his own demons stemming from the aftereffects of war, he's protective of her and would do anything to prove his love. Though he's always kept that part of his heart hidden. He too will be shaped and molded with the trails and tribulations he faces and eventual realization that love can sometimes be a sacrifice of self. Love should never be viewed as a competition. Love requires compromise and sacrifice. There's no place for ego in a marriage.~pg. 357 Susan Anne Mason writes in such a way that makes you care deeply about her characters and their plight in life. Her stories are highly emotional and always tug at my heartstrings. This was difficult at best to put down when real life interrupted my reading time. Though this is the second book in the Canadian Crossings series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. I eagerly await the next installment! *I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House on behalf of the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed her are my own. *

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    ''Family is not always the people you're born to. Sometimes they're the people God places in your life.' Emmaline Moore is searching for a way to belong. She needs a family, despite being raised by loving grandparents. When he grandfather dies, she is completely shocked to learn that her birth father is alive and well in Canada, an ocean away from her native England. So she makes a decision to go to Canada to find her father and become part of a loving family. But things don't always work out the ''Family is not always the people you're born to. Sometimes they're the people God places in your life.' Emmaline Moore is searching for a way to belong. She needs a family, despite being raised by loving grandparents. When he grandfather dies, she is completely shocked to learn that her birth father is alive and well in Canada, an ocean away from her native England. So she makes a decision to go to Canada to find her father and become part of a loving family. But things don't always work out the way we want them to. Emmaline takes her good friend, Jonathan Rowe with her on the trip, not knowing that he has secretly loved her for many years. Jonathan is hoping desperately that on this trip he can convince Emma of this fact. He is also aware that her father could just decide to reject her and cause further hurt. But Emma is not one to be cautious when she makes her mind up. And she has no intention of returning to England, a fact she does not tell Jonathan until they are already in Canada. Susan Anne Mason has written a novel that reaches down into the heart and causes the reader to question their decision making skills. Do we make our decisions based on our wants and how we think things should go, or do we wait on God's guidance? There is a strong spiritual message here. Sometimes the decisions we must make are staring us in the face if we'll only trust God to make them in His time. *My thanks to Bethany House Publishing and the author for a preview copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars Imagine thinking that your father was dead only to discover that he was very much alive. Emmaline Moore is crossing an ocean in anticipation of meeting her only living parent. Following the death of her beloved grandfather, she discovers the truth in a pack of letters ; and leaving everything behind except her best friend and traveling companion Jonathan Rowe, Emma vacates England and proceeds toward Toronto, Canada in search of something she has only dreamed about; belonging. Jonathan 3.5 stars Imagine thinking that your father was dead only to discover that he was very much alive. Emmaline Moore is crossing an ocean in anticipation of meeting her only living parent. Following the death of her beloved grandfather, she discovers the truth in a pack of letters ; and leaving everything behind except her best friend and traveling companion Jonathan Rowe, Emma vacates England and proceeds toward Toronto, Canada in search of something she has only dreamed about; belonging. Jonathan Rowe believes that Emma's optimism about showing up unannounced on Randall Moore's doorstep is going to be short-lived, but the cool reception she receives simply fuels her determination to win her father's favor. As much as he adores Emma, Jonathan hopes that this venture will give him an opportunity to convince her to return to England with him on a more permanent basis, for it would be devastating if she had to choose between them. A rather fascinating story, particularly because it has a thread of truth; the author's own family tree includes a great grandmother who shared a similar background with the book's heroine. Disappointments abound for these characters and Emma's tendency to put her own desires above those of others makes her a little difficult to admire at times, but on the other hand it also makes her very authentic, wouldn't you think? I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    The Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason is a companion book in the Canadian Crossings series. The first book is The Best of Intentions. Although some characters are mentioned in this book it is not necessary to read that book first. In the main female character of Emmaline Moore, the author has penned a determined young lady who knows just what she wants. She even sells all that she has to embark on a journey from England to far off Canada. She is in search of a father who may not even welcome The Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason is a companion book in the Canadian