Why I Enjoyed this Book:
Maybe it is the romantic inside of me still that is rekindled by reading this book. But I really felt that this was overall a refreshing well-written book. Author Rachel Hauck did such a good job with the story line of this book. For a reader like me I appreciate it when there is a good story line with a great deal of depth. I do not like simple. I do not like boring when it comes to books. Hauck does well in keeping me intrigued.
- The Relatable Realistic Characters
She kept me intrigued by developing the characters though the characters' setting, their jobs, their past, their wants, and their family. I could picture each person in St. Simon's Island and what they were doing! I could picture right away the Family BBQ restaurant Susanna and her family owned. The characters and their relationships with one another really creates interest for me as a reader. It makes me feel more apart of the story because I can "see" through their eyes and "feel" what they feel.
- Appreciation for the Biblical Christian Point of View
Early on in my teenager life, I put away a lot of romance books. For one thing they never acknowledged God in them, and always did things "out of order". Authors went beyond PG and the descriptions and words made me feel ashamed. Though I enjoyed a good love story, I did not wish for details! The absence of values and morality in these books I read never made me feel like the union between the two lovers right or even satisfied. I would always be left thinking of that other person whom they left, or thinking that how they got together was just not right. So I was usually left perplexed and unhappy because I would think that the end doesn't justify the means even if it is just a fictitious love story!
That is why I so appreciate Hauck's Biblical, Christian point of view in her book! There is a balance between romance, love, and God. Between Susanna and Nate is God, always. There is integrity and honor between the two. Though there is great chemistry between both of them....there is always some reference to a Bible verse, or a prayer or a thought of not indulging in sin or awaking love when it can't be fulfilled. Their actions to have no interaction...really had me applauding and appreciating their love story! It was by no means a boring book though because they had integrity. Rather it felt like the characters were growing to admire and respect one another. There was a deep sincerity to their love that was more than just "falling in love". One could see that their love for one another grew and matured through their chastity and through their giving up of their wills, wants and desires to God.
The way she interweaves faith in God and His timing with a dash of fairy dust and romance is simply perfect.
- Plot and Story Line were familiar but complicated in its resolve
The beauty of God working behind the scenes was a bit "too good to be true" and a bit Hallmark picture, but I did not mind as am somewhat of a Hallmark junkie. So I immediately knew who and who were going to be together in the end, but it's all in the journey that matters most to me! I hate simplicity if it is too predictable. And Hauck kept the storyline interesting and made a lot of neat twists and complications that I welcomed. She did keep me reading till I had finally got the resolve I wanted! It was such a glorious satisfying ending that I cried and laughed!
Some Awkward Moments:Now I have to admit that there were really awkward moments in the book where faith is shown that I thought was raising an eyebrow. Example: When Susanna and Nate were having a picnic and prayed for the first time, I was thinking how both characters had not really established their faith in God towards one another yet to the point of out of the blue praying together. At least I do not recall them talking to each other about their faith in God. I thought it was a bit awkward. It seemed from then on all other times they prayed it was less awkward, but I remember being caught off guard when they did it the first time!
Hauck did try to show how Nate's mother put down her will for the greater good, but I did feel it was not as developed. It played a small part in her book, and reminded me of the Princess Diaries. I felt the book could have done without and been the better for it. I am glad though that it did not take away too much from the book.
Though there were parts in the book that seemed very unreal and too good to be true, I did appreciate how Hauck demonstrated the laying down of our own will for God's Will is beautiful. Not saying that everything will come out as fairy tale as this book, but God does work things out beautifully when we give everything up into His hands. The struggle each Susanna and Nate went through was pretty realistic. I love how I felt like I could feel what they were feeling. Their mental status and feelings could be felt through the pages of the book. I loved being able to relate to the characters' struggles. Constantly I found myself laughing and shaking my head or rooting for them. I felt that the characters were well developed with a nice background to them. The main characters were deep and meaningful that they are quite memorable.
I did enjoy this book and would recommend reading to others. It is one of those books that I have that I desire to read again and get lost in its pages and characters. Though it did have some of its awkward moments, it will not stop me from reading more books from Rachel Hauck. She does have a knack for writing a story that not only draws me in, but keeps wanting to read on until the last page.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from the website, Litfuse)
Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of ACFW Book of the Year winner Sweet Caroline, RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, bestselling and RITA Finalist The Wedding Dress, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels. Hauck’s latest release,
Once Upon A Prince, is already receiving rave reviews, including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.
Hauck earned a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes fan. She worked in the corporate software world until 2004 when she began to write fulltime. Although she admits to being Yankee-born, Hauck has lived in the south most of her life and works her southern experience into her stories. She now lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane-plagued, central Florida with her husband and writes from her own two-story tower.
She is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves on the Executive Board. Hauck is also one of five author contributors to Southern Belle View Daily.
Visit her website at www.rachelhauck.com to sign up for her newsletter, read her blog and follow her on Facebook(Rachel Hayes Hauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck).
Disclosure : I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."