I can’t help it. I just finished reading one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of cracking open!
- The writing – exquisite
- The characters – deep, broken, and real
- The plot – twisted, yet timeless.
- And the message… ah. God’s grace is sufficient – AMEN!
This was no ordinary romance. And get this – it was neither a suspense nor a mystery. Yikes!
No way, right?
A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin has taken top spot in my all-time favorites list. I’m tempted to read it again. (Something I NEVER do!)
Let me tell you what I loved about this book! I loved the time period – did I mention that it was historical from the 1870s? The gracious living of the era has a heavy weight of hypocrisy.
Rumors, full of both lies and truth, have doomed Joanna Stewart to accept the life of a recluse rather than hear the snide comments and disdain from the social elite of Banesville. The young widow of an elderly man, she balances the romantic pursuits of her stepson, her waning bank account, and the needs of her best friend’s family – chief of which is protection from the threats of the woman’s husband.
Enter the… well not exactly a hero. In fact, Joanna has hated this man for the last six years. He stole her honor, her fiance’s attention, her father’s love, and discarded her like so much trash on the street. Now, he wants to purchase her house. As desperate as she is, she wants nothing more than to see his back as he leaves her life for good.
These two have nothing to build on. Nothing to hope for. But the story, rich with forgiveness, reconciliation, misunderstanding, accusations, and total despair advances to an unexpected yet satisfying (delightful) ending.
Sandra Ardoin deals with some pretty heavy topics in this book:
- Unrequited love
- Physical abuse
- Unwed Mothers
Each topic is unfolded with grace and care that those in the grips of such difficulties can appreciate. And the writing is downright beautiful. Poetic. I’m not a reader of classics. I prefer the story to the verbiage, but this book was magnificent in the carefully crafted prose. It sang, simply and enticingly.
Told you I would gush. If you’ve liked any of the other books I’ve suggested, you’ll LOVE this one! If you like romance of any genre (including suspense or mystery) don’t miss A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin!
Your turn: I’m not joking when I said this one has taken top place on my all-time list. It’s joined in the upper echelon by Shattered from Dani Pettrey, Jungle Fire from Dana Mentink, When the Smoke Clears from Lynette Eason, and Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen. No joke! What’s on your all-time favorite list?
***Oh! And keep an eye out. On Thursday, I get to interview this marvelous author and she’s giving away a copy of her book! Woohoo!***