Crossings series. The first book is The Best of Intentions. Although some characters are mentioned in this book it is not necessary to read that book first. In the main female character of Emmaline Moore, the author has penned a determined young lady who knows just what she wants. She even sells all that she has to embark on a journey from England to far off Canada. She is in search of a father who may not even welcome her into his life. Emma has taken a childhood friend, Jonathan Rowe as a companion for the journey. Jonathan has loved Emma for a very long time. Will Emma stop being so focused on her new-found family long enough to see what God has put right in front of her? If she looks at Jonathan from a new perspective, will she see what she has been looking for? Ms. Mason has written an intricate plot that has interesting surprises. The secondary characters are fleshed out and add depth to the story. My favorite is Maryann, a half sister. I was impressed with the hope and forgiveness shining through this novel. This story is interestingly based on research into the author’s ancestors. Although not an exact duplicate of her great grandmother’s life, Ms. Mason takes a nugget and transforms it into an incredible tale. I enjoyed these first two books of the series and look forward to the next one. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Lloyd

    This was a light read with some serious topics covered, and I loved how the emotion evoked ranged from funny to sad to inspired so many times while reading. I had never read this author before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I love her writing style! Susan Anne Mason creates realistic, flawed characters, and she inserts dialogue at the right time and also lets the scenery sometimes speak for itself. I thought the storyline was also really interesting, since it was set in the early 1900s, when This was a light read with some serious topics covered, and I loved how the emotion evoked ranged from funny to sad to inspired so many times while reading. I had never read this author before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I love her writing style! Susan Anne Mason creates realistic, flawed characters, and she inserts dialogue at the right time and also lets the scenery sometimes speak for itself. I thought the storyline was also really interesting, since it was set in the early 1900s, when many things were still old-fashioned but time were changing and becoming more modern. Women were going to college, men were seeing their wives bring home money from working office jobs, and medicine was progressing to take care of soldiers returning home with what is now recognized as PTSD. Fascinating time period, and this author described it eloquently with great accuracy! Selling her grandfather's watch shop and sailing to Canada to meet a father she never knew, Emmaline Moore is on the adventure of a lifetime. Accompanied by her childhood friend, Jonathan Rowe, she is hoping to build a relationship with her father and finally have the family she has always wanted. However, upon arrival, she discovers that her father is currently running for mayor, and the last thing his campaign needs is a long-lost daughter showing up unannounced, seemingly abandoned at birth by her scoundrel of a father. The papers would have a field day! Despite the many obstacles, Emmaline is determined to overcome them in order to get to know her father and her newfound siblings. If only they wanted to get to know her too. Soon she is working to not only save her relationship with her father but also her budding romance with her best friend. The first thing I will say is the one thing I noticed frequently while reading - this whole book is full of one apology after another. First Emmaline apologizes, then Jonathan takes a turn, then Randall (her father) gives it a go...everyone has a point at which they apologize. Except for Randall's wife. She is a horrid woman who really never redeemed herself. I think the main issue is how young Emmaline and Jonathan are, and they have both been thrust into adult roles so young in life. It was so inspiring to watch them work through issues and make better people of themselves, and by the end of the book, there had been an amazing amount of character development. I think Emmaline grew the most, because initially, she came across to me as very immature and impulsive. But over time, as events progressed and she had to take on a more mature role in life, she grew as a person and put others ahead of herself. Jonathan grew as well - he put too much emphasis on his love for Emmaline and not enough on what he wanted. And then he was too pigheaded to see when he made the wrong decision. It was such a roller coaster of emotion, and I enjoyed every second of it! I will definitely read more of Susan Anne Mason's work! With the history in the story and the brilliant growth in characters, her books are rewarding reads. I am excited to see what comes next. **I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was an enjoyable read overall. I will say Emma kind of annoyed me at times early in the book but by the end of the book I loved her character. This book hit kind of close to home for me as my dad has never been a part of my life so I could identify well with Emma’s desires and feelings. The plot and story flowed well and kept a good pace despite the fact the book is a longer read. I am looking forward to the finale of this set! I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to pos This was an enjoyable read overall. I will say Emma kind of annoyed me at times early