Desperate for some new (and free!) reading material, I requested the book Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof, to review for Blogging for Books. This is Joanne's first novel, and she makes a good first impression. Go ahead and read the first chapter. Or, find out more about the author.
From the back of the book: Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
The first few pages were rather confusing. The author rightly places us in the middle of some action, but it was hard to follow since the reader is clueless about who is who. Reading on a few pages led me to more explanation. After that first hiccup, I followed the plot just fine. Unlike other Christian fiction books, which may have a character pray once on page 257 and that's it, this book wove Christ throughout the book quite nicely. It lagged slightly in the middle, but not for long. The plot thickens right on schedule and leave you guessing about some things till the very end.
I've read only a few Christian fiction romance novels this year, because so many of them are redundant. This one caught my attention and held it till the end. The plot was unique, without being over the top. It was a nice blend of romance and religion; of trial and blessing.
It was easy to read and the characters feel like old friends. A true sign of an enjoyable book. If you like Christian romance, then check this one out.
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from Waterbook/Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. I was not forced to give a positive review or compensated in any other way.