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ABOUT THE BOOK (320 pages):

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is expected to be charitable, peace-loving, and submissive. However, those traits don't always come naturally to the feisty abolitionist. Spirited and spunky, Rebecca's chief ambition is to aid the Underground Railroad no matter the cost - until her path collides with slave-catcher Sheriff Clay Dalton who's grimly fighting battles of his own. When tensions between the North and South escalate, the two find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be and to determine whether their newfound friendship can stand up to a myriad of conflicts.


Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University, earning a degree in elementary teaching. In 1975, she married one of her childhood friends, and together they raised two lovely daughters. Now happily retired from 31 years of teaching,"Shar" enjoys reading, singing, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and precious grandchildren.

Carrie Gould Donna McGinnis
Nyla Kay Wilkerson Sharon Paavola
Victoria Brinius Carol Smith
Pamela  Mary Arndt
Joan Arning Jacqueline Robertson
Deana Dick Janice Sisemore
Penny Marks Joan Nienhuis
Victoria Pless Vickie Jameson
Cheri Swalwell Connie Saunders
Gee Dixon Sonnetta Jones

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Replies to This Discussion

As the WH publicist I'm not unbiased...but I LOVE this book and became totally immersed in the world of 19th century Quakers, where yes, intrigue, action, and romance abounds. I hope you enjoy and look forward to reading the reviews!



I enjoyed this historical novel, where a Quaker family becomes involved with a slave-chasing sheriff. The dilemma this poses as the sheriff and their oldest daughter grow close challenges their faith and their future. There are many touching moments which evoke emotion throughout the story. The author develops her characters like a skillful artist, painting them into a compelling plot while portraying their uniqueness. The historical details truly bring it to life.


This novel is set in 1855 Pennsylvania. The peaceful Quakers must choose whether to defy the Fugitive Slave Law and aid escaping slaves. It makes readers consider what they might do in similar circumstances. This is the first book in the Forever Freedom series. I look forward to future installments. I received this copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.


I reviewed it on FB, Amazon, CBD, BAM.

Tour page on Celebrate Lit: http://www.celebratelit.com/summer-on-sunset-ridge-celebration-tour/ with info about the blog stops, etc.


To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:


Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)


Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from www.acheerfulgiver.com and

Summer on Sunset Ridge


Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge


Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!


Thanks for the nice review and sharing info on the Celebrate Lit tour, Mary!

This story is set just before the Civil War. It shows how one family, even one person, can make a difference in someones life. Even though I don't know much about the Quakers, I felt that they were portrayed as true Christians and that they strive to live their lives as such. The book, although Christian in nature, was not a preachy sort of book. It does not cram beliefs down your throat as some books do but shows God's love in a most positive manner

This book is very well written. The characters are very well developed and you feel like you actually know them. The book draws you in from the very beginning and kept me fully interested to the very end. In fact, I hated for it to end.

The editing, one of the things that can make or break a book for me, was well done. Not perfect, as the last error I remember is a missing word, a noticeably missing word. But, in general, the editing was far superior to many of the books I have read.

If you enjoy historical fiction you will surely enjoy this book. I reviewed this book of my own free will. It was given to me through Bookfun.org. This review can also be seen on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deepershopping, Goodreads, Christianbook.com, and Librarything.com

Thank you for the thoughtful review, Victoria. As the company publicist you've given me food for thought as I continue promoting this book (which I thoroughly enjoyed). You make an excellent point regarding what one family, one individual can do to make a difference. It was true before the Civil War and it's true today. Sharlene is wonderful author, famous for straying from the romance formula, but always managing to paint a lovely picture even if she colors outside the lines. Sorry about the typo. Please send me a message here or email me at chickling@whitakerhouse.com and let me know where you found a missing word. I believe "Summer" will be going back to press and we'll want to have all the typos fixed for the 2nd printing. Thanks, too for multiple postings!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Summer on Sunset Ridge by Sharlene MacLaren.  What a wonderful book that while fiction was realistic enough to immerse me in the Quaker culture just before the time of the Civil War.  My favorite way to learn about history and I wasn’t disappointed!  Wonderful character development, great storyline and enough suspense and romance to keep me turning the pages through to the end!


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from The Book Club Network.

Hi Cheri -- great to see your smiling face. Fun fiction is my favorite way to learn the history I didn't study in school, too! After reading Shar's manuscript, I felt like I could play a Quaker mama on TV. I'm glad you enjoyed and will gently nudge Shar this direction. 

       "Summer on Sunset Ridge," by Sharlene MacLaren, is historical fiction. The story takes place in Pennsylvania, in 1855. This is the first book in the "Forever Freedom" series. This book is clean and easy to understand and read. You will learn a few historical facts while you read, and you will meet some amazing folks that desired to help slaves.

        The main character, Rebecca, lives at home with her Quaker family. She is an obedient young woman who follows the rules, does what she is told, helps her siblings and parents, and has a rock solid faith. She thinks slavery is wrong and has a strong desire to help with the underground railroad.

        Main character, Clay, lives in Maryland. He is a town sheriff and he is hot on the trail of a runaway slave that shot his master. Clay knows the slave might have been provoked by his nasty owner, but the law is the law.
When Clay and Rebecca's paths cross, well, lets just say, they meet with a bang! As Rebecca cares for Clay's injuries she comes to care for him. This leads to all sorts of complications. Will she obey her parents? Will he come to know and love God? Can he stop chasing slaves? Read Summer on Sunset Ridge to find out!

