Love by the Book

I’m quite behind keeping up with reading the books I’ve won from giveaways on Goodreads. I still have a small stack to get through. Most recently, I read Love by the Book, by Cara Lynn James.

Set in the early 1900s among the upper class society in New England, this book is a Christian historical romance. The book begins with the reading of Melinda Hollister’s sister’s will. Melinda, along with her sister’s husband’s brother, Nick, are granted joint custody of their niece, Nell. Never a fan of the overly serious Nick, Melinda can’t imagine what her sister was thinking, but resolves to make the best of it for Nell.

Melinda has always been the belle of the ball, enjoyed shopping with no worries of the expense, and has never had to concern herself with much responsibility. Now, with Nell, and with the knowledge that she and her mother have burned through her father’s small fortune, leaving them destitute, she is forced to embrace responsibility and frugality. But, before news of this reaches the ears of society, Melinda must attempt to find a rich husband to rescue her from disgrace. Her invitation to Newport for the summer by Nick’s family provides the ideal setting to search for such a husband.

Highly predictable, Melinda and Nick end up married. But Melinda is disappointed that Nick married her only for Nell and out of pity for her situation. She has warmed to him over the few weeks she’s spent with him over the summer, and she wants more than anything for her husband to love her. Nick, not good at verbally expressing himself, also has feelings for Melinda, but misinterprets her quietness and preoccupation with sadness and disappointment at their marriage.

The couple make it through some hard situations and of course, finally profess their love for each other, and all is well. Very predictable, but no complaints.

I definitely consider this a light read. I enjoy a good romance now and then, and this one was very enjoyable. The characters are memorable, realistic, and likeable. I didn’t get annoyed at any of them, which has not been my previous experience with some Christian romance in the past. There was a lack of smut, which I enjoyed, and the references and innuendos were tastefully done, especially since the couple was actually married for the second half of the book. Overall, an enjoyable read.

The Promise of an Angel

I just finished reading A Promise of an Angel, by Ruth Reid, another book I won from a Goodreads giveaway. This is a debut novel by this new author, and she is also a full-time pharmacist, which gives me further hope for my future. (Have I ever mentioned that I’m a pharmacist?)

Judith Fischer’s plans for her life basically include marriage and children. She is finally about to turn 19 years old, which is old enough that her parents will allow her to begin courting. On the day that she expects Levi Plank to ask her parent’s permission, her younger brother Samuel falls from the roof of the barn and is injured. Judith sees a strange man by Samuel’s side and later learns that he was an angel. However, no one in her community believes that she has seen an angel, including her own family. No one, that is, except Andrew Lapp, the bishop’s son, who risks being shunned himself by befriending Judith when his father has forbidden that he see her.

The community distances itself from Judith, believing that she is making up stories. However, Judith has faith and is unwilling to tell her community anything other than the truth. Andrew stands by her side and supports her, even at risk to himself. Finally, the bishop is given reason to believe her and Judith gets her happy ending after all.

I’ve always been interested in the Amish. I think I’d enjoy being Amish for a few days, but I’m not sure about a lifetime. I haven’t read much Amish fiction, but I’ve enjoyed what I have read, especially this book. I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for Ruth Reid’s second book in her Heaven on Earth series.

Wildflower Bride

I recently won a book in a giveaway on Goodreads, Wildflower Bride, by Mary Connealy. This book is the third in a series called Montana Marriages, but it can be read by itself, without previously reading the other two books.

Wildflower Bride is considered Christian fiction, and I have to say, it was a much better read than the last Christian fiction book, (title and author will remain nameless), I won on Goodreads. The characters in this book were much more believeable.

Glowing Sun is a white woman raised by a Flathead Tribe. She has very few memories of her white family as they died when she was very young. However, these vague memories do provide her with her previous name, Abby Lind, a name that she takes once again after white men murder most of her tribe and a surviving member of her tribe blames her for what happened.

Wade Sawyer hears the shots fired on the village and rushes to the scene to find Glowing Sun bravely hacking away at a man who has tried to capture her. Wade steps in and comes to her rescue. At this point, we discover that Wade already loves this wild white woman.

Shortly thereafter, Wade receives news that his father has been injured and may be dying. Remembering the commandment to honor thy father and mother, Wade returns home to run the ranch for his abusive father. Abby, having nowhere else to go, joins him and helps to run his father’s house.

Of course, what happens next is predictable. Wade’s father finally softens, Wade succeeds in running the ranch, and at the end, he and Abby finally get married. Oh, and the murders end up being cattle rustlers that Wade’s father has hired on as hands on his ranch. They are dealt with accordingly.

This book is definitely not one I would have picked off the shelf myself, but it was a good story and definitely entertaining. It’s probably geared toward middle school or early high school students, but I still enjoyed it.