Love in the Balance, Ladies of Caldwell County Series #2
Loved the suspense!
This was a very well written book! It was a page Turner and keep you from putting the book down! Loved the story that kept you reading. It was hard to find a stopping point! Can't wait for book 3!
May 18, 2013
Powerful Story on so Many Levels
We first met the ambitious Molly Lovelace in Regina JenningsÃ¢ÂÂ debut novel, Sixty Acres and a Bride as she attempted to romance the hero of that novel, Weston Garner. Fortunately for both Weston and Molly, the lovely and sweet Rosa entered his life and stole his heart. However, MollyÃ¢ÂÂs story wasnÃ¢ÂÂt complete, as readers received a bit of a teaser in Sixty Acres and a Bride regarding MollyÃ¢ÂÂs future romance with a sweet talking cowboy, WestonÃ¢ÂÂs cousin Bailey. In JenningsÃ¢ÂÂ newest novel, Love in the Balance (published by Bethany House Publishers), readers are given to understand the driving forces behind MollyÃ¢ÂÂs behavior in Sixty Acres, as well as learn to love her as she discovers, in many ways the hard way, the path God wants her on and how that path reconciles with her ambitions.
Bailey, finally released from his duties on his family farm, is desperate to gain employment and finally be in position to court and marry the lovely Molly. Molly, while desperately hoping Bailey can make good on his promises and desires, is continually pestered by her social-climbing parents who raised Molly to only accept a marriage proposal from someone wealthy and powerful. With Bailey scoring a zero on both of those descriptions, Molly is left with the decision to allow BaileyÃ¢ÂÂs pursuit or accept another manÃ¢ÂÂs invitation.
Edward Pierrepont stopped in the small Lockhart, Texas on his travels across America and his eyes immediately found Molly. Determined in his pursuit of her, he wooed her and more importantly, wooed her parents. With his fine manners, wealthy family, and handsome countenance, Edward is everything the Lovelaces hoped for their daughter. Molly, too, enjoyed EdwardÃ¢ÂÂs company, although her heart still called for Bailey. Who will she choose and where will that decision lead her?
Love in the Balance is a powerful story on so many levels. The overarching story of following oneÃ¢ÂÂs heart over oneÃ¢ÂÂs head is, of course, a standard among romantic fiction. But Regina Jennings has gone deeper. In this second novel, the reader confronts the ideas of grace and forgiveness, wisdom in physical relationships and the effects those relationships have in the future, splinters and logs in Christian circles, and of course, making oneÃ¢ÂÂs own decision instead of allowing others full control.
For readers whoÃ¢ÂÂve read Sixty Acres and a Bride, I fully recommend that you give Molly a chance in Love in the Balance. Not only do I think youÃ¢ÂÂll come away with a greater understanding of this young woman, but also a deeper love for those around you. I give Love in the Balance 5 stars.
**I received a copy of Love in the Balance from Bethany House Publishers for free in return for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.**
April 30, 2013
Charming Old West Romance
Love in the Balance stars Molly and Bailey (who we first met in Sixty Acres and a Bride). Molly is a smart, independent, and feisty working girl. Bailey's a former cowboy searching to find his way in the world. They were both raised in the same small Texas town. (I have to confess I have a soft spot in my heart for love stories that begin with childhood friendships.)
In an effective flip-flop of the way things usually progress in a romance novel, the hero and heroine are a happily dating couple on the first page. Things quickly unravel! Molly's head is turned by a wealthy suitor. Bailey struggles to find the calling that the Lord has placed on his life. Over the course of the story, the reader follows Molly and Bailey through their good and regrettable decisions both and waits eagerly to see whether they'll make it back together by the final page.
Regina's voice as an author beautifully suits the Old West setting. She's funny and you can tell, reading her books, that she's a southern girl herself. There's a down home flavor to her writing that brings to mind church picnics, quilts, and churning butter. Fans of Karen Witemeyer and Mary Connealy should definitely give Regina a try!
April 15, 2013
A Prodigal Daughter
Last spring I read Sixty Acres and a Bride and absolutely loved it so I was eager to read the authorÃ¢ÂÂs second book. Both draw on Bible stories for inspiration but it took a while for me to figure out that Love in the Balance is based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Since Sixty Acres is the story of Ruth I wondered if the author would continue the story and let us read her ideas of what happened to Ruth and Boaz, aka Rosa and Weston. That wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the case. Instead the author drew from a different biblical story and gave the reader Molly LovelaceÃ¢ÂÂs story.
Molly wasnÃ¢ÂÂt always a very enjoyable heroine to read about, but her flaws are very human flaws and her mistakes are understandable. Somewhat. The reader is told more than shown the pressure her parents exert on her to marry well.
While there are several kisses, a honeymoon, and passionate thoughts, all those scenes are handled nicely and nothing is described in too much detail.
The way the characters matured and the struggles they faced were well written. I really liked getting to know some of the minor characters a bit better. I just read an interview with Regina Jennings on another blog and learned that the third book in the series will be about Anne Tillerton. CanÃ¢ÂÂt wait!
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
April 13, 2013