I think I need to work on a review format. Reviewing one book should not take me hours, right? *sigh*
After a nasty divorce, Bethany Davis returned to college and lived up to the low standards set by gossips. Her dad’s stroke has now brought her home, and Bethany finds herself in a dilemma–how can she get beyond her past, learn to trust again, and live a “good” life?
Bethany’s father’s involvement in the defense industry adds excitement to her expectation of a boring life back home. However, bodyguards, stalkers, and international secrets are the least of her problems–opening her heart to trust again is a totally different matter. And the mutual attraction with her new team leader, Jason Ross, spells the possibility of big-time heart trouble.
Jason’s days of wild living are over, and he’s determined to prove to himself and God that he’s on the right path. When Bethany steps into his office, he sees the girl of his dreams, but is she God’s gift or Satan’s temptress?
Maybe it’s just me, but I think this suspenseful romance is lacking a blurb that adequately entices. While it states the central conflict well, it does so in a way that feels slightly off-putting, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the book and would hate for potential readers to get scared off by the “goody-two-shoes” blurb.
Prodigal Nights by Lisa Buffaloe is primarily Bethany’s story. Married young, things had fallen apart dramatically and when vicious gossip began to fly, Bethany had fled town and her faith to live the stereo-typical wild college life. That era behind her, she’s determined to move on when she is tricked into a summer back home. Bethany quickly finds herself caught between the new path she’s laid for herself and an attraction to a coworker. Afraid to risk her heart and determined to avoid physical temptations, where can Bethany find the strength to do the right thing? Add bodyguards, a possible stalker and international intrigue from her father’s involvement in military defenses and Bethany’s got enough trouble to keep sleep far from her on these prodigal nights…
I enjoyed this book. A simple read but with more meat than an inspirational Harlequin, I found the suspenseful parts creepy and exciting. You know how some books (and movies) keep up the intrigue by having the character’s distracted by one problem only to have another creep in while the reader wants to shout “look behind you!”? Well, I was immensely gratified in this book because the character’s were smart enough to put two and two together and know something more was going on. I always respect intelligent, realistic characters!
I also appreciated the perspective on the physical side of a Christian romance. So many inspirational romances gloss over that aspect of human physiology as if Christian’s are exempted from “temptations of the flesh”. It’s unrealistic and I’d rather a romance prepare young ladies for those feelings than pretend they don’t exist.
Frankly, the only part of the book I disagreed with was the opinion the main couple seemed to have that it was harder for them to “be good” because they knew what they were missing. Coming from someone who married the only man she ever dated, I distinctly remember how strong those physical temptations can be and I didn’t have past indiscretions fueling the desires.
I did also think two of Bethany’s coworker friends were rather stereotypical. I would have enjoyed it more if Rhonda, the solid Christian, had been the one with spiky, tinted hair. But that’s a personal preference of mine, always going against the stereotype, and I doubt any other reader would notice.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.