Tag Archives: Christian romance

Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels

Love Unfeigned Cover“Sight was no longer physical. She paused, her dark, questioning eyes now on an unmoving search for something unseen and meagerly remembered. What was it, and what had triggered its arousal? She had the sudden urge to call out a name, to get something’s–someone’s–attention, but she wasn’t clear on what name it was that she should be calling.

“She might have stood there for an instant too long if her own attention hadn’t, at that moment, been seized by a vehement shout somewhere behind her, issued by an identifiable, masculine voice she hadn’t heard in years.


~ Nadine C. Keels, Love Unfeigned


Love to the chords of a classic jazz band…

From the first time Lorraine, a plucky and competitive girl, contends on the playground against Isaiah, an impish boy whose smile gleams in more ways than one, the two of them can’t help knowing each other. Neither can they avoid passions and misfortunes lining the path to young adulthood, and when the breakup of Isaiah’s family disrupts the haven he’s shared with Lorraine, their natural relationship is eventually threatened by jealousy, grave trauma, and abandonment. As one year follows another, and another, what might it take to reunite these two companions in love: love undeniably real and unbounded by time?

“Everything didn’t have to turn out perfect. I just wanted you there.”

 (Synopsis and image via Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

Love Unfeigned, a novella, seizes the reader’s attention immediately with the use of words like those shared in the quote above. Nadine Keels, a first-time author for me, writes with poetic vibrancy using words and language in such a way as to entice her reader to come along and keep turning the pages.

The story of Lorraine Tyson and Isaiah James, whom she calls “Braces Boy,” begins in grade school. Isaiah spends quite a bit of time with his friend, Lorraine’s brother, Earl. And the three become a tight little group.

These three childhood friends captured my heart immediately, but more so Lorraine and then Isaiah as they began to show signs of caring for one another.

Lorraine’s character is spunky, not to be challenged by a male of any size or age and willing to challenge anyone that she can do something she believes she can. Yet, there is a hint of a loving and compassionate young woman developing as the story grows. I loved that she called Isaiah Braces Boy when his braces glinted with sunlight the first time she met him on the playground.

And Isaiah was at no loss for loving characteristics. Keels developed her characters richly, and I was drawn into Isaiah’s character as he subtly attempted to let Lorraine know how he felt about her, even before they were old enough to know what romance was all about. Not to be outdone, Isaiah adopted a nickname for Lorraine: “Itty-Bit,” reflecting her small stature.

At points along the way, I had to pause to inhale Keels’ exquisite choice of words, her descriptive scenes and language, and the play she created among the various other players in her story. Keels has definitely been gifted in the craft of fiction writing.

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My Recommendation: 

If you enjoy reading a good love story, one built around a love that cannot be denied, you must read Love Unfeigned. Nadine Keels is a writer to be followed. If this book is any evidence at all of her ability to compete with other writers, Nadine Keels will be on our TBR piles for some time. Don’t miss this book!

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Meet the Author:

Nadine C. Keels, AuthorNadine. A French name, meaning, “hope.”

Spreading hope to her readers and audiences, author, editor, and speaker Nadine C. Keels of Seattle, Washington is well-known for The Song of Nadine, the powerful lyrical poetry seen in four of her several books, heard in her dynamic spoken word presentations on both local and national platforms, and found on her spoken word album, Hope. Lyricized.

Drawing from her lifelong passion for highly enjoyable and transformational fiction, Nadine has written Love & Eminence: A Suite of Stories as well as two novels and a novella, Love Unfeigned. In response to inquiries from other aspiring authors, Nadine put together a simple reference entitled Write Your Genius, Genius! A Rather Quick Guide to Book Writing. Being the founder of Prismatic Prospects, a communication company based in Seattle, Nadine has served as editor and co-editor for a number of titles, and it is her aim to be a proven wellspring of inspiration for creativity and innovation in the marketplace.

(Bio and image via Goodreads)

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Kindle Edition
Publication Date: February 27, 2013
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Adult Fiction, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance

I received a copy of Love Unfeigned from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions and recommendations expressed here are my own.

