The Return of Cassandra Todd
Thoroughly enjoyable contemporary fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed The Return of Cassandra Todd and am glad to discover the writing of Darrel Nelson. Set in modern-day Denver, this stand-alone novel addresses the issue of spousal abuse and its effects on the family. Darrel's writing is tight, with no unnecessary words, and flows easily. He also gives vivid descriptions of Denver and the beautiful mountain scenery surrounding it. While primarily a relationship drama, there are elements of suspense as Cassandra flees from her abusive husband in order to protect their son. I'm not usually a fan of suspense, but this aspect was done very well.
Darrel has a gift for creating down-to-earth characters who you feel right at home with. Turner spent four years after high school graduation working at a Christian youth camp for troubled teens, developing both outdoor and maintenance skills in the process. Forced out due to budget cuts, he becomes the handyman at Colorado's Mountain View Motel, run by the whiny but loveable Harvey and his nurturing wife, Loretta. Cassandra was a popular high school cheerleader who later married the star football player, Brad, who thrived on bullying the younger Turner.
Turner's faith is weak, while Cassandra has a strong faith which serves her well during the time of crisis she faced. Anyone who has seen God place special people in their life during much-needed times can relate to this story. Cassandra believes that Turner was the answer to her prayers, the one person who could help, and recalls the story of Esther in the Bible. "I believe you were led to us because you were the only one who had the skills to do what you did. . . . I believe you were raised up for such a time as this."
I was impressed by the insight into his characters that Darrel shows, as well as the wisdom with which he infuses them. Rather than having a chance to become reacquainted and build on their relationship, Turner and Cassandra were forced into a situation where they had to rely upon each other, and that bonded them in a special way - yet would that bond prove to be a strong foundation for love? The uplifting ending is different from what we normally see in Christian fiction, and I found it both moving and realistic.
I highly recommend The Return of Cassandra Todd to all readers and look forward to more from Darrel Nelson.
This book was provided by Booketeria in exchange for my honest review.
November 23, 2013
Turner Caldwell remembers all too well the living hell high school was for him. He also remembers one cheerleader, Cassandra, who didn't seem like the rest; sympathetic to his plight, but too afraid to reach out and help him. He thought he had put his past and bitterness behind him, but when she shows up unexpectedly with her 4-year-old son, Justin, Turner's life takes an completely unexpected turn.
When Cassandra's husband turns out to be someone from Turner's past, he is at loss for what to do with the two fugitives at his door. If he shelters them, they may very well be able to escape the men that are hunting them. If he turns them away, either mother or child might end up dead. Does he have the courage he needs to save two innocent lives from the clutches of a man who has no regard for anyone but himself?
This book literally had me sweating it out. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, all because I simply had to know what was going to happen next. It was a hostage situation in the form of a novel, and I was the victim. Nelson paints a story so harrowing you will find yourself trying to plan the next step alongside Turner. There were some excellent supporting characters in this novel, along with unforgettable lessons about life, love and faith. Don't let the cover scare you of, men - I promise this is a good one!
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
August 13, 2013
Turner Caldwell was the target of mean-spirited pranks and taunts in high school, but he has moved on. That is, until the popular girl whose friends bullied him, returns to Lakewood and brings back memories he thought heÃ¢ÂÂd forgotten. When he realizes the trouble Cassandra Todd is in, he has to decide quickly whether he will help her and her son get away from her abusive husband.
As danger draws nearer, Turner must decide to forgive and save them all from the hands of a madman. Will forgiveness be enough? Will he save them in time? Has Cassandra really changed? Is she using him just to get away from her husband?
Page-turning excitement, difficult relationships, wonderful dialogueÃ¢ÂÂall wrapped up in Ã¢ÂÂThe Return of Cassandra ToddÃ¢ÂÂ by Darrel Nelson. If you like the Christian Romantic Suspense genre, you will certainly be fascinated by NelsonÃ¢ÂÂs latest work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Charisma House, a Strang Company, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
March 27, 2013
I am such a fan of Darrel Nelson and have been anticipating this novel since it was mentioned in his last awesome book, THE ANNIVERSARY WALTZ. In the middle of the night Cassandra Todd and her son left her abusive husband. Taking the bus to her hometown she planned to take care of a bank transaction and leave right away knowing this would be the first place he would look for them.
Turner Caldwell is one of Cassandra's former high school classmates and was in love with her but never told anyone. He also was bullied terribly during those years. He's shocked when he spots Cassandra going into the bank one afternoon. Eventually they are thrown together and what entails is a suspenseful tale of abuse endured by these two people.
I loved this book! Nelson has great talent and writes in such a way you feel the characters pain and anxiety. He deals with the long term effects of abuse wonderfully. I highly recommend both of Nelson's books!
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
March 25, 2013