John Herrick is a fantastic writer that knows how to draw you into a character's heart and mind. I always feel a connection to his characters. Given tJohn Herrick is a fantastic writer that knows how to draw you into a character's heart and mind. I always feel a connection to his characters. Given the description, I got the gist of the content. But the beauty in writing a story about internal conflict is that you can dig down deep and make the story go any way you want it to. And that's where the artistry begins.
The content gets a bit heavy at times, which means you almost have to digest it slowly to grasp the heart of the book. But I love novels that make me examine the hard things in life. There are no pat answers, and Hunter asks himself just about every question a man would consider in his situation. It's tough to wrap your mind around the concept if you haven't given it much though. I found the story to be well-thought-out and spiritually sound.
On the surface, the term "gay Christian" seems like an oxymoron. But it's really a story about dark, internal secrets and hiding our true selves from the world. It's a sin like any other sin. The heart of the story is about the struggle. About pretending to be something we're not and how it not only hurts ourselves, but others we love, when we bury things deep inside and let no one in.
What spoke to my heart the most in this story was the deep, emotional conflict Hunter had within himself. The author didn't emphasize Hunter and Gabe's sexual attraction, but focused more on their feeling drawn emotionally to something not really understood, but felt nevertheless. Feelings aren't sinful. God understands that we struggle, which is where grace comes in.
The truth is Jesus came to save us from our sins - both outward and inward. That doesn't necessarily make our struggles go away. Like with the Apostle Paul, who wrestled for the rest of his life with a "thorn in the flesh." God did not take it from him even when he begged for relief. Sometimes our struggles are a part of who we are. We don't know how they started or how they will end. It's all part of the journey we call life. The lesson is to lean on God through it all. Great story and highly recommended....more
Finished the book and loved the satisfying conclusion, though it took the heroine a long time to get there. This entire series had enough twists and tFinished the book and loved the satisfying conclusion, though it took the heroine a long time to get there. This entire series had enough twists and turns to make a reader dizzy, but there were a few constants as well. All in all I loved the transformation of Lexi into who she became at the end of the series. The author did a great job showing her being slowly transformed and maturing in her faith. It was very realistically portrayed as most new believers are a bit slow at learning some lessons. This story could be read as a stand alone but would be best enjoyed by reading the books in order so the details that led Lexi to her final decision can be fully experienced and savored. I would read more books by this author. ...more
If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too.If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too. There is something about mail-order bride stories that I really enjoy reading. It probably has to do with a newly married couple -- essentially strangers before the wedding -- discovering their love for each other.
This is the best mail-order bride story I've ever read. Ironically, the second best one was also in this series. I think Ms. Brendan has a gift when it comes to writing about romantic love between newly married couples. Add to that the tender heart the heroine has for animals and rescuing them from abuse and you have an intriguing book.
The hero was a sweetheart. Yeah, he had a pretty rigid personality at first, but as his love grew for his new bride, his strict boundaries became blurred and he learned to be spontaneous and not take life so seriously that it's predictable and boring. I loved experiencing the softening of his heart as he fell in love with her. The heroine's desire to please her husband while remaining true to herself is a good lesson for young women to learn. This novel illustrates that beautifully.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It's heartwarming and sensual at the same time, as newly married love should be. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year, if not at the top of my list!...more
I'm not a huge fan of modern biological terrorism space stories, but this novel rocked! I can totally see it as a movie on the big screen. The pacingI'm not a huge fan of modern biological terrorism space stories, but this novel rocked! I can totally see it as a movie on the big screen. The pacing was great and the abundance of stressful situations they encountered made it a page turner. Add to that a love triangle, and you've got one amazing plot full of tension. While the ending was great, I can see it leaving a small opening for a sequel, though it reads like a stand alone. At least it won't make you crazy like stories that don't have a satisfying conclusion. There were some scenes that brought tears to my eyes, too. The author did a great job depicting human nature and the spiritual conflict we all have at one point or another.
I think the thing that impressed me most about this book were the details regarding space travel and biological science. I felt like I was on the spaceship with the others. If I didn't know better I would have pegged the author as an astronaut who also happened to be a novelist. The spiritual parts of the book were also critical to the story, but the author didn't hit you over the head with theology. The author did a great job with weaving faith issues into the plot where they came across as a natural part of the story. Seriously, the writing was very good and I don't typically select contemporary fiction to read. The gorgeous cover and intriguing description drew me in, though. The book video trailer is also pretty cool, so I've included it. ...more
Once again I was blown away by the raw honesty in this book. The crazy thing is I listened to the entire thing (mostly while driving) and never actualOnce again I was blown away by the raw honesty in this book. The crazy thing is I listened to the entire thing (mostly while driving) and never actually read a word. But the story is so well done that I felt like I was reading it. The characters have become my friends. I hated for the story to end. The spiritual parts of the book were realistic. The conflict felt genuine and not forced. Lexi's life is a complicated mess, and at the same time, intriguing. She is a great example of someone who seems to have everything except the one thing they desire most... true love that lasts. I can't wait to read more to find out what happens next. I'm hooked on these characters and something tells me I may shed a few tears when this series ends. Love this author and absolutely adore this series....more
I snapped this story up because it was free on kindle. Now I plan to read the entire series. This story is a great depiction of the deception that sayI snapped this story up because it was free on kindle. Now I plan to read the entire series. This story is a great depiction of the deception that says beauty, success, and money will bring happiness. You can have everything in this life and it still leaves you empty. Lexi's story is pretty familiar to me. I knew girls and desperate situations like this. Not the modeling, rich girl aspect of the story, but it was the aching inside and the trying to smooth over the pain unsuccessfully that struck a chord with me. In some ways it reminded me of the television show 90210 that I used to watch back in the 90s.
