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Harvest of Gold: Book 2 in Harvest Series, by Tessa Afshar

The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. She has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

Released July 1, 2013 from River North Fiction, an imprint of Moody Publishers

"I’ve said it before: I don't like biblical fiction. But I do believe my heart is turning on this matter, and Ms. Afshar is playing a HUGE part in it!

Harvest of Gold is an exquisitely written book set in Persia and Jerusalem. It's the second book written about its main characters, Sarah and Darius (the first is Harvest of Rubies), and though I haven't read the first book (yet!), I didn't feel out-of-the-loop with this story.

The characters were very, very well developed and written. Their chemistry with each other was realistic and persuasive...and charming. Their heartbreak and struggles within themselves and with God were relatable and touching. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their story and can't wait to go back and read how it began.

The poignancy with which Ms. Afshar writes about the rebuilding of Jerusalem truly brings it to life and makes it hit home. And towards the end, when the prophet Ezra reads from the ancient scrolls, actually brought me to tears. I do believe Ms. Afshar writes with the Holy Spirit's guidance—and I don't say that lightly.

I highly recommend this book, for both the plot, sub-plot (an assassination attempt on King Artaxerxes), and character development. It's just a beautiful book to savor."