This book deals openly, honestly, and with no holds barred about a couple of tough subjects: alcoholism and abuse.
The reader is pulled right in at theThis book deals openly, honestly, and with no holds barred about a couple of tough subjects: alcoholism and abuse.
The reader is pulled right in at the very first with a terrified Manda trying to sleep in her car at work. The story is less about Manda getting away from her abuser, though, and more about both Manda and Joel dealing with their own internal demons. With the help of AA and the 12 step program, they realize they have to take the time to heal so they can be the people they are supposed to be for each other.
Inspirational without being preachy, Stepping Up to Love shows just how relationships are supposed to work.
This is the first book of the series and that makes me happy. I’m looking forward to reading the next which I hope will revisit not only the area but the characters as well (a Justin/Gwen pairing, maybe?). Recommended. ...more
Imagine helping your mother clean up an old house that is part of the Historical Society’s inventory and finding a loose board that holds an old, oldImagine helping your mother clean up an old house that is part of the Historical Society’s inventory and finding a loose board that holds an old, old diary. Would you tell your mother and give it up or would you keep it and read it? Emily Grace (called Em) did what I would do: She kept it to read.
Ms. Norkus mixes Civil War history, time travel, slavery, and a modern girl all together in a story that I found fascinating. The more of the diary she reads, the more Em gets caught up in Sarah’s life. When she finds out Sarah’s husband dies at the hands of the military, she is devastated.
The author makes Em a young woman who has begun to fall away from God and her church. She doesn’t believe God is there. None of her prayers get answered. Reading about Sarah’s husband Robert dying makes her angry and she shouts at God, giving Him her whole list of grievances. Em is fifteen and I remember what puberty was like; I cried all the time. Em carries a lot of anger. What she didn’t expect was to be transported back in time. Apparently God does listen. Going back 150 years means things are quite different there. She finds Sarah and they take her in but she has no real plan to save Robert.
The author works with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, so her information about the times and practices of the era are accurate. The only hesitation I had about the story was that Em changes history while she’s there. And, any change you make in history would affect the future, but the only thing that really changed in the future was the diary and a sign. I had a difficult time believing nothing else was affected.
Overall, this is a very nice read and young women readers should find it fascinating. There’s history, the beginning of romance for Em and it has a happy ending. It also might lead them to read more about the Civil War era. The Christianity is lightly stated and not overwhelming. Why not give it a try and see what you think?...more
Now that Jessica finally has the power to determine her own path, will she make the right choice?
There are no words to describe Jessica’s situation. HNow that Jessica finally has the power to determine her own path, will she make the right choice?
There are no words to describe Jessica’s situation. Her life is beyond tragic. With her mother, Evelyn, constantly dangling the life of her father over her head, Jessica is forced to submit to outrageous demands, including an engagement to Seth, a man who just might be more nefarious than her mother. After her father’s death, Jessica runs away at the first opportunity. What Jessica finds beyond the walls of her home will challenge everything she’s ever known.
Jessica is a very strong heroine. Despite her rather twisted and sheltered upbringing, Jessica has grown into a fine young woman. I admire her bravery and the strength it took for her to go into the world alone with absolutely no one she could trust. Once Jessica finds her way into the swamp, she comes across a group of people who show her the true meaning of trust and unconditional love. It was a pleasure to watch Jessica gradually let down her guard and open herself up to others.
I also enjoyed watching Jessica come to know Christ through reading the Bible and the gentle guidance of Hunter and Ms. Mabel. As Jessica steps on the path to Christianity, Hunter and Ms. Mable encourage her to ask as many questions as she wants. I liked that they never forced her into anything. When Jessica comes to a pivotal moment in her faith, Hunter and Ms. Mabel are there to support her, but Jessica remains in control of her life. I have no doubt that Jessica will grow into a very courageous woman.
Hunter is exactly the kind of man that Jessica needs. He lends her strength and support when she needs it, but also gives her the tools to stand on her own. Their romance is very touching and moves at just the right pace. I look forward to watching their love continue to bloom in the next book.
I must admit I had a hard time understanding the motives of Evelyn, Jessica’s mother. She doesn’t appear to have any redeeming characteristics. Consequently, she didn’t strike me as a very realistic character. Evelyn’s past is murky, and I’d definitely like to know a bit more about what would drive a woman to treat her only child the way she treats Jessica. Perhaps I will learn more about her in future installments of the series?
Seth is an interesting villain. While Seth is definitely evil, I do believe he has something that resembles feelings for Jessica, no matter how misguided or warped they are. He seems to have been shaped into the evil man that he’s become through some poor choices on his part as well as through the influence of Jessica’s mother. I can’t help but wonder if Seth’s life would have been different if Evelyn hadn’t gotten her claws into him.
Ms. Wright has crafted a wonderful story of love and faith in Twisted Roots. I enjoyed every minute spent reading it and am definitely looking forward to learning more about Jessica in the next book. I recommend Twisted Roots to anyone looking for a different kind of paranormal tale.
Can the existence of a single tree become a pivotal point of one’s life and love?
Author Delia Latham’s book, Treehouse, answers that question in a few short pages that are filled with enough emotion that its readers will swing from one end of the pendulum to the other.
In just 38 pages, the author manages to give the characters of her book both dimension and a perspective that I found unique and refreshing.
The benefits of forgiving and accepting are well illustrated within this story without being preachy. It’s well written and the pacing comfortably fits the story. With so few pages, it’s the perfect book for that afternoon break when you only have a few minutes, but want something good to read....more
Not only did she not know who this man was, he stuck her in a barrel and put the lid on it. Then during a fight with others, he managed to knock her barrel into the river! She hated being confined in the dark and couldn’t swim. What was she going to do now???
Ms. Copeland writes western historical novels with a touch of romance. She brings her characters to life; they no longer live in the pages, they walk in your mind just like real. She also creates endearing characters. You have Trinity and Jones, the two main characters, who have been getting along fine and aren’t looking for love. She also adds Trinity’s grandmother, who happens to be 94 and is sparking with a long-time love that she denied in younger years but is feeling a bit mellower about in her old age.
Life is not easy for a woman alone in the west. Trinity had nothing of value but the ranch her brother was trying to build. Her parents had died and now her brother is gone, too. When rustlers come through and destroy the cabin and her belongings and steal her money, it’s bad enough. But then locusts come through. Anything that had any value is gone now. She only has the land left. How will she locate the title to sell the land? She has no idea, but she knows she may have a relative in town, so she starts walking.
The dance between the couples facing love is the best part of the book. Grandma is still feisty and her suitor isn’t about to give up. Trinity and Jones keep trying to separate and go on with their lives, but somehow it never works out. The author tantalizes you with the back and forth emotional war they are living through.
