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Saturday, July 2, 2005

Report on Finding Hope, my first Inspirational Romance

Let me first say thank you to Brenda Coulter, author of Finding Hope, for challenging me to read an Inspirational Romance.

The Romance Novel Challenge was designed by Brenda to broaden her reading horizons while teasing some of us who have never read a romance novel (or an inspirational romance novel) into giving one a try. She promised to share her impressions of the books she is"forced" to read, so here is my report on the book I was challenged to read.

On the book jacket:

Dr. Charles Hartman didn't need anyone--being a doctor took up most of his time. Besides, he'd learned what all women were after: a doctor husband and his family's money.
But after crashing into his life--and his car--in the hospital parking lot, college student Hope Evans had taken on an unlikely mission: to bring out the "nice guy" in Charles. He'd simply helped her out a bit that day, and suddenly this bright, energetic woman twelve years his junior had befriended him, and wanted to put him on the road to faith.

And usually strong-willed Charles was having the hardest time saying no....



I know Brenda's reading this, I also know I have to be honest. When I read the book jacket, I thought, "Oh Lord, please help me get through this book and please let me have something nice to say about it." I read the first chapter and put the book down for almost a week. I came back from Nashville and KNEW I had to read it. So before bed on Wednesday night, I picked it up with a sigh. That was about midnight. Five am rolled around as I closed the book feeling --get this-- inspired! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The first chapter didn't grab me. IF I hadn't have been CHALLENGED, I wouldn't have got any further. (Nothing against you Brenda, just not my style) Let me go on record to say that I am GLAD I was challenged. Because Brenda created characters I will not forget. I could identify with each of them (except Claire, but she wasn't didn't seem that important to the story). I fell in love quickly with Charlie mostly because he is much the same as my husband Phil. Ok, Phil's not a doctor and he's not dripping with money, but he was that hardened man who thought he couldn't and didn't deserve love. Phil and I both share the sense of humor that painted the pages of Finding Hope. The conversations were so real and the settings were described so well that I didn't feel like Brenda was telling me what to see, I just saw it. It took me longer to fall in love with Hope. I fell in love with Tom during his second appearance. It is incredible that I was so drawn to these three that I could not put the book down until I was done. (Did I tell you that I stayed up all night reading this?) LOL! Lack of sleep did NOT help me get my laundry done in the morning. As a matter of fact, I'm still not caught up on my housework. (Shhh...you'll find I never am. I'd much rather read and write.)

What I liked most was the inspirational part. It was the first time I've read a book that talks about who is saved and who is not. It has genuine prayers entwined into the fabric of the story and God's grace is splashed throughout, just like our lives. I must have cried two or three times with concern or joy...as if these people had real souls. That's what made me love this book. It did not feel like I was reading a book. It felt like I was being let into someone's life.

Most of the story had me guessing what might not happen next (except the big event at the end, I saw that coming) Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed Finding Hope and I am hooked on your style Brenda. If all of your books have that sense of humor weaved into them, I'll buy them!

Brenda, my sister, you have succeeded. I'm hooked. (On YOUR books, for the moment) And I trust your opinion for my future reads. It will be fun to discuss others.

2 comments:

Marvin said...

Michelle,

I read Brenda's book last fall. I also read it originally because, well because she came on FiF, and I wanted to be nice to someone who was a member on FiF. I mean Steeple Hill, or whatever, romance fiction... you have got to be kidding I am a man. I like Thomas Hardy, Dostoevesky, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Tolkien. But... I liked Finding Hope.
Blessings,
Marvin

Brenda Coulter said...

Michelle (and Marvin), thanks for reading my book. Your review (and Marvin's comment) gave me a good laugh. I'm glad you stuck with Finding Hope and ended up liking it, but I do understand that inspirational romance novels aren't to everyone's taste and I'm not really expecting to (or trying to) convert anyone. That book was written for people who enjoy such things, so it wouldn't have hurt my feelings any if you hadn't been able to get through it.

But again, thanks for reading.