in the book but by the end of the book I loved her character. This book hit kind of close to home for me as my dad has never been a part of my life so I could identify well with Emma’s desires and feelings. The plot and story flowed well and kept a good pace despite the fact the book is a longer read. I am looking forward to the finale of this set! I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I’ve wanted to read this author for awhile and finally had the opportunity. I was not disappointed, as her eye for detail and characters with flaws and realistic emotions makes for a great read. This was book two in the Canadian Crossings Series but I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone. Rejection, unrequited love, faith, and great dialogue combine to make a page turner. I loved when Jonathan told Reggie, “ If you can’t laugh at what life hurls at you, you might as well quit.” or when the I’ve wanted to read this author for awhile and finally had the opportunity. I was not disappointed, as her eye for detail and characters with flaws and realistic emotions makes for a great read. This was book two in the Canadian Crossings Series but I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone. Rejection, unrequited love, faith, and great dialogue combine to make a page turner. I loved when Jonathan told Reggie, “ If you can’t laugh at what life hurls at you, you might as well quit.” or when the minister told Emma, “ There’s only one parents love you truly need: your heavenly Father’s. And the good news is you don’t have to earn it, and you don’t have to prove yourself worthy to receive it. You are loved for exactly the person you are, with all your faults and flaws. In His eyes, you are a masterpiece. His own wondrous creation.” That is some amazing Truth and impressive writing. I look forward to reading more by this author. The tender love story melts your heart and the story of the lesser characters of Corinne and Will was wonderful. You will be like a fish falling for this book..hook, line, and sinker. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    Susan Anne Mason created such a vivid story. While reading, it’s like the story came to life. I could almost feel Emma’s pain and joys. I really enjoyed this book! I can’t wait for the next one! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    4.5 STARS!!! The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) is about searching for identity and yet it doesn’t always come from where we think it should. Emmaline was raised by her grandparents in England, believing she is an orphan. Upon her grandfathers’ death, she discovers her father is alive and living in Toronto, Canada. Off she goes in search of him, thinking he will be as delighted to see her as she is to know she is not alone in the world. I could understand her desire to know her father a 4.5 STARS!!! The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) is about searching for identity and yet it doesn’t always come from where we think it should. Emmaline was raised by her grandparents in England, believing she is an orphan. Upon her grandfathers’ death, she discovers her father is alive and living in Toronto, Canada. Off she goes in search of him, thinking he will be as delighted to see her as she is to know she is not alone in the world. I could understand her desire to know her father and the circumstances surrounding why he would abandon her, never to return. Her dogged persistence, even when it is obvious things are not going as she hoped, remind me of myself when dealing with a certain situation in my life. Emmaline’s journey to understanding that her identity should be rooted in Christ and not a man has been a gentle reminder of Who I belong to and where my focus needs to be. All else will work itself out in time; as Emmaline will discover. Jonathan Rowe. My, my, my. Susan Anne Mason knows how to bring life to a fictional character. He practically jumped off the pages for me. With a deep love for Emmaline, he decides to take the summer and travel with her to Canada, knowing on some level that the reunion with her father will probably not go as she has dreamed up in her head and heart. He is out to protect her at all costs until he realizes he must return to England and begin life anew without her when she tells him she is determined to stay in Canada! Jonathan epitomizes what it is to be a gentleman in his words, actions, and deeds. He isn’t perfect but he sure comes close. I loved his deep faith, and the honest yet vulnerable moments between his friend Reggie and himself. They both served in the war and this thread in the story is extremely well-written and deeply moving. I’ll just say I didn’t like Emmaline as a person very well. She made me mad. I actually had to keep reminding myself she is fictional and the author has done a good job at developing her character too. But that didn’t (and still doesn’t) mean I have to like her. She gives Jonathan the run around one too many times and I wanted to jump in there and protect him! The Highest of Hopes is a historical fiction story full of life, love, and a cast of wonderful characters that will tug at your heartstrings. I was gifted a copy of the book from the author and publisher. No review was required. No compensation has been received.