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Showing 1-10 of 370 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 423 reviews
on April 22, 2014
I only read through chapter 13 and decided I could not finish it. I did not feel that it was necessary to go into so much detail about David's sexual "problem". I felt that it lowered this fine story to a level unbecoming to be a Christian novel. A little too trashy for my taste. It's too bad because the story was interesting.
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on June 15, 2014
The story line was OK, but there was too much focus & attention spent on the "marriage bed" as well as the one who violated it frequently. When I read Christian romance novels, I expect clean reading. This is too close to other romance novels that I would not read, & I am struggling to keep pure thoughts after finishing this book.
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on August 2, 2013
Tragedy seems to follow Caroline Martin. Her mother died when she was something like two days old. Her father dies after years of Caroline taking care of him, she has to move from Boston to live with her uncle and cousin in Philadelphia, and her chaperone even dies on the way. Caroline meets Liam O'Donovan and his brother, David, who are her uncle's neighbors. Liam seems to be a fine, upstanding young man, but David is a womanizer and has an obsession with sex. The lives of these characters weave together in a way Caroline never imagined, but she does find love.

I had some minor problems with the book. For a Christian (Catholic) novel, there is a lot of emphasis on sexual topics, although nothing is explicit. Some of the terminology was hard to follow. Patsie kept saying "foin" at different times," and it took me a while to realize it was dialect for "fine." "Riding coat" was a condom. Parts of the story was gripping, but other parts dragged. The end could have also been stronger. The ending didn't tie up everything with any better conclusion than if it at ended at other points. In fact, I got the impression that ups and downs and hard times would continue for Caroline and her family. Although this may be realistic, it didn't leave me feeling good about the novel.
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on May 15, 2016
I had started this book several years ago and then set it aside because it only seemed to be about sex, and I was surprised it would be classified as a Christian story. I picked it up again recently, read past that part far enough to realize that the book was about the gift of repentance, and how it is possible to change even if it's very difficult, as with God all things are possible.

The style of writing seemed trite and forced, but once I got used to it, it was easier to get through the story without being distracted by the style. That's the same way when I read books by authors from this historic period, I have to get acclimated to the style before I can enjoy the story.
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on September 11, 2016
A can't-put-it-down story of two very different brothers (one the "good" brother and the other one the "bad" brother) and the young woman who married the "Good" brother. There is terrible tragedy, death, much love, sin, a forced marriage, conversion and, over all, God's mercy to bring true freedom and joy. Also, a good explanation of several aspects of the Catholic Church's beliefs and traditions. Can't wait to read the second book of this series!!
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on June 21, 2015
If you love a good romance, you’ll find yourself swept up in this one. I found the story really gorgeous and very unexpected in the way it unfolded, for me it ticked all the boxes for a highly entertaining read. But while it’s true that Ellen has written a gripping and unpredictable plot with thoroughly believable and endearing characters, this isn’t all the magic of the story. Yes, it is the story of a great love between two people, but at a deeper level it is also about the great and enduring love that God has for His people -- for each and every one of us – through our joys and sorrows. This is the God I know, and clearly the God Ellen knows. By far my favourite book by Ellen Gable.
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on November 1, 2012
Ellen Gable created the perfect storm for this historical romance by trying Caroline and David in the refiner's fire of their mutual and growing sexual attraction. From the first pages I could feel a palpable chemistry between them and had hoped they would marry. I was a little disappointed when Caroline married Liam instead. I couldn't put the book down until I could figure out why Liam rather than David. The sexual tension between Caroline and David is subtle, yet dynamic and seems to grow stronger as the story progresses towards Liam's untimely death, which ultimately sets the stage for the forcible, yet ever-changing and evolving relationship between them.

In Name Only portrays the authentic human battle between flesh and spirit waged on the conscious and subconscious levels not only for the characters but in real world too. Ms. Gable artfully weaves orthodox Catholic teaching on sexual morality into her unique tale and in so doing unfolds the real human drama of life and love. She shows that authentic Catholic sexual mores rather than constrain human sexual expression actually frees and empowers man and woman to transcend the primordial battle of concupiscence by fully integrating flesh and spirit into one harmonious life-affirming, life-giving whole.

In the end, Ms Gable didn't let me down. Caroline and David do marry even if at first IN Name Only. Along the way I felt their pain, joy, frustration, confusion, insight, growth and delight as each in his/her own way gained mastery over self by moving from selfish vanity and/or lust to mutual sacrificial self-giving love through their daily encounters whether they be confrontations, misunderstandings, disappointments or mutual respect and support.

Ms. Gable drew me into the lives of her characters not only because of her keen appreciation of human nature, but particularly her ability to capture in vivid detail its depths, nuances and changeable turns in the development of the emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical aspects of the characters' distinctive,yet complementary gender differences. Complementary gender differences that uniquely capacitate man and woman to be united as one and to love each other for a life-time without counting the cost.
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on April 21, 2014
I loved the book, but then again I love all books about marriage of" Mail Order Brides or IN NAME ONLY" ect. I hope you will enjoy the book I did. I loved the book more because it is not filled with intercourse before marriage and all the things that are taken for the normal these days. I try sometimes to read books that are up building and bring enjoyment into our everyday lives.I won't tell you the story line because I like getting surprises and I hope you will also!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on August 14, 2012
In keeping with the genre of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, the characters of In Name Only are presented with challenges from the tragic circumstances of their lives and the inner drive of their characters that place them in the crux of compelling drama and becomes the stuff of a book that draws you into its spell and won't let you go. The characters were alive, captivating, and passionate in their convictions, both constructive and not so. It was "steamy," if I may use the word. Such a welcome treatment of love and chastity, desire and unconditional love. The characters are victims of the wrong choices born of the sins of their fathers and mothers as well as their own ill conceived choices. At the same time, the reader learns that the right choices are possible, if difficult, and ultimately, the most rewarding and redemptive. Caroline infuriated me with her stubbornness, but I felt the honesty of her heart; David was appalling at times and yet attractive and redeemable; the physical trials of pregnancy, birth and motherhood will grip the heart of any woman, and the strength and charm of the men beguile them. I can't say enough about it. I look forward to the sequel, because I didn't want the book to end and leave the company of the David and Caroline and their friends and family.
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on February 5, 2013
I'm not a romance reader, but I picked up this book because I know the author (indirectly), and also because her religious and family backgrounds are very similar to mine. I really liked this story. I felt she researched the period she wrote in very well. Her characters were believable and the dialogue authentic. There were some places where I felt the story slowed down and wandered off track, but it found its way on course once again.

What I liked is that it is not a sappy, sugary romance but has complex characters with a lot of real-life issues even though it is set in the 19th century. It showed how faith in God can overcome all obstacles, and that love - true love - as God intends, "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a great story about the bond of love between family, husband and wife, and faith in God. In fact, I recommend reading all of Ellen's masterful works; each one of her books are great. Awesome job, Ellen; God bless you! :)
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