Last year I highly praised Regina Jennings
' debut novel "Sixty Acres and a Bride."
I love it when authors take a twist on a Bible story and breathe fresh life into it. Jennings took the account of Ruth and set it in Texas in the 1870's
. If that's not innovative, I'm not sure what is! I'd love to see her do more stories like that in the future. Her second release, "Love in the Balance," is about Molly, the headstrong flirt who tried to steal the hero's attention in the first novel. Molly knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. I didn't really like Molly as a secondary character, so I knew going into this story that I was going to need to extend some grace to this woman who probably could not be more unlike
me if she tried.
Molly was raised to marry a wealthy man, and her parents will not be happy with anything less. But she's fallen for Bailey, a poor cowhand just trying to get his start in life. Bailey escorts her every week to and from a larger nearby city, where Molly boards on weekdays so she can work at the courthouse. Their intentions are to marry one day. At least it is until the Sunday Bailey stands up in church and confesses that he is being distracted from following the Lord's will by a temptation. Everyone knows he is speaking of Molly. Suffering such public humiliation, Molly decides it is time to seek a new man to sweep her off her feet, or at least make Bailey jealous when he sees how quickly she moves on.
In her effort to find a rich and suitable suitor, Molly gains few friends. Her ambition is too clear. When the wealthy Edward Pierrepont shows up, passing through on his western tour, Molly sees him as a means to an end. He has the family connections her mother desires, the money which could help her father save his business, and he is definitely a way to show Bailey that she won't wait for him. She'd take Bailey back in a heartbeat, but a man who speaks mysteriously and showers her with gifts is just what she thinks she needs to pass the time.
Meanwhile Bailey struggles to find employment and balance his need to provide for a future family with the calling he feels on his heart to minister to those around him. His every heartbeat is torn between desiring Molly and desiring God's will. Is there no way for the two to meet? When sudden hardship befalls Molly's family and she must
make a decision, boundaries are tested as to how far Molly and Bailey will go to stay together, as well as how far blind duty might take one.
There's no way I can tell you what happens without giving away too much of the story. It's a tale where things get much worse before they get better. Consequences are faced on both sides, heavy guilt is borne, determination is questioned, and each have chances to grow. This story shows how God can be glorified even in our worst mistakes, and what looks like horrible circumstances can in time bring out His best in us. I wish no one would have to face hardships like those faced here, but I count people my friends who have found themselves in similar circumstances. We make mistakes. People take advantage. Our temptations seem more than we can bear. But when we are truly broken before God, that is when His strength is made perfect.
Due to subject matter, I would caution younger readers from this story. I received my copy from LitFuse
in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. Click on the link below for information about an author party and giveaway on April 4th.
Enter Today - 3/18- 4/3!