It’s a good read about strong personalities and good people and I liked it well enough I’m going to keep the book in my personal library so I can read it again. I do that when authors can bring their characters to life and keep my attention though out the book. After all, I wouldn’t mind taking Jones home with me…
The older woman meets handsome younger man. Honestly I enjoyed this novel. I like how the author played on something most women have had an issue with - dating younger men, especially women who don’t even like telling their age for fear of being called “old.”
Colleen is so strong and so independent that it’s no wonder she would still be single. I bet she's intimidated more than one man! Add in the fact that she’s a highly ranked ex-military and you understand the issue. But Colleen didn’t count on meeting Matt, who will make her rethink everything she thought she knew. Plus Matt is hot! Even this story couldn’t hide the handsome book nerd who makes Colleen’s pulse race. Throw in some funny family members from both Colleen and Matt’s family and you’ve got a great read.
This story is the epitome of sweet. It’s even sweet enough to allow an older teenager to read. And it’s brutally honest. Most people don’t tell you when you get married that you should like your in-laws and this story covers that as well as what to do with those pre-marital woes and jitters. ...more
An offer that should never have been made. Two wounded people. Two opposing objectives. Enemies or lovers…do they have a choice?
Lost in Lone Creek is a sweet and endearing love story with characters that are easy to warm up to. For Jessica, resentment and blame have been her dominant emotions for the past year. Emotions that caused her to close her heart toward the man she loved and to flee Lone Creek. And even though she’s returned, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
The story line of misunderstandings and lost chances is nothing new. And if there hadn’t been an outstanding feature that kept me reading to the end, I would have probably given this story three stars. However, author Mary Manners does an exceptional job with dialogue. Through that, and body language, she allowed me to know her characters more deeply. Showing is so much more effective than just telling because it lets me, the reader, shape this character in my mind, forging a strong bond that compels me to stay with that character until the end.
Another aspect of the author’s writing is her use of unique, descriptive language that gives her readers a new and fresh view of familiar scenes, objects, or character reactions. It’s not easy to describe a sunset or smile in a new way, but she manages to do that and more in Lost in Lone Creek.
If you’re looking for a read to fit into one of those brief moments of private time, the length of this story will work well, not only that, you’ll also come away with having found two new friends in Jessica and Carson. And don’t forget, this is just one of the stories in the Lone Creek Ranch Series. ...more
Temptation hits what seemed to be a solid, Christian marriage...can they keep it together?
When a music agent has feelings for a young woman who isn't his wife, and when he gives in enough to kiss her--a kiss that is observed and eventually gets back to his wife--what next?
Marianne Evans writes a book with a wonderful message of forgiveness. This couple has a difficult path ahead, because a broken trust is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to overcome. She takes us step-by-step as they try to work things out and rebuild their marriage. As they try to learn to trust again.
There's another sticking point, as well. I think the world feels Christians should be infallible. I think Christians often feel that way as well. So these two have to get past that; they must acknowledge they are human and sometimes make bad choices.
The author does a fine job of showing the reality of their lives after this happens. Though the story does have its slow spots, it's still uplifting, believable and not preachy. It's something that couples should read when they think their relationships are past saving.
For a book with a real message that will leave you filled with hope, I recommend Devotion. It's so very worth reading. ...more
Hannah did not want to move to Kentucky. She’d be leaving her home, her parents and all that was familiar to her. She knew her husband was moving her because she spent too much time with her mother and let her interfere in their marriage. That didn’t make her happier about it.
Ms. Brunstetter sets her story in Amish country and the story includes all the Amish families and how they all interact. I enjoy reading about their culture and learning some of their words and this story gives you an opportunity to do that.
The title is most appropriate for this story. Hannah struggles from the beginning to the end until she finally comes to terms with what has happened in the past and how she wants to live in the future. She’s a confused young woman. She loves Timothy and her daughter, Mindy, but she grew up tied to her mother’s apron strings and she misses her dreadfully. Knowing Timothy thought she was spending too much time with her mother now that she was married doesn’t make it any better. Because Hannah is so busy feeling sorry for herself, she’s not real easy for the rest of the family to befriend or welcome to Kentucky. Her actions often make the situation worse and exacerbate her relationship problems.
I often wanted to pick Hannah up and shake her (gently, of course), like you would a small child you want to make a point with. She’s so bull-headed and self-centered she doesn’t see what she’s doing to Timothy. She did get me engaged in the story, though. Timothy is a good man and is trying to be patient with Hannah, but when they have a family tragedy, things fall apart.
When I had almost given up on Hannah, the author brought me back from the brink of the cliff and moved the story towards closure. I would have liked to see more sense in Hannah’s character sooner, but it is the story of her struggle, as the title implies. It’s a good read, the Amish way of life is interesting and I was happy to see Hannah finally evolve into womanhood. This is the third book in this series Kentucky Brothers, so series readers might want to check out the other books, too. ...more
During a bitter cold winter near Lake Huron in late nineteenth century, huge, handsome lumberjack Jake “Big Say” Lannigan and Philadelphia-reared heiress Tess Wakefield, who has amnesia, keep Wakefield Timber logging camp in a stir.
Lori Copeland captivates with a setting that certainly doesn’t seem conducive to romance, but uses it to create a “meant-to-be” love match. She also uses it to bring to life some intriguing characters whose strengths and weakness are revealed as they cope with less than desirable living conditions, hazardous working conditions, and social interactions that stir up conflicts that test integrity, faith, morals, and patience. She besieges the senses: like smells in the bunkhouse; feel of the bitter cold, sight of a moonlit crystal clear night; taste of food after a hard day’s work; sounds of the working lumberjacks as trees are topped and “timberrr” rings out, and so much more. Her amazing descriptions place the reader right in the middle of it all.
When Love Comes My Way, even though an inspirational novel, does not sermonize or evangelize, but lets the reader have a vicarious experience with major characters whose deep, abiding Christian belief is part of the very fabric of their being. It is evidenced in their actions and in the debilitating sense of guilt that niggles at them when they fall short of what they know is acceptable for a true believer.
The relationship that grows with Jake and Tess keeps the reader turning pages. Ms. Copeland weaves their lives together with humorous actions, devious actions, subtle but compelling feelings and desires, and intriguing back story as she skillfully turns their differences around to mutual desire not just for each other, but also a desire to help people in the present and to do what will help generations to come.
