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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Joe is a handsome young farrier who has fled England to hide from the world in a small town in Madeira. He works first in a bar and then on a farm accessible only by boat. The farmer, his wife, and their lovely but deaf niece quickly take to Joe, and he to them. So do the burro and the goats, who seem to follow Joe about as if he’s a pied piper to anything with hooves. The niece, Sophia, is strong-minded yet gentle and hardworking. She's also a successful beekeeper and stays at the remote farm much of the time for her own reasons, avoiding the social life that other young women might normally seek. But fate or providence in the form of a very odd “fairy godmother” named Lua, and the shenanigans of a couple of evil characters who intend no good for Joe or Sophia, will entice them both to rejoin the world in a way that neither could ever have anticipated.
Joseph Barnaby is an engaging and entertaining romance novel by Susan Roebuck. While full of mystery and suspense, it read to me like a modern-day fairy tale. I enjoyed reading Joseph Barnaby. Roebuck builds the scenery and characters with wonderful, descriptive, and flowing narrative. Joe and Sophia are good-hearted people who become real and believable. You want them to triumph over the adversities and evil intentions with which they’re each faced. This story is full of plot twists and unexpected heroes, and you won’t want to put the book down until the last page. This a story for anyone who is a true romantic at heart.