The other day, someone asked me if I knew of a good, quick read or three she could take on a summer trip. Her criteria? “It needs to be a quick read—preferably with a realistic romance. But not just a clean romance. I want some solid faith in there, too.”
She doesn’t ask for much, right?
Look, it’s kind of funny, if you think about it. I’m not a big romancy kind of gal. However, I do have a couple of authors I really enjoyed, despite the sap and mentioned them. Then I remembered that I’d asked to review Toni Shiloh’s Finding Love and had been given a copy by CelebrateLit. And that’s when I knew it was the perfect choice.
Why did a confirmed non-romantic opt to red and review a contemporary romance? Have I gone soft?
No, not really. But you see, I read Toni’s first book, Buying Love, and I liked it. I could see huge potential in it. I suspected I’d like the next even more.
What an understatement.
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Why Finding Love Surprised and Delighted Me
Finding Love did not disappoint. So, I thought I’d do another review like I did of the first one using my quick and dirty guide to book reviews. There’s something to be said for consistency. But first, this book surprised me because I really thought it would be even better than the first, but I had no idea how much! And that fact? THAT is what delighted me.
What I liked:
First off, the characterization in this book—delightful. Delaney Jones and Luke Robinson are neither too perfect or excessively flawed. In fact, Ms. Shiloh did a fabulous job of creating people with personal demons that affect their lives but she didn’t make them overblown and obnoxious. Each character in this book is realistic and engaging—appealing in unique ways that prevent a cookie-cutter feel.
I also loved the writing. All of the issues I complained about in book one—gone. The writing balanced description and dialogue perfectly. And not once did I feel like it rushed or dragged.
What I didn’t like:
Well, I’m sure there’s something… Right? Oh, I know. Since I’m a confessed non-romantic, the mushy bits weren’t my cuppa, but come on. It’s a romance! It’s gonna be mushy. And at least there was none of that sticking your head in the freezer thing. Thank you, Ms. Shiloh!
What made me laugh:
Well, the antics of Delaney’s children. You can tell that Ms. Shiloh has boy or two of her own. She’d have to in order to write such realistic and adorable kids.
Ma Williams. I loved her in the first book and she kept me chuckling in this one, too. Odd that a character I hated at first (loved to hate, really) became one I just loved period!
What made me cry:
Well, I’m not a crier, but if I was, I suspect I would have cried for Luke Robinson. Carrying that burden around had to be difficult—heartbreaking, even. I would have cried for Delaney and having to deal with all of it. Not to mention her family. They went through it all once. And sometimes healing requires reopening wounds to get them properly cleaned.
Then there was the maple bacon cheesecake. Now, I know many people adore that kind of thing, but I couldn’t help but wince. I tend to be an um… purist, if you will. Don’t adulterate my bacon with anything sweet. Hee hee. But, I suspect that those who adore this stuff will, if you give them half a chance, beg for the recipe.
And do I recommend Finding Love?
Absolutely. Finding Love has depth and richness that make for a great read. Perfect for lovers of romance and Southern cooking, this book is also fabulous for suckers for a great Army guy and for books including fun, realistic children. If you love faith woven through your fiction naturally, you’ll love this book.