My Linh Nguyen's Reviews > Loving

Loving by Karen Kingsbury
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Apr 08, 12

Read in April, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Aside from “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers (WHICH I LOVED), I have never laid a hand on another Christian romance until my friend forced the Bailey Flanigan series onto me last year. I started with “Leaving” only days after its publishing date and fell in love with the tender romance between B&C. Because I felt like I was lacking a great deal of history to an otherwise promising romance, shortly thereafter, I started reading all the Baxter series in order. As I (and many before me) went through each of the books, I’ve developed a definite attachment to its characters, including and most especially to Bailey and Cody – who’s story has been building up for books and books. It is without a doubt that by midway through all those 18 books leading to the Bailey Flanigan series, we have all (fans of B&C or not) predicted that B&C’s story was coming up. And doubtless, that it would end with Baily and Cody professing their love towards one another and bonding their love in holy matrimony.

But by the time “Longing” came around, though, the story (the very same story that legions of fans has been following for over 18 books) took a turn for the worst. After finishing the last pages of “Longing” I could have guessed where the B&C romance was going to end (…SPLIT). And quite frankly, I was sort of routing for such an ending, because though the soulful Cody has grown into a better and much more loving man, the charismatic girl that I have fell in love with has vanished within a few short months. In her place, is someone who’s ideals and ‘love’ I put into questions time and time again (“would she love Brandon so much if he didn’t have the wealth the maintain his habit of visiting her on the whim or showering her with gifts that he wouldn’t have otherwise gotten?)! I am not saying that being rich is bad, I cannot fault Brandon for that; he remained who he is from the beginning, but what changed was Bailey’s personality and the whole ‘picture’ of what she has professed to want all her life… So much with wanting a life just like her parents! *roll eyes* Mind you, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing dreams, but boy was that change hard to stomach… For long-time readers (or fans of the Baxter series) who’ve watched the progressive relationship and growth of Bailey and Cody, I think the equation in “Longing” just doesn’t sit well. Too much change in Bailey’s character + so little time passed = HARD TO BELIEVE!

Overall, I didn’t hate the B&B pairing, I personally thought that their FANTASY HOLLYWOOD STARLET COUPLE thing was tolerable, OK even, if a bit too hard to believe, but hey, it is a fiction for a reason. So yes, by the end of “Longing” I was like, “go ahead KK, do tell the story like you want (though not intented from the first – we all know how the story was supposed to end originally)!” And I was open and curious enough to see how KK would be able to convince both the CODY and BRANDON TEAM that Bailey and Brandon would make the better match than she with Cody.

And this fellow readers, is where KK disappointed me beyond compared. I took offense as a fan, as an avid reader, and by goolie as an intelligent human being, when she turned the sweet and loving story of two young souls into a puppy (cliché) teenage love that is nothing but a fleeting fancy. I find IMPOSSIBLE TO FATHOM that KK would think us gullible enough to swallow that pack of NONSENSE!

After all that’s say and done; I TRULY didn’t mind that B&B ended up together, I’ve known that since reading “Longing” but I took affront (and the reason for the 1 star) that KK (despite her previous brilliance) has taken us for fools! That mistake made the entire series REDUNDENT and INFINITELY UNSATISFYING!

My message to Karen is that: “you took a gamble and you’ve lost a good chunk of your fans!”
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Comments (showing 1-7)




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Venus Agreed. She sure lost me with this book.


message 6: by Judith (Judith'sChoiceReads) (last edited Apr 13, 2012 05:31PM) (new)

Judith (Judith'sChoiceReads) I love your honesty and seriously couldn't keep reading past Leaving because things for Bailey were always so EASY. Everyone loved her and her 'problems' were never really believable. It paints a misleading picture of Christianity, that things will be all roses for you when that isn't true. I'm glad I didn't keep reading, it was always supposed to be Cody and Bailey together and it kills me that this changed.


Minderella34 She went too much along with the story actually playing out in her daughters life. What started out as fiction ended up fact and had her daughter not been caught up and engaged to a guy in the christian band anthem lights I wonder if the book would have ended.differently.


message 4: by Aerykah (new)

Aerykah I actually just got "Leaving" & "Longing" on CD from my library because a couple library patrons highly recommended the series to me. Personally, I've never really cared for Kingsbury's books... Now, I think I'm going to just return these CD's un-listened-to.


Jackie I think she did a good job with the stories of Cody and Andi but Bailey seemed very whiney and expected everyone to cater to her.


Erin This is a really great review! I hope Karen can find herself again because she wrote some great books in the Redemption series. I could NOT believe how contrived "Loving" was. Pure nonsense.


Jackie It didn't help that she deleted all the negative reviews from her Facebook page. She is coming out with a new series in the fall and I am not at all interested...


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