Where Dandelions Bloom

Where Dandelions Bloom

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she's discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young...

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Title:Where Dandelions Bloom
Author:Tara Johnson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Where Dandelions Bloom Reviews

  • Susan

    This is an amazing story of one woman's journey of courage, forgiveness and love. In Cassie, Ms. Johnson has given her readers a spunky heroine who disguises herself as a young soldier in the Union army as she runs away from an abusive home environment. While trying to maintain her secret identity, Cassie befriends Gabe, a photographer who follows the army as he chronicles the war through images. I love that Cassie and Gabe challenge the other to become a better person as they learn to shed the

    This is an amazing story of one woman's journey of courage, forgiveness and love. In Cassie, Ms. Johnson has given her readers a spunky heroine who disguises herself as a young soldier in the Union army as she runs away from an abusive home environment. While trying to maintain her secret identity, Cassie befriends Gabe, a photographer who follows the army as he chronicles the war through images. I love that Cassie and Gabe challenge the other to become a better person as they learn to shed the chains that bind them.

    With hauntingly beautiful prose, Johnson paints a vivid picture of the misery and suffering that accompanies war, as the theme of hope triumph overs all. The spiritual theme of forgiveness is woven seamlessly through the story. I love it when an author can challenge me through a work of fiction to evaluate my life.

    A couple of my favorite quotes:

    "Wherever dandelions bloom, hope remains."

    "Time is too precious to waste in bitterness. It will steal your joy. Time."

    While this is my first book I have read by Tara Johnson, it will definitely not be my last. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Kelly Tyree

    I cannot say enough good things about Where Dandelions Bloom. The book kept me totally engaged right up to the end. I loved the characters so much that I wanted them to find the happiness that they sought.

    Cassie Kendrick lives with an abusive father that has her future planned. He had planned the future for her sisters and they were miserable. Cassie's father's plans are scary enough that Cassie disguises herself as a man, Thomas Turner, and enters the military to fight on the Union side. She ke

    I cannot say enough good things about Where Dandelions Bloom. The book kept me totally engaged right up to the end. I loved the characters so much that I wanted them to find the happiness that they sought.

    Cassie Kendrick lives with an abusive father that has her future planned. He had planned the future for her sisters and they were miserable. Cassie's father's plans are scary enough that Cassie disguises herself as a man, Thomas Turner, and enters the military to fight on the Union side. She keeps herself distant from her unit so that she can maintain her disguise.

    Gabriel Avery is trying to make a living as a photographer. He follows the war and captures pictures of the reality of war. Gabriel and Thomas become friends. They develop a camaraderie and open up to one another. When Gabriel accidentally discovers Thomas is Cassie, he is angry that she deceived him. Once he hears her story, he understands the position she is in.

    When Gabriel agrees to accompany Cassie on her short trip home, he agrees to pose as her husband to avoid the plans her father has for her. Soon Gabriel and Cassie begin to develop real feelings for each other, but there are many obstacles they both need to overcome if they want to have a future together. You have to read it right up to the end to see how they overcome those obstacles and what it takes for Cassie to accept what God is asking her to do. When she finally does, things begin to change and she can no longer live as a man.

    What impressed me the most about the book was all of the details. You felt as if you were there, in the camp waiting for orders. I also was surprised to learn just how many women actually did just what Cassie did but in real life. Great job Tara, your book was is a keeper.

  • Betsy

    If you love Christian historical romance loaded with facts, faith, and lessons in forgiveness, then you must pick up Tara Johnson’s latest novel “Where Dandelions Bloom”, set during the American Civil War. With page-turning action and attention to detail, I felt like I was right there in the scenes, such were the vivid descriptions penned by this not-to-miss author of Christian historical romance. As a result of this poignant story, I will never again look at dandelions in the same way. Highly r

    If you love Christian historical romance loaded with facts, faith, and lessons in forgiveness, then you must pick up Tara Johnson’s latest novel “Where Dandelions Bloom”, set during the American Civil War. With page-turning action and attention to detail, I felt like I was right there in the scenes, such were the vivid descriptions penned by this not-to-miss author of Christian historical romance. As a result of this poignant story, I will never again look at dandelions in the same way. Highly recommend this book and this author!

