In Defense of Love

Pat Simmons. Whitaker House, $13.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-62911-292-3
The main characters in this novel share a love replete with sweet nothings, flowers, and shivers of joy—and a connection with Christ. Simmons (Guilty of Love) highlights these aspects of the relationship with repetition that is charming at first but ultimately unsatisfying. Nash, a U.S. Marshal, courts Carmen, an attorney, despite being haunted by an abruptly ended relationship . The two begin a dramatic courtship in the church band that also sometimes spills over into the courtroom, prison ministry, and church, all places where the two characters spend time. Simmons ignores several opportunities to exploit narrative tension: Nash reveals the secret that haunts him and Carmen has no real reaction; a jarring scenario at the end of the book is implausible even to the faithful because it lacks a setup. As a fairy-tale romance centered on very chaste, church-approved love, the novel works, but just barely. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 03/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-62911-293-0
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