“Is there an author you can suggest who has really grown in his or her craft? I’d like to see if I can see the progression.”
It was an unexpected question, but a good one. And I had an answer—blurted it out before I realized I did. “Toni Shiloh.”
“Okay, so how has she grown?”
I remembered the first book—the fabulous premise, the likable characters, the “feel-like-I-could-go-there” setting. I also remembered the things I hadn’t liked. And I tried to explain.
You see, it wasn’t that the first book was a bad book. It wasn’t. If it had been, I wouldn’t likely have read the second. But Toni is a good example of someone who has, over the course of this series, really grown. Info dumps, “telling” rather than showing us the story, and similar things have given way to solid writing.
And I was proud to recommend it. “Look, the first book is interesting and fun. The second is richer and holds more promise. The final book, however… she really took it up a couple of notches.”
Apparently, I talked it up a bit much or something, because the writer said, “So sum up the last one in one word.”
While my brain scrambled to find a word to show tackling a tough topic well, the word “Endearing,” jumped out and landed on the table between us.”
Links may be affiliates that provide me with a small commission. They cost you nothing, however. I also requested a review copy of this book from the publisher. This post is what I thought of it.
What Did I Find Endearing about Enduring Love?
Every once in a while, an author takes a common theme and writes an uncommonly good book with it. I’d say that Toni Shiloh has done this with Enduring Love.
But what’s so endearing about it? Well, what about characters? Belle. Her name belies a hard, pain-filled past and yet personifies who she is inside and out—a beautiful woman. She’s rich, layered, and inconsistent. And, in this book, she should be. It fits her character.
Usually, when I see an inconsistent character, it’s because the author wasn’t careful. This time you read a character crafted to be inconsistent as anyone in her situation would be.
Micah isn’t your typical Galahad, despite having those tendencies. C’mon, Galahad with a bird? It just doesn’t translate. And yet, he wouldn’t be Micah without that bird.
Or maybe it’s how she skillfully wove past characters into this book in a way I don’t think she could have done in the first book. Toni Shiloh has learned the art of giving us what we know and want in just the right places instead of dumping it all on us. She’s managed to make me anxious for the next… and the next.
One thing I know I loved and found particularly endearing…
Banter. There’s a quirkiness to these characters. They slip from serious, to friendly, to avoidance, to teasing banter in a natural flow that you can’t help but want more of.
And this is pure romance.
I’m anxiously waiting for the next book… of traditional Christian romance. Me?!
But even more than character, I think the richest part of this book is its theme. We so often allow our past to define us—to hold us in a relentless grip. And worse than that, we often create rules for ourselves that the Lord would never and has never burdened us with.
Toni Shiloh’s Enduring Love shows these tendencies in rich, authentic narrative that holds your interest and makes you yearn to assure Belle that the Lord has taken all of that from her. She can rest. In Him. If she only will.
If that’s not good writing, I don’t know what is.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, of course, but also to anyone who loves to see the after-effects of the redemptive work of Jesus in someone’s life. It’s a beautiful word picture.
Enduring Love is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Title: Enduring Love
Author: Toni Shiloh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 28, 2018
Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah has her wondering if she’s changed at all.
Micah Campbell can’t understand why Belle is so uptight and wants nothing to do with her until the gentle whispers of God tell him to befriend her. He didn’t count on the feeling of protectiveness to rise up or that spark of attraction.
Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle?
About the Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
Toni spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.
You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.
Guest Post from Toni Shiloh
Hey there, Reader Friends!
I’m so excited for the kickoff of Enduring Love. This is book 3 in the Maple Run series and features the story of Belle Peterson and Micah Campbell. You may remember meeting Micah in book 2 of the series, he is Luke Robinson’s best friend. I tell you, this book has a special place in my heart, one that brought out all the emotions in me.
Belle Peterson is living a life filled with shame and regret. She knows mentally that she’s been forgiven, but can’t reconcile the fact to how a redeemed life should look. And when Micah Campbell walks in her life, she’s certain that she has to stay as far from him as possible to keep from backsliding.
Y’all know our wants rarely meet with reality. I had fun throwing Belle and Micah together in Maple Run. Sometimes to their chagrin but always to my pleasure. J Characters from Buying Love (book 1) and Finding Love (book 2) will make an appearance, rounding out the family that has been created in my fictional town of Maple Run, Virginia.
As you take the time to read Belle and Micah’s story, I pray you keep this verse in your mind. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1 KJV
God does not want us to live a life of shame and guilt. Once we ask for forgiveness, He gives it to us freely. Walk in an abundant life, my friends, and bless others with the grace you so freely received.
Blessings to you,
Reading Is My SuperPower, June 30
Connect in Fiction, June 30
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 1
History, Mystery & Faith, July 1
The Power of Words, July 2
Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 2
Blossoms and Blessings, July 3
Faithfully Bookish, July 3
Texas Book-aholic, July 4
Just the Write Escape, July 5
Carpe Diem, July 6
Bigreadersite, July 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7
Bibliophile Reviews, July 8
Remembrancy, July 9
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 9
A Baker’s Perspective, July 10
Janices book reviews, July 11
proud to be an autism mom, July 12
Mary Hake, July 12
KarenSueHadley, July 13
Simple Harvest Reads, July 13
To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d0f2/enduring-love-celebration-tour-giveaway