  • Carrie Turansky

    Tara Johnson has done a wonderful job bringing the Civil War to life in Where Dandelions Bloom. The battle scenes are very realistic, and you can tell she did in-depth research to create the characters and plot. I was especially interested in the hero and his work as a photographer. My novella, Waiting For His Return, features a Special Artist/war correspondent who followed the troops and sent drawings back for Harper's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. So it was great to see Tara include this aspec

    Tara Johnson has done a wonderful job bringing the Civil War to life in Where Dandelions Bloom. The battle scenes are very realistic, and you can tell she did in-depth research to create the characters and plot. I was especially interested in the hero and his work as a photographer. My novella, Waiting For His Return, features a Special Artist/war correspondent who followed the troops and sent drawings back for Harper's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. So it was great to see Tara include this aspect of Civil War journalism in her novel. She handled the heroine's situation very well, and made me sympathize with her choices.

  • Jocelyn Green

    Exemplary Civil War fiction. Not only do I appreciate the author's deep commitment to the history of her timeframe, but I loved the characters and found the genuine conflict between them to be believable, composed of opposing values, not just a simple misunderstanding. Watching Gabe and Cassie develop and mature to the very last page was a pleasure. Bravo, Tara.

  • Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    Johnson gives readers a glimpse of a whole other side of the Civil War in Where Dandelions Bloom. It's more than just a girl playing the part of a soldier. It's more than a photographer capturing the images of war. It's even more than the story of two people coming together in unfortunate circumstances, and yet having to learn how to let their guards down and feel something. This is a story of forgiveness. It's a story of putting your past behind you, and moving forward. It's a story of learning

    Johnson gives readers a glimpse of a whole other side of the Civil War in Where Dandelions Bloom. It's more than just a girl playing the part of a soldier. It's more than a photographer capturing the images of war. It's even more than the story of two people coming together in unfortunate circumstances, and yet having to learn how to let their guards down and feel something. This is a story of forgiveness. It's a story of putting your past behind you, and moving forward. It's a story of learning to lean on the Creator for everything that life throws at you. It's a story that will touch your heart, and have you reaching for the tissues every now and then.

    I'm not even sure where to begin. How about my favorite characters? Believe it or not, they happen to be secondary characters. First is Cassie's grandmother. She imparts such wisdom to Cassie, even during the difficult situations. She reminds me of the kind of grandmother I want to be. One who can effortlessly offer sound, Godly advice. One who is comforting, and always has an open door. Then there was sweet Jonah. His enthusiasm just brought a smile to my face. He fit right in with Cassie and Gabe, kind of like a family of their own. Each time he entered the scene, I knew he was either going to make me chuckle or smile. Don't get me wrong - Cassie and Gabe are wonderful main characters. They had strengths, weaknesses, growth, maturity, and everything I wanted them to have. But it was truly the secondary ones that stole my heart. That right there is what good authors do - make the secondary characters so wonderful and memorable, that they don't really feel like secondary characters at all!

    Not only does Johnson bring her characters to life, she also brings the setting to life. Without being grotesque at all, she manages to write the details of the war, the Whatsit, and Cassie's home so vividly that I could see it playing out in my head like a movie. And what a wonderful date night movie that would be! Although I already know the movie would never do the book justice - it just wouldn't capture the essence of the war the way Johnson did. Yes there was pain and suffering, but she somehow managed to make me almost forget that and instead focus on the excitement, the spying, the chase, and the frustrations that the soldiers felt. She made me focus on the hope that these soldiers were there to fight for the good guys, and the "brotherhood" they had that couldn't be broken. It was inspiring to read.

    Historical fiction fans will find themselves engrossed in this novel until they reach the very end, and even then finding themselves wanting more. I highly recommend this wonderfully written novel! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Rebecca

    3.5 stars

    "She was trapped like a bird in a cage. She could see freedom beyond the wire enclosure, but her wings could not beat strong enough to break the bars."

    Cassie Kendrick was desperate. Enough so to attempt the unthinkable. Would it work? Disguised as a young man, she successfully enlists in the Union army under the name of Thomas Turner, for Cassie would rather be listed as a casualty of war than be forced into an atrocious marriage by her drunken, abusive father.

    "Patience, Gabriel. The A

    3.5 stars

    "She was trapped like a bird in a cage. She could see freedom beyond the wire enclosure, but her wings could not beat strong enough to break the bars."

