About the book:
Carissa doesn't know who she is anymore. She and her husband, Richard, are recent empty nesters; Richard is spending more and more time at work counseling his volatile clients and less time at home with his wife; his clients are starting to show up at the house at night causing Carissa to feel scared in her own home; and to top it all off, Carissa's boss informs her that she's been "let go." She wonders where God is in all of this since He doesn't seem to be around to protect her - and she's already stopped trusting her husband. In the midst of her world tilting off center, she's offered time at a hideaway on Maui. Hiding seems like the best way to respond to life's overload, and the thought of being alone sounds like just the right balm to soothe her wounded heart. The languid Hawaiian sun, white beaches, and warm-hearted people bring respite, but meeting handsome Kai causes Carissa to toy with the idea of being romantically involved with him. Then, under a Maui moon, she looks to God for guidance and hope for the future. That's when she discovers His hand still is on her life, and that love is closer than she ever realized.
I was hoping I'd enjoy this book more than I actually did. I would have to say that while the story was detailed and exotic regarding her visit to Hawaii, the heart of the story through the middle of the book was lacking. Part of it probably had to do with the anemic betrayal on her end. She sort of popped her big toe into the waters of temptation for about one second, then pulled back and behaved herself. This seems to be typical of most of Christian fiction, which is why so may people think Christians are perfect and they feel that they could never be that way, so they don't even try. But that's an aside...
Not that I was wanting her to do wrong, but I didn't find it very believable that she was so controlled in her behavior, because the anger she had toward him at first was pretty gripping and dare I say a bit justified. Then it just dissipated. I think the transition from pain to healing was a bit too fast and too tidy. The beginning was compelling where I sensed the emotional tension and betrayal, and the ending was tender and sweet, but the middle felt a bit too much like a detour into a vacation with a tour guide, and I found myself asking "where is the story here?" But maybe that is just me. I didn't feel connected to the characters this novel. Beautiful cover, lots of potential, but just didn't grab me. Sorry.
Under a Maui Moon was published by Howard books and release in July 2010. This book was provided to me by Jeane Wynne for review. I received no compensation for my opinion (obviously).