The secondary characters are a hardy lot. The downtrodden young wife Echo--hers is a “not-to-miss” story; the “monster” school children—my word, made shudder to think about trying to teach those little “darlings”; the polite Andre Montague, Jake’s right hand man; Talbot, Tess’s guardian and fiancé, and many others all add a humanness to this delightful story that is hard to put down—kept me up late.
When Love Comes My Way is an exquisite love story set is a harsh environment. Ms. Copeland’s awesome writing style, her captivating characters, and wonderful descriptions make this a story to be read more than once. ...more
Believers, but with God on the outskirts of their lives, both Ava Darnell and Quinn O’Neill struggle with life. Neither seems to feel they will ever love or be loved again.
Ava lost her ability to trust when her husband secretly lost their saving in a pyramid scheme before he died. Alone, Ava struggles with tight finances and taking care of her son Brandon who has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Even through Brandon is in remission, she watches him closely, so closely she stifles his efforts to grow up and do things like other kids his age do. His rebellion and her need to control create conflicts that are so characteristic of teenagers yet so heart-wrenching because of his health and their limited funds to get him the things he wants so badly.
Quinn O’Neill, certainly not strapped for money, tries to find a respite from guilt, by using his money to help others. He’d been so focused on success, money, and power; he’d neglected his wife and son. Not until they were killed in a car accident did he realize what he had become. His guilt about them and the insurance money he received had overwhelmed him. He stepped away from life as he had known it and secretly helped others while staying to himself—almost a recluse. Then Ava Darnell backed into his SUV. As Ava and Quinn’s lives get entangled, both reevaluate their actions, motivations. Long-dormant emotions surge back to life.
Gail Gaymer Martin takes these two characters that seem only mildly interesting and brings them into a relationship that bubbles with energy and anticipation. She blends emotional and spiritual awakening so that Ava and Quinn are not just going through the motions of living but are evolving into vibrant individuals. She takes them from muddling their way through life, trying to do everything alone to letting God direct their efforts; thereby moving from just existing with lots of worry to living with joy and love.
The reader gets to enjoy a vicarious journey with them. As Ava eases her tight grip on trying to control all aspects her and Brandon’s lives, she finds her faith in God emerging and influencing her decisions. Consequently, her much-loved, but “mother-smothered” teenager gets a little freedom to inch his way into manhood.
As Quinn finds his way from his self-imposed isolation to a meaningful, loving relationship, the reader is privy to the struggles of a man of wealth and power letting God lead in decisions. His patience with Ava’s lack of trust is amazing.
At times the inspirational aspects seem a little “preachy” and overdone, but one of my favorite scriptures, Jeremiah 29:11, is a theme resonating through the story. This scripture comes to life as Ava and Quinn, by the grace of God, work through a myriad of issues and find their way from a captivity of their own making to their happy-ever-after.
Ms. Martin’s smooth writing style and poignant metaphors make A Dream of His Own a joy to read. ...more
Reclaiming Tess is as warm and inviting as a plate full of delicious, home cooked comfort food.
Tess takes a huge leap of faith when she buys her family’s ranch after her grandfather’s death. While Tess spent her childhood summers on the ranch, she is now a corporate businesswoman who knows very little about running a ranch. I admire her spunk and courage at trying something new and her resolve to keep her family’s heritage intact.
While I liked Tess from the first moment I met her, her character blossoms as the story progresses. At first, Tess has no intention of staying at the ranch long term. She intends to delegate the tasks to capable people and go back to her job in Colorado. I really enjoyed watching the countryside and the animals and people who lived there get under her skin. It was also a pleasure watching Tess reconnect with Christ. Over the years, she’d let go of her faith. After her grandfather’s death, Tess realized she needed to make a change. Surrounded by Christians who lived and breathed their faith, Tess’s old family ranch proved to be the perfect place for her to rejuvenate her faith.
Colt is certainly a country gentleman. He’s a hard worker who genuinely loves the land and animals he works with. I liked the fact that he never made Tess feel out of place on the ranch. He did everything possible to make her feel at home and help her get to know the routine on the ranch. He also served as a guiding light for Tess on her way back to Christ. The chemistry between them is great. It started off as a small spark of attraction and developed into a steady, glowing fire. I have no doubt that they are on their way to a beautiful happy ending.
I do feel that Ms. Shriver only scratched the surface concerning most of the secondary characters. The ranch was inhabited by a diverse group of interesting people from all walks of life and I would have liked to get to know some of them a bit better. Of all the secondary characters, Tess’s grandmother is the most developed. She is a fiery country woman who challenges what most people feel a Christian ought to be. While she is a bit brash at times, she is certainly entertaining.
Ms. Shriver’s portrayal of country life is idyllic. Everything from the land to the food seemed to be better in the country. Even the problems Tess faced on the ranch were presented as “better” than the ones she faced in the city. While I don’t think this presentation is entirely realistic, it did make me want to slip into the pages of the book and visit Tess on her ranch.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Reclaiming Tess. It is an endearing romance with a beautiful Christian message about love and second chances. I recommend it to anyone looking for an inspirational tale that will leave them feeling warm and cozy. ...more
Lexi's just looking to have a great summer with her hot new boyfriend and to make her friends jealous of what a great life she's faking. With a broken home, a drunken mother, and a sordid past or her own, Lexi's looking to have a good time with Zach, her older boyfriend, until things start to spiral out of control. The only constants she has are her friends Jeremy and Eden. How many times can Lexi be told all of the bad things about Zach before he takes things too far? For Lexi, she's playing for keeps, if only she can figure out who she wants to keep and for how long. Life is short and happiness can make the shortness not feel so bad.
Zach is crazy for Lexi, if only she would do what he says without questioning every friggin’ move he makes. His possessive streak got him in trouble with his last girlfriend so he has to tread carefully. Lexi's one of a kind, and if Zach can’t have her then no one can. When bumps come up in his business and Lexi gets itchy for answers, escaping into drugs seems to be the only answer for Zach. But will the drugs drive her further away and will he be too lost to care at that point?
Jeremy knew there was something off about Zach the first time he was accosted by him just for talking to Lexi. After his accident, God has become a big part of Jeremy’s life. Watching Lexi go through all that she has only made Jeremy want her more each day. When she calls him for help to get away from Zach, running to her side is the only option. Can Jeremy keep her safe when she willingly goes back to Zach each time? How long will Jeremy stand back before he takes action to protect the woman he loves? Life got in the way the first time for Jeremy and Lexi, and this time Jeremy will do whatever it takes to ensure Lexi lives to come back to him.
