Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

Patience Cavanaugh has moved to Montana to run the boardinghouse left to her by her late grandmother, as well as get away from the demands of her mother. She also mourns the loss of a suitor, one whom she is convinced was wrongly accused of a crime and hanged by a law-abiding vigilante. As she struggles to carve out a new life in the Wild West, she meets the town marshal, Jedediah Jones. Jedediah has a few secrets of his own from his past and he simply wishes to keep the town as peaceful as possible. But the new boardinghouse owner intrigues him with her quiet and determined ways and he decides to get to know her better. However, the pasts of both Jedediah and Patience soon clash in a way they never expected, perhaps jeopardizing their tenuous relationship forever.

While the premise for this novel is certainly interesting and some of the characters are endearing, this book requires much more substance to make it anything more than a somewhat tacky light read. Not every part of the plot is predictable, which is refreshing, but the everyday occurrences of the characters lack detail, not allowing me to fully identify with or connect with the characters at all. It stumbles along in a choppy fashion, one chapter not really transitioning smoothly with the next; in addition, there is significant disconnect between the characters’ thoughts and the dialogue, making the story somewhat irritating at times. Many of plot points work out in a completely unrealistically perfect manner, several of the events so entirely coincidental that it makes it difficult to read. Any conflict between characters is resolved in a single page, further adding to the complete unrealism. Overall, however, it is true that the romance is pure (albeit more than a little nauseatingly too perfect) and despite Patience’s preachy attitude, the book is an easy read with excellent spiritual principles and is not altogether unpleasant.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith

Rahab, despite all her hard work and every attempt to please her husband, finds herself sold as a slave to cover the multitude of debts her husband incurs. Although relieved to be free from a man who did not love her, Rahab soon discovers she was simply traded from one fool to another, forced to endure prostitution to line the purse of another greedy man. Just when she feels she is losing all hope of freedom, Rahab encounters spies for the Israelites and agrees to keep their secret in exchange for sparing her family’s lives. As the wealth and sin of her city destroy its very foundations, once again Rahab is adrift without a home. She is an outcast among a foreign people, her sordid past setting her apart from a holy people. Desperate for peace and forgiveness, she turns to the Israelites’ God, seeking the love He promises. Rahab learns to trust her new God to give her the desires of her heart, even the nearly impossible hope of a family.

This fictional account of the true Biblical tale of Rahab is so wonderfully and poignantly told that it becomes vividly real, every emotion stirring my heart to feel Rahab’s longings, pain, and shame. I fell in love with her as I grew to understand her deepest desires in spite of her circumstances and as she searched for the One she knew would bring her the forgiveness and peace that she sought. The author did a remarkable job of including true facts, some phrases and words taken directly from the Bible. And despite the sensitive nature of Rahab’s life, Ms. Smith skillfully crafts a tale that communicates the emotions without including too many sordid details. Although some of the facts of Rahab’s life are fictional in this book, I have no doubt that Ms. Smith captured Rahab’s heart, allowing us to once again be amazed at God’s ability to use even the most lost sinners for His greatest good. This book is most highly recommended!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Dr. Juliet Ryan has created her entire corporate career with two goals in mind: to provide safe drinking water to millions and to prove her estranged father wrong, a man she despises for breaking her trust years ago. She convinces herself that the insincere world she has created with its wealth and privileges does indeed fill her with happiness and she determines to succeed without the help of anyone or anything. But when disaster suddenly strikes and Juliet finds herself in the midst of a corporate scandal, the lies and deceit growing daily, she discovers the world she has built for herself leaves her utterly alone. Feeling desperate, she turns to the one person who has wounded her the most, realizing that learning to forgive and surrendering control, neither of which are easy, can be the true keys to happiness and freedom.

Yet again, Kellie Coates Gilbert crafts a story filled with raw realistic emotion from a unique perspective, allowing readers glimpses into interesting sides of conflict normally not experienced. It does not take long to connect with Juliet and to understand her struggles both with forgiving a deep hurt and attempting to succeed in corporate America. The book so accurately demonstrates the true emptiness bitter hearts, wealthy statuses, and indifferences towards God can create. Twists and suspense throughout the novel allow it to be not entirely predictable, and the central theme of freedom through forgiveness and love allows readers to apply the principles to their own lives. A truly exceptional and gripping tale that is difficult to put down. Highly recommended!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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