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Beauty Within (A Riley Family Legacy Novella, Book 1) (Riley Family Legacy Novellas) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 11, 2014
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About the Author
Rachel Skatvold is an inspirational author and stay at home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance, devotions, encouraging blogs. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young children.
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Top customer reviews
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I didn't know what to expect when I began this story. I liked the author on a personal level from out online interactions and I really wanted to like the story. Well I didn't have to try to like it. Not even a little bit. Because I honestly loved it!
This love story in my view rivaled Karen kingsbury. I'm a big fan of hers and how she shows relationships and the faith element. The author wove all of that together seamlessly. I often have trouble reading romance and Christian fiction because they sometimes come off so ridiculous for lack of a better word. But this author made the elements feel like real life. The characters were layered and they interacted enough you could see how and why they fell for one Ankther. The faith element was deep but not in your face or overdone. It was just an all around good job!
The writing was also excellent. I didn't see any errors though I'm no editor! There wasn't anywhere that I tripped up in my reading or had to slow down. In fact I hardly slowed down at all and read the novella in two days.
Great book. I highly recommend it for Christian fiction readers. Romance readers. Or just hose looking for an uplifting story to make you smile.
I thought the story to be rushed in spots; the characters seem to hurry through certain conversations and emotions. Also, the development of evangelistic content in the story felt clichéd to me. As a longtime reader of Christian Fiction, I've seen it in a number of books, where dialogue or scenes seem to follow a prescribed pattern, fitting in the "right" or common Christian lingo, but those scenes wind up reading more like a Gospel tract or a new believer's handbook than a novel or novella, and it pulls me out of the story.
Nevertheless, this quick read should appeal to other fans of sweet and uplifting romances.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4.5 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits. I like the way Katherine and Ryan grow together; it feels very organic and real. Drew waking up well is one of those happy-but-unbelievable things that generally only happen in stories. Setting is clear, believable, and consistent.
Characters: 4 -- Main characters are relatable, realistic, interesting, and dynamic. Katherine deals with grief, her interfering mother, and Shawn's interest with grace and strength, and learns to let go of James to build new memories. Ryan's transformation when he finally stops running from God is amazing and wonderful to see. Minor characters and villains may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. Definite strong points in the relationships between characters. Though this is a novella, Katherine's relationships with each of her family members is at least touched on, and Ryan's love for his brother is clear. Ryan's care for Katherine is also evident, though we don't get many details on their budding romance.
Mechanics and Writing: 3 -- Frequent typos, punctuation issues, and word errors (misplaced commas and quotation marks, and compound word issues). Good use of alternating POV. Generally skillful writing.
Redeeming Value: 5 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Katherine is enjoying the presence of family after years away, and working to mend broken relationships and learning to risk loving again. Ryan has avoided church all his life, and is sure that God can't be loving after his brother is shot. But in a moment of crisis, he screams a desperate prayer, and acknowledges God's hand when he is miraculously saved. He hears the clearly spoken gospel message, and his heart is ready to accept it. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all. Violence has the biggest part, and though Shawn and Ryan both have moments of anger, Ryan's new faith keeps him from killing his brother's shooter, and Shawn admits guilt and repents.
Personal Enjoyment: 4 -- I liked it a lot. Highly enjoyable and very entertaining, with perhaps an issue or two that tempered my pleasure. I’d enjoy reading it again.
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It's the story of Katherine Arnold and Ryan Hudson.Read more