For a YA story, this was a great read with a wonderful message at the end. Not only was it a positive story, the plot and characters worked so well together that it felt as if I were in the book watching everything unfold from page one. The relationship between Zach and Lexi is a train wreck; I didn't want to be there, but I couldn't look away. The added element of Jeremy made the story that much more enjoyable to read. K. Dawn Byrd is a new to me author and I can honestly say if this is the caliber of her other works then I'll be a fan for life. If you or another young reader are looking for a good love story with a great morale at the end then this is the story for you. ...more
Tragedy can lead you back home, love can keep you there. What leads Danielle home is her sister. What could possibly get her to stay? A little bit of love with an old crush and his ever so adoring daughter. Random Acts pulls two people together with a past and dares them not to go with the urge to just give in.
Danielle's job in a big city keeps her busy. Enough not to come home and visit more with her sister and grandmother. Isn't that the way in many small town stories? There's always something that makes someone run, and it's one thing that brings them back and plays with their emotions about whether or not to stay. Danielle won't abandon her sister, though, who needs some support and protection after an accident.
Patrick is a great hero, and I fell in love with his daughter, Ava, immediately. The two have been through so much loss and heartache, and Ava takes a shine to Danielle from the get go. Patrick can't stay away from her either, and it has nothing to do with investigating her sister's situation.
Built with elements of suspense, emotion, a little bit of inspiration, and characters that are well worth reading about, Ms. Stone creates a heartwarming and intriguing tale in Random Acts. The pacing flows great, there's not a moment that's dull, and I was left guessing until the very end. With a great cast of characters from the leading couple to the secondary, I enjoyed the feeling of being part of a family that though they'd suffered a loss, had a chance to find love again despite the odds. And through a little faith and love, Danielle and Patrick begin to see a new light at the end of the tunnel.
Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. It's touching, engaging and well written. Readers can come away at the end of this story feeling satisfied. If you enjoy a romantic suspense story with some inspirational elements, come visit these wonderful characters in Random Acts....more
A slow-burning plot and a well-rounded cast of characters wrestle with one of the toughest questions one could ask: does love really conquer all?
Ms. Simko’s book is an honest peek at what it’s like to live with someone who has bounced from one foster home to the next and is struggling with painful memories of abuse and neglect. She neither sugarcoats the emotional challenges faced by people with these backgrounds nor sensationalizes their stories. These are not issues that magically disappear after adoption or that can be solved in a few simple paragraphs and I really appreciate how realistically and sympathetically she deals with sensitive material without talking down to her audience or relying on pat answers.
Unfortunately it was difficult for me to connect with teenage Dodge because his experiences were so heavily tinged by adult Dodge’s presence. Even in the most exciting scenes I had trouble forgetting these were the memories of a much older person and wasn’t able to become as emotionally invested in what happened next as I did with Dodge’s son, Chris, or Storm. This concept would have worked better if the stories were separated into two different books so more time could have been spent on Dodge’s journey from an angry, troubled teenager to the peace he finds in adulthood.
I really wanted to give The Center of the Storm a higher rating. The story, while at times fairly predictable, includes incredibly likeable characters and a well-paced plot. The climax fulfills the reader’s desire for closure without ignoring character development or earlier foreshadowing but clunky dialogue and some grammar and other editing issues in this book were distracting, especially when they occurred during otherwise compelling scenes.
Despite these flaws The Center of the Storm is at heart a wonderful tale about love, redemption and the unshakable bonds of family and I can certainly recommend it....more
Something smells fishy at the food pantry, and it isn’t the old cans of tuna.
I knew I was in for an entertaining story as soon as I met Donna on the first page. As Donna restocks the shelves at the food pantry, she’s mildly annoyed at having to fill in for Neal, who missed his shift for the second Saturday in a row. I could clearly picture her banging cans of food around as she groused about men and her nonexistent social life. Even though Donna is wishing for a romantic relationship, I like that she didn’t wallow in self pity. She finds self-worth in her job, her volunteer efforts, and her faith. Things take a more serious turn when Donna realizes something might be wrong with Neal. Soon Donna finds herself investigating the murder of a friend, but she’s just an amateur sleuth. Will she discover the culprit before she becomes the next victim?
Donna is such a fun character. She’s smart, caring, and has a wonderful, wry sense of humor. While her mind is often filled with amusing thoughts concerning those around her, she laughs at herself just as much. She’s a little on the cynical side, but not truly bitter. I think she’d be a great friend. Donna also strikes me as a bit of a control freak who does not handle the unknown very well. When Neal’s attractive neighbor, Sam, offers to help her investigate, she's reluctant to accept his help. I laughed when she made a chart with one side labeled “Cute Sam” and one side “Scary Sam” that outlined the pros and cons of working with the man. Despite her reluctance, Donna and Sam have great chemistry and their sweet, flirty moments added a subtle, romantic touch to the story.
The secondary characters are not quite as rounded as I usually like, but they definitely frame Donna well and help move the plot along. Perhaps the most interesting secondary character is Donna’s cat, Soot. Soot’s battle with the Christmas tree had me laughing out loud.
Donna’s list of suspects is short, but I didn’t connect the dots until right before the murderer was revealed. All the pieces needed to solve the puzzle are present, and I was kicking myself for not picking up on a crucial clue earlier in the story. Once things click into place, the mystery is wrapped up quickly. Justice is served and there are no loose ends.
I thoroughly enjoyed Gold, Frankincense, and Murder. It is an all around fun mystery story with a dash of romance mixed in. Anyone looking for an entertaining cozy mystery with a touch of romance should certainly check this story out....more
Love is a light that keeps the darkness of evil at bay. However, memories of fear in a dark closet and echoes of the words—God does not listen to bad girl’s prayers—rules Adriane Darcy’s response to many things that happen. In spite of this psychological hang-up, Adriane is a strong twenty-two-year-old woman who uses her unique talents as she helps her father, Wade Darcy, run the Tribune, a popular newspaper in mid-nineteenth century Louisville, Kentucky. The burden of guilt she carries about her mother and step-mother threatens to sabotage her chance at happiness The time comes when she must make a decision, “honor thy father” and marry the man he wants her to marry or marry the man she loves, for “God is love”. Her struggle almost debilitates her, but courage and faith keeps her doing the best she can in a troubled time. What an incredible vicarious introspective experience the reader has with Adriane!
Blake Garrett, the editor of the Herald newspaper in Louisville, is in direct competition with the Tribune, but in love with Adriane. He came from New York and brought with him his own share of guilt that impedes his ability to feel worthy to love. However, he knows the first time he sees Adriane Darcy that he has loved her all his life, he just had not known it until he saw her. In his efforts to print the truth, he creates dangerous enemies that have a strong hold on Wade Darcy and also Adriane. His tenacity and unflagging energy gets him into trouble, but they also help him find a way to survive and thrive for himself and for Adriane when it seems the dark has truly absorbed all the light in their lives.
