Rugged and Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm always on the hunt for new Christian Historical Fiction authors I enjoy, but because I do not care to be preached to, it is often hard to find books in this genre that I truly love. Rugged and Relentless is the first book I have read by Kelly Eileen Hake and it most definitely will not be my last! It's been a LONG time since I've discovered a "new-to-me" Christian Fiction author who made me want to immediately go and buy more of their books. Guess it's a good thing I primarily read eBooks these days, so it will be easy to do just that!
This book just worked for me on so many levels. I greatly enjoyed Hake's writing -- full of wit and amusing turns of phrase with fun, memorable characters to set the tone. One aspect that may seem minor but really hit home was the game the four ladies had of coming up with the "worst pun" at various times throughout the story. As someone who has a similar habit of making jokes with puns, that little trick really resonated with me. Additionally, Hake did a fantastic job of creating characters who were varied and full of life -- when I read this book I felt like I could see it all playing out right in front of me, which for me is always a sign of a great read.
Truth be told, my enjoyment of this story may also have been due to the fact that I found the main character, Evie, to be very relatable on a more personal level. Happily, there was no pretense of simpering perfection with her or any of the other women in the story; these were people you could probably picture in your own life. Thankfully, Hake also did not choose to employ any of the cliched themes that are SO overused in Christian romances--couples that completely (and to me, incomprehensibly) misinterpret one another's feelings and actions, which generally causes them to behave stupidly, or one half of the couple feels the need to convert the other in order to be together, etc.
While I've come across some relatively enjoyable Christian romances in the last year, I haven't found one this captivating since I read Julie Lessman's first books. I was awake until the wee hours of the morning because I just had to know how the story was going to end.
Originally posted at Goodreads. View all my reviews