“Surrendered” is the second book in Elaine Manders’ Intrigue Under Western Skies series. I so appreciated that I was informed that the first book of the series was a free Kindle offering and I had a chance to read it first. I suppose “Surrendered” might be enjoyed as a stand alone but so much happened in “Pursued” that led up to the events in the second installment. My opinion is that “Surrendered” will be appreciated more if the series is read in order.
Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I adore western novels. It’s probably a throwback to evenings spent watching westerns on TV with my dad but I definitely have a soft spot for cowboys. The front cover was all it took to grab my attention. Fortunately the story inside the covers was worthy of that handsome cowboy on the front. I found plenty of action, danger, and drama as well as a beleaguered romance that kept me wondering how it would all work out.
Both Rhyan and Carianne were strong characters who were surrounded by an excellent supporting cast, especially Colt and his mother. I especially liked how often faith and prayer were included as a natural part of the story throughout both books. Some surprises along the way kept things interesting yet everything turned out exactly right by the end.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The fight never ends until someone surrenders.
Having vanquished his political enemies, Rhyan Cason is anxious to get home to his beloved Carianne. Then he receives word an anthrax outbreak threatens his ranch. Even as he ponders how he can afford to take a wife, dark secrets from the distant past shake his beliefs to the core and convince him he’ll never be able to find forgiveness or make Carianne happy.
Carianne Barlow is stunned when Rhyan breaks their secret engagement. She leaves Sollano, the beautiful ranch house she loves almost as much as its owner, and returns home to Westerfield. While waiting for her shattered heart to heal, she shifts her attention to building the library she’s promised the town.
Even though Colt Holliman offers her a new courtship, circumstances keep drawing her back to Sollano and Rhyan. Torn between her affection for Colt and her love for Rhyan, Carianne realizes almost too late Rhyan’s troubles lie deeper than saving the ranch. He fights an evil that threatens more than his love for her—one only God can defeat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. She prefers stories that twist and turn and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She lives in Central Georgia with a happy bichon-poodle mix. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her friends, daughter, and grandchildren.
GUEST POST FROM ELAINE MANDERS:
I was born with the gift of story. The make-believe of childhood never left me, but it wasn’t until my daughter left for college, and I was left with the empty nest, that I decided maybe it was time to start writing the stories crowding my mind. I joined a local writers’ group, took a fiction writing course, developed the craft, went to conventions, and started pitching to editors.
Since I wrote romance, I found the publishing industry pushing me to a place I didn’t want to go. The secular publishers wanted steamier writing, and I complied as much as I could. Then when I was offered a chance for publication, I couldn’t allow my name to go on the book. The Christian publishers had a very narrow marketing concept. Again, I tried to comply until I felt the joy of story being squeezed out of me. I took a twelve year hiatus from writing.
Then in 2012, I was sitting in church listening to the familiar parable of the talents. When my pastor asked the question, “Are you hiding your talent?” I immediately visualized that closet filled with my unpublished manuscripts. I rededicated myself to putting my talent to use, and I asked God to send me a new story, if this was what he wanted me to do.
Later that week, I was on the golf course when I laid down on a little hill waiting for my husband to chase a ball in the woods and stared into the deepest, bluest sky I’ve ever seen. The sun was high in the sky, but the shade of blue was so dark I could actually see, not only the moon, but some of the stars. Looking into that sky, I experienced a strange sensation, as if I’d lost contact with the earth and was moving into infinity. I wondered, as I had many times before, how an atheist could look into the heavens and not believe in the Creator. This led me to an investigation of scientific atheism, Darwinism, and the entire series, Intrigue under Western Skies, was born. My protagonist is a Darwinist of the 1880s. Book 1, Pursued, is his spiritual journey to belief in Christianity, and Book 2, Surrendered, takes him to acceptance. The heroine, of course, helps him on this journey, while dodging all the dangers the old west has to offer. Incidentally, Pursued will be free on Amazon Apr 18-19.
April 11: 100 pages per hour
April 11: Karen Sue Hadley
April 12: History, Mystery & Faith
April 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 14: Bigreadersite
April 15: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
April 16: Daysong Reflections
April 17: cherylbbookblog
April 17: Baker Kella
April 18: I Hope You Dance
April 19: Inklings and Notions
April 20: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 21: Pause for Tales
April 21: Have A Wonderful Day
April 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
April 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
April 24: Connie’s History Classroom
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