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The Reluctant Guardian (Love Inspired Historical) Kindle Edition
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I enjoyed reading this story. It was exactly the book I needed in order to escape a particularly stressful week with my students. This book really does have everything a hopeless romantic could ever want in a book: a strong, capable, and smart heroine, a handsome and tortured hero, an interesting Season with elegant parties and a masquerade, a really bad villain, and a bit of mystery and suspense. This book is written almost flawlessly and is filled with fantastic quotes. I think I may have highlighted a good 1/4 of this book. Here are my two favorite in terms of excellent craft and wit:
“She drew his attention like the point of a compass to true north, and he had to struggle to fix his focus on other things, like his task.”
“He may be handsome, but I cannot spend my life educating a husband. It is too exhausting.”
Aren’t these brilliant lines?! Ms. Dietze, you have exquisite skill at turning a phrase!!! There are many, many more exceptional lines, but I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone.
For me, one of the best parts of this book is the spiritual battle Gemma and Tavin face. Their different spiritual struggles made both characters all the more real to me. Gemma struggles with trusting her future to God. It is very clear she loves and trusts God in the here and now, but she struggles to trust Him with her future. Gemma believes herself to be on the straight path to spinsterhood. She is 24 and past her prime, so she thinks. She is going to London to have her first and only Season, in a sense to check it off her bucket list before she completely resigns herself to life as a lonely old maid. Instead of giving her future to God and letting Him plan her steps, Gemma makes her own “secret” plans, which adds to the suspense of the story and really gets her into a bit of trouble. Gemma finally realizes that she can’t be the master of her future — she has to turn it over to God. And, in doing this, she comes to understand that God’s plan for her is better than anything she could have ever dreamed. I am very guilty of doing this. I often rely on myself rather than God when it comes to my future. Gemma is a great reminder for me to rely on God, and not so much on myself. He is God, and I am not.
Tavin’s spiritual struggle is with forgiveness. Boy, do I understand that struggle! Forgiveness is a hard concept in and of itself, but add the fact that I don’t have to do anything to get it from God other than say I’m sorry, and I’m left flummoxed. What do you mean all I have to do is ask God for forgiveness? That seems too easy! Forgiveness is powerful. It makes me acceptable to God. In my mind, that is a BIG deal. It shouldn’t be an easy thing. Tavin struggles with this concept. He thinks he has to work hard and be punished enough in order to get back into God’s good graces. I so totally get this. But, through the help of Gemma, Tavin does realize that forgiveness really is that easy. God’s mercy and grace are boundless when we have a contrite heart. What a beautiful God we have!
I really enjoyed this story so much, and cannot recommend it enough especially if you are in need of a good book to get lost in. Susanne Dietze is an excellent writer and storyteller. If you are looking for a lovely and engaging Historical Romance then this book is for you. Purchase it today. You will not be sad that you did!
Bottom Line: The Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze belongs on your bookshelf. Whether you’re a fan of Regencies or well-plotted suspense & intrigue or just a fan of swoony romance, put this on your must-reads list! A fan-necessitating hero, a spunky heroine, nail-biting action, a delicious love story, perfectly-timed humor and tender faith. It doesn’t get much better.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)