Monday, December 22, 2014

Mini Reviews: If the Shoe Fits, In the Field of Grace

Title: If the Shoe Fits
Author: Sandra D. Bricker
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received from publisher

Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.
She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?
So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.
But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.
Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.

This was a cute and hilarious story. I love my modernized fairytales, and this was no exception. It was light, fluffy, and sweet. Of course, it wasn't all fluffy, as it had deeper themes and meanings, but it was a quick, fun read.

Julianne is looking for her Prince Charming. After a run-in with a handsome guy who rescued a dog, Julianne is convinced that he is the one and sets out looking for him. To her surprise, she actually finds him. She has romanticized this idea of him, and won't listen when her best friend, Will, tries to reason with her.

Although Julianne is a quirky, kind, fun person otherwise, her obsession with this guy--Paul--was more than slightly annoying. The way she kept holding on to him even when he proved they probably weren't meant to be. Will himself provided angst as everyone but Julianne knows he's in love with her, and yet he still doesn't do anything.

Bricker has such a witty and hilarious writing style, and this time was no different. The antics of the characters will have you laughing out loud. The light, humorous way that Julianne and Will figure out exactly what they want, and how to get there, will have you sympathizing and shaking your head at them at the same time.

This is a sweet, fun book that is a quick, but entertaining read, especially for those who like their best friends romances.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Sandra D. Bricker:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Title: In the Field of Grace
Author: Tessa Afshar
Genre: Biblical Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received from publisher

Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi's home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left--a strong back and a willing heart--to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.
Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.

I've read quite a few Ruth stories, but this one still managed to seem different and unique and captivated me. I love my Biblical retellings, and this one was no different.

I liked how this one veered from some of the other Ruth stories that are out there to stand out. I love how Afshar added in Boaz's first wife, which I hadn't seen before. I also liked how Afshar reimagined Ruth's growing up/family life as not-so-positive, which I also hadn't seen done before. And the epilogue, skipping all the way over to David and Solomon, was interesting and a great way to end the story.

The writing style captured me from the beginning, and captivated me the whole way through. I liked how it switched perspectives from Boaz to Ruth, to add another dimension to the story. The culture was well researched, and made me feel like she knew what she was talking about, which I've always found important.

I respect the creative license the author took with the story, as she still made it seem true and respectful to the Biblical account. I felt like Ruth and Boaz were real people, with real emotions and feelings, instead of just someone from so long ago, that we only hear stories about.

Retelling a Bible story can be hard, but I think Afshar did a great job not only creatively but emotionally, bringing a new depth to the story.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Tessa Afshar:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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