I must admit, this novel was a bit of a quick read in the good way. There was so much going on with the characters that I simply couldn’t put it down to do what I needed to do in my life! I finished it within days even though I was pacing myself, but it took over a week for this novel to settle with me so I could get my thoughts together in a coherent review. So here goes :)…
Here’s the Deal:
Zane is a pastor with a troubled past who is trying to go about her life with as little drama as possible. Not looking for love. Not looking to let people in. Letting Jesus take the wheel and all that. She already knows that she has enough issues to send any self-respecting female running for the hills screaming, arms flailing, the whole nine.
Jaina is an aspiring social worker who can’t seem to get past her own baggage to help someone else out with theirs, even though it’s her heart’s desire to do so. She wants to make a new life but can’t seem to let go of all that happened in her past to create a full and fulfilling future.
When the two women meet they can’t deny the attraction and the bond they feel for one another. But will that be enough? Will they be able to overcome past and present circumstances in order to figure out if love really can solve everything?
I was intrigued from the start with this book.
No one tweeted, no one texted, the characters in this book hardly even used a computer. The term “courted” was used, and I half expected the two main characters to declare that they were going “steady”…and I absolutely loved it!
It was like the focus was taken off of technology induced bonding and a bright light was shone on the pureness of human emotion and interaction. It was as if this novel came from an era where things were easier, and love was much more common and lasting than it can be today. Mind games and high drama were out of the question from the very beginning and the amount of baggage that both characters carried with them prompted them to be completely honest with one another from the start of their relationship. It was refreshing. It gave me hope. These were the kinds of romances that I feel like I used to read when I was growing up. The ones that I wished would involve women falling in love. And now they do 🙂
It’s so common that the people you meet on the path of life have some sort of emotional scarring in their past. It’s nice to read about people who don’t just happen to be perfect but are somehow lonely. Zane and Jaina had real, actual issues in their lives, but I appreciated how in the course of their relationship they tried to deal with all of the issues that arose in a real way. They talked things out. Issues were not solved in just one conversation, but it took several conversations. It took days, and it took gentle, loving care from both sides of the relationship in order to make their partnership work.
This book deals with hardcore life grit. The topic of abuse is covered, and as a victim of abuse I appreciate how gently it was handled. I felt like abuse and all of the emotions that accompany it was handled with care instead of just graphic sensationalism. So, this book gets a small round of applause from me for that one fact alone.
What I liked most:
Zane had a cool relationship with her car, an iconic Thunderbird, that also connected her to her late father, almost as though he were watching over her the whole time. I was almost sure that the Long Island Medium would tell her she was right… 🙂
There were profound food-for-thought, one-liners sprinkled throughout the book that made me think for days on end about the characters and the specific lessons in the story. It reminded me of why I started reading in the first place: the chance to fall completely into a story and to even be influenced by characters and an author that I have never met. Everyone has a story to tell and things to be learned from their journey and I loved learning about Zane and Jaina.
There are even some fun unexpected surprises thrown into the story and overall, this book was an absolute joy to read. It is a story of growth, of love, of hope and of the resilient nature of the human spirit. I could hardly ask for more.
What I didn’t like:
There was only ONE thing that had me pouting throughout the entire story! There was a fair amount of “telling” instead of “showing”. In writer speak, that means that the author writes something about the characters in a way where they tell us what happened to them instead of showing us what their faces looked like, what their thought processes were or exactly what was said between two characters. We got passages like:
They talked for hours. Gazes lingered longer with time. Jana’s search for family was the main topic, but they spoke of other things as well.
And instead, I wished I could have seen more of such a pivotal conversation. A relationship was forming. I wanted to feel the static cling of their tense emotions. I wanted to see the sparkle in their eyes. I wanted to live in their skins and passages like that just wound up holding me at a bit of a distance from them.
I felt like I was given an overview of some of THE most important relationship parts of the book, which was a shame because with characters as interesting and charming as Zane and Jaina, I wanted nothing less than to totally take them into my soul for the duration of the book. I felt like sometimes there was so much that happened in the plot line that to save space and not make the book 500 pages long, the author sacrificed some of the minutia of Jaina and Zane’s life together. But I wanted it ALL. All supposed 500 pages of it that existed in my mind.
In all, it’s actually a hallmark of a wonderful book premise and amazing characters that my only critique is that I wanted MORE. I hope that this one point comes across as a compliment to a wonderful and unique writer. I usually try to stay away from heavily editorial comments because 1. I am not an editor, although sometimes, how I wish I were. and 2. The aim of my reviews is not to help a writer re-write the whole story or to say “I could have done this SO much better” but instead, to talk about how I enjoyed it as entertainment, how the book made me feel, how it made me think, the impression that it left me with.
This is undoubtedly a book that I would recommend over and over again. I have already re-read and journaled about so many parts of it, because it contained wisdom as well as a wonderful love story that was given some extremely difficult hurdles to jump. It was inspiring, and it made me even want to write a fanfic or two about the characters. Just to live with them a bit longer. To get them under my skin.
Be sure that this is simply my long winded, and most probably extra redundant way of saying that this was a great read. I enjoyed it. You should read it too! It deserves all the praise, roses, rainbows and unicorns that I can give it. KA Moll is a superb author who really takes the time out to interact with readers, even on a small blog like mine 🙂 I had been intrigued and waiting to get to soul mates for a very long time and it absolutely did not disappoint.
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Reviews are love
Wishing you romance, and whimsy
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