Tag Archive | forgiveness

Freed to Forgive (Book Review)

freed to forgiveJulie B. Cosgrove has written two fabulous romantic suspense novels with a plot involving human sex-trafficking. Freed to Forgive is the culmination of those two previous stories. The first was Hush in the Storm followed by Legitimate Lies. Marisol’s story is woven in small nuggets into the two previous books but due to the demands of her readers, Marisol’s journey is finally in print.

Marisol is a young woman being abused by her father and brothers in a small village in Mexico. Anger burns within her so when the opportunity to go to America is presented she believes the lies she’s told and leaves. The journey there is harrowing and she finds herself using the skills she learned in her village to try to save another young slave who is still a virgin. Eventually, however, she finds herself pregnant. She gives up her child hoping it can live a better life. In the process she escapes her captors and strives to live a life free of her shameful past.

Ten years pass and she learns over and over that men are not to be trusted. When Jesse shows interest she struggles to accept that he could truly want to know her and not just use her for her body. She struggles to keep her past hidden but her bitterness and resentment over all that has happened bubbles up to torment her  and keep her stuck. Can God really help her forgive those who abused and trafficked her? And can she really move forward in freedom and the love of a godly man?

This story is an emotionally fraught one filled with some disturbing scenes. Julie does nothing to hide the horrors of all that Marisol and so many others in our own country endure at the hands of modern-day slave-traders. In spite of that she is not gratuitous or unnecessarily explicit in those descriptions but it is good for the reader to be aware. All the instances are necessary for the plot of the book.

The reality of human trafficking in America deserves fiction like this to help us understand the horrors. We all need to step up to stop this tragedy as well as help those either caught in it or recovering from it. Either through prayer, or awareness or engaging further in the fight. I’m glad Julie Cosgrove has had the guts to tell Marisol’s gritty tale. The reality is we are all at times trapped and wounded by the sins of others and the lessons Marisol learns are for us all. God forgives and there is freedom in Christ.

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Red Like Crimson (Book Review)

red like crimsonI’ve always loved Janice Thompson’s writing so when I had a chance to snag a free kindle version of Red Like Crimson, I did so and read it at the first opportunity. This book read so easily it felt like a novella but it is a full length novel.

Eight years ago, Adrianne abandoned the man she loved and her education when she discovered she was pregnant. She knew that would ruin Chris’ opportunity to fulfill his dream to go to the mission field. She never told him why she left. Now years later they come face to face when he comes to Pennsylvania for a friend’s wedding. Adrianne knows it’s time to tell him the truth. He has a daughter.

Chris never understood why she left. He finished school and now works as a missionary in Nicaragua and loves it. When he meets Adrianne again old flames kindle to life and he dreams of the possibilities. Confronted by the reality that he’s a father complicates things.

In previous books by Janice Thompson faith has been seamlessly woven in and the characters are whimsical at times and humor abounds. Red Like Crimson is a departure of sorts from that kind of writing style but is no less engaging for digging deeper into spiritual truths and weaving together grace and forgiveness in the wake of sin as well as the power God has to work things to good. I had a hard time putting this one down. It may have lacked the humor of her other books which I had anticipated,  but it definitely did not lack the charm. The disappointment was short-lived as I was swept into the story she wove so skillfully.

Reviving Jules (Book Review)

reviving julesPeggy Trotter loves to take women beaten down by life and resurrect them and hopping into her stories to enjoy the journey is an adventure. This is no less true than with her latest contemporary inspirational romance novel, Reviving Jules.

Believing marriage was forever, Jules Summers is stunned when her’s falls apart. She runs from her church, family and town to lick her wounds in private. And she runs away from the God she believes let it happen. humiliated, depressed and alone, she struggles to survive day by day. When a little girl appears in her backyard, she has no clue that God is showing her just how little He forgets.

Rhett Carsen is the father of the little girl and strikes up a friendship with Jules. He too has been wounded by love-gone-wrong and has vowed to never remarry. But trying to work full-time and care for his precocious daughter when he needs to travel means he needs help.

He enlists the lovely Jules as a nanny since she to be a teacher and has bonded with his daughter. Her life is moorless and his need for help is so great, what could be wrong with a business relationship to ensure that?

The journey these two characters take is heartwarming. I’m not sure why Jules’s journey resonated so much with me but it did and watching her come alive to God, to love and to forgiveness in the wake of all the challenges she faced was a joy to read.

 

Wishing on Buttercups (Book Review)

buttercups      I managed to snag a free copy of Wishing on Buttercups by Miralee Ferrell. This is book 2 in her Love Blossoms in Oregon series and is a great stand-alone romance.
     Beth Roberts has run away to a small town in Oregon to escape heartache and a painful past. No only does she keep a physically painful secret but she also keeps her profession a secret as well. She doesn’t believe she could trust anyone with the truth of who she really is.
     Jeffery Tucker has run away as well, from family expectations and demands, in order to pursue his own dreams as a novelist. LIving in the same boarding house as Beth and her aunt, he finds himself drawn to the young woman of faith and mystery. He finds himself intrigued not only with who she is, but also her views of a personal God and a living faith.
     Memories surface revealing more and more of the pain of Beth’s shadowy past as two men seek her out. Who can she trust? She finds herself drawn to Jeffery and even more so when her illustrations are part of his debut novel appearing in a series in a national magazine. Little does she know that even with a pseudonym she has drawn attention to someone from her past.
Can she trust Jeffery with the truth? She’s drawn to the man but in her heart believes that no one would ever be able to love her. As the past merges into the present both Beth and Jeffery have ot confront their deepest pains and struggle to forgive. And maybe, just maybe find love she never thought could be hers.
     This is a sweet novel. Some of the dialogue seemed stilted but this is 1880’s West and even in the rough and tumble wilderness of Oregon politeness and proprieties would be observed so I’m not even sure that is an entirely just criticism. The story is well written and the characters make you want to care about them and their potential for a future together. Miralee does a good job at keeping Beth’s past as much a mystery to the reader as it is to her until it is fully revealed toward the end of the story. Sweet title and nice cover. This is a charming inspirational romance.

The Right Ingredients (Book Review)

EbookTRI copy (1) (200x300)The Right Ingredients is a multi-flavored romance by Nancy Shew Bolton. Well, come on, the main character is a baker so this story is about faith, love and, my favorite–frosting!

This is such a sweet story and I loved the transformation that the main character Ann went through as she struggled throug her work-a-holic baker lifestyle and grappled with her need for God. As she emerges from her shell to embrace love and her new faith in God, challenges conspire to destroy both of these new and wonderful things in her life. Through it all Ann grows and matures. Of course this is a romance too but Ann doesn’t let her love for a man make her compromise what she has come to believe in. A happily-ever-after wedding too! And cake. Lots of cake!