Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury is the story of a young dating couple who made a series of bad choices and then went separate ways, but they find the consequences of those choices are still haunting them years later. The man, Brad, believes he has moved on with his life until an ad campaign he is working on for baby blankets a few weeks before his own wedding undoes him, and he realizes he must find Emma and apologize.
Emma has never really moved on: she keeps other relationships at bay and has walked away from God, feeling too dirty and sinful to be worthy of His notice or the love of God or man.
The news comes as a blow to Brad’s fiancee, Laura, who has to deal with her own feelings of fear and betrayal.
This book deals carefully and well with the varied emotions resulting from an abortion (no spoilers there as it is revealed early on). The plot is what should ideally happen for forgiveness to be found and for those involved to move on, though, sadly, I am afraid real life probably doesn’t often happen this way.
The Publisher’s Weekly Review says, “Kingsbury tackles a touchy, difficult topic, yet in her characteristic style, her gentle approach wins the day. It will also overcome any reader resistance, no matter what position one takes on this volatile issue.” I agree.
Fit to Be Tied is the second of Robin Lee Hatcher’s Sisters of Bethlehem series. Gwen and Cleo are fraternal twins, separated at the age of two when their mother left their father, taking Gwen with her and leaving Cleo with their father at the ranch in Idaho. Gwen came back to ID to live and renew her relationship with her father and sister, and though they love each other dearly, Gwen and Cleo are as different as night and day. Gwen is every bit the refined lady; Cleo is the chief wrangler of her father’s ranch, more comfortable in trousers and with the animals, in 1916 Idaho where this was highly unconventional for women.
Into their midst comes an English aristocrat, Sherwood Stratham, who has been sent to America as punishment by his father in hopes that he will mend his ways. He ends up as a hand on the ranch with Cleo as his reluctant supervisor. They have to deal with their differences and prejudices against each other until they begin to discover the good qualities in each other.
It wouldn’t take much to guess that the couple falls in love, but how they get there is a lot of fun and free from many of the cliches that westerns or an opposites-attracting storyline can fall into. I liked how the plot progressed and I like the real depth of their relationship.
Thanks to Zondervan for providing a copy of Fit to Be Tied for review.