    Cassie Kendrick was desperate. Enough so to attempt the unthinkable. Would it work? Disguised as a young man, she successfully enlists in the Union army under the name of Thomas Turner, for Cassie would rather be listed as a casualty of war than be forced into an atrocious marriage by her drunken, abusive father.

    "Patience, Gabriel. The Almighty has a hard time using those who keep running ahead o'him . . . . "

    Gabriel Avery's career takes a huge leap forward when he is commissioned by a renowned photographer to catalog war images from behind the front lines. It's a chance of a lifetime and his determination to succeed matches his winsome personality. Taking a liking to a shy young soldier, Thomas Turner, Gabe trusts Thomas with many personal conversations around the evening campfires, only to discover that he has been duped. Furious, he shoves friendship aside and chooses to harbor an unforgiving spirit, until he realizes what a fool he has been.

    " . . where dandelions bloom, hope remains". Tara Johnson has penned an extraordinarily good story, planting plenty of life lessons in between historical events and romantic moments.

    I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  • Dana Michael

    This book is a Civil War story about a young woman who escapes a horrible family situation to join the Union army. She meets the hero of the book who is a photographer for the Union. This is filled with history and sweet kisses. I loved the epilogue ending.

  • Clara

    Tara Johnson has a gentleness in her writing that wraps around the heart and gives the impression of home. And I think this is a great word to connect to the story.

    Cassie and Gabe come from such different backgrounds.

    Cassie Kendrick knows the pain of a heavy hand and rejection, and she's determined to now let the angry and unforgiving hands of her father take control of her destiny.

    Gabe Avery grew up as the son of poor immigrants in New York, but what they might have lacked in money, they did no

    Tara Johnson has a gentleness in her writing that wraps around the heart and gives the impression of home. And I think this is a great word to connect to the story.

    Cassie and Gabe come from such different backgrounds.

    Cassie Kendrick knows the pain of a heavy hand and rejection, and she's determined to now let the angry and unforgiving hands of her father take control of her destiny.

    Gabe Avery grew up as the son of poor immigrants in New York, but what they might have lacked in money, they did not in tenderness and love for one another. Through grit and determination, and a bit of help from others, Gabe is able to work for renowned photographer Matthew Brady taking pictures of the war.

    A tentative but truthful friendship starts between them. But war is not merely a scene to be captured on photograph. Rather, it leaves deep scars and threatens to blacken the soul. Heartache and grief seem like a dry land where nothing grows, but hope is obstinate, is perseveres and never gives up on you.

    And this lingering hope might just blossom into more than anyone can ever think or imagine.

    *I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  • Kaitlyn Krispense

    I'd just like to start off by saying that the writing style was amazing! I was pulled into the story right away, even though it wasn't fast-moving, and at first I was sure that this would end up a 5-star read.

    Well, it obviously went downhill.

    I loved the characters of both Cassie and Gabe, and before Gabe found out that 'Turner' was actually a girl, I *really* enjoyed the book.

    But then he found out her secret. And he couldn't stop noticing her perfect curves. Especially when she was in a dress—it

    I'd just like to start off by saying that the writing style was amazing! I was pulled into the story right away, even though it wasn't fast-moving, and at first I was sure that this would end up a 5-star read.

    Well, it obviously went downhill.

    I loved the characters of both Cassie and Gabe, and before Gabe found out that 'Turner' was actually a girl, I *really* enjoyed the book.

    But then he found out her secret. And he couldn't stop noticing her perfect curves. Especially when she was in a dress—it just graced her feminine curves. And her full lips? *heart eyes* What made it all worse was that after almost every one of their detailed kisses, he had to pull back before he lost himself.

    But it was quite obvious that he'd already lost himself.

    Cassie and Gabe's ongoing argument about a woman's place seemed . . . I don't know . . . so *drawn-out*. She loved him. She kissed him. He said something that offended her and reminded her of her abusive father. She avoided him at all costs until an unexpected event (usually danger or injury to one of them) brought them back together. Repeat.

    So what kept me from giving this book only 1 or 2 stars? When they weren't together (or thinking about each other . . . ) the story was amazing. The aspects of war were so *real*. The author's writing voice was incredible. But all the romance kinda ruined the rest.

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