Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes

Dry As Rain, by Gina Holmes, is a Contemporary Romance novel that dives into real problems that marriages face today.  Eric and Kyra have been married for more than 20 years, 18 of which have been good.  For the last two years Eric and Kyra's marriage has turned stale and been filled with arguments, betrayal, and frigidity.  They find themselves living life as strangers.  However, Eric believes he is given a second chance when Kyra is in a car accident and loses part of her short term memory.  As they begin to reconnect, Eric dreads the day her memory comes back.  Dry As Rain take its readers on a journey that finds Eric and Kyra learning about forgiveness and atonement.

I feel that most married couples can relate to Dry as Rain.  Holmes does an excellent job in describing what can happen in a marriage when the couple finds themselves drifting apart.  Jealousy and coldness can easily destroy trust, which in turn can make a deed that was once unthinkable, doable.  Holmes perfectly describes the feelings both partners feel after a betrayal takes place, and just how hard it is to bridge that gap...if ever.  

Dry As Rain illustrates what can happen when money becomes more important than anything else in life.  Eric works 6 days a week in order to climb the corporate ladder.  His goal is to make more money and win the next promotion.  I think that many marriages suffer when work becomes the number one priority.  The other spouse is forgotten, along with his or her hopes and dreams.

Holmes did a great job in incorporating Christianity into Dry As Rain.  In the midst of his own marital infidelity, Eric discovers that God can and will forgive all sins.  Without being 'preachy,' Dry As Rain is a Christian romance novel that reminds readers of certain biblical truths.

Gina Holmes wrote a novel that pulls at the heart strings.  Dry As Rain is a quick read that shows what happens when true love persists.  I recommend this book to any romance lover.  

 Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, Dry As Rain, for the purpose of review.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

To Be Sung Underwater, by Tom McNeal, is a moving story about a middle aged women and what has come of her life.  Judith is a wife, mother, but most importantly a career women.  Working in Hollywood as a television show editor, Judy puts in long hours at work and lives what others might call a perfect life.  She has a handsome banker husband, a beautiful and smart daughter, and an impressive Hollywood career.

Unbeknownst to those looking in, Judy has recently come to question her husband's fidelity as well as her detached relationship with her daughter, Camille.  Judy finds herself at a crossroads while renting a storage unit for her childhood furniture.  Instead of giving the storage company her true name Judy writes down an alias.  She then spirals rather quickly into a life where she finds herself retreating to her storage space in order to dwell in the past and relive past regrets, namely regarding her first love, Willy.  When Judy's mother finds out about her secret, she pointedly says, "I think you're trying to run away from home but don't know how to do it."   

As I started reading To Be Sung Underwater it quickly pulled me in and then refused to allow me to put it down.  I really enjoyed how the novel switched back and forth between Judy's teenage life in Nebraska and her present life in L.A.  Tom McNeal effortlessly exhibited how Judy developed and grew into an adult and how she lived as that adult.

I felt that the character of Willy was very realistic and likeable.  From the style that he dressed in, to the way he spoke, Willy was a great 3 dimensional character.  Judy views Willy as the man she never really left behind.  Judy thinks fondly of Willy and comes to realize that not only was he her first love, but quite possibly her one true love.  McNeal shows what can unfold when second chances are presented and the past makes its way into the present.   

McNeal did an excellent job in creating a special relationship between Judy and her father.  A summer trip to visit him in Nebraska turned into a permanent situation when Judy realized that his house and town felt more like home than her childhood home with her mother.  Judy discovered a friend in her quiet father and enjoyed the time spent with him, be it driving around country roads, weeding the garden, reading aloud from novels, or doing homework at the same table that he graded papers. While they may not have spoken much, Judy found comfort and familiarity in their silence.  

I thought that McNeal did a terrific job painting the setting in To Be Sung Underwater.  As the story unfolded I could perfectly visualize Nebraska, along with Judy and Willy's hangouts.  McNeal gave life to the lakes, back roads, little towns, and storage unit.  This helped To Be Sung Underwater feel profoundly realistic.

Tom McNeal's, To Be Sung Underwater, is an excellent novel which I would without a doubt read again.  I definitely recommend this novel to book lovers, both male and female. This complimentary book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher Little, Brown and Company and BookPleasures.com.