Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Valentine with bonus story of Little Shoes and Mistletoe

Happy New Year's Eve!  I will be enjoying a quiet evening at home with my mother and my babies (the cats and dogs).  My fur babies will be huddling under my bed as the fireworks go off in our neighborhood (poor little things).  How are you enjoying your New Year's Eve?

My Valentine by Tracie Peterson is a Christian romance novel that also contains Little Shoes and Mistletoe by Sally Laity.  My Valentine starts in January 1835 in New York City.  Darlene and her father, Abraham Lewy live and work in the Old Slip district (near the docks).  Abraham has a fine tailoring shop that is patronized by Dennison and his son, Pierce Blackwell.  Pierce has just returned to New York after being in Europe for the last three years (mostly to avoid his stuffy, snobbish Aunt Eugenia).  Pierce and Darlene are instantly attracted to each, but Darlene knows there is no chance of romance between them.  They are not only separated by social classes, but also by religion.  Darlene is a Jewess and Pierce is a Christian.  One day she happens to overhear her father and Dennison talking about religion.  Dennison is explaining some aspects of Christianity to Abraham.  When Darlene questions her father, he states he is seeking the truth.  Abraham wants to make sure he has made the right choice.  This is the start of trouble for the Lewy family with their neighbors (they live in a Jewish neighborhood).  As Abraham learns more about Christianity, he shares it with Darlene. What choices will the Lewy’s make?  Is there a chance of a future between Darlene and Pierce?

Little Shoes and Mistletoe by Sally Laity is set in Manhattan in 1898.  Eliza Grace Criswell has left her family home in Harrisburg to live with her Aunt Phoebe Harper in Harper House.  Eliza was jilted by her fiancé, Weston Elliot.  Eliza is hoping for a fresh start with her Aunt Phoebe.  Phoebe introduces Eliza to Micah Richmond, a member of Faith Community Church.  Micah bears an uncanny resemblance to Weston Elliot.  Micah is a social worker with Child Placement Services.  He is devoted to his work and Phoebe helps by providing funds.  Micah is engaged to Annabelle Dumont, who does not care for Micah’s profession.  After Eliza gets a glimpse at the troubles facing orphaned children in New York City, she wants to help.  Eliza convinces Aunt Phoebe to open up the home to orphaned children (until they find permanent placement).  Micah wishes Anabelle was more like Eliza in her feelings towards the children and others needing assistance in the tenements.  Is Anabelle the right person for Micah? 

I found My Valentine to be nicely written and contained good characters.  It is, though, very heavy in scripture, religious practices, and prayer.  The romance is very subtle with the conversion (from Jewish to Christianity) being the primary focus of the story.  I found the story to be very heavy or bogged down. It was difficult to get through.  The pace was just very slow. I did enjoy reading about Abraham’s journey towards the Christian religion, and My Valentine has a lovely ending.  Little Shoes and Mistletoe was a sweet story.  It was easy to read and well written.  I liked the characters, the setting, time period, and the ending.  The religious aspect is much lighter in Little Shoes and Mistletoe.  I found it to be an uplifting novella.  Both stories contain good morals and life lessons that readers can apply to their lives.  I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars (My Valentine gets 3 stars and Little Shoes and Mistletoe gets 4 stars).  My Valentine will be out tomorrow (January 1, 2017)!

I appreciate you taking the time to visit. I am currently reading Towhee Get Your Gun by J.R. Ripley.  I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year's Eve.   Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


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