A Reluctant Melody has been on my TBR list since it released in January. But my reading has downshifted significantly lately, and I just found it on my kindle again. Yay! If you enjoy inspirational historical romances with a thread of intrigue, you’re in for a treat! But you might want to read The Yuletide Angel first. Not that it’s a requirement to enjoy A Reluctant Melody, but Angel gives you insight into Kit. And who doesn’t love a glimmer of Christmas in the middle of summer? Just sayin’. 🙂
Here’s a little about the book first.
The Cover Story~
Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the one person he hurt the most.
A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life.
When a blackmailer threatens to reveal her long-held secret, she must choose between trusting Kit or seeing her best friend trapped in an abusive marriage.
Will Joanna risk another betrayal? Or will she find a way through the pain of the past to love and trust again?
Joanna Stewart finds solace playing the piano. Kit Barnes used to find comfort in a bottle, but now his faith guides his life and work. Along with a pastor partner, Kit plans to buy and renovate a house to accommodate other recovering alcoholics. Joanna’s house is perfect for their mission, and Kit might have convinced Joanna to sell her property, except for this…
She would pay into eternity for her lapse in judgment, for loving a man who used her and tossed her aside. Hadn’t her father said as much before he cast her out of his house? If Papa were her this minute, he would remind her again of the sin she’d committed, and the mercy she would never find from the almighty and judgment-prone Creator.
Whoa! You can imagine Joanna’s reaction upon seeing Kit again and the conflict that oozed from the pages! With a benefactor holding a ticking clock, though, Kit had no choice but to convince Joanna to sell. Her continued refusals made him wonder if he hadn’t ran ahead of the Lord’s will. Often, I worry the same thing in my own life.
Favorite quote: “God doesn’t demand perfection from us first, Jo. He perfects us through our faith in Christ.”
A sprinkling of historical tidbits, a trail of intrigue, and the abundance of spiritual nuggets pulled me in every chance I got to read. While I suspected some elements, a few twists surprised me. I appreciated the real battle Kit waged over his addiction, even after being saved, and how his struggle wasn’t easy or glossed over. I generally prefer more sizzle in my romance reads, but because of their disastrous past and the constraints of the time period, I understand the restraint. Overall, though, A Reluctant Melody is a book I will keep in my library, just to reread and savor those spiritual goodies all over again.
TO PONDER: When someone I know struggles with consequences of poor choices, do I extend grace or judgment? Do I offer a listening ear or a cold heart? Am I a help or a hindrance?