Call to Love

Did you ever come across a book where you knew the ending just a few pages in, yet still wanted to see how the story unfolded?

That was the intrigue of the thoroughly Christian romance Call to Love penned by first time author Mary A. Felkins. I listened to the audio version as company during a three state visit over the weekend, so I felt the power of Felkins’ words through the narration of Trenton Bennett.

The love story captured my attention {of course, while paying attention to the road at all times}. I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but I was 8:13 shy of finishing a chapter when I pulled into my son’s driveway. As the grandkids and dog swarmed to the car, I paused the reading. But those last eight minutes and 13 seconds gnawed at my soul so after the initial rush of greeting Grandpa, it was out to the deck to sit back, close my eyes, and savor those final minutes of the chapter. It was the proverbial “Let me finish this chapter” my wife often snapped when I interrupted her reading.

The next chapter for the final leg home grabbed my attention from first sound with an audible gasp. I can’t remember when a plot twist jarred me — in a good way — as much.

The story revolves around Tracy and Tom, both with well-fortressed hearts. She is an independent, take charge emergency room nurse, a single mom by her choice with a new job in a new city with her newborn on the to do list. She is a police officer’s daughter, whose life was shattered and her heart broken when her Dad was killed in the line of duty.

Tom is a single father from Texas, battling the scars of a broken family and a broken marriage. He is a no-nonsense cop who even cites Tracy for excessive speed just as he was starting to entertain the idea of a courting stage. Sometimes his mannerisms, especially his verbal mannerisms, came off flat and emotionless.

I love writing that paints pictures in my mind and Felkins does it well. It isn’t just a chair, but an {I hope I get this right, I don’t have a print version to reference} asparagus-green aluminum bench that immediately narrowed the narrative to specifics. It’s never car, but a sleek, silver, sports car. It’s not a blue sky, but an azure blue with flecks of  color. Snowpiles are crusty with dirt over what once was fluffy white. You get the picture.

Her verbiage was equally flowing. She doesn’t walk, she sashays. He doesn’t say, he barks. Most of the time it worked flawlessly, although there were a few instances where the thesaurus driven word or action just seemed out of place. These were few and far between, though.

Felkins also proved you can write a completely Christian novel without expletives and always “clean”, even though single parenting implies otherwise. I wish I could remember the actual quote, but I laughed out loud when she was in a church at Christmastime. She offhandedly mentioned to her companion she sometimes felt like the Virgin Mary … “without the virgin, of course.”

The other remarkable thing about the book is its Christianity. Neither main character were heavy on the “God thing”. It was the supporting characters who injected Christian values into the story — consistently but unobtrusively.

As an author, I do wish I had read the book rather than listen to it. Felkins had a knack for interjecting interludes and presumably the voice of God into the characters’ thoughts. I would love to have seen how she did it — italicized, bold right, highlighted or offset in some way. However she did it, it worked and knit the pieces together without preaching.

The narration surprised me. I’m not sure a male was the right choice. I think I would have preferred a softer feminine voice. It was okay, although — no knock to anyone — trying to change inflection for different characters was sometimes difficult to follow or match the mental image I painted.

All that said, this was definitely a find, a five star find that will keep you entertained. It was enlightening to watch God’s behind the scenes actions chipping away at those barricades Tracy and Tom were hiding behind. It was a revelation watching Tracy’s stone encased heart start to beat again as she relearned how to trust and love. Likewise, we discovered, along with Tom, how freeing it was to shred bitterness and embrace forgiveness.

The story worked. Only when they let go of the past could they move forward and listen to the call to love.

Call to Love: (audiobook), Mary A. Felkins, author; Trenton Bennett, narrator; Publisher: Prism Book Group (Dec. 31, 2019); $17.47 or 1 credit; Listening Length, 13 hours and 25 minutes; Unabridged; English; ASIN, B0839PYQ66.

Kindle: $5.49 (free on Kindle Unlimited); File size: 923 KB; Print Length, 240 pages; Publisher: Prism Lux (Nov. 15, 2019); Sold by Amazon.com Services; Language: English; ASIN: B07XSNKZK2; Text-to-Speech: Enabled; X-Ray: Enabled; Word Wise: Enabled; Lending: Enabled; Screen Reader: Supported; Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body. — Cicero

 

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in Readin', Ritin' & Rithmetic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Call to Love

  1. pamelasthibodeaux says:

    Great review!
    Good luck and God’s blessings
    PamT

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