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    It is June 1919 when Emmaline Moore boards a ship in England and sets off for Canada in the hopes of finding the father that she had presumed dead until six weeks earlier. Her best friend Jonathan Rowe travels with her and it is very apparent that he considers Emmaline (Emma) to be more than just his friend. Jonathan knows that Emma often acts without thinking things through but he loves her and he wants to protect her as she begins this life-altering journey. Susan Anne Mason has a way of creati It is June 1919 when Emmaline Moore boards a ship in England and sets off for Canada in the hopes of finding the father that she had presumed dead until six weeks earlier. Her best friend Jonathan Rowe travels with her and it is very apparent that he considers Emmaline (Emma) to be more than just his friend. Jonathan knows that Emma often acts without thinking things through but he loves her and he wants to protect her as she begins this life-altering journey. Susan Anne Mason has a way of creating very realistic characters and Jonathan may just be my favorite character. I admired him for his strength and his loyalty and even though he had his own problems, he considered Emma's needs above his own. Emma was a little more self-centered and I found myself being impatient with her tendency to take him for granted. The other characters are also multi-faceted and they often exhibit the many sides of human nature. This story spans about one year and we are shown bitterness, selfishness and downright meanness but we are also allowed to see genuine goodness and witness what love and forgiveness can do. Redemption is a positive outcome for many of these people and isn't that what all of us hope for? There are many twists and turns after Emmaline Moore finds her father and we are reminded that it is easy to overlook our blessings while seeking other goals. Emmaline's longing for a father and a family overshadows just how fortunate she was to have been raised by loving and supportive grandparents. It wasn't until later that she realized how blessed she had always been and "How ironic that she'd traveled thousands of miles, searching for home, for love and acceptance, when it had been with her all along." Emmaline had the highest of hopes that she would find a traditional family and Jonathan's hopes were centered around his love for her. Hopes for an "everlasting love, forged from a common childhood, solidified by friendship, and strengthened by the challenges that had come their way." The Highest of Hopes is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian romance and I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House but I voluntarily chose to share this review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Edwards

    I love stories of friends who find out they are each other’s best match for life, so a story where a man tries to win his best friend’s heart proved irresistible. But the path to happily ever after is not a smooth one for this couple, with multiple misunderstandings and competing priorities. It makes for riveting reading; I was so invested I debated throwing the book a few times in frustration with the main characters. Emmaline is a sweet character who often acts on impulse. While not always a b I love stories of friends who find out they are each other’s best match for life, so a story where a man tries to win his best friend’s heart proved irresistible. But the path to happily ever after is not a smooth one for this couple, with multiple misunderstandings and competing priorities. It makes for riveting reading; I was so invested I debated throwing the book a few times in frustration with the main characters. Emmaline is a sweet character who often acts on impulse. While not always a bad thing, it does get her into some situations that don’t have to be as hard as she makes them. Jonathan is far more measured and willing to do almost anything for Emma, even crossing an ocean to help her find the family she didn’t know existed. Both of them are stubborn, which leads to trouble at some points in the story, but it also makes them very believable and even more likable, especially together. This isn’t a light, romantic read, however. Emmaline is looking for her father, whom she believed dead. She had built up the man in her mind, but what happens when reality and the reunion are not what she had dreamed about as a child? There are some painful revelations she has to experience, including that we cannot make anyone behave the way we’d like, and sometimes love means fighting, while at other times, we have to let go. While a difficult read in many places, this is a powerfully moving book about love in various forms, both romantic and familial. I recommend it for adults and up, but with a mild word of caution for those who may have a difficult relationship with a parent, to be aware that the theme runs through this book—it is hopeful, but also realistic, which may be hard for those in the middle of that particular struggle. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) Author: Susan Anne Mason Pages: 377 Year: 2019 Publisher: Bethany House My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Jonathan Rowe has recently returned home after serving in WWI. His best friend since childhood, Emmaline Moore, has no idea that he has loved her for years. He has kept his true feelings hidden as she has shown no romantic inclinations toward him. He is now faced with a journey overseas to Canada with her as her companion. There is no way he was wil Title: The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) Author: Susan Anne Mason Pages: 377 Year: 2019 Publisher: Bethany House My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Jonathan Rowe has recently returned home after serving in WWI. His best friend since childhood, Emmaline Moore, has no idea that he has loved her for