by Amanda Cabot
I first discovered Amanda Cabot’s writing with the first book in this series, At Bluebonnet Lake, which I found to be a light read with sweet characters and a charming setting. In Firefly Valley is no exception and was a delightful, fast read.
Cabot describes her scenery in a way that makes you feel like you are at Rainbow’s End, the resort where most of the story takes place. She also writes with a good balance of prose and dialogue but at times it was hard to keep track of all the secondary characters in the story. I loved the multiple love stories but I almost felt like there was enough in this book to have made it two books instead of one. I think Blake and Marisa’s story would have been stronger if Lauren and Drew’s had been told in a separate book. It is a relatively fast read as you get sucked into finding out more about the love lives of Marisa and Lauren. I really enjoyed the pace of this book.
Conservative readers might be alarmed by the mention of alcohol, smoking, and deceit and also the abandonment of family but in the end all of these vices are brought full circle by learning about forgiveness and second chances and will make for great discussion in a book club or parent/child relationship. I love when an author takes difficult concepts and turns them into ways for people to learn about the grace God provides.
Conflict abounds in In Firefly Valley. Marisa deals with a great amount of internal conflict resulting from abandonment, Blake has internal conflict from the way he grew up, and multiple characters have conflict with each other as they work through their internal conflicts. Cabot doesn’t sugar coat hard topics but instead uses them to allow for deeper levels of connection with characters. And even though this isn’t written in the romantic fiction genre she includes just the perfect amount of romantic tension as characters learn how to love each other. She also writes some pretty great romantic scenes where you think you won’t survive if you swoon any more.
I really appreciate Cabot’s attention to her character’s spiritual lives. I love reading books where the characters experience real life difficulties and still keep going back to God to be their rock in hard times. But I also appreciate that reading her book doesn’t feel like you are reading a sermon.
This book is quite predictable but I think that is what makes it such a sweet story. You can get lost in the book for a few hours and simply enjoy reading a typical contemporary Christian fiction book. This book is perfect to take to the beach or read in a hammock. I think it is a great find for young women and even teenagers.
This isn’t a book that I will read over and over again but it was a lovely story with strong themes of friendship, community, forgiveness and love.
Revell provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.