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Prodigal Nights Kindle Edition
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Showing 1-4 of 37 reviews
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Best bits: Both Jason and Bethany dealt poorly with tragedy in their pasts, turning to wild living to try to drown out pain. Now when they meet, they are each afraid that their partying pasts make them unlovable, or that being with someone who is rumored to be a partier will pull them back down into that way of life. Once convinced that they are both Christians and trying to live right, they dive into love pretty whole-heartedly. Bethany's father is in the security and defense business, so she was raised to be vigilant, cautious, and strong. She tries to be independent and strong even in the face of danger. Jason allows her to cry, which ends up being what she needs. Themes of God's freely given grace, and the newness of life offered to those who repent and turn from their sinful pasts. Also a strong representation of the struggle to "be good" when dating, especially when both people have had sex and know what they are missing. I loved the conversations Bethany and Rhonda have with Valerie about how following God's laws doesn't mean no fun.
Issues: Mild typos (mainly commas and unnecessarily capitalized words here and there). A solid story, good use of alternating POVs. As with her first book, there's a random sub-plot that is probably intended to add drama, but it really only adds confusion and is then dropped and left unresolved. (Her brother Brad's Peruvian treasure map, in this case.) That should've been left out entirely, there was plenty of drama and intrigue without it. Slightly confused about the story they have apparently told their children many times--what big splash, and who did Jason make cry? Not sure if this was meant to suggest the story turned into a family fable, or if it's actually a mistake.
I also appreciated the perspective on the physical side of a Christian romance. So many inspirational romances gloss over that aspect of human physiology as if Christian’s are exempted from “temptations of the flesh”. It’s unrealistic and I’d rather a romance prepare young ladies for those feelings than pretend they don’t exist.
Frankly, the only part of the book I disagreed with was the opinion the main couple seemed to have that it was harder for them to “be good” because they knew what they were missing. Coming from someone who married the only man she ever dated, I distinctly remember how strong those physical temptations can be and I didn’t have past indiscretions fueling the desires.
I did also think two of Bethany’s coworker friends were rather stereotypical. I would have enjoyed it more if Rhonda, the solid Christian, had been the one with spiky, tinted hair. But that’s a personal preference of mine, always going against the stereotype, and I doubt any other reader would notice.
* I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. *
This novel follows NADIA'S HOPE. Bethany was Nadia's roommate in the first book. The Bethany here doesn't seem nearly as tough, however. She has also given up the wild ways she exhibited as she lashed out against her heartache. However, Nadia is barely mentioned here, so you could read them in any order without spoiling the other.
Bethany's father's involvement in the defense industry, some old jealousies from the past, and her brother's treasure map all add a dash of intrigue and mystery. The real story, however, involves Jason, her team leader at work, and a man with such appeal that she can't ignore him. He too had some wild times, but now that he's accepted God's grace, he tries to be extra cautious not to fall back into his old ways. In the process, he can be too hard on himself and others.
I really enjoyed this story. I found NADIA'S HOPE to be a little better, but this one was good, too. The ending seemed to be a little too drawn out. The couple had to fight their physical attraction to each other over and over again to stay true to their beliefs, and certain phrases were repeated too often. I still can say I loved the book, however.