The Ride of Her Life is book #3 in the Lake Manawa Summers series and I was not disappointed. I loved getting to know Lilly better and getting caught up with her life since I was introduced to her back in the first book.
I thought the author did a amazing job of bringing her characters to life especially little Levi. Kids can be hard to write sometimes, but she did a great job of it.
I was particularly loved the idea of Nick building rollarcoasters. I have never read about this before and I found the concept fascinating.
Very rarely to I get through a trilogy loving all three books, but Lorna Seilstad's series Lake Manawa Summers has been added to this small list of mine. Worth reading.
Lilly Hart has taken her six-year-old son, Levi, and left her in-laws home. In the three years since her husband has been gone she has gotten fed up with their intrusiveness and trying to send Levi off to a boarding school, which his dad had hated and did not plan on doing with Levi.
Lilly takes a job as cook in a Midway diner in Lake Manawa, she is hired before the season starts so she can feed the workers that are building the Red Velvet Roller Coaster. Levi makes friends with Nick, the designer of the coaster and can hardly wait to ride it when it's finished. Lilly tries to avoid becoming friends with Nick and refuses to ride the coaster or let Levi get his hopes of for a ride.
Claude Hart, a prominent attorney in town, Levi's grandpa, wants to cause problems for Lilly and Nick, since he is a good friend of Levi's. He will do anything to get Levi taken away from Lilly, even cause someone to die, if that's what it takes.
I just can't say enough about this series, I found it totally entertaining! Of course it helps that I am familiar with the area and have driven through the Omaha/Council Bluffs/Lake Manawa area countless times and have stopped in Lake Manawa many, many times. Yes, it is completely different now but I enjoy reading about areas I know. Another thing who doesn't like reading about summer vacations, spending a whole summer on the lake with an amusement park? I would suggest this book to anyone that likes a fun read with a little twist.
"Rolling onto her side, she punched the pillow beneath her head. No, I will not cry tonight. Not again. I have a new home. I'm starting over. I'll be fine. Her heart didn't listen, and soon the corner of the pillow lay soaked. Ligntning flashed outside, and she rolled onto her stomach. The heavy stomping of thunder only made the little house seem more empty, and the solitude engulfed her.
But she was safe.
Thanks to Nick.
After wiping her eyes, she propped herself on her elbows before pulling the Bible closer. She didn't want to open it. God had let too many storms occur in her life, and He hadn't exactly been stilling them.
She felt the words press again on her heart. But why should she? She flipped the Bible open to the book of Luke and the story of Jesus stilling the storm. What had Brother Hamilton said? That Jesus doesn't still every storm, but He's in the boat with you?
But where were you in my storm? Were you sleeping? Didn't you care?
She wanted to pull the words back. Who was she to question the Lord? Her eyes dropped to the Bible splayed in front of her. The apostles questioned Jesus, but He questioned their faith. The missed the greatness of the One in the boat with them.
But it was the words written in the margin in her mother's hand that caught her eye. Faith entrusts oneself and one's children to God in the midst of danger.
Her mother had told her she was leaning on her own wisdom and not the power of God. Had her own mother struggled with the same things when Lilly's father had died?
Lilly's heart throbbed. Lord, I see what I've been doing. When the storms came, I had the same choice the apostles had. I could have responded with fear or faith. And I chose fear. I stopped trusting You and startewd trusting only myself. Please, Lord, please forgive me.
Though the thunder continued to rumble, a quiet surrounded her heart. She chose the believe in the greatness of the One who calmed the storms.
She traced her finger over her mother's words again, saying them aloud. "Faith entrusts oneself and one's children to God in the midst of danger."
Mama, I hope I never have to find out if I have your kind of faith."
I think when people read a romance book, even an Inspirational one, they look more for the romance and don't expect to have any spiritual revelations. I know in my own reading that's usually the case. When I read, I like to make page notes of my favorite scenes and narrow them down to one final scene to include in my review. When I read this scene, I KNEW it was the one I wanted to include.
I think we all have struggled in this area at some point in our lives, maybe several times. I know I have. This passage really spoke to my spiritual nature. I have been through many storms in the past several years and, in the back of my mind, I always had the niggling thought of, "God where are you?". This scene helped me to realize I was trusting myself to fix the situations and not seeing the greatness of the One in the boat with me. I loved this scene and it really opened my eyes. Now, I know some of you are wondering, "What about the romance?". No worries! There is plenty of that, too.
Meet The Characters:
Lilly Hart: For those of you who have read the previous two books in this series, you know Lilly is a very spiritual person. She puts everything in God's hands. Although, she struggled with that a little in this book after the death of her husband. She is a very strong woman. Making her own way in the world for her and her son, Levi. She's humble, very loving and lovable.
Nick Perrin: Nick is my kind of hero. He's very spiritual, trusting every situation to God, and very protective. He would risk his life to protect Lilly and Levi. A roller Coaster builder and operator, he takes risks every day. Very fun-loving but he knows when to be serious, too.
Levi Hart: Can you say, "Adorable"? Levi's six year old cuteness came out on every page. Lorna captured him perfectly. I just wanted to hug him and pinch his little cheeks. LOL
I have been hooked on Lorna Seilstad's books since I read Making Waves. This one was no exception. This last book in the Lake Manawa Series was quite a ride. (Pun intended!) It had just the right ammount of romance, spiritual overtones and drama combined. Neither were over-bearing, but very well balanced. Mark Westing, Marguerite's little brother, was all grown up and played a significant part in this book. I was glad to see he wasn't forgotten. I hate to see a significant character dropped. I was also glad to read Lilly's story. I felt she had been short-changed when I read book two. From the first book I wanted to read about Lilly. Now this series is complete for me. A wonderful read. If you haven't read it, I do recommend you pick it up.
While I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two book offerings by up-and-coming CHF author Lorna Seilstad, her latest book, unfortunately, left me wanting. The heroines from her first two books had oodles of spunk, sass, and no-nonsense personalities that I was itching to meet another one in The Ride of Her Life. In spite of this one qualm, Lorna still managed to create an exciting story with a great message at it's core--that "God has not given us a spirit of fear..." Now that the Lake Manawa series has come to a close, I'm curious to see what Lorna will think up next. Just give me a spunky heroine and a handsome hero and there's no doubt I'll be one happy reader!
A story sure to quirk up the corners of many a mouth!
Lilly Hart is a cook working on the shore of Lake Mawana, and she has dreams of giving her 6 year-old son, Levi. But the parents of Lilly's late husband have plans for Levi that threaten what Lilly and her late husband held dear. Then along comes Nick the striking Roller Coaster builder, who tests both Lilly's ability to trust others and to trust God, challenging her to open her heart once more.
This book has stellar dialogue, and I loved the way the many characters interacted with each other so naturally, especially Lilly and Nick.
Another thing that I really appreciated was how even though teh book took place over a short period of time, the relationships that were built did not feel rushed in the least. They all seemed to progress naturally in their own time.
Another thing I wanted to bring up was how, even though I hadn't read the last two books, I had no trouble whatsoever just hopping in on the last book, though now I can most certainly say that I really want to read the first two :)
I adored the character of Levi, and I felt that Ms. Seilstad got him just right, making him neither too childish or too mature, something that is rather hard to do! Nick was a great hero, possibly one of the best I've read in a while because of how he was steady and romantic in a more subtle way, he wasn't ever stealing the show.
Overall this is a sweet romance, with both a healthy dose of humor and wit , as well as a plot that moved well, making this book hard to put down! Most definitely a book that I would recommend!
I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.