        I received this book from "The Book Club Network" and the author in exchange for my honest review. This review is posted at Amazon, Facebook, CBD, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble.

I have read the book and blogged my review: http://bit.ly/2ldUM2g

That blog posts to Facebook and Google+. I also placed reviews on Amazon, CBD, Deeper Shopping, GoodReads, and Twitter.

Here is the text of my blogged review:

MacLaren has centered her Christian historical romance around the Quaker faith. That is a welcome change from the saturated Amish genre.

Rebecca's parents, Quaker farmers, have found a husband for her. The only problem is, she has absolutely no feelings for him. When she crosses paths with sheriff Clay pursuing escaped slaves, her life changes a great deal. She knows she could never marry except for love.

MacLaren has crafted the typical romance plot well. There are lots of obstacles to a possible romance between Rebecca and Clay. Wounded, he has had a blow to the head and is suffering from amnesia. When he mumbles a woman's name, Rebecca is sure he is married. She's engaged and if that was not trouble enough, Clay is not a Quaker. It looks hopeless.

I like novels where I learn something while I am being entertained. I learned a bit about the Quakers and some about the underground railroad and how slaves were helped to move along as they escaped to the north.

There are some good issues to think about from this novel. One is arranged marriages, something many in the world experience. Does one learn to love the other, do the feelings come, or is one doomed to a loveless marriage?

There is a great salvation message in this novel. It fits right in as it comes through the experiences of one of the characters.

I recommend this novel for those who enjoy a good historical romance with a strong Christian message.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Sharlene MacLaren was born and raised in Michigan, taught grade school, married, raised two daughters, and retired from teaching in 2003. She dabbled in writing and signed a contract for her first novel in 2006. She has now had more than sixteen novels published. She and her husband live in Spring Lake, Michigan.

Whitaker House, 318 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Twenty-one year old Rebecca is being forced into a marriage with an ugly man she does not love by her parents who truly believe it is for her good since she is so old and there are no other Quaker prospects around!  I enjoyed learning about the Quakers' beliefs and their part in the Underground Railroad.  Summer on Sunset Ridge was an entertaining book with great characters.  I would recommend this book to others and look forward to more books in the Forever Freedom Series.  I received my copy of Summer on Sunset Ridge through www.BookFun.org.  This is my honest opinion.

I posted reviews on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, ChristianBook.


Please, forgive me for the long delay in posting my review. I loved your book and hope my postings encourage others to read it. Below is my review and the places where I posted it 

Thank you for the opportunity to read Summer on Sunset Ridge

Sharon Paavola

Rebecca Albright, lives on her Quaker family’s farm near Philadelphia during a tumultuous time as the Civil War is brewing. Through circumstances she created her father demands that she nurse the man who he shot back to health. When the man becomes conscious they discover he has amnesia. The family’s only course of action is to help him recover, gain his strength, and hopefully regain his memory so he can return from wherever he came from. Rebecca is quite reluctant and wants nothing to do with him accept to dress his wounds and feed him. She struggles with how her faith fits in with the slavery issue, how she as a woman can assist in the Underground Railroad, and also, keep from involving her emotions with this unknown man under her care. Does God have plans for her? It seems He does but she will need to trust him on Sunset Ridge. I really enjoyed this novel by Sharlene MacLaren!

I received a copy from the The Book Club Network and the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

I posted my review on my blog at: http://www.sharonrpaavola.com/book-review/summer-on-sunset-ridge-fa...

On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1909228039

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/sh2rose/status/883818500707373056

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Sunset-Ridge-Forever-Freedom-ebook/dp...

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharonrpaavola/ and https://www.facebook.com/sharon.paavola

On Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-on-sunset-ridge-sharlene-ma...

Library Thing: https://www.librarything.com/work/18986992/book/143328190

CBD: https://www.christianbook.com/summer-on-sunset-ridge/sharlene-macla...

Summer on Sunset Ridge by Sharlene MacLaren is book one in the Forever Freedom Series.  This is the  first novel of hers that I have read, but it certainly will not be the last.  This novel is set near Philadelphia at the beginning of the Civil War.  The central family lives on a Quaker farm and is involved in aiding the Underground Railroad. 

Plainspoken Rebecca Albright, whose parents have dutifully arranged a suitable marriage to a man that they deem to be a good provider—one in whom Rebecca has no interest or regard, is determined to aid the Underground Railroad movement.  Sheriff Clay Dalton, whose life is also rather conflicted concerning his understood engagement to a spoiled, wealthy young woman who has directed the whole courtship with little thought to their vast differences, suspects that he may not be making the correct choice.

Clay’s pursuit of an escaped slave who killed a man, an injury and amnesia, a prolonged recovery, and a mutual attraction between a sheriff with possible ties to the South and perhaps commitment to a woman there and a pretty, young Quaker woman whose beliefs and determination to help in the Underground Railroad presents an engaging and entertaining story.

I recommend this book that I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.  This Christian romance will not disappoint.  (posted on Amazon, Good Reads, Christian Books, Deeper Shopping, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million)

I apologize for the delay in reading and posting a review.  I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book.


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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