Maria's Reviews > True Devotion

True Devotion by Dee Henderson
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Mar 28, 12

bookshelves: steampunk, christian-romance, free-kindle-book
Recommended for: Christian Romance, military Christian Romance
Read from March 27 to 28, 2012, read count: 1

I don't usually read Christian Romance because I find it to be a little "Disney Romance" (The thirty-something characters in this novel hardly kiss, mostly hold hands and think about how wonderful hugging would be, and never miss church on Sunday....awwwww!) Nevertheless, this was an interesting story that reveals the amount of work the author did to try to get the military part as correct as she could (and she lets the reader know in the preface that she has taken liberties with things like deployments, etc.) In the interests of full disclosure I received a copy of this book as a free download from the Kindle store, so the price was right!

If I have one problem with the story it is that our hero, Joe, spends copious amounts of time declaring that he doesn't want to have children while he's a SEAL because he won't be an absentee father. Never mind that the heroine Kelly is 31, can't wait forever to have the family she desperately wants, and asking her to wait until he's decided he's done with what he wants to do in the military is just plain selfish. Never mind that he has a beloved dog he doesn't mind spending 180 days of each year away from or that the heroine is fully capable of ensuring that he is presence in the lives of his hypothetical children even if he isn't physically in the home (military spouses do this routinely and with vast amounts of love). I understand his reasoning, I'm just not sure I could live with it if I were the woman in question, especially because it shows a lack of faith and trust, and the question of trusting in God is the foundation for this romance, RIGHT? I guess that it just doesn't ring true for me that two people who really want to have a family would wait to start one possibly too late to do anything but adopt, and all this over his career. I've seen too many career women go through terrific trials attempting to have the families they delayed because of their careers, and the regret these decisions cause them.

I also find it slightly humorous that the villain has a come-to-Jesus moment and that he is also a regular church-goer who uses his spare time to plot nefarious schemes in which good men could very easily perish. While I feel his redemption is true, his earthly sins are great, and it seems the reader is being encouraged to be far more forgiving than he deserves, especially since he is responsible for the death of Kelly's husband three years prior. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it that he is the thief with the heart of gold who started selling weapons to the highest bidder because he was mad at God over his wife's death from cancer, but this doesn't get much sympathy from me when his actions cause the deaths of honorable men who have every reason to be mad at God but are finding better ways to deal with their pain.

Overall, I found the story to be enjoyable despite the bipolar nature of the romance itself. I liked the dynamic between the SEALS, the nature of the work both Joe and Kelly perform, and the sense of community within the narrative. The prayerful tone of many of the scenes in the text isn't my cup of tea, but Christian readers may very well enjoy the prayers Kelly and Joe create and use these to reflect on their lives.
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