Powerful on Many Levels | Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

by Francine Rivers
Published: 1997
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: WaterBrook Multnomah


California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go.

A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.

(Source: Redeeming Love)

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My Thoughts:

Francine Rivers is a prolific and powerful writer. I have read several of her books, but none touched me like the story held between the covers of Redeeming Love.

Not only is Redeeming Love based on one of the most powerful stories in the Bible, the marriage of Hosea to Gomer, a prostitute, but Rivers has developed characters rich in courage, strength and humanity. The dialogue and scenes are lush with the history of the California gold rush and the families who followed their men into this strange and often unforgiving desire to strike it rich.

Central to the story is a five-year old girl, Sarah, later called Angel, sold into child prostitution and used body and soul for the needs of ugly and brutal men. It isn’t surprising that she grows hard and bitter. And it isn’t surprising that she doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “love.”

Enter Michael Hosea. A man of God. A man who realizes that God has called him to marry Angel, but the battle is in convincing Angel. The stumbling blocks she presents to God’s plan in Michael’s life are treacherous and often mean-spirited, but his patience never seems to wear thin.

Others work against Michael’s attempt to finish the work God has placed in his hands, and still others can see the peaks and valleys Michael and Angel walk through are making a difference for both.

I’ll stop here because I want you to enjoy Redeeming Love as much as I did. A lengthy book at 461 pages, the story will grasp your heart and you will read until you know the outcome.

Congratulations to Francine Rivers on writing a spectacular book!

My Recommendation: 

Redeeming Love is for fans of Christian fiction and romance. Although rich in its story line based as it is on Hosea’s story, there are scenes which might be unsuitable for young teenage girls. I would suggest a parent reading it first.

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You can read an excerpt and view the book trailer here.

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Meet the Author: 

Francine Rivers Copyright Elaina Burdo

Francine Rivers
Copyright Elaina Burdo

Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid-1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction and continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles; it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.

Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their five grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life. For more information visit Francine’s website, http://www.FrancineRivers.com.

(Source: Redeeming Love)

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I received a copy of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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UP NEXT:  Friday Favorites will feature my favorite childhood series, Anne of Green Gables. Hope you’ll join me then.

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

A woman with a dream to build a haven for former prostitutes in Denver circa 1887 and who needs money.All_In_Good_Time_Screen_Shot A banker who is highly successful with money to lend.  What more could be needed to bring Dessa Caldwell’s dream to fruition?  A great deal as Maureen Lang shares in her book, All in Good Time.

Lang’s characters come alive on the pages as Dessa obtains her loan from Henry Hawkins’s bank but not because of Hawkins’s approval.  Hawkins’s uncle, Tobias Ridgeway, sees the goodness in Dessa’s plans and dreams and hopes to see her do well in cleaning up a part of Denver.  Hawkins, however, only sees Dessa’s plans as foolhardy and futile, and he openly expresses his ability to foreclose if she misses a single payment date.

Despite their differences about Dessa’s hope for helping former prostitutes, Henry and Dessa begin to find themselves drawn to each other.  Because of Dessa’s inability to wait patiently for things to happen, she finds herself in interesting scrapes and yes, even in danger.  Turk Foster, a rake who runs an establishment serving gamblers, begins to pursue Dessa.  But for his own purposes or to help her efforts?

A secret in Henry Hawkins’s past is troubling to him and threatens to destroy any possibly relationship with Dessa Caldwell, but he does not know that she too is hiding something.  What will it take to bring the two together in a harmonious relationship?  Lang once again uses this beautiful story to share the love of God and His faithfulness to each one of us, if only we believe.

This was my first Maureen Lang read, and I will read more.  After receiving this historical romance novel from Tyndale House, I learned that All in Good Time is the second in the Guilded Legacy Series.  After researching the series, I’m happy to report that the books in this series are stand-alone books and can be read in any order without fear of losing the thread of any story.


RECOMMENDATIONS:  Those who enjoy Christian and historical romance novels, those with an interest in Denver history, lovers of Maureen Lang, church librarians.

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Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

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