Monday, March 18, 2013

- Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble -

      Description: Libby has just learned that the father who she thought had been dead for years has left her a substantial amount of land including an old inn on the Outer Banks. With this also comes the shocking news that she has a brother and sister whom she has never met. To top it off, she watches helplessly on a beach cam as her friend and co-worker Nicole is drugged and abducted.
      The story follows Libby as she learns how to heal and mend the relationship between her and her long lost siblings, discovers family secrets, and protects her inheritance from greedy investors. As a relationship begins to develop between Libby and Alec, a Coast Guard lieutenant, she is accused of being a part of Nicole's kidnapping and Libby dedicates herself to finding her friend.

     My Thoughts: Tidewater Inn was a intriguing read for me. I liked Libby's character and how she had an eye for bringing old building back to life and a passion for preserving historical structures. It was most interesting to watch as the secrets of Libby's family's past unfolded with surprising twists and turns.
     I did find a couple of aspects of the story a little frustrating though. I found myself questioning the characters as they had picnics and fun but Nicole was still missing. I suppose the authorities were looking into the case but the search just did not seem to be taken seriously for a portion of the story. Another point was that it seemed silly to me that the authorities suspected Libby of being involved with Nicole's kidnapping. I suppose it might of looked suspicious that Libby didn't admit to hacking into the beach cam when she was first interviewed by the police, but still, for some reason it seemed a little off to me.
     Overall, Tidewater Inn is a enjoyable and at times suspenseful read infused with family relationships, faith, and a touch of romance on the side.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

- Safe In His Arms by Colleen Coble -

          Margaret O’ Brien has lived on her father’s ranch her whole life. As an only child growing up without her mother, Margaret dedicates herself to work on the ranch. She often dresses in men’s clothing and doesn’t take time to make herself more feminine. Margaret struggles with feeling self-conscious of her red hair and being tall. When Margaret’s father makes the decision to hire on Daniel Cutler as the new foreman, Margaret is furious. Her father explains that he wants Margaret to get married and have children. When her father decides that Margaret’s cousin will inherit the ranch instead of her, she begins looking in town for a job determined to be independent.
          Daniel Cutler doesn’t know much about ranch life. The job at the ranch is just a cover as he infiltrates a gang of outlaws in the area, in order to try and persuade his brother to leave a life of crime. When Margaret overhears a mysterious conversation, she is led to believe that Daniel is an outlaw. Daniel wants to tell her the truth but cannot risk his plan being revealed.
            While Margaret is fighting for her inheritance, she learns about being beautiful in God’s eyes, and falling in love. Daniel works to save his brother and win Margaret’s heart. Together both learn a valuable lesson of resting in His arms.
         This book was wonderful to read. I found Margaret's character change intriguing. The story focuses on Margaret learning about her beauty and security in Christ. She has never seen herself as beautiful and does not try to acknowledge her femininity at all until her father demands she do so. A young lady who feels more comfortable in men's clothing, Margaret feels self-conscious of her looks. She also struggles with feeling inadequate as an independent woman, when her father insists that she marry and leave the ranch to which she has been essential to it's upkeep.

         I most liked how even though changes in Margaret's personality could be seen when feelings began to grow between her and Daniel, the complete change did not take place until she found her security in Christ. Only then did she accept the love that Daniel offered her. It is a common occurrence today that young girls try to find love and acceptance in humanly, worldly outlets which more often than not leads to more heartache.

       Safe in His Arms effectively conveys finding acceptance, purpose and love in God instead of in worldly wiles that pale in comparison.
 Linked at Book Review Wednesdays with Cym Lowell.