About the Book
Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.
Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.
As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength she has.
While Gideon’s guilt and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all?
Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?
5 out of 5 (stars)
Rating Category (weak, medium or strong)
This book gripped my heart in so many ways that I cannot express. In all the years that I’ve been a reader, only two books have gotten me so emotionally invested: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall.
This book is the continued love story of Lonnie and Gideon in Be Still My Soul, and it is so heart-wrenching. It keeps you glued to your seat because you have to wonder how the story would end in any way that is tolerable. It’s a story of two people in love who get caught in a web spun by the consequences of one of their pasts. It is clear that one of these two ends is inevitable—people would have to get broken-hearted if the ‘right’ thing would be done, or major painful sacrifices would have to be made if true love would stand. It is so heart-breaking it could mess with your sanity.
As hard as I try, I honestly can’t imagine any tolerable way this story will end; I guess all I can do is follow the author and see how it all ends in the next book, My Hope Is Found. This is why I have nothing but praise for the masterful craftsmanship of Joanne in the story so far. I really can’t wait to read the final book in the series.
The characters are very well crafted. Their role in the story was well stationed to provoke the right emotions. You would find yourself gasping when you should, scowling when appropriate, cheering for your favorite character when they score big and just plain being annoyed when things don’t turn out the way you hope they should. That’s what I call excellent craftsmanship!
I strongly recommend that this book not be read as a standalone. At all! Please, you’d be cheating yourself if you do. The first book, Be Still My Soul, opens your eyes to the broader picture as it should be seen. There is no way you will be emotionally invested, thrilled and satisfied like anyone who’s read the first book before the second if you choose to go ahead to read just this one. It would be like looking at a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. You simply can’t get the complete picture even though you are carried along enough. So please, get Be Still My Soul first. You can read my review of it here. And just to clear things, I mentioned in the review of Be Still My Soul that Gideon’s back story with Cassie was missing. This book takes absolute care of it. Joanne did an amazing job.
I have no qualms with this book. I would say more, but the story gripped me so much, I’m still at a loss for words a whole twenty-four hours after. As a writer, I can understand why Joanne had difficulty writing this book. It takes courage to take such a bold step to explore this book’s theme in the manner that she did, and I have nothing but applause for her hard work so far. I’m a fan and an encourager of bold and untraditional writing as long as it carries a good message in a powerful and unique way. Joanne accomplished this feat and I thank God for that. She certainly is an author to look out for and put on your lists of favorites.
*Although I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. Many thanks to Water Brook Multnomah for a free ebook copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the Author
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
You can learn more about Joanne here.