May 21, 2015

Now and Forever

Now and Forever
by Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy is one of my favorite Christian Fiction authors because she delivers everything I love about reading. Her books are full of adventure, comedy, and romance packaged together with delightful characters. Ever since I read my first book by her I’ve been coming back for more! Now and Forever was absolutely no exception.

Now and Forever is full of action from the very first chapter and the back and forth of Shannon and Tucker’s points of view make the action choppy which is fitting since they are careening down a river rapid! I love how they each are so stubborn and opinionated and I wouldn’t have truly come to appreciate their personalities if Connealy hadn’t given each character ample time to share their voice. Getting to know them individually was almost as much fun as getting to know them as a couple. 

One of my favorite parts of this book was the dialogue between the characters because often it is laugh out loud hilarious. I love how all of the characters interact and I really begin to connect with them. But as much as I love her passages of dialogue I love her prose too. She has a gift for keeping a story moving even when the characters aren’t talking. Now and Forever moved fast for me because I loved the characters and story line so much. I loved how fast paced the book started and how she barely slowed down as the book moved on. I read the entire book in one sitting and loved the progression of love.

I don’t often read books with very much external conflict, but this book was full of conflict of the wildlife and nature sort. Throughout the book I found myself wondering if they were going to survive raging rivers, caves, bears, and wolves! But I also found myself wondering if they would survive the person attacking homesteads. Between the two elements I was kept on the edge of my seat. Connealy excels at using real life dilemmas to keep her characters on her toes and it is obvious that she has researched how humans and animals interact along with how the terrain is in the area of the Dakotas.

I’m not sure if I love the comedy or the romance in Now and Forever  better. But I do know that I loved the romance. I did think the first kiss came on pretty fast but that didn’t stop me from cheering them on! I loved watching the relationship evolve and especially loved the banter surrounding the romantic side of things. There were definitely many swoon-worthy moments.

The spiritual aspects of the story were fairly subdued. It was evident that many of the characters were believers but spirituality wasn’t overly mentioned. Shannon does at one point specifically mention that Tucker is more religious than her but the story doesn’t dwell on that side of things. I believe a non-believer wouldn’t have a problem reading this book.

Once again Connealy came up with a book idea that hasn’t been done before. I love her unique situations she puts her characters in and reading about how she gets them out! I think anyone would appreciate reading these books. They have enough action and humor to please male readers and are clean so you know you can let a young adult read them.  If you love romance and comedy set in a historic time period you’ll love her books. I’d especially recommend them to readers who love Karen Witemeyer. 

This book was impossible to put down. I couldn’t wait to see how she ended it and now I cannot wait to read book three! I love stories that keep my attention from the first page all the way to the last without ever making me feel bored!

I received an advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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