BOOK REVIEW: Chasing the Sun, by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson’s latest novel (of more than 90), Chasing the Sun, is based on a remote Texas ranch during the Civil War.  Beautiful Hannah Dandridge is orphaned on a large ranch with two younger siblings to care for, when she discovers that the ranch may not legally be hers.  Conveniently, the guaranteed-handsome William, (son of the previous owner) returns, and initiates flying sparks and fluttering lashes, and a generous slap of Baptist belief and pat Scripture application.  Complete with Comanche warriors, a smattering of Spanish phrases, and a growling geezer as William’s rival, it competes with a Pop-Tart for my attention.

If this is as good as it gets after writing 90-plus novels, it proves that anyone can write.  Thank you, Tracie, for dispelling my fears.

The plot was predictable, the characters uninspired, (yet quoting Scripture right and left), and the ending so pat I expected to hear the echo of “Ole’!” in the background.

One scene gave me the desire to respond with a “ROTFL”: Hannah has just approached  a Comanche warrior to make the gesture of peace, which is granted due to her recent display of excellent nursing skills on the son of the Chief, when William interrupts her.

“She tried not to notice how his rather disheveled appearance only served to draw her attention.  His brown hair seemed a little more wavy than usual, and the top of his bib shirt was unbuttoned and folded back to reveal a hint of dark chest hair.  She looked away quickly, lest her thoughts betray her.”

The few women I have known who would have been capable of presenting the Gospel to a Comanche warrior in full battle dress (Mother Theresa?  Corrie Ten Boom?), would not have had the slightest interest in chest hairs, attached or otherwise.  I also found it irritating that Hannah is not the least bit attracted to the son of the Chief, but perhaps he was lacking in chest hair.

I give this paperback one star: for being written in passable English, and assisting in bonfire-production (the cover makes pretty colors!)  If this is what sentimental Christian women are choosing to read, then the Enemy has already won.  On a more serious note: for a commendable alternative, with edgy plot and insightful characters, I would suggest any work by Francine Rivers, or Lois Henderson.

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers, for kindling: I enjoyed my roast.  (Translation: my  unvarnished, uninhibited and generally negative review is in trade for the receipt of this book).

Resources:

Tracie Peterson

Tracie’s writing tips (oh, goody!)

Texas (just thought you might need a little of the real thing)

Book Review: Hidden Affections, by Delia Parr

Annabelle Tyler is rifle-butted into a marriage with the local rake, Harrison Graymoor, in this Christian Romance quick-read Hidden Affections, by Delia Parr.  Despite its rough beginning, she manages to maintain her faith, and pursue godliness within a farce of a relationship, until reality begins to change.  Although this is not my preferred fiction, Delia Parr (beautiful website, too) has quickly become my favorite author of this genre, with her pleasing blend of light romance, character development, and true Christian faith within a gripping storyline.  I loved Annabelle, with her spunky speech and caring actions, while Harrison slowly won me over, and the gritty housekeeper Irene ‘had me at hello’.  Even minor characters found depth, and the story concludes delightfully.  I was left wanting more of Parr’s fiction, if not more of these characters.  If you have read Janette Oke, or Francine Rivers, (my ultimate contemporary favorites), you will find a favorite here.

I received a beautiful copy I will be keeping for myself, in exchange for this review completed for Bethany House Publishers.  You may join also! click here.