4 out of 4 stars
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Most romance novels I have read the past few years are about tumultuous relationships, with the main focus of the story being the sexual aspect of the relationship. For that reason, Out of Evil by Eleanor Riley came as a delightful surprise. It is the story of two young adults who meet during a hurricane that changes their lives forever. When Rose Alexander and Peter Swazi met on that stormy night, they did not know what lay ahead of them. This romantic novel centers on a relationship formed and guided by God.
Rose had recently moved from New York City to Boca Raton, Florida. It was her first experience living on her own. She had wandered far away from her house on her evening walk and suddenly found herself caught in an ominous storm. Peter was also walking home, and he offered for Rose to share his umbrella. Since it was too far for Rose to make it to her house, they made their way to Peter's mother's house, where Peter saw his mother put into an ambulance. Forgetting about his umbrella and Rose, Peter jumped in the ambulance to go with his mother. Unfortunately, she did not survive injuries from a tree falling into her bedroom during the storm. Peter leaned on Rose to get through his grief, and soon they fell in love. They were both Christians and prayed for God to show them what His plan was. Almost everything fell into perfect alignment for the couple, and soon they were engaged. Then came the engagement party, and with it came an obstacle by the name of Grace Milford. Was this a test from God? Would this woman end Peter and Rose's relationship? Or would they be able to trust God to handle this situation just as He had done for them so far?
Riley has written a sweet and wholesome love story between Peter and Rose, and I appreciate that. Peter and Rose were a perfect couple. It seemed nothing could go against them. However, they were both a little high-strung at times. Even the littlest misstep in their plans would send one or the other of them into a near panic. Sometimes both of them at once. It was refreshing to read a love story where both parties put their faith and trust in God and were diligent in prayer together, asking God to guide them.
The part I liked most was when Peter bought Rose a car, but she was afraid to drive it. Rose had learned to drive while living in NYC, and she had a driver's license but had never owned a car. But with Peter's encouragement and a few refresher courses, Rose felt she could handle it. I will save the saga of Rose's driving for the reader because I don't want to give away any spoilers! However, it pleasantly surprised me to read a romance novel with little profanity and no erotic content. Instead, the story focused on the progressing relationship between Peter and Rose and their faith in God. On the positive side, the story is simply a good, wholesome romance between two young adults who want to do things the old-fashioned way. However, there is one small glitch. Instead of the happily ever after ending, brace yourself for a bombshell you will never see coming.
Several errors slowed down my reading as I tried to discern between what were errors versus intended speech. However, there were not enough errors to warrant penalizing the rating. The book was well edited. Also, there were times I felt the couple's relationship was too perfect to be realistic. Although I am glad the story portrayed a beautiful relationship and that the couple seemed to have it all, I had a hard time believing they were as perfect as Riley described them.
I believe the positive aspects of the book outweigh the negatives. Therefore, based on the characters of Rose and Peter, the wholesomeness of their relationship, and the ending that made my jaw drop, I happily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to young teens and young adults who enjoy a simple romantic story and aren't looking for a lot of turmoil and excitement. This book would be excellent for young teens to learn about romance and love. However, those looking for a more modern-day romance novel would probably not enjoy this book.
Out of Evil
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