(Savannah Sweethearts #1) by Jan Thompson
I loved this book. The characters were richly drawn and I became so involved with them, I actually remember who they were and what they wanted. That may seem like a strange comment, but too often lately, I’ve finished a book and not been able to remember details about it the next day.
This book is heavy on Bible quotes and faith questions, which at times can put me off, but since the romance is between a pastor who is planting a church and a longtime friend and member of his congregation, it fits in this case. The multi-ethnic characters are real people and not caricatures, which happens too often lately as writers consciously include diversity in their books.
As with all good romances, it has a satisfying ending that made me feel good. I will be reading the rest of the series—and other books by Jan Thompson.
I am slowly working my way through this eleven-book series that I bought as a collection several months ago. While collections like this can result in a significant savings, often being sold for 99 cents, the number of books, particularly if the stories aren’t gripping, means it takes a long time to finish them.
In this installment, Kate Donnely travels to Three Rivers Ranch to introduce her son, Reid, to his father. The boy was conceived during a brief marriage, but seven years later is only now meeting the father he’s dreamed about. Shortly after Brett Murphy was deployed to Afghanistan, Kate had an affair with another man. She wrote Brett, asking for a divorce, but the affair didn’t last and she’s still married to Brett.
There’s only one reason she’s doing this now. Her mother has passed away and has made Kate’s inheritance conditional upon her getting the divorce documents signed or showing proof to a lawyer of a happy marriage and family. She’s ostensively come for the first, but since this is a romance, you know she’s going to wind up with the second.
I struggled to finish this book because of an annoying plot device. During the seven years they’ve been apart, Kate wrote letters to Brett on a regular basis, but never mailed them. Similarly, Brett wrote emails to Kate, but never sent them. So that makes this one of those romances where everything could have been resolved quickly had they each shared these letters early on. Instead, it takes pages and pages of quoting them before they tell one another they had them. And that they still had feelings for one another.
Reid is too perfect for a child, especially a boy. He never objects to being sent off so Kate and Brett can have a conversation or throws a temper tantrum or whines. I would have liked more of a real boy.
I also found the Christian aspect of this Christian romance not very well integrated with the story. It could have been taken out and it wouldn’t have changed a thing about the book.
So, while I want to finish up this series, I’m temporarily reading something else before trying the next book.
End Times Alaska: Endure by Craig Martelle
Craig Martelle runs the 20 Books to 50K Facebook group, a group dedicated to each author being the best they can be by their own definition of what that is. The group is filled with encouragement, positive stories, and lots of information about how to sell books. So when this book of his went on sale, I bought it to find out what kind of books he writes.
This is an adult post-apocalyptic novel. Fairbanks has been hit by a nuclear bomb, wiping out all utilities and supply lines. Retired Marine Chuck Nagy and his family must find a way to survive in the harsh winter of Alaska.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as Chuck solves the problems inherent in this situation. He finds food for both his family and his dogs, scavenges equipment from the homes of those who did not return from Fairbanks, and tries to unite the few survivors left.
This is definitely a situation where you have to read the series to know the whole story, and I’m trying to squeeze the next book into my reading schedule so I can do that. I was pulled into the story. The characters were well-drawn and the setting, being a place I’ve never been to, was intriguing.
Recommended, even if it’s not your usual genre.