Review, Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales

Yesterday, I blogged about Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales, and said I'd return with a review when I finished the book. I was up reading last night; I had to see what would happen.

*****

Vicki is a single mom, living with her three children. Her ex-husband is in the military, fighting in some faraway war, and thanks to some help from the closest neighbour Janine, they're doing okay on their own. One day, four men in uniform knock on Vicki's door. She has to tell her children their father is dead, and such words never come easy.

Her ex-husbands death emphasizes the word "single" in a way the divorce never could, and as she tries to cope with a rebellious teenage son and make plans for the future, a handsome banker asks her for a date. Vicki accepts, thinking she's truly alone and that her children need a father figure. These might not be the right reasons for entering a relationship, but it seems logical. At about the same time, Janine's son returns home from the war. He is handsome, strong, and PTSD makes him unpredictably violent.

Gonzales has a knack for creating believable characters. They not only come alive on the pages, but I expect them to appear in real life at any moment. Their thoughts, intentions, and problems are believable. It's hard to describe the story conveying how exciting it really is; it contains just the right amount of danger and adventure to keep you turning the pages, and just when you think you know what'll happen, everything takes an unexpected turn.

The book is classified in cryptic categories such as "Christian books and bibles." I normally don't read Christian books: in my opinion the authors usually overdo it, and the material comes across as a few hundred pages of trying to convert people. Gonzales doesn't fall into that trap. There is religion in the book, but the mentions of faith come naturally, as a part of life for the people involved. She handles religion in an elegant, non-threatening and non-coercive way that makes this book stand out as something that can be appreciated both by people looking for a Christian read, and by people wanting to be entertained by an enthralling romantic suspense.

I warmly recommend the book and I will keep my eyes open for new releases from Shaunna Gonzales. If you buy it, be prepared to shut out the world for a while - I just HAD to know what would happen, so I read it all in one day.

*****

If you want to see more of Shaunna Gonzales, check out her blog, http://shaunnagonzales.blogspot.com/

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