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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review of a Great Read: Chasing Charity

Long before I began writing, I was a voracious reader of romances. I still love a great story, and there are many wonderful authors writing them. I invite you to check back on Saturdays when I share my reviews of some books I've enjoyed recently, both historical and contemporary.

The Review

Chasing Charity by Marcia Gruver

It’s the year 1905 in Humble, Texas, one Charity Bloom will never forget. Being left at the altar when her fiancĂ©, Daniel Clark, flees in full view of the town is bad enough, but seeing her life-long best friend, Emily Dane, dashing after him is almost more than she can bear.

Humble is overrun with fortune seekers eager to cash in on the oil boom, and Charity vows to have nothing to do with them. However, when oilman Buddy Pierce arrives and hits a gusher on Charity’s mother’s land, she can’t deny her attraction. But Daniel, who’s quickly tired of Emmy, regrets leaving Charity and refuses to lose her to Buddy. Which man will convince independent Charity he’s the one for her–repentant and rich Daniel or handsome and honorable Buddy?

Chasing Charity, book two in Gruver’s Texas Fortunes Series, is every bit as delightful as her debut novel, Diamond Duo. I enjoyed spending time with a couple of characters we’d met before as well as being introduced to a wonderful new cast. Gruver brings every one to life with consummate skill. Not only are Charity and Buddy delightful, but the secondary characters shine, too, from traitorous Emmy to the devoted hound dog that befriends Charity. I loved seeing both Charity and Emmy learn to surrender their situations to the Lord.

The story takes off from page one and builds with each scene, providing for a fast, fun read. Gruver tosses in wonderful twists that keep things interesting. I blasted through this book. I was so eager to see how the story ended that I stayed up late to finish it. Those yawns in church the next day were Gruver’s fault.

I heartily recommend Chasing Charity to any reader who enjoys an inspirational historical romance. If you haven’t read Diamond Duo, it’s another great book. And the third in the series, Emmy’s Equal, is coming this fall. It’s on my must-read list, that’s for sure.
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Win a Book

If you enjoy reading inspirational romances, leave a comment for your chance to win my gently-read copy of the title I just reviewed. Be sure to include your email address when prompted, so I can contact you. (I don't share this information.)

I'll choose the winner from all those who leave a comment by the Friday after the post and will post the winner's name the following Saturday.


Last Week's Winner

Congrats to Linda W., winner of my gently-read copy of Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts.

13 comments:

sherrinda said...

Wow, Keli, this was a great review! It took me right in. I will definitely have to put this series on my TBR list. (I love a good love triangle!)

Jessica said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book. I enjoyed the first, which I actually read isn't the first. :-) Apparently she wrote this one first then wrote a prequel? Or maybe she sold this one first... Okay, now I'm confused. LOL Either way, like Sherrinda I love a good triangle with some nice conflict, so I'd pick this up.
I'd want her to go with the oilman. :-)

mez said...

Chasing Charity sounds like a lively story, I enjoy twists and turns. Please toss my name in the hat. Thanks for a chance at another great book!

worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Keli Gwyn said...

Sherrinda, thanks for the compliment on the review. It's easy to write one when I enjoy a story as much as I do Marcia's. She has a fun, fresh voice, one I really like. Her characters are great--not just the hero and heroine, but every one of the secondary characters as well. I see that as one of her many strengths.

I savor Marcia's books, reading slowly and studying her writing style as I do. She may not see herself as a teacher, but she's one of mine. : )

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessica, like you I recall hearing that Marcia wrote Chasing Charity before she wrote Diamond Duo. Since I can't remember when or where I discovered that tidbit, I'll see if I can entice Marcia to stop by the blog and leave a comment with the story behind the stories. She's really nice, so if she's not off at a conference, I'm sure she'll be happy to pay us a visit.

Keli Gwyn said...

Mez, Chasing Charity has plenty of twists and turns to satisfy a reader. And the triangle aspect of the story is fun too.

Lori said...

Sounds delightful and right up my alley. I love a good romance. Is this one that you have to read them in order? Should I read book 1 first?

Well written review, definitely a compliment to the author making people want to read her books!

Keli Gwyn said...

Lori, even though Marcia's book, Chasing Charity, is part of a series, the first two titles are stand alones. You could read this without having read the first. However, I predict that once you get a taste of Marcia's awesome voice and meet her amazing cast of characters, you'll want to read her debut novel, Diamond Duo, as well.

Judi said...

Win a book? Sure, especially since I just finished a great read. One day I hope to have my own novel published (not finished with re-writes, yet). And I'd love to have you give me a review, Keli, when the time comes! Chasing Charity sounds like an emotionally charged story, filled with heartache, confusion and hope.

Keli Gwyn said...

Judi, I look forward to the day you have a book I can review.

You mentioned finishing a book you enjoyed. Which was it?

Marcia Gruver said...

Hello, ladies! Okay, where do I begin? It's always a pleasure to hang out with Keli, so I was honored to pop in and give up the skinny on Sequel-Gate. Oops, that reference ages me, right? Let me start over: Read both books if you want to know the REAL father of Anna Nichol's. . .never mind.

First let me thank Keli for her lavish praise. I can't tell you how it blesses me. But I have to confess it humbles me, too.

I just finished the final edit on book three (it's now gone to press), and I can honestly say it's my absolute favorite--and probably the best written. To hear such wonderful things said about the first two excites me to no end because I'm certain that means you'll like book three. (fingers crossing)

On to the question. I wrote Chasing Charity first. Along the way I fell in love with the character of Charity's spunky little mother. I decided to write the story of how she met and married her husband Thad. When I submitted the synopsis of Diamond Duo to my editor as a prequel, she loved the idea but decided to release the books in chronological order. Make sense yet?

Giving the third book to Emmy, Charity's conniving, man-stealing best friend was a given. Emmy is such a consummate rascal, she demanded equal time. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

Thanks for having me, Keli. It's always a pleasure, sweetie.

Keli Gwyn said...

Marcia, what a treat to have you stop by. Thanks for taking time away from your edits to explain the story behind your stories. I'm looking forward to Emmy's Equal, which I'm sure I'll love.

Keli Gwyn said...

It's time to pick a winner, and Lori, you're it. Congratulations! I'll get the book to you next week.