Sunday, December 2, 2018

For Love's Sake - Staci Stallings Once Again Sharing His Love! A Personal Favorite for 2018!

To all those who realize that injustice to one Is an injustice to all… easy it is to get caught up in your station in life and to begin to forget 
that the suffering of others should be the suffering of us all...

Love can change the world In big ways and small.
 This book is for All those who believe
 In the power of love enough
 To work for a better world 
Than the one they were born into.

I can always depend on Staci Stallings to remind me of God's Love through her novels. Since my days in grade school, I have always been troubled by the stories of slavery. They were so contradictory to those stories that I learned in Sunday School...about God's love, his creation of each of us in His image, and giving His son to die for all of us who responded to His Call. God never said that He loved only white people, or those of any other race...He said all of us. You know, when you hear and accept these stories when you are a child accepting Christ as your Savior, you believed and continued to believe that Truth...

“This is ridiculous,” Bryna Elliott said as the carriage bounced roughly beneath her. “I should be home, taking care of Sissy and Nathaniel, not out here showing off for the Bromleys. They already know they’re better than us. What am I trying to prove?” 
“I don’t know why you insist on being so difficult about such things,” her brother, Frank said, sliding his hands over his gloves. “Parties are really not the ostentatious trials you make them out to be.” 
“For you maybe.” Bryna shook her head and looked out at the darkness highlighted with flashes of lightning and spattered with the icy raindrops of early January. It was almost certain they would turn to snow by morning. “Really, Bryn. Sometimes I wonder if you think you are the servant rather than the other way around.” 
“She’s my friend.” 
“She is not your friend. She’s your slave. There’s a difference.” 
Bryna’s soul hardened around the word. Sissy had never been her slave. The word wove terrible things into Bryna’s soul. Sissy was her friend. More to the point Sissy was her own person with her own thoughts and her own dreams. Of course, Frank would never understand that, or accept it. The carriage slowed and then turned, bringing Bryna’s attention back to the present. “Why are we stopping?”
“I told you, Daniel Brody is now occupying the old Hathington place. I told him we would come and get him for the evening.” Frank checked her with a hard look. “Please don’t embarrass me.” 
Embarrass me. The words sank right into her heart and held there. It really didn’t matter how much she ever did or why. To Frank, she would always be the family’s greatest embarrassment. Huddled in his long black coat and black hat Daniel Brody who she had no real memory of or interest in one way or the other rocked the whole carriage as he pulled into the cab. 
Bryna rolled her eyes and shook her head as she angled her gaze back outside. The storm had nothing on the tumultuous seething fury in her spirit. Sissy and Nathaniel needed her. The last place she should be was out here, getting cold and soaked for no reason other than society said it was the proper thing to do. Daniel Brody would much rather have stayed home and sorted the books in the extensive library he had recently inherited. His uncle’s estate was a labyrinth of old rooms filled with dust and who knew what else. The place hadn’t been touched in years, not since his uncle had died and his mother had taken over as the last of the Hathington family. The estate had been his grandparents’ before that though he hardly remembered them at all. The sad truth was the Hathington family line was riddled with more heartache than a Shakespearean tragedy. In fact, that was just one of the reasons his heart had used to justify this particular move. He could take the heartache of back East no more. 
“You know,” the young lady in the silver dress said to Frank, and Daniel heard the spite, “I don’t want to stay all night.” She checked Daniel with a look meant to keep him quiet, and he gladly complied. “I don’t know why we’re out in the first place. It is a cold, wet, miserable night. Not to mention that church is in the morning, and…” 
“Am I to understand that we are to be serenaded with a long litany of the horrors of the night and parties in general the whole way to the Bromley’s, Bryna?” her brother asked. Then he looked over at his seat companion. “Daniel, I beg your forgiveness for thinking it wise to bring my sister along. It will do nothing for your digestion, I assure you.” 
Daniel pulled his gaze up from under his hat and smiled at her. She was, in truth, very lovely, save for the scowl etched on her face. “The truth sometimes is less favorable than we would like,” he said, bowing only slightly to her. For a moment, Frank seemed to puzzle over the statement, and then he dismissed it entirely. “So, Daniel, are you serious about building this library of yours in our fair town? It seems a huge waste of your albeit extensive resources.” 
“It is not a waste,” Daniel said, bristling. “It is a dream.” 
His gaze went to hers, challenging her to join her brother in his assessment of the plan. “And it is one I intend to see through to fruition.” 
Frank shook his head. “I’m just saying with the backing you have, you could do anything. I don’t understand why…” 
“Don’t waste too much time and energy trying to figure it out,” Daniel said with something of a smile. “Half the time I don’t even understand it myself.” 
“Well, if you ever decide to give up this foolishness, we would be glad to have you join us at Schuler’s. I’m quite certain there would be a place for a man of your vast knowledge and learning there.” 
On her side of the carriage Bryna, laughed softly and shook her head. Daniel’s attention went over to her and held. He wanted to ask who she was laughing at. However, before he got the words into his head, the carriage stopped in the expansive driveway of a brightly lit large mansion. The driveway itself was lined side-to-side with carriages and horses and three inches deep in mud. “Now, Bryna, since we’re here,” Frank said, ducking to her though Daniel could plainly hear him, “could you please at least try to act as if you know how to behave in polite society? I know how very difficult that is for you, but it would be nice to be able to enjoy an entire evening without hearing you complain about every little thing.” 
The carriage stopped completely before she could reply, and had it not meant leaving Mr. Brody to also fend for himself, Bryna would’ve waited for Frank to get out and then left without him. However, by the rapid tip-tapping on the roof and the flashes of lightning everywhere else, it was clear the skies had opened up for real. The icy rain was hardly coming in drops anymore. It was more like solid sheets one after the other after the other.
When Frank opened the door, the sleet pelted even the inside of the carriage with chilly bursts of ice-water, blown in by fierce gusts of cold wind. Each gust shook the carriage at its very foundation. 
Bryna shivered and fought not to shriek for the terror of the shaking. Knowing she was going to be a soaking wet, muddy mess by the time she got across the driveway to the door, she gathered up her skirts. So much for her hair that she hadn’t even really bothered to fix. 
Frank never so much as stopped when he got out. Instead, he proceeded post haste through the ice pellets, dodging the other carriages and slogging his way to the illumination of the front door. 
Heaving a breath because she was once again on her own as she always was with Frank around, Bryna started for the carriage door. 
“Wait,” Mr. Brody said, holding up his hand to stop her from where he still sat. She turned, half in rage and half in surrender. Before she could even ask, he angled carefully around her and disembarked. For a second she considered just staying in the carriage. It wasn’t like anyone would miss her. However, Mr. Brody was now on the ground, the ice-rain splattering across his wide-brimmed hat. 
With a sigh, Bryna pulled her wrap closer to her with one hand and her skirt with the other, preparing to brave the cold that was now flooding into the carriage. Head down, she started out; however, on the first step, her gaze caught on Mr. Brody standing there, his hand held out to her. “May I?” Perplexed by both the gesture and the soft expectation in his dark eyes, she hesitated, not knowing what he meant much less how to answer. Then, in that moment, he stepped closer, and without another word, he swept her off the step and right up into his arms. She gasped both at the action and because he felt absolutely rock-solid beneath her. He settled her only once. “Good?” he asked, his eyes mere inches from hers. Her breath locked tight in her chest. “Yes.” He wrapped her closer to him, ducked and headed through the downpour. Bryna saw no real reason to protest or to get any more wet than she already was, so she huddled into the protectiveness of his body, the feeling of which nudged to get into her consciousness, but she beat that back. She hardly knew the man...

