I just finished this book last night, but it “hit the spot,” as they say. So much so, that I was eager to share it with you today! Safe in the Fireman’s Arms by Tina Radcliffe is a clean, light-hearted read perfect for a weekend escape from it all. Lately I’ve been reading some HEAVY drama and while they’re great stories and great authors, I was in a funk. So, I did something very rare in my world, I put down not just one, but two books. I plan on returning to them in a couple weeks, but I could tell I was consuming too much drama and that on top of life lately was just a bit much. What I needed was an escape that would give me some smiles. Some look down on this type of fiction and call it fluff or slush or another negative term, but ya’ll, it was the perfect solution.
I headed to the library Sunday afternoon and browsed Harlequin’s Love Inspired, which my branch thankfully keeps altogether on a shelf. I chose very scientifically; I read the backs and picked the ones with animals on the cover. This one had a cat. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Almost every story I’ve read with a furry friend at least provided a few smiles and this story didn’t disappoint. More predominately featured was a Collie named Chuck, but a kitten enters the story to liven it up and make you go “Aw.” But it’s not an animal book. It features two people who are ready to move on from their past;a woman who is perpetually involved in incidents of one kind or another and the man the rescues her. I highly recommend it.
Running away from her sheltered life, Maggie Jones wants to start fresh. Instead, she finds trouble in Paradise, Colorado. Within days she’s on the radar of fire chief Jake MacLaughlin. And when her family starts to play matchmaker, Maggie’s plans for a quiet life are turned upside down. Though he’s the small town’s most eligible bachelor, Jake is far from a playboy. The widower isn’t interested in dating. But when Maggie transforms from mousy to magnificent, and suitors start lining up, the fireman can’t resist a rescue. Pretending to be a couple rekindles their spark for life…and for love.
In general, I’m not a huge drama fan. I read for escape and I prefer those escapes to be happy. But…Julie Klassen is an exception to my do-drama rule. I love how Julie approaches some hard topics in her books that are mostly avoided in Christian Fiction. While this book doesn’t approach a “taboo” subject, Julie doesn’t shy away from the grit of real life. Here’s a summary:
Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her–a longtime friend–has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play . . .
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor’s past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family’s financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?
Oh, my gosh! This book is gripping! I listened to the audio version on a long car trip and there were definitely times that I was gripping the steering wheel. This novel is written in the style of the great gothic novels, but the story leaves you with a satisfying ending, unlike many gothic novels which are endlessly depressing. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and heartbreak. All of the characters have to learn about forgiveness and redemption of both themselves and others.
It’s a fun post kind of day! I have been way too sick the past several days from a stomach bug someone was nice enough to share with me and am finally starting to feel normal. Yay! So, it’s a great time to announce the winner of the Still Life Giveaway that was posted last week. But first, the hubs discovered this hilarious cat book this weekend and couldn’t resist it. It’s called You Need More Sleep, by Francesco Marciuliano. Here are some of my favorite highlights:
If you’re a cat owner, you can definitely relate to these. If you laughed, I encourage you to get the book. There are many many more great ones.
And now…..the winner of the Still Life Giveaway is:
Loraine, I’ve sent you an email. Please contact me either through email or Facebook to let me know your address!
Thank you to all who have entered and now follow my little blog.