Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Love in the Balance

Love in the Balance
By Regina Jennings
Bethany House, March 2013

About the Book

Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is that with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together.

Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town—and her life—and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything. But he won’t be in Lockhart long, and while he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind.

What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

My Review

I’d have to say the best part of the book was at the very end, though I enjoyed reading the whole thing. But the ending was sigh worthy. Plus, it had a lot of spiritual depth to it. I’ve not read any historical novels where the man pointed out to some of the critics that it was easier to blame the woman, when often the man was at fault as well. I loved Bailey’s honesty and how he shared that just because his sins were hidden didn’t mean they weren’t as bad. Then, of course, there is the sin of pride, and we all know how ugly that one can be.

I had a love-hate relationship with Molly’s parents. I won’t say a word about Edward beyond the fact that he was a heartless snake. Okay, I didn’t like him either. I won’t even elaborate on the reasons I didn’t care for him, but would rather let readers discover that for themselves.

Anyway, many of us have made poor choices to please others only to discover that we should have listened to our hearts and prayed about our motivations, rather than caving into the pressure around us. I loved the way this book addressed second chances and how despite our flaws and the stupid things we do, Jesus still wants to have a relationship with us. Bailey’s love made me think of that. Only Bailey had manly desires that were refreshingly shown. When it came to the spiritual analogy, Bailey’s love expressed God’s love for us.

Maybe I am over-spiritualizing things a bit, but when I read about the smile on Bailey’s face, I thought about how the Lord is waiting for us like a man waits expectantly for his bride. It made tears fill my eyes. And the cleansing of the past (in the river) and new starts that happen when we confess our sins . . . well, they are removed as far as the east is from the west. That was a beautiful illustration.

Throughout most of the book I felt Molly’s pain and her shame, but I also sensed the healing and maturity that took place in both of their lives. The Lord worked in their hearts during those difficult times. That’s was beautifully shown over time and through the progression of their character arcs. Nicely done!

Michelle Sutton
Healing Hearts . . . fiction making an impact on real lives
New titles releasing in 2013: Collette’s Crusade, Learning to Trust, Somebody Help Me,
Her Innocence, and Serena’s Something

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