Monday, June 22, 2015
LOVE'S RESCUE (Keys of Promise, #1) By Christine Johnson
Release Date: June 2015
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
My Rating - 3.5 stars⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book Description: When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her crippled brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O'Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the upright man he appears to be.
As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to do her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.
From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws readers into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy south. Readers will cheer for Elizabeth and Rourke as they battle the odds and the elements to secure their future.
This book had potential with the interesting premise and the setting, but I found it to be just lukewarm. The writing style was detailed, with religious overtones sprinkled throughout, and for the most part interesting. Unfortunately the plot was rather drawn out and I couldn’t get into the premise until several chapters into the book. I found myself skimming throughout many parts.
Late 1840’s – Elizabeth Benjamin had just left Charleston Harbor and was returning home to Key West along with her maid, Annabelle, and her Aunt Virginia. The purpose of this voyage was to prove to her father that she was now a mature and proper young woman. However, she was returning home as an unmarried woman, the one expectation her parents had insisted that she accomplish.
For four years she’d tried to forget Rourke O’Malley, but her feelings for him had not diminished. They’d only grown stronger. Her parents had made the marriage requirements clear. She needed to choose a husband from her own class or higher, and Rourke O’Malley certainly didn’t qualify.
Rourke O’Malley has spent over a decade as a wrecker. He was looking for a valuable wreck with one good award to get him set up as a merchant and ship owner with his own warehouse. He had to win over Elizabeth’s father’s trust by proving himself as a worthy businessman.
Elizabeth was carrying guilt feelings and painful memories of four years ago when a hurricane had devastated Key West and changed their lives drastically. She felt responsible for her brother, who’d become an invalid because of that horrible storm. The doctors had saved his life, but not his legs.
Secrets are revealed as the story unfolds, and the family presents an eligible suitor, Mr. Finch, for Elizabeth. Her father feels he is a fine match for Elizabeth, but she has other ideas as she cringes over the thought of Mr. Finch. The story has a few twists and turns, but mostly predictable.
On a positive note – The story was heightened by good descriptive writing, which created great visual references for the characters and scenes. Also, I liked the character of Elizabeth who never lacked confidence, and emerges as a strong and determined woman. My rating is 3.5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
About the Author: Christine Johnson grew up in small-town Michigan, where tales rise taller than old-growth forest. God blessed her with a love of story, which thus far has led to two RWA Golden Heart® award finals and publication with Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Historical line. When not at the computer keyboard, she loves to explore God’s majestic creation.