Ann Gabhart weaves a beautiful tapestry of a tale with the golden thread of love shining among the varying dark shades of evil in political corrupt, prejudice, and disregard for human life. The iridescence of Adriane and true blue of Blake woven in with the golden thread make a beautiful design, while the pastels of society ladies create part of the landscape design that seems to get mixed with the dark designs of evil. However, some of the secondary characters have varying shades of golden threads, some rather tarnished and some finely polished with age, and some even a little dirty and unpolished, but they enrich this compelling story.
Wade Darcy’s love for Adriane seems to have become tarnished over time as his precious Tribune becomes his first love. The old polished gold is Beck, longtime friend of Wade Darcy and his right hand man in the pressroom. He loves Adriane (Addie to him) as if she were his own daughter. He has shielded her, taught her, shown her how faith in God sustains in all things, and protects her with his very life when needed. The unpolished gold that twines itself near Adriane in the tapestry is Duff, the Irish lad who is loyal to Adriane and guards his family as best he can in troubled times, while the dirty gold is the dog Mr. O’Mallery who never agreed to belong to anybody, but is always there for Adriane when she needs a friend to listen to her.
Antagonists Coleman Jimson and Stanley Jimson and their henchman make up the dark evil as they contrive to control. The horror of the “slasher” who kills young Irish girls, the rioters who roam the streets killing and burning made many dark scenes in the tapestry. They create a terror that makes the heart rate jump into high gear.
Ms. Gabhart’s beautiful, thought-provoking story brings to life a time in American history not often remembered—a time when the right to vote, so taken for granted in our day, was not a given. It was a hard-won privilege. In a unique way, she weaves inspirational bits and pieces into the lives of the characters in this time in history and does it naturally and simply, giving the story a rich texture.
Words Spoken True has subtle foreshadowing, exquisite metaphors, and remarkable characters who have their flaws. Some of them steal the heart, others are frightfully mean, still others are fluff that drift with the whims of society. Most of all, there are those who make a poignant impact and linger in the mind long after the book has been read and put on the shelf, more than likely, to be read again and again.
A man tormented by nightmares and the after affects of a capture, and a woman who has lost so much, but still feels blessed. These two amazing people have met and loved each other before, but now are brought face to face again. True Surrender is Aaron and Holly's story, and along the way are some powerful scenarios and deep, emotional conflict that needs resolving.
Aaron Bricewick wakes up in a strange place after being imprisoned by terrorists. His memories are of bad, disturbing things and he can't shake those feelings away. But Aaron is now home in America, free, and he's in for a long ride ahead because he has to adapt to his new life.
A major in the Army, a man like Aaron is used to being independent, strong, and capable. Now he's not so sure, and his desire to not allow anyone in to help deal with his pain is slowly eating away at him. My heart went out to this man, and though he's only a character in a book, there are many men like him out in the real world that could be and possibly are going through the same thing that Aaron did. That's what makes him such a character to relate to, and his strong emotions pulled me into this book and never let go.
Holly Rossiter is a widowed mother of a wonderful little boy. What Holly doesn't expect when she goes into work one day is to come face to face with a man from her past, and have to deliver some startling news to him. She loved Aaron long ago, but their different paths in life caused the pair to drifted apart. What matters now is Holly is here for Aaron, and wants to see him through this difficult time. Not many could go through such a traumatic experience only to meet up again with someone they never thought he'd see again. This is a new beginning for Holly and Aaron, along with Holly's young son, Nick.
True Surrender has an outstanding plot that holds on tightly to the readers emotions, strong characters that you won't be able to forget, and intense situations that will either make or break it for this couple. It's a contemporary romance with light inspirational aspects. Aaron must come to terms with life and God and accept what has become of him even thought he fails to understand why. And Holly, despite the things she's lost, embraces life as a blessing. As light and dark join forces, it's only a matter of time before love finds its way into their lives once again.
I enjoyed this book and was glad to be able to read it. The author takes a story that could be part of someone's real life and keeps the reader engaged the whole while. Readers, if you're looking for a sensual contemporary story to captivate you, then rush on out and get a copy of True Surrender, and I no time, you'll surrender your heart to these inspiring characters.
Robbie is a changed man, but a wounded soul from his past lurks in the darkness waiting to take revenge.
Sadie and Sopie Cuffe set the stage for an exciting mystery from page one when Robbie’s carefully ordered world is thrown into chaos by the kidnapping of his estranged twin brother, Rand. The message delivered on the end of an arrow is truly chilling and had me eagerly turning pages. As if posing as his brother and trying to keep the situation in Stellar’s Ford from boiling over weren’t enough, Jackie crashes into Robbie’s life. Jackie is there to help, but her presence only complicates matters. Even worse, Rand’s kidnapper now has Jackie in her sights. Will Jackie and Robbie discover the person behind the arrows before it’s too late?
Robbie is a hard nut to crack. It was clear from the start that Robbie is a good man, but he seemed very distant from those around him for a large part of the book. He bottles his emotions up and connects with animals far more easily than people. He’s even on bad terms with his own twin. However, as the story progressed, it became clear that Robbie is hiding a wounded heart. The revelations concerning Robbie’s past aren’t brought to light until close to the end of the book, but the journey is certainly worth it.
I liked Jackie immediately. Robbie compares her to a tornado, and I completely agree. Jackie is one of those people who cares for everyone around her, but completely forgets to take care of herself. While her desk is a complete mess, Jackie isn’t scatter brained. She’s smart, sharp, and more than a match for any challenge that comes her way.
The list of people who could possibly be behind the events at Stellar’s Ford is quite long. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about logging the trees in the area. Each suspect has a good motive, and I had a hard time sorting out who was the true culprit. Like Robbie, I was very surprised to discover that the root of all the problems goes back much further than anyone imagined.
Robbie and Jackie are complete opposites, but they do have one important thing in common, their mutual faith in Christ. When Jackie and Robbie first meet, they don’t really like each other. They both had a lot on their minds and they each suspected the other of being up to no good. Jackie and Robbie keep each other on their toes and their teasing banter is quite entertaining. When they profess their faith to each other, their relationship takes a very positive turn. For most of the story, Jackie and Robbie’s bond grows slowly, but naturally. However close to the end of the story, everything seems to be put on the fast track. Given that the pace of their relationship was slow through most of the book, it didn’t seem to fit that they would suddenly make such life changing decisions without knowing more about each other. I would have liked to see Jackie and Robbie spend more time together outside of the crisis at Stellar’s Ford. Despite this issue, I really enjoyed watching Jackie and Robbie grow together and have no doubt that their happy ending is meant to be.
