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From A Distance by Tamera Alexander
Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 1
Bethany House, 01 June 2008

What happens when the realization of a dream isn’t what you imagined… and the secret you’ve spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt could bring secrets from his past to light.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance. 
This is my first Tamera Alexander book and I loved it. She effortlessly weaves the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado bringing them to life through the eyes of her beautifully drawn characters. After reading the first few chapters, I came to a solid conclusion. Tamera Alexander does the two things I really want in books and she does them well – more than well – she does them beautifully.
Tamera has well drawn and interesting characters – Daniel and Elizabeth as well as all the others are infused with life giving traits that make them real. I don’t like all the characters, or even all of what Elizabeth and Daniel do at times, but they are real.
The second thing I love is the inclusion of the setting. So many books I have read lately seem to pay less attention to the setting of the story. To me if an author is taking the trouble to set their story somewhere interesting, beautiful etc they need to take the time to show their readers this place. This is what Tamera Alexander does. The Rocky Mountains felt real to me, as if I was there right next to her characters watching the same scene.
The pace of the book was slow but engaging at the same time. Elizabeth and Daniel are strong characters who are driven by expectations and past experiences which leads them to clash a fair bit. Elizabeth is fairly like able and the spiritual growth she goes through is honest and believable (she really needed to do some spiritual growing). Daniel is a man battling his past in the war and his desire to preserve the land God created out here in the Rockies. It is a pleasure to watch these two grow closer together and to God.
I truly enjoyed this book and was very glad that my sister had given me The Timber Ridge Trilogy for Christmas 2011. I read all 3 books in four days!
Tamera you have won yourself a new fan!