The characters were so easy to relate to because of the way the author crafted them that at times I forgot they were rich. In fact, the story was so realistic and addicting that I found myself wanting to do nothing else but continue to "read" it. The weird thing about my experience with this novel was I never actually glanced at a single page. My Kindle Fire HD read it to me. Because of this I noticed some of the quirky phrasing that is unique to the author's style. But it fit the book, so I didn't mind. I just fell in love with the story. Now I have to read the entire series because there are so many gems of truth in it, especially when it comes to the faith journey of the characters.
For some people they have to not only hit a low point, but they need to experience the desperation that leads to conversations with God when nothing else fills that emptiness. Lexi will probably get there eventually. Right now the story is all about the journey, and this author knows how to make me care about what happens to all of the characters. I love it!
This is a nice story. Not too complex and just the right length to read to very small children. Not sure I agree with the theology, but the pictures aThis is a nice story. Not too complex and just the right length to read to very small children. Not sure I agree with the theology, but the pictures are nice and the theme is sweet. I think it would give a young child a sense of awe thinking about the story. Anyway, the illustrations are nice, too, and they have different kinds of angels, not all blondes like you see in some books. I liked that best about the story. Diversity in the angelic realm. ...more
I enjoyed this story. It's not my favorite book by this author, but I loved the abolitionist themes as well as the bad boy turning good plot the storyI enjoyed this story. It's not my favorite book by this author, but I loved the abolitionist themes as well as the bad boy turning good plot the story was based on. What the love of a woman will do for a man...sometimes that can turn the hardest of hearts toward God. Fortunately Jack was one of the better in the bunch... maybe the only good guy in his family besides his sweet little sister. I really loved her character. She almost made me cry several times. I'm sure she smiled at the end of the story even if it's not included in the book.
Ellie, the heroine, is everything I wish I could be myself. Tender and passionate, yet demure and sweet at the same time. But she is also honest and true to herself and she loves with her whole heart. That's a great heroine. The way the author described her feelings whenever she was around Jack was well done and my heart melted a few times when they were together. The same with Jack. A few times I almost cried. This author really knows how to pull at a reader's heartstrings. I am looking forward to the third book in this series. ...more
First, let me just say that I love the cover. It shows in a very suspenseful way how what comes out of the internet/computer can shatter your life. ThFirst, let me just say that I love the cover. It shows in a very suspenseful way how what comes out of the internet/computer can shatter your life. That was definitely true with this book. I loved how suspenseful it was and how creative the author was when he developed the story. What an imagination! But it was believably done.
The writing was very good for a debut novel, too. I didn't read anything boring that made me want to skim the pages. The author used the context of a virtual connection with a person to show how it can be dangerous, and maybe even more when they aren't "real." You can certainly make more excuses. Like the husband trying to convince himself that wanting to spent time with a virtual person wasn't a threat to his marriage because the "other woman" wasn't real.
I loved how the author also showed the way women tend to interpret this kind of behavior... like "What did I do wrong?" and "Wasn't I enough for you?" But it's not typically about the woman's flaws but the weakness men have that draws them away. This is quite deep for a male author. He seemed to understand the woman's psyche quite well. Most of the time while I was enjoying the story I forgot that the author was a guy. Not that the story was in any way soft. He had me on edge a lot of the time.
The author showed the rationalization and progression of what seems like an innocent activity... at first. He also showed the way sin snares all of us and pulls us deeper until the very thing we thought we wanted threatens everything about our lives that we love. How true that is. It often starts with something basic like neglecting to read the Bible and grows from there.
The husband knew the scriptures and God often brought them to mind to warn him, but like most humans, he thought he could handle it. And like the enemy does so well, he convinced the husband that his sin would not hurt anyone. That's the biggest lie of all. The scriptures say "your sin will find you out." If you are a true believer, you can bank on that. And the ending was awesome.
There were a multitude of twists and turns in the story, but the ending was like the proverbial frosting on the cake. I really enjoyed this book. It had enough gritty realism to make it believable. I loved how the hero had realistic thoughts about everything. ...more