Arrow that Flies is certainly an exciting mystery. The pacing was well done, the characters were extremely likable, and I was kept guessing until the very end. Anyone looking for a romantic suspense with a heartwarming ending should give Arrow that Flies a try.
Erica and Lorne’s lives come crashing together the morning Erica discovered Ada’s house on fire. Lorne had my admiration from the moment he entered the scene. Without a thought for his own safety, he was willing to run into a burning house to save a woman he didn’t even know. While Lorne was too late to save Ada’s life, his selfless act firmly established him as a hero in my mind. After the initial shock of the tragedy is over, Lorne and Erica find themselves drawn to each other. However, they both had some personal issues to work through before they reached their happy ending.
Erica was a very easy character to like. She deeply cares for her friends and family and will go to great lengths to protect them. She’s also very smart and motivated. She struck me as one of those people who always needs to be doing something. I have a feeling that whatever Erica puts her mind to, she’ll have no trouble accomplishing. Erica is also very resilient. While Ada’s death shook Erica to her core, she came to realize that life goes on and focused her energy into helping find Ada’s murderer.
Despite all Erica’s strengths, she’s in the midst of a crisis of faith. She’d been questioning the validity of her belief in God for a while, but Ada’s death has made her take a hard look at her faith. I loved that Erica’s search for God didn’t come in any hard and fast answers. Instead she found solace in prayer and in her family and friends who formed a tight knit community of believers who were there to listen and support her when she needed them.
Lorne was a true hero from the moment he entered Erica’s life. Not only did I admire his act of bravery, but he was also very caring and tender toward Erica. Like Erica, Lorne has issues with his faith. His life had been marked by tragedy from an early age and the war was just the most recent horror he’d had to endure. Lorne had left God behind him a long time ago, but as the story progressed, Lorne began to realize that God never left him. As with Erica, there were no easy answers to Lorne’s questions. I really liked the fact that Erica’s family and friends are Christians who gently lead by example. Their lives aren’t perfect, but they all have a strong faith and are willing to open their hearts and homes to Lorne.
In the search for Ada’s murder, Erica and Lorne came across plenty of unsavory characters. They each had a main suspect who would certainly have fit the bill. I never thought either of their suspects were the true culprit. I was constantly searching through the secondary characters in an effort to solve the mystery before the story was over. However, I was truly surprised when the murderer was revealed. I won’t spoil the ending, but I must say that I felt like the revelation came out of the blue. My only complaint with this is, when the story ended, I didn’t feel as if I truly understood the killer’s motivation for taking Ada’s life.
One of the things I most enjoyed about the story was the romance between Erica and Lorne. They were attracted to each other almost immediately, but were unwilling to act on it. Erica had just lost her best friend and couldn’t begin to entertain thoughts of romance. Lorne felt he wasn’t worthy of Erica’s affections. However, as the story progressed, the connection between them slowly began to grow. I liked that they never rushed into anything. They went on some lovely dates and really got to know each other. It was a delight to see them excited and full of butterflies at the thought of dancing together, or simply seeing each other again.
I enjoyed reading Burning Hearts. It is an inspirational story full of love and hope. Anyone who loves a good mystery paired with a sweet romance should certainly pick up a copy of Burning Hearts.
One of the reasons I enjoy reading inspirational fiction is the depth and interest that the spiritual conflict adds to the romantic elements. The spiritual conflict in this book is especially well drawn, and in a nice reversal of roles in this fine romance. It's heroine Audrey Rhodes who has lost her faith in God, and her high school crush, Brent Thomason, who has found his.
The author convincingly portrays the realities of Audrey's loss of faith, and of Brent's finding his. She manages this without becoming heavy handed or preachy. The added element of the abusive relationship with sort-of ex boyfriend Bobby lends another layer of gritty reality. I really believed both Audrey's need to draw the line with Bobby and in his ability to walk back into her life despite her good intentions. Bobby's qualities, both good and bad, shine through, and I shared Audrey's ambivalence about whether to tell him to get lost or to take him back one more time.
One of my pet peeves in romances is the “I want to shake them hard” syndrome, where the conflict between the characters would disappear if only they talked to each other – and the reason that they don't isn't one that I believe. I'm happy to say that at no point in reading this book did I want to shake either Audrey, Brent, or Bobby. Their conflict was true and real.
The action takes place in a small town in Texas, and the setting – the hot, dry weather – are an important element in the story. The story moves towards resolution at the same time that the weather cools, moving from summer into fall.
This book isn't beach reading; the conflict is too raw for that. And at times I found the pace a bit slow. As the book wound down, I wondered where the author was going to find the additional conflict necessary to finish the book. But she does, and in an especially satisfying way, she shows the true nature of forgiveness, and she doesn't shy away from showing how hard it is, and why many of us might be tempted to hold onto our anger.
Return to Me will grip you and not let you go until the final page. If you enjoy inspirational romance, this book belongs on your To Be Read list.
Life has put a few obstacles in Rachel’s path. Little does she know what further catastrophes will alter the course of her life.
Rachel returns home to her parents' ranch several years after her brother’s death. Worried that medical tests in the future might prove she is seriously ill, she keeps her problems to herself. She is determined to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas without the shadow of sickness overshadowing the festivities.
Kyle works for Rachel’s parents. His annoyance with the woman he thinks cares only for herself soon turns to love as they spend more and more time with each other. Rachel’s medical appointment is brought forward and she returns to Aspen for a few days. Kyle follows her. On their way back to the ranch disaster strikes and life for Rachel will never be the same again.
I enjoyed reading this book. Rachel is a strong woman who is determined to deal with her own problems. Kyle is a loner who is drawn to Rachel. The characters come across as real people who can’t help falling in love. As the book went from scene to scene, some poignant, others catastrophic in content, I was with them all the way. When they declared their love, when they supported each other through thick and thin - I was right in the scene.
The only problem I had was the story seemed rushed. I would have loved for it to have gone deeper into their relationship and have shown the petals of their love slowly unfolding. I believe Ms Stevens to be an excellent teller of tales, but I got the feeling of being pushed towards the finale as quickly as possible. So much happened and the book is only 109 pages long!
Having said this I would love to read more of Ms Stevens' work. She seems to be able to get inside her character’s head and show us what they’re feeling as well as what they’re doing. Keep up the good work, your books are delightful to read.
How can two characters, both of whom are Christian and both believers in God's grace become embroiled in a spiritual conflict? Well, there's believing and believing. The author exploits hero Bobby's “Yes, but...” belief in himself and God as the basis of this fine novel.