But History shows that many did not accept or understand God's all-encompassing love. One of the most horrendous  things that occurred against God's desire to love all His children, was slavery. While most were abused out in the fields, many children were placed in the care of Black nannies and others who served as indoor slaves. In the natural way that children do, white children, born to the White Master slaveowners, came to love those inside servants just as much as they loved anybody else...

Bryna Elliott was such a child. She had never thought of those who worked in their house as slaves. She loved them and wanted to help take care of them just as they had done for many years for her and her family. But now, only Bryna and her brother was left and times were hard.

Frank Elliott had chosen not to keep the plantation going and as he became involved in the business world, he had routinely started selling the slaves that had come to him through his inheritance. One of them had been the brother and son of the family who were now the only ones left...Bryna considered them her family; Frank argued that they were slaves, paid for and owned...

The personalities of the men who were now in Bryna's life was easily and quickly identified, within the first meeting of Daniel Brody, a friend of her brother, Frank. Readers will discern that Frank apparently learned from his father--that people were possessions to provide service. Even his sister was treated this way. Even though Bryna said little, knowing that Frank could be worse and fearful that he could choose to sell another member of what she considered to be her family.

At that same time, readers will watch and grow fond of Daniel Brody for his chivalrous actions, not only because he was attracted to Bryna, but because he was a good man. Still, it was fun with Bryna not trusting men in general, and not knowing Brody at all, as she refused to favorably respond to his kindness and, yet, when she needed help, she was willing to get him involved in order to save the people she loved. Because of the storyline relationships, I'm not going to share any more, other than to say that the drama is high, the clarity of how slaves were treated is horrendous, and the lack of love that many choose not to show is extraordinarily believable, yet both heartwarming and terrible to consider, depending upon what is happening. I loved all of it and, because of my own interest in how many are unloved and treated badly ...commend Stallings for this book as one of her best, in my opinion...

Highly recommended!


USA Today Best Selling Author, Staci Stallings is a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side. She has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci's stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That's what keeps Staci writing and you reading. So, sit back, grab your Kindle and something to drink, and settle in for some of the BEST stories in all of Christian Romance...

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