4 out of 4 stars
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Shadows by Jules Nelson is a Christian romance novel.
Wow! Let me preface this by saying that I was VERY surprised by this book! It is amazing! Truly amazing! I intended to read a chapter or two today, but instead stayed up past midnight finishing it.
Emma Wells lives a peaceful, albeit busy life. Together with her father and two brothers, she lives on a farm in Michigan during the mid-1800s. Emma is 18, which is considered an old-maid at this point in time, and feels that she will probably never marry. Her mother died when she was young and the rest of her family relies heavily on Emma. Her brothers, Mark and Seth, love her dearly and are very protective of their sister. One day, when shopping in town, Emma has a disturbing experience with a drunk man. Out of nowhere, a stranger steps in to rescue her. Thus begins a strange and somewhat clandestine relationship. Thane (the stranger who rescues her), is considered “bad stock”. He is a trapper from the hills, and his father is a drunk. Because of his status, Thane feels that a relationship with Emma is impossible. But it seems the Lord works in mysterious ways. Thane continues to show up whenever Emma needs him, and disappears before her family has the chance to meet him.
Mark's best friend, James, has been coming around ever since Emma can remember. Lately, it seems that he is visiting them every day. Emma is oblivious to the signs however, and when her father announces that he has approved James' request to marry her, Emma is distraught. Having never told her father about Thane, she sees no way to tell him now. Will Thane and Emma end up together, or is Emma destined to marry a man she doesn't love? And what is the great mystery in Thane's family? All Emma wants is for everyone to be happy, but no matter what choice she makes, someone is going to be hurt.
As I stated before, this is a wonderful book. It flows smoothly and will keep you riveted the entire time. There were several twists to this book that I didn't see coming, but they fit in nicely with the story. Nothing felt rushed or thrown in, and the ending was nicely done. I really have no complaints with it at all.
I desperately hope that Mrs. Nelson writes a sequel! I don't want Thane and Emma's story to end, and I am dying to find out what happens with Mark, Seth, and James.
I loved the way the Scriptures are woven through the story without feeling overly “preachy”. I thought that the Scripture references that were used fit this story perfectly, and the development of Thane and Emma's faith was shown in a very realistic way.
Naturally, I am giving Shadows 4 out of 4 stars! This book will appeal to anyone that enjoys Christian romance, historical fiction, or just wants a clean, fun read. Great job, Mrs. Nelson!
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