cover image TROUBLED WATERS

TROUBLED WATERS

Rene Gutteridge, Author . Bethany House $12.99 (400p) ISBN 978

The author of Ghost Writer offers a competent if familiar tale that evangelical Christian readers will likely enjoy. On the surface, comely Dallas anchorwoman Macey Steigel seems to have it all together. She's zooming to the top of her profession, and the future looks promising. However, Macey is on her third relationship with a man in a year, and she's been estranged from her parents for nearly two decades. She's also shelved her faith in God along with her Mom and Dad. But when Macey's father dies, she returns to Kansas and gets more than she bargained for. Living next to her mother's farm is the sassy, pony-tailed widower, Noah Kauffman, a famous artist and the father of two six-year-old girls. Soon, Macey must choose between keeping an old secret and pursuing her career dreams, or finding lasting love, faith in God and forgiveness. Although the pacing is slow and the narrative occasionally bogs down, the characters are interesting, and Gutteridge paints a particularly nice portrait of Macey's mother and the challenges she faces after her husband's death. The plot line of "smalltown girl leaves for big city then returns home to find romance in the sticks" is familiar ground for CBA novels. Some readers may question Macey's need for forgiveness from an old boyfriend, but many will identify with the pain of families torn apart by the past. (Feb.)