As with the author's previous novel, Moving On, the spiritual trials of both Bobby and Meagan are finely drawn and entirely believable. When Bobby returns home to his father's funeral, I could see that his mother would succeed in sucking him back into his dysfunctional family of origin. And yet, there I was, turning the pages as fast as my ebook reader could go (and I could read). And when Meagan draws away from Bobby, fearful for the safety of her young son in the light of Bobby's revelations about his past, I sympathized with her, in spite of my desire to see Bobby settled and happy.
Setting is another strong point in this novel. The contrast between the town of Lubbock and the description of Bobby's desolate, semi-abandonned home town is telling, to the point where I questioned whether anyone could be happy in such a place.
The romance is sweet, and the characters do a bit more than kiss, but it's all very tastefully done and very believable as well, both the desire of Meagan to go a bit farther than kissing, and Bobby's desire to hold the line.
I found the plot of this novel particularly satisfying, arising as it did from the hero and heroine's characters and spiritual state, and the HEA ending, while a no-brainer for any reader of romance, particularly sweet. I rooted for the both of them from the first page right up to the last. If you enjoy inspirational romance, you're sure to enjoy this book.
In this story Ms. Grace deftly addresses the issue of age differences between hero and heroine. Pastor Warren is a widower, and Wendy Miller was one of his most faithful camp counsellors eight years ago, and is now a youth pastor at another local church.
With skilful use of dialogue the author reveals her hero and heroine’s backgrounds and their impact on present events. Mix in close communities, the gentle rivalries between the two churches and the sometimes intense disapproval of some committee members of both churches when the two pastors combine to present their annual festivities due to budget cuts on one hand and lack of space on the other and you get all the ingredients of a charming story, crammed with many different tensions and conflicts. Conflicts both internal and external. Ms. Grace pairs a bubbly heroine with a serious and introspective hero several years her senior, throws several nay-sayers in their path and then takes the reader on a fluently written journey of how they resolve each and every problem.
The author’s ability to transport this reader into her settings is artlessly achieved. The writing is fluent and carries the powerful flavour of small communities and all the concealed and sometimes open agendas within. The faith of both her hero and heroine is the backbone of the story and at times is sorely tested.
This short story is an ideal read for anyone looking for a gentle story that can carry the reader into another world for a few moments.
If you enjoy good quality reading, with a great ending and wonderful characters this is a story for you. Aurora and Nathan are great characters that will pull you in and keep you page turning until you can’t wait to pick the next book in this series.
Aurora never had it easy in life. With a father that never showed her he loved her and a wild streak and mile wild she never expected to find that she lost her heart to the boy next door, who was in love with God as much as her. One night a kiss is shared and there is no going back. She gave her heart away and never got it back. When her love was taken away she ran, as far and as fast as she could from the truth, for eleven years she harbored uncertainty and doubt about Nathan.
Nathan has loved Aurora all his life it seemed, but after a shared passionate kiss his all-consuming love for her scared him. He feared that if he stayed with her that he would lose everything and that he love of God would be tested because of her. So he married another, but he dreamed of Auroraand love her from afar for eleven years until his wife died. Meeting Aurora again brought back his love and he realized that he had given her his heart when they first met and that they were meant to be together.
But after a life lived apart for so long, secrets and doubts threaten the tender love they share, and only time will tell if they can weather the storm to find that they were made to be together.
Falling Star was something that hit me unexpectedly. This book was nothing that I was anticipating when I started reading, but the story drew me in and I couldn’t stop until I knew how it ended. The characters were so well written that it was hard to not imagine this story being something that happened in real life that I was just watching as it unfolded. Karen Wiesner is definitely on my keeper list.
Don't do what I did, and start this fast paced page turner at 10 PM. Not unless you're more of a night owl than I am, and are prepared to stay up until after midnight reading.
This is a well written, fast moving romance about a very damaged heroine who has, understandably, decided God has not been listening to her. The author does an excellent job of portraying both the heroine's initial belief that God doesn't answer her prayers, and therefore is a fraud, and her realization that he will listen, if only she will come out of her shell, stop keeping silent about the horrors of her past, and reach out.
I was particularly moved by Jay's response to realizing that he took her parents' pious mouthings at face value, and that he failed to be there for Ashley in the way she needed him to be. The reaction of the church elders when he confronts them with their blindness is believable. I wanted to shake the elders and give Jay a hug. But the author raises an interesting problem here: how ready should we be to question someone else's professions of faith? Do we embrace them with open arms, even if we have doubts, hoping that they will see the light, or do we hold them at arms length, questioning their faith?
I did find the author's slipping a couple of passages of sermonizing in the guise of Jay's journal entries ot be rather heavy handed, and Ashley's behavior towards her therapist at the beginning of the novel reminded me of the actions of a spoiled child rather than arousing the sympathy it was doubtless meant to. Still, I found Ashley largely sympathetic, and the characters and the situations portrayed in the book are ones that I continue to turn over in my mind.
If you enjoy inspirational romance about serious spiritual dilemmas, you're sure to enjoy this fine book.
Stephanie’s simple life just got a whole lot more complicated.
Just when Stephanie thought her life was back on track, everything goes wrong. Her relationship with Jacob was going well until tax season hit and he didn’t have any extra time to spend with her. Then Stephanie met Brittny. At first the two friends hit it off, but Jacob and Brittny have a past and a mutual dislike of each other. To make matters worse, it appears that Stephanie has a stalker who knows her deepest fear. With Jacob and Brittny pointing their fingers at each other, Stephanie must decide who to trust before it’s too late.
One of the things I enjoyed most about In Sheep’s Clothing was the romantic connection between Stephanie and Jacob. They have great chemistry and a desire to foster a relationship founded in a mutual faith in Christ. It was a pleasure watching them get to know each other. Both Stephanie and Jacob have decided to save sex for marriage, which is certainly a tough standard to maintain when they are so much in love. I liked the fact that Ms. Sutton didn’t shy away from describing the passion and heat of their relationship or their struggle to remain virgins.
Stephanie is a sweet heroine. She tends to see the best in everyone she meets, and I admire that. However, as the story progressed, I found myself being very frustrated with her naivety. From the moment that Brittny appeared in Stephanie’s life, it was clear that she wasn’t a good person to get involved with. Stephanie not only became Brittny’s friend, but started a business with her without a contract or legal details of any kind. Then when Brittny started planting seeds of doubt concerning Jacob, Stephanie actually believed her. I found this maddening. Even though Stephanie and Jacob are still in the beginning stages of their relationship, he’d never given her any reason to doubt him. I found it a little hard to believe that such a smart woman couldn’t see the facts right in front of her face.
