Sunday, August 7, 2011

For Christian romantic fiction...this one's a winner!

spectacular Montana skyImage by justinknabb via Flickr
Consider reading McKenzie, the first in
the Montana Skies Series...
Montana Skies Series

By Penny Zeller

I received Kaydie via a giveaway on Susan Holloway's Blog--what a delightful surprise!

Although this is historically set, I found the novel more character driven...they are remarkably created, so much so, that you feel you know the individuals personally. All of them could easily be found in today's world, albeit with slightly different stories.   I love characters to whom you immediately respond, either caring for them, or loving to hate them, don't you?

Kaydie (Montana Skies V2)Kaydie was a very proper Bostonian, born into a wealthy, connected family. Somehow two out of three of the daughters found their way out of the social structure...all the way to living in Montana!

Kaydie had stood up to her parents and had married Darius Kraemer, a man who completely changed after he had access to her inheritance and had squandered it. Thereafter, he became abusive, even to the point of near starvation. Interestingly, her sister McKenzie loved her enough to make her own way to Montana to find her... How? She became a mail-order bride!

Now, after Darius had died, Kaydie was living with McKenzie and her new husband and an adopted son and expecting a child. At the same time, their parents were back in Boston, creating a false story about Darius, his death, and planning to bring Kaydie back home to be properly married and now fulfill the duties of being a member of the Worthington family! 

"...the Worthington family has one of the most upstanding reputations in the State of Massachusetts, despire your unseemly elopement with Darius and McKenzie's reckless marriage to a rancher. We have already told the other families in our social circle that you married Darius, but we altered the details in order to protect your reputation. We did this from the moment you made the egregious error of choosing him as a husband. What else could we say? Our disappointment in you, as you know full well, was profound. Had our peers been privy to the frustrations you placed on your family by your foolhardy choice of a husband, the damage to our family's good name would have been immeasurable..." (p.36)

Isn't it wonderful how children can rebel and become somebody better, because, after all, there are many ways to abuse children...

Kaydie had been physically and emotionally damaged, however, by her first husband and she now vowed she could not ever think of marrying again. At the same time, she knew what would happen if she returned home.

But then she met Jonah, a ranch hand who lived there with the family.

Readers will enjoy the struggle Kaydie faces in overcoming her past. Especially because Jonah brought a similar background into the relationship. But both had something important that had happened in their lives--they had met Jesus Christ and made Him a part of the decision-making for the future. Soon they acknowledged their growing friendship and when it was time for Kaydie to have her baby, it was Jonah she wanted to stay with her:

"Jonah felt helpless. "Is there anything I can do?" he asked. "Anything I can bring you?"
"Can you..."
"Can you...pray with me?"
Jonah gulped. She wanted him to pray out loud again? He still wasn't comfortable doing it, but if it would help to put Kaydie at ease, he figured he could give it another try..."

Many Christian books include internal dialogue and prayer, but I enjoyed the intimacy of the Christian relationships in Kaydie where often a character would ask another, or offer to pray for the other. Zeller's ability to seamlessly intertwine her faith into her characters' lives is exceptionally well done, so much so that you feel as if the faith belongs to that character alone...

For Christian romantic fiction...this one's a winner!

...'This is the most perfect summer day." Kaydie sighed.
"The summers in Montana are something to treasure," Jonah agreed.
"I reckon they are far shorter than the summers I was accustomed to in Mississippi,
but it makes one appreciate them all the more."
"I love how the Montana sky is so blue, and with not even a cloud in it,"
Kaydie said. "I just imagine the Lord dipping His brush in the bluest of blue
paints and using broad strokes to create the perfect sky..."


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  1. Nice review. Your comments about how faith and character are intertwined makes me think I'd like to read it.

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