Cherished by Kim Cash Tate was an absolute delight! It's obviously a follow-up novel (to Tate's Faithful), but I had no problems at all picking up with the characters and the storyline. It stands alone quite well.
The plot features Kelli and Heather, two women in their mid-twenties, who both have quite a bit of baggage from their past. When God brings them together to be mentored by Cyd, God begins to show off in some pretty big ways!
To me, the best aspects of the novel were the more spiritual ones (though the entire books was fantastic!). The mentoring relationship between Cyd and Kelli and Heather was inspiring and had me really considering the relationships in my life. There were constant reminders to rest in God's timing and trust Him to care for you in all circumstances. Additionally, themes of forgiveness, unconditional love, accountability, faith, and trust were interwoven throughout the story. It's often difficult to weave spiritual themes into a story without it being trite or cheesy, but Tate succeeded in producing a believable and realistic story.
I especially loved the fact that it made me think about my own life in light of the themes that Tate brought to light.
The only thing that threw me a bit from time to time was some of the conversational language. Slang words and phrases (that are quite natural when spoken) seemed a bit forced when written in the dialogue.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Cherished.
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and FIRST Wild Card Tours in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Do you wonder whether your dreams matter to God? Do you think that your dreams can't be restored? Do you measure your worth by what you've done or haven't done? Kelli London had a dream for her life, but bad choices and life altered her plans. Believing that God had removed His blessing, Kelli discarded it and moved on with her life and away from God. Heather Anderson chose a path of adultery with a string of affairs that left her broken and alone. Kelli and Heather drifted from God and believed He would no longer bless their lives or fulfill their dreams.
Through the love and prayers of family and friends, they discover God's unconditional love and forgiveness as well as their truth worth in the arms of Jesus. Kim Cash Tate's story, "Cherished", is a story of God's unconditional love and forgiveness of sins many believe can never be forgiven. Our worth in God's eyes is greater than we imagine and something each of us longs and hopes for.
Tate's characters become instant friends. Her story is more than fiction, but one we can all relate to in some way. You will easily get caught up in their lives and by the end of the book, you will find it hard to say goodbye. Tate's story will grab you and teach you some things about God's character that you didn't know or had forgotten. Don't be surprised to find yourself in one of the characters. Once you pick it up, it will be hard to put it down.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B8B Media Group, Inc., 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Author Kim Cash Tate dives into the deep end of God's forgiveness and human relationships in Cherished. Just as it looks like Kelli's once-dead dreams of becoming a songwriter can be resurrected, her past returns to haunt her. When the woman who almost broke up her best friend's marriage needs a friend, what will Kelli do?
As someone who needs forgiveness and who longs to feel cherished, I devoured this book. The depth of God's forgiveness is amazing, but we sadly forget that fact all too often. Tate used the beauty of human relationships to mirror the beauty of our relationship with God. It's always reassuring that happy endings are possible.
This e-book was provided to me completely free of charge by Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Kelli has a past she'd like to forget. Music used to be so important to her. She had written that special love song so long ago. But that was before all the hurt and pain.
When Kelli's brother asks her to sing that song at his wedding, all of Kelli's hurtful past comes into the present.
Kelli had just received her two masters' degrees, communication and public relations, and was looking for a job in Texas. Her family convinces her to move back to their hometown, St. Louis. And it is there she sees Brian again, after all those years.
Brian was now a very popular Christian rapper. In high school he was Kelli's boyfriend. When Kelli became pregnant Brian had "abandoned" her to pursue his higher education. He had dreams of a successful career in biochemistry. Kelli wasn't ready to be a mother so she did the unthinkable.
Now their lives cross again. When Kelli tells him of their child, Brian is devastated. It takes Kelli a long time to deal with Brian's asking for forgiveness.
Add Heather to the plot, a young woman who had been caught having an affair with a friend of Kelli's family. Then she is seduced by a "Christian" musician who promises to help her break into the music industry. Then Heather get's saved.
These stories are woven through events in the Christian music industry to create a good novel. Several characters must deal with forgiving those who have hurt them severely. Others must trust God with their future, whether it be in the music industry or not.
And Kelli and Brian must deal with the fact that God seems to be bringing them back together to create beautiful music. Will they be able to combine the mistakes of the past with their music today to help heal others?
A major theme in this book is sexual purity. The consequences of sexual impurity are well portrayed in the characters of Kelli, Brian, and Heather. But another theme is forgiveness and new life in Christ. Tate has done a good job showing how God can and will use broken people who are willing to let Him form their future.
Tate is African American. While this book may be aimed at African American readers, it was a great read for this Pacific Northwest Caucasian. It was fun reading about their church life and family celebrations. It was great to read about the family solidarity and support.
This is a book for all ages. Teens and college age readers will certainly get the message of the importance of sexual purity. Older readers will find satisfaction in reading about the broken lives healed by God.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.