Jacob is definitely the right man for Stephanie. He’s a man of principles who knows what he wants out of life. He did tend to be a bit rigid at times, but as the story progressed I thought Stephanie balanced that side of his personality out nicely. It was clear early on that Jacob cared deeply for Stephanie and had an overwhelming desire to protect her when he discovered she had made friends with Brittny. However, I admired the fact that Jacob let Stephanie make a decision about Brittny on her own. He simply answered her questions when she asked them and was there for her when she needed him. He is a hero every sense of the word.
Over all, I thought In Sheep’s Clothing was a good read. I truly enjoyed the romance between Stephanie and Jacob. Anyone looking for a sweet Christian romance with a dash of suspense should give In Sheep’s Clothing a try.
In Renegade Hearts, author Anne Patrick takes a bunch of strong and delightful characters and presents a charming, gentle story of family love, family differences, of loss and the courage to go forward. And as is her way, Ms Patrick chucks in some suspense and weaves it through the book, not revealing the outcome until the end of the story.
Widowed for two years, Jenny Holloway has a farm to run, a young son to raise, a reputation to build on and the arrival of her stockman’s son, Gil, to contend with. So she’s strong, yes, but not perfect. She discovers plenty of insecurities she has to deal with. She’s not prepared to forgive her step-father for the harsh things he said at her husband’s funeral, and she often stumbles when trying to explain her actions to her son. And when it comes to her growing feelings for Gil, she’s left high and dry trying to come to terms with them let alone explain them to herself, or anyone else. Her passionate love of horses means she sets up a rescue operation with her friend and in doing so goes head-to-head with an influential but disliked local.
Injured in the line of duty, Gil is not pleased to find himself heading back home to the place he couldn’t wait to leave, until he meets Jenny Holloway and accepts a job on her farm.
But did he accept the job because he needed it, or because he’d fallen in love with the woman on first sight?
So many inner conflicts are going on within every character, both major and secondary. And Ms Patrick has a full cast of them. Zach, Jenny’s son is a charmer and worked his way into this reader’s heart almost instantly. The interaction between Zach and Gil as they get to know each other is masterful and heart-warming.
And brilliant wordsmith that she is, Anne Patrick writes a tight and fluent tale where every word matters. There are emotional highs and lows and laughter and tears. There is crime, greed and betrayals.
Whether writing on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery and suspense, or gentle family life with suspense entwined, Anne Patrick is an author worthy of your Keeper shelf.
Reggie is certainly the most interesting lawyer I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. She had my sympathy from the very start of the book. First, she bungles an important contract, and then she’s in a wreck in holiday traffic. Fortunately the man in the other car is Dylan Monroe. Dylan insists on driving her home. Once there, they find that Reggie’s apartment has been ransacked. As if that weren’t enough, when Dylan and Reggie come back to clean the apartment on the day after Thanksgiving, someone starts shooting at her. Dylan insists he can protect her, but Reggie has trust issues. Will she take a leap of faith and trust a man she’s hardly knows?
Ms. Duncan really knows how to pace a good suspense. From the moment Reggie is in a wreck, her life becomes a series of life threatening incidents that kept me turning pages. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Reggie and Dylan next. Even though the book was fast paced, Ms. Duncan worked in some slower moments that highlighted Dylan and Reggie’s softer sides and allowed me to get to know them better. I particularly liked the scene when Dylan gave Reggie a tour of his hometown. I couldn’t help but smile as Dylan described each of the buildings and the people who lived in them. I’m sure anyone who’s ever lived in a small town will crack a smile when they come to that passage.
I also loved the way that Dylan witnessed to Reggie. Reggie grew up in foster care and doesn’t trust or depend on anyone but herself, and she certainly doesn’t have any faith in God. However, Dylan, his family, and friends slowly begin to change her mind. Dylan shared his faith with Reggie simply by living a life following Christ’s example.
I thought that Dylan and Reggie made a good couple despite coming from completely different worlds. Reggie loves the city and wants nothing more than to be a successful attorney. Her trust issues make it hard for anyone to get close to her. Dylan’s heart resides in the country on his farm. He’s an open and trusting soul willing to lend a hand to help a stranger. Despite the huge differences in their lives, Dylan and Reggie find themselves falling in love. I liked that their love for each other didn’t magically fix all their issues. They really had to work for their happy ending, but there is no doubt in my mind that they will have a very happy life together.
Pursued is a fast paced story filled with characters that defy expectations. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good romantic suspense mixed with an inspirational message.
How to survive and thrive after horrific childhood abuse is a quest that drives both Taylor and Trevor Forrestier. They suffered physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally at the hands of a brutal father.
Even though she still has nightmares, Taylor, with the help of the compassionate, spiritual pastor Dan Hebert, is finding her way to a place where she can cope with the past. She knows deep down that she will never get to a true peace until her twin brother Trevor finds his way to get past the horrors that they suffered together. He carries a burden of guilt for not being able to protect Taylor from their cruel, out-of-control drunken father. He has a rage inside him even though the father is dead, and he still questions why God would let such things happen to children.
Being rich, highly intelligent, well-educated and successful business partners does not erase the horrors of their past. Their need to protect each other and to be assured of each other’s well-being is paramount in their lives. They are each a half of a whole and finding a way to become separate individuals is a painful process, especially for Trevor. The gifted Taylor has detailed visions of how things looked in the past and Trevor has the talent to create to perfection what she has seen. Consequently, their architectural business flourishes in Louisiana where they can bring old, historic homes and landscapes back to their original grandeur.
Alex Broussard, a rich financial analyst; Pam, the super office manager and friend for Taylor and Trevor; Steve, the Forrestiers’ foreman; and even the insecure, disruptive Colleen along with Pastor Dan Heberty are all involved in Trevor and Taylor’s struggle to find their way to a redemptive love that can give them peace and allow them to move on to live fulfilling lives.
The Visionary has a touch of sermonizing at times as it gently but firmly nudges the reader along with Taylor and Trevor as they find their way to God who heals all wounds and grants strength to those who seek Him. This story gives the reader a heartwarming, fun, and captivating journey with the characters as they find romantic love that bubble with happiness. It also shows the reader how the characters struggle with “real-life’ issues like loyalty, forgiveness, grief, pain, anger, frustration, etc. as they strive to “Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding”—a big order in real life just like it is in the story.
The Visionary is a thought-provoking novel that touches the spirit that abides beneath the sophistication and bravado veneer that is used for protective armor against “the slings and arrows” of a secular world that so often scoffs at the spiritual. Pamela Thibodeaux gives the reader interesting and unusual reading that affirms and reveals the power of LOVE on many levels.