Tombstone Treasures Book Two First Love by Michelle Sutton is the second inspirational romance novel of a trilogy set in Tombstone, Arizona. Tara's life didn't go the way she expected. She never had a chance to act on Broadway, and she 's a hairstylist trying to make ends meet, whose first concern is taking care of her mother who has a severe brain injury from a car accident. The only acting she does is as a spinster in Tombstone, while Josiah, her first love, acts the part of a preacher. She dated Josiah in high school, and he broke her heart and left her for college and the ministry. Four years later, he strolls into her beauty shop to have his hair cut. Both realize they've really never gotten over each other, but they struggle to develop a lasting relationship given their past history.
Dakota is an old high school track team member of Josiah's, but not a true friend. He strives to drive a wedge between Tara and Josiah and talk about a knife in the back, well, read the novel and see for yourself.
Michelle Sutton is well known for her healing hearts novels and edgy Christian fiction and this novel doesn't disappoint. It is touching and realistic to life as it portrays how humans are not perfect and fall, but God's love is unconditional and His saving grace can work miracles. It's a blend of romance, faith, and grace with a well-woven story of how sin has consequences and how one can look back with regret for past mistakes, wish for a redo on life that no one gets, but learn to move forward and create a better life with God as his first love.
If you're looking for edgy romance with a Christian message, you've come to the right place, Michelle Sutton's Tombstone, Arizona. She has a special talent for handling delicate issues with a Christian perspective and faith.
Another job well done for the Master of Edgy, Michelle Sutton! I thoroughly enjoyed, First Love. Great show of the internal struggle for the characters. Trying to do what was right. And the consequences of what happens when you give in to ones desires. The effects it can have on your relationships after you do. I like how she shows the importance of remembering who our First Love should be. Jesus. And that when our relationship is right with him, everything else falls into place. Our other relationships are stronger for it. Another wonderful read by, Michelle.
*Since my review copy was an ARC, some of the things mentioned in my review might not be the same as in the final version.*
First, I'm just going to say that I loved the subject that Michelle dealt with in this book. It is about two teens who had sex outside of marriage, then broke up. Later, they meet and are both Christians who want to renew their relationship, except this time do everything God's way. I thought Michelle did a great job of portraying their struggle to stay pure and honor God with their relationship. To me, reading the book was kind of like hearing about some friends of mine who kept messing up, and I felt like I wanted to help them understand it and stay strong but couldn't.
Some of the dialogue could be changed to follow more logical patterns. (Such as characters saying seemingly random things to make the dialogue go in a new direction.) But, that was pretty minor and could easily be fixed. For the most part, the character's emotions were realistically done and there were only a few places where I felt like an emotion would come up that wasn't warranted by the situation. However, that was pretty minor as well.
All in all, I really liked this book and its message about purity in relationships. It gave me some stuff to think about in terms of relationships and boundaries when dating. (Just a warning though, due to the subject matter and writing style of the author, there are some steamy scenes between the characters. I would not recommend this to younger teens.)
Michelle's books just keep getting better and better! While Never Without Hope and In Plain Sight are still my favorites (5+ stars) First Love gives them a good run. I give it a 4.75. I appreciate that Michelle writes about topics we often don't find in Christian Fiction, and I REALLY appreciate that while her characters are Christians, they don't always do the right thing. It's pleasant to read about what's ideal, but it's inspiring and hopeful to read about God's Grace. Without mistakes, there's no opportunity to write about it. Since I don't know anyone who hasn't made a mistake, Michelle's stories should have a very wide appeal.
First Love is an entertaining and honest story about the difficulties of abstaining from premarital sex when there has been a previous relationship. Michelle explores the issue far beyond just the physical aspect. She gives a heavy dose of emotional side-effects, including confusion, heartache and guilt. As a soon-to-be 40 year old, I enjoyed this book very much, but I strongly recommend it for teens and young adults. One should never underestimate the impact of passing on wisdom through words. Thanks, Michelle!
Just when I think Michelle Sutton couldn't possibly come up with a better story than the last one, she does it again! I absolutley love this story. Ms.Sutton is a pro at building romantic tension and this story is a prime example of just how well she does this.
Her characters, Josiah and Tara, share an intimate past, but something has changed...they're both Christians when Josiah breezes back into town. Both vow that they'll live for God no matter what and as they strive to remain chaste, the sparks begin to fly!
If you enjoy romance with a lot of tension, you'll love this story. I give it five stars!