I have always enjoyed Mary Connealy’s western romances with their high adventure and lovable characters. Stuck Together is the third in the Trouble in Texas series and I was given a free copy to read of the book for the purpose of this review.
Vince Yates has sworn to never marry. As the only law in the dead-end town of Broken Wheel, he has seen enough in his life to make him weary and cynical. He suffered horribly from the Civil War but that didn’t compare to the emotional wounds left by his tyrannical father. His deepest wounds are hidden under his rough “Invincible Vince” persona.
Tina Cahill lives with her brother, Jonas, one of the men who makes up his circle of friends. She pickets the saloon and cooks for the town at the diner and gives Vince sass right and left. He enjoys sparring with her and as one of the few single women in town, watching her walk her line all the while trying to keep her out of trouble.
Trouble comes in the form of Vince’s father, mother and a sister he had been unaware of. After he had refused a summons to come home to care for his mother suffering from dementia, they had come to him. His father high-tailed it out-of-town leaving the women in Vince’s unsuspecting care. His new sister falls for a friend leaving Tina and Vince in charge of his mother, trying to prevent her from endangering herself.
More trouble comes his way that threatens the well-being everyone he loves and Vince rushes headlong into the danger to save his friends, fearing that dementia is in his future which means he can never marry the woman he loves. They all learn hard lessons about trusting God with their future as they fight for it.
I love the complexity of Mary’s characters and the humor she adds to her stories. Danger, deep friendships and faith all weave together to give a romance and a happily ever after that will make you glad you came to Broken Wheel for a visit through the pages of this book.
I know that often I do reviews of fiction, especially romance, because that’s what I love to read and write. But sometimes I come across a book so good, that I have to share it with others.
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges is one such book. Originally published in 1988, and re-released in 2008, it has lost none of its value for the time that has elapsed.
Much of this book is about how we can trust God even when life is painful. In order to do that one has to have a good grasp of the sovereignty of God. I love Bridge’s quote (pg. 53):
“Let us not be guilty of breaking a bruised reed (a heavy heart) by insensitive treatment of the heavy doctrine of the sovereignty of God.”
Bridges walks the line between Calvinistic (Predestination) and Armenian/Wesleyan (Free Will) in a wonderful way. “…the Bible’s consistent teaching that God is able and does move upon the hearts and minds of people to accomplish His purposes. Yet it also seems equally clear from these passages that God does this without violating or coercing their wills, but rather that He works His mysterious way through their wills to accomplish His purposes.”
Bridges asserts that while Scripture explains both concepts of sovereignty as well as freedom and personal responsibility, it never fully explains the relationship between the two. He at length explores these concepts with a light touch and deep understanding with practical application.
If you struggle and hurt and life is difficult (and when isn’t it for all of us at times?), then I recommend this book to you. It is easily read and understood even though a big word like “sovereignty” can put one off, it is an essential characteristic of God for us to understand if we are to walk in faith and confidence into the life He calls us to. This is a book I will be going back to again and again.