BOOKS I'VE READ AND RECOMMEND
Teachable Moments: Theological Moments From the World's Most Familiar Prayer by Johnny White
Full disclosure: I am not a spiritual person. Oh, I try to be--have tried for 40 years or so. I get books about prayer or Bible studies, and I determine to read them. And I do--sorta. I begin reading, but something distracts me, and my mind wanders. I realize I've read the same paragraph five times. Or three pages, but I have no idea what I read. Or, worst of all, I doze off.<br /><br />Not so with this book! The author has a voice that makes you feel like he's sitting on your couch across your coffee table, and you're discussing The Lord's Prayer (or The Our Father) the way you'd be discussing the latest book you read. I found myself nodding in agreement, or saying aloud, "Now I never thought of that!" It's a short book, but I read it one chapter at a time so I could savor it. This is a book you'll come back to time and again, treasuring the many "teachable moments."
Marrying In by Jennifer Stratton
If you're looking for a novel about a simpering young innocent girl who falls for the dashing rogue, this is NOT your book. However, if you're looking for something unique in the romance department, this is your next read. I don't know why this isn't being publicized by Amazon or offered on Amazon Unlimited, but just go buy the thing. You won't regret it.
Irene Tarquin is the beloved eldest child in a mafia family. She is beautiful, intelligent--and agoraphobic. (Read the book to find out why.) When she is informed by her father that she will be marrying Henry, her biggest concern is not marrying someone she doesn't love, but someone who will be invading her space.
Henry is the younger son of a different mafia family. However, he is not beloved. Far from it. He has spent his life trying to understand why his father hates him. So when his father tells him he is to marry Irene for the sole purpose of spying on the Tarquin family, he reluctantly agrees.
I started reading this expecting the usual forced-marriage trope in which the man and woman hate each other, but come to love one another in the end. This story is different. Henry and Irene actually like each other from the moment they meet.
Ah, but will they fall in love?
Filled with action (no, not another Godfather, but yeah, there's gunfire) and heart-pounding, steamy intimacy, this modern romance is a page-turner. The writing is good, with great similes in the right places, and the reader doesn't get bogged down in too much description. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one because judging by the title, I hope this is the beginning of a series.