The Road to Paradise
A Vintage National Parks Novel
Written by Karen Barnett
Narrated by Ann Richardson
Run Time 10h 9min
Release Date: March 4, 2019
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Genre: Christian Romance, Christian Suspense
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
It’s 1927, and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow. But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.
When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?
In 1927 women didn’t have open career paths. They were expected to marry well and take care of the family. Margie, a senator’s daughter, is an idealist who is an avid naturalist. She is excited to get the chance to work alongside the park rangers at Mount Rainier, not knowing that her father has paid a significant contribution to the park.
Most of the rangers are very skeptical. Chief Ranger Ford took over his father’s job managing the park when his father died in a mountain climbing accident. Ford is filled with anger and bitterness. He doesn’t expect much from Margie and is reluctant to watch over her. As he begins to train her on basic survival in the woods, he is surprised when she brings distinct botanical knowledge and a unique skill of communication to the ranger team. Their friendship slowly grows.
Margie is happy with her progress but gets alarmed when her former fiancé shows up at the lodge. He exudes privilege and is proud, vain, and overbearing. He announces that he will develop the Paradise Inn and its park trails to include a tourist lodge and elite housing. And he also doesn’t want to let Margie go and is willing to threaten her father as well as the park. Margie and Ford are horrified, and it looks like Margie may have to compromise if she wants to save the natural lands. Margie accepts a challenge that will put her life in danger. As she and Ford come to a point of recognizing their feelings, their relationship is tested by the secrets that have been kept. Can they save the park and their relationship?
This is a sweet historical romance with a touch of suspense and danger. I enjoyed the characters and really liked the setting and history of the park rangers. I recommend this to fans of historical romance with a touch of mystery.
Audio Notes: Ann Richardson does a fair job with the narration. She doesn’t quite manage the male voices but she still delivers a decent performance. I did enjoy the audio as the story moves easier for me than a print or kindle reading.
Source: 9/5/2021 Chirp $2.99. This qualifies for 2022TBR and 2022Audiobook goals.