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Saturday, September 10, 2011

My review of Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan!

Deeply Devoted: A Novel (The Blue Willow Brides)About the book:

A Blue Willow tea set, a tragic past, a worn letter, and devotion to her two younger sisters, is all that mail order bride Catharine Olsen brings from Amsterdam to Cheyenne, WY to meet her future husband. Peter is a gentle, but hard-working wheat farmer, who doesn't realize the extent his meddling mother will go to in order to discredit his bride after he decides not to marry the lady she chose for him. Will Catharine's secret past threaten the idyllic life she has created with her new husband?

My review:

I can't remember the last time I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish a book. I could NOT go to bed last night until I had read the last page and I started in the afternoon. You know it's a fantastic book to hold my attention for over 300 pages, make me skip dinner, and then make me unable to rest until I finished to whole thing. I think it was about 2AM by the time I went to bed. This story was awesome! It started out sweet like any other Christian book but kept intensifying with each chapter. Important elements of the story slowly trickled out over time and made it impossible to put down.

I had not read any books by Maggie Brendan before and figured this would be like any other typical Christian prairie romance, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Boy, was I wrong about that! It was anything but typical. I am so glad I joined the blog tour for this book because this is one of the few Christian fiction titles available that deals with mail order bride issues that doesn't make you wait for the entire book while they "get acquainted," if you know what I mean. I was thrilled about that. I always figured in real life it didn't work that way, only in Christian books, LOL! And unlike many novels that deal with secrets, this one had situations that were believable and worked for me. I absolutely loved the characters. All of them. Even the meddling mother/mother-in-law.

This novel is not only incredibly romantic with a hero that is swoon-worthy, but it makes you think about communication in marriage and makes you want to be a better spouse. Seriously. I loved Peter. Absolutely adored him. And when he got upset I understood it. Rather than getting ticked off at him I just hurt for him. Same for Catherine. She wasn't a petty wife with dumb issues that are supposed to carry an entire story. She was like a real person to me. I loved her and her sisters. I especially loved the scenes with her and Peter and their coming together as husband and wife. Tastefully done, yet enthralling at the same time.

I wish all Christian historicals were this yummy and inspirational. I think more people would switch over from secular fiction if they found more books like these on the inspy shelves. The scriptures all fit perfectly, too, and there was nothing sappy about the faith element. It wasn't heavy-handed, but was clearly present. I can't say enough good things about the book. The writing was stellar, too. I highly recommend it. It's making my best fiction list for this year!

Deeply Devoted was published by Revell and released in Sept 2011.


Shawna K. Williams said...

Sounds like one I'd enjoy!

DeAnna Julie Dodson said...

This sounds great! I just ordered a copy.

I wish there was more "married fiction" in the CBA. I think it's important for people to see that love and romance don't have to end once the couple is married.

Julie Lessman said...

Michelle!!! I AM so thrilled you enjoyed this too!! I think it is Maggie's best work, and I was privileged to endorse it.

will miss you lots at ACFW, my friend!


Julie Lessman said...

DeAnna ... I TOTALLY agree which is why I focus on marital romance in my books ALL the time. I get so sick and tired of romance being relegated only to the young singles, so Baby-Boomer Authors, UNITE!!! Let's show the world what marriages can be like with the Christ at the center!!


DeAnna Julie Dodson said...

I'm with you, sister!

Maggie Brendan said...

Thank you Michelle for this wonderful review. It really touched my heart. And thank you, sweet Julie, for your great endorsement of my book. Missed you at the conference Michelle. :(

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