years. He has kept his true feelings hidden as she has shown no romantic inclinations toward him. He is now faced with a journey overseas to Canada with her as her companion. There is no way he was willing to have her travel alone across the ocean to meet a family she has never met before. He secretly hopes that he will be able to woo Emma, declare his intentions toward her and their future, and bring her home to England to begin their lives together. Emmaline Moore’s grandfather has died. He was her only remaining family, or so she thought. She finds some letters in a desk drawer that reveal she isn’t an orphan as she had always been told. Her father is still alive and living in Canada. She has always dreamed of having the love of a parent and sets out to gain just that. She sells her grandfather’s watch business and sets out with her best friend, Jonathan, to join the father she always wanted. She has no doubt that he will be overjoyed to see her and embrace her with love. She arrives and discovers dreams aren’t reality, but she is determined to earn her father’s love. She decides to stay in Canada to do just that, but at what cost? Susan Anne Mason has a wonderful talent by writing in such a way as to draw the emotions of the reader to her well-crafted characters. I was feeling the angst, grief, fear as well as love, friendship, and genuine affection of the characters as they faced trials in their relationships. I also enjoyed the personal acknowledgment at the end of the story, detailing how some of the book was part of the author’s own history. I can hardly wait for the next book from this author’s pen!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    This has been one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in awhile. The story is beautifully written and I felt myself submerged in the pages. The author writes a story that grips your emotions as you get attached to the characters. The historical setting is breathtaking and transports you back in time with vivid descriptions. Emmaline is a character that reminds me of fresh flowers as they start to bloom. She is beautiful inside and out. Like a flower becomes more dynamic as they mature, so does This has been one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in awhile. The story is beautifully written and I felt myself submerged in the pages. The author writes a story that grips your emotions as you get attached to the characters. The historical setting is breathtaking and transports you back in time with vivid descriptions. Emmaline is a character that reminds me of fresh flowers as they start to bloom. She is beautiful inside and out. Like a flower becomes more dynamic as they mature, so does Emmaline. Her intelligence is a blessing that she uses to find someone she has longed to know. My favorite character is Jonathan. His love for Emma is what ever woman desires to have. He is a true gentleman who protects Emna and surrounds her with respect and compassion. The author has written his character so well that I felt his pain and yearning for a woman he is afraid to lose. There is a scripture in the Bible about laying your life down for others. Jonathan is an example of that scripture as he would do anything for Emma to make her happy. As Emma and Jonathan travel to Canada to find her relative , Jonathan prays her heart will not be broken. He doesn’t want to see her get rejected and has traveled with her to support her which I found admirable. The story takes us on a very emotional journey as Emma cones face to face with the father she thought was dead. Will she find her father happy to be reunited with her, or will he reject her and shatter her hopes and dreams? It is not easy growing up thinking that your parents never loved you. It’s like a missing link that needs to be connected so you can find peace . Emma so wants to belong and be wanted but she must come to realize that her Heavenly Father as never left her. There is a very emotional scene in the book that had me sobbing. What do you do when all your dreams are gone? How will you go on when you are thought as nothing more than a dirty little secret? Emma will face her biggest challenge as she fears her father will shun her forever. It’s a story that cuts deep into the core of a family and the consequences of decisions could scar someone forever. Will Emma find happiness with her father? Can Jonathan and Emma find their way back to each other? Don’t miss this story that walks readers through the hope of unconditional love. I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angie Arndt

    Susan Anne Mason is known for two things: the beautiful covers on her books, and the beautiful stories inside those covers. "Highest of Hopes" is no different. Orphaned Emmaline Moore enjoyed a lovely English childhood with her grandfather until his death after WWI. When she finds papers indicating her father may be living in Canada, even her best friend's objections can't keep her from selling the shop and sailing to North America. Jonathan Rowe has been waiting for Emmaline to love him for most Susan Anne Mason is known for two things: the beautiful covers on her books, and the beautiful stories inside those covers. "Highest of Hopes" is no different. Orphaned Emmaline Moore enjoyed a lovely English childhood with her grandfather until his death after WWI. When she finds papers indicating her father may be living in Canada, even her best friend's objections can't keep her from selling the shop and sailing to North America. Jonathan Rowe has been waiting for Emmaline to love him for most of his life. And even though he thinks her father will only disappoint her, he can't let her travel so far by herself. He's got one more summer to convince her that she loves him. I love how Mason builds her characters and stories, making them more and more complex. Her romances aren't full of fluff and nonsense. She writes stories with characters who may be stubborn and angry but still find love and faith in spite of those flaws. If you're looking for an uplifting story that entertains and encourages, read "Highest of Hopes" or any story by Mason. I was given a copy of "Highest of Hopes" in exchange for my true and impartial review. This is it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    For Emmaline Moore it had been a week since she’d left England on a journey to Nova Scotia. “Six weeks since she’d found her beloved grandfather dead on his bedroom floor. Two weeks since she’d sold Grandad’s watch shop and handed over the key to the new owner. All because of a packet of letters she’d found in his desk that had turned Emma’s life upside down” (location 44). What an intriguing start! It raised so many questions that I wanted to have answered. Although some were answered quickly, For Emmaline Moore it had been a week since she’d left England on a journey to Nova Scotia. “Six weeks since she’d found her beloved grandfather dead on his bedroom floor. Two weeks since she’d sold Grandad’s watch shop and handed over the key to the new owner. All because of a packet of letters she’d found in his desk that had turned Emma’s life upside down” (location 44). What an intriguing start! It raised so many questions that I wanted to have answered. Although some were answered quickly, both Emma and her friend Jonathan kept a big secret from the other. Just when I thought everything was out in the open, a twist would change things. I loved Jonathan’s character. He is so faithful and protective towards Emma. He knows her propensity to be impulsive and tries to reign her in at times but you can’t tie up the wind. Emma is a real mix of positive and negative traits. She rushes in without thinking of the consequences to herself or others. She sees only the grief in her upbringing and glosses over the love and sacrifice of her grandparents for too long. She takes the good things in her life for granted. Yet she also sees potential in others and believes the best about them. She’s not afraid of a little adventure. She helps others see reality even when she can’t see the same for herself. In the end, she’s a lot wiser and has really grown. It’s very satisfying. I would highly recommend this book. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with an e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patti Whitson Stephenson

    Susan Anne Mason has given us an entertaining and heart-tugging Christian historical novel. The year is 1919 and the setting is in the city of Toronto, Canada. I enjoyed the historical details that the author used all throughout the story, especially when she described the ladies’ dresses for different occasions. I also loved the fact that this book was based in part on facts from the life of the author’s grandmother. This story is character-driven and the two main characters, Emma and Jonathan, Susan Anne Mason has given us an entertaining and heart-tugging Christian historical novel. The year is 1919 and the setting is in the city of Toronto, Canada. I enjoyed the historical details that the author used all throughout the story, especially when she described the ladies’ dresses for different occasions. I also loved the fact that this book was based in part on facts from the life of the author’s grandmother. This story is character-driven and the two main characters, Emma and Jonathan, have very different personalities. Emma is impulsive; has strong opinions on how things should be done and is always full-steam-ahead in carrying out her plans. Jonathan is more thoughtful; thinks things through; and listens to the counsel of others. There were times that I would have loved to made Emma sit down and not get up until she really listened and thought through the advice Jonathan was trying to give her. On the other hand, I wanted Jonathan to step up and take charge at times. This was part of the fun of the plot, and their personalities kept my interest through the book. The heart-tugging aspect comes from the hurts that both Emma and Jonathan suffered in their young lives. Both were orphans raised by caring relatives. Jonathan had just returned home from the war and was suffering flashbacks to times of battle. Emma was thrilled to discover her father was alive, but suffered from his decision to not acknowledge her as his daughter. Emma and Jonathan struggled as they transitioned from best friends to romantic interest. The author does a great job of incorporating all of this in their stories and it gives the story its heart. This is the second book of a series, but the previous characters are only briefly mentioned, so this book is very easily read as a stand-alone story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    I pray you find the love and acceptance you’re looking for with your family. You deserve that...and so much more.” A thoroughly enjoyable read. I love the setting of Canada. It is a rare one, especially during this time period. I live close to the border so I find much interest in this country, The characters are believable and well done, though Emma definitely needs a good lecture now and then. Who would say what a person would do in her shoes. Marianne was so pleasant, and though a secondary cha I pray you find the love and acceptance you’re looking for with your family. You deserve that...and so much more.” A thoroughly enjoyable read. I love the setting of Canada. It is a rare one, especially during this time period. I live close to the border so I find much interest in this country, The characters are believable and well done, though Emma definitely needs a good lecture now and then. Who would say what a person would do in her shoes. Marianne was so pleasant, and though a secondary character...I really think she was my favorite. With an interesting storyline, wonderful setting,and well developed characters this was a very enjoyable read! There’s only one parent’s love you truly need: your heavenly Father’s. And the good news is you don’t have to earn it, and you do t have to prove yourself worthy to receive it. You are loved for exactly the person you are, with all your faults and flaws. In His eyes, you are a masterpiece. His wondrous creation. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. Do you think you can put your pride aside and simply love this woman without expecting anything in return? Selfless love is difficult to achieve. Theirs would be an everlasting love, she was certain. One forged from a common childhood, solidified by friendship, and strengthened by the challenges that had come their way. A love refined through many tests and that would withstand many more to come. The only thing he could do was pray for a solution to his troubles and trust God to provide the answers he needed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Manders

    Friendships lead to Romance I love how Susan Anne Mason portrays family relationships during this era. The flawed characters are realistic and endearing. The story isn't overpowered by the setting, although the flavor of the early 20th century is richly detailed, but builds up to an exciting and unexpected conclusion. The romance is one-sided to begin with, but when Emma grows in faith, she awakens to the love that has been there all along. I recieved a copy of this book from Bethany House, but my Friendships lead to Romance I love how Susan Anne Mason portrays family relationships during this era. The flawed characters are realistic and endearing. The story isn't overpowered by the setting, although the flavor of the early 20th century is richly detailed, but builds up to an exciting and unexpected conclusion. The romance is one-sided to begin with, but when Emma grows in faith, she awakens to the love that has been there all along. I recieved a copy of this book from Bethany House, but my review is based on my honest opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    What a beautiful story! The Highest of Hopes is the second book in the Canadian Crossings series. The books are held in parallel time, so you can read this one without first having read the first, but there are some things that will be clearer if you've read book #1, The Best of Intentions. Emmaline Moore is a fun heroine! She's spunky, smart, stubborn, and trying to fill a gap in her life. Jonathon is Emma's best friend, a war veteran who suffers from PTSD, and is in love with her. As they trave What a beautiful story! The Highest of Hopes is the second book in the Canadian Crossings series. The books are held in parallel time, so you can read this one without first having read the first, but there are some things that will be clearer if you've read book #1, The Best of Intentions. Emmaline Moore is a fun heroine! She's spunky, smart, stubborn, and trying to fill a gap in her life. Jonathon is Emma's best friend, a war veteran who suffers from PTSD, and is in love with her. As they travel across the ocean to find her father she thought was dead, you see how important their relationship is to one another. I really enjoyed reading how their friendship transformed and the choices they each had to make. This is truly a sweet story filled with realistic challenges and struggles. I enjoyed it immensely! I received a complementary copy of this book from Bethany House. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kay Defreese

    After her grandfather dies Emma discovers that her father is alive and travels to Canada to meet him. Her childhood friend Jonathon travels with her. Jonathon is in love with her but has not revealed it to her yet. She does not get the reception she wants when she just shows up at her father's house. He is married with two daughters. Only the handicapped daughter is friendly to her. Her father shows some affection but still does not want to let the public know about her. His wife was downright c After her grandfather dies Emma discovers that her father is alive and travels to Canada to meet him. Her childhood friend Jonathon travels with her. Jonathon is in love with her but has not revealed it to her yet. She does not get the reception she wants when she just shows up at her father's house. He is married with two daughters. Only the handicapped daughter is friendly to her. Her father shows some affection but still does not want to let the public know about her. His wife was downright cold. His oldest daughter was a spoiled brat but eventually warms up to Emma. I thought the characters were well developed. I felt sorry for Emma that she did not get her father's love and acted like he was ashamed of being her father. He does change toward the end of the book but his wife never did. This book is the second in the Canadian Crossings series. The other book is about Grace. These books can be read as stand alone